Entrepreneur

VC Firm Of Microsoft's Late Founder Opens S'pore Office, To Invest US$100M In SEA Startups

Vulcan Capital, the multi-billion dollar investment arm of Vulcan Inc., has revealed that it has opened its first international office in Singapore.

Founded by late Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul G. Allen in 2003, the Seattle-headquartered firm will now have additional offices in Palo Alto and Singapore.

Vulcan Capital’s CEO Bill Hilf reportedly “channeled his late boss’s methodical approach” and took almost three years to decide on Singapore as an Asian base.

He said: “Before we take a step into Singapore, we know everything about it; we know every university, we know every politician, the politician’s friends.”

“That’s because we hold Paul, his family name and the Vulcan reputation as a sterling brand.”

There are plans to invest an initial US$100 million (S$138.5 million) in tech startups in Southeast Asia.

Financiers Tommy Teo and Minjie Yu have been hired as managing directors for the Singapore office, and according to Teo, they will focus on “seed, Series A and Series B investments in a broad range of areas including financial services, real estate technology and consumer internet”.

Initial target markets have also been identified as Singapore, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

Looking For “Young And Mission-Driven” Founders

What’s interesting about Vulcan Capital is that while it aims to maximise returns from its investments (like any other VC firm), the returns from investments “go directly into Vulcan’s broad range of philanthropic projects, including climate change and wildlife conservation in Africa”.

Vulcan Capital is therefore “hoping its model will help attract young and mission-driven startup founders in the region”.

The firm’s investment portfolio currently includes names like Spotify, Alibaba, Amazon, and uber.

 

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