#Asia Did 500 Startups’ ‘Durian’ fund for Southeast Asia receive a $7m boost?



500 Startups is supposedly further ramping up its funding activities in Southeast Asia. The Silicon Valley-based VC firm first introduced ‘500 Durians’ as a US$10 million fund for the region back in 2012. This July, the fund took on another US$5 million, and now it’s reportedly topping up with an additional US$7 million, totalling at US$22 million, according TechCrunch. It’s  basing its report on a US SEC filing.

Khailee Ng, 500 Startup’s managing partner for Southeast Asia, says he “can’t confirm or comment” on this as of now.

If the Durian fund indeed swelled up again, it’s a sign the firm and its LPs continue to be bullish about Southeast Asia, as everybody wants their slice out of the opportunity cake. In addition to 500 Durians, 500 Startups manages the US$10 million 500 Tuk Tuks microfund, which looks only at early-stage Thai startups. Speculation that it plans on setting up another such fund in Vietnam was running hot in August, when it brought two new venture partners based in Vietnam onto the team.

See: 500 Startups is betting on centaurs and ponies in Southeast Asia
500 Startups has become known as a very active investor in the region, with several dozens of Southeast Asian startups in their portfolio, from Thailand to Indonesia. Among its notable investments are Malaysia’s GrabTaxi, Singapore’s Carousell and Tradegecko, and Indonesia’s Bukalapak. With Vietnam’s Tappy and Singapore’s Viki, who both had successful exits, 500 Startups has proven a sure hand at picking the right entrepreneurs to back.

Do you think it’s likely 500 Startups increased their fund size again? What other factors could be behind these successive “top-ups”? Let me know below!

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