Hsu has just finished his first week at KK Fund, a newly set up investment firm for young startups in the region
GREE Ventures was founded as an investment arm of Japan-based e-commerce and mobile giant GREE.
Hsu told this author that he has been working at KK Fund for a week now, and that his official title is General Partner.
When asked if this was the plan all along – given that there are two ‘K’s in the company name, which one might presume means Kuan Hsu and Koichi Saito, Founder and General Partner, KK Fund, Hsu joked that there are many venture capitalists in the region whose names also start with the initial ‘K’.
Immediately, he gave two examples: Khailee Ng of 500 Startups, and Kuo-yi Lim of Monk’s Hill Ventures. But they did not agree to come on board, he joked again.
At GREE Ventures, Hsu led deals of varying sizes, and helped a number of portfolio companies get acquired by bigger players. Exits include Singapore-based cosmetics marketplace Luxola and Indonesia-based price comparison site PriceArea.
Taking his place at GREE Ventures is Albert Shyy, who joined the investment entity as an Associate in June 2014. Prior to that, he worked at Rocket Internet-backed e-commerce firm Lazada as the Regional Director, managing the company’s operations in several Southeast Asian countries and co-founded a menswear startup called AlbertMing Inc.
Led by Saito, who left his job as the Director of IMJ Investment Partners in March this year to start KK Fund, the investment firm has put money into at least three startups: Kaodim, Be Malas and TheLorry.com.
Saito has not disclosed how big the fund is, but told e27 in an earlier interview that the firm had injected US$200,000 in Malaysia-based Kaodim’s US$500,000 seed round.
He added that with KK Fund, he is able to invest in startups that might not have “the same degree of proven metrics” as the ones he was considering for IMJ Investment Partners.
e27 has reached out to Koichi Saito and Kuan Hsu for more details about the latter’s new role. Watch this space.
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