Who’s Adrian Li?
Sir David Li is a Hong Kong banker and politician. He is the current Executive Chairman of the Bank of East Asia and a former member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong and the Executive Council of Hong Kong. He has 2 children: Adrian Li and Brian David Li Man-bun.
AC Ventures was founded in 2020 by Adrian Li. A project solely introduced for Indonesia and Southeast Asia that focuses on investing in Indonesia’s digital disruptors, the company was formed by merging two leading capital funds; Agaeti Venture Capital and Convergence Ventures.
It is a tech-focused firm that invests in early-stage businesses. This includes logistics and warehouse aggregators, fishery products, digital transactions, e-commerce, stock investing apps, etc.
One of the world’s most populated countries, with a fast-growing economy, Indonesia offers an opportunity for startups. ACV firm had the first close of the fund with $56 million. The capital will be invested in 30 startup businesses over the next 3 years with up to $3 million in Series A-stage companies.
A team of 12 people of AC Ventures and Indies Capital has invested in 9 different startups. ACV works closely with the companies it has invested in to further fund them after a successful amount of growth. “We’re seeing some great opportunities in Indonesia, and we’re seeing more interest globally going into startups in Indonesia,” said Adrian Li.
“This is the world’s fourth most populous country and there are so many products and services which can be delivered better and more efficiently through technology.”
ACV investor announced on Wednesday that it secured a close of the third fund of $205 million. This fund brings total assets of ACV up to $380 million. The partners of the fund are World Bank’s International Finance Corporation and Disrupt AD.
According to AC Ventures, 40% of the LPs in the third fund were US and Europe-based investors, 35% from Southeast Asia, and 10% from the Middle East and North Africa. AC Ventures did not disclose the origins of the remaining investors.
Amid a COVID-19 pandemic, the lockdown tech sector boomed across Southeast Asia. AC Ventures managing partner Adrian Li told Reuters: “Since COVID-19, there has been unprecedented interest in Indonesia and Southeast Asia, with VC firms from all over the world -including top Silicon Valley firms- looking to the region, so the checks in promising startups are now faster and bigger,”.
Data from Refinitiv shows public equity capital raising by Southeast Asian firms has increased to a four-year high of $8.4 billion this year; data taken from Refinitiv. Region’s internet economy is forecast to hit $360 billion by 2025 from an estimated $174 billion in gross merchandise volume (GMV) by the end-2021, according to a 2021 report from Google, Temasek, and Bain & Company.
More investors’ money is flowing into Indonesia’s startup ecosystem. AC Venture’s Fund 3 has been continuously investing since its first close in March 2020, and it has completed 30 out of 35 targeted investments and is on track to deploy over $100 million by the end of the year 2021. AC Ventures also says Fund 3 is delivering strong early returns, with MOIC (multiple on invested capital) of 1.94 times less than two years after its first close.
The founder is confident that the first check sizes can range from a few hundred thousand dollars to several million. AC Ventures earlier funds returned 2.99 times and 2.41X times gross MOOCs, and include unicorns Xendit and Carsome. The portfolio companies have also raised more than $500 million. AC Ventures’ partners, including Li, are former entrepreneurs who had worked in markets like the United States, China, and Indonesia.
AC Ventures has done a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the companies most successful portfolio and in one set of signals that identify the founding teams with a lot of high potentials. Li said that this gives the firm a more objective and consistent way of ranking early-stage startups.