IT billionaire Pang Shengdong is all set to lead a ‘seven-figure’ investment in VC firm Tembusu Partners’ ICT Fund I. Pang who is founder of web directory 1234.com, is partnering with a Southeast Asian firm for the first time. With the capital, the fund targets to extend its reach across Southeast Asia and China.
The ICT Fund I and its portfolio companies will seek strategic expertise from Pang and avail networking opportunities to access the mainland Chinese market.
Pang sold the web directory to Shenzhen-listed 2345 Network Holding Group to earn the billionaire status and is said to have a published net worth of US$1.2 billion. He has founded 51.com, a social networking site which claims to have nearly 400 million page views per day. This is also the first time he is seen collaborating with a venture capital or private equity group. In a statement, he said,
It is encouraging to see a number of companies in Southeast Asia, especially Singapore, developing core software (deep tech) in areas like security, analytics and cloud computing. Given Singapore’s close relationship with the Greater China region, I see a tremendous opportunity to utilise my experience and network to unlock synergies and partnerships for ICT Fund I’s portfolio companies.
Founded by Brijesh Pande in 2015, Tthe fund exclusively invests in software companies in Southeast Asia. It aims to generate superior returns by investing in early stage software companies that are poised to benefit from Asia’s continued prominence on the global technology landscape. It is the only Singapore-based venture capital fund that focuses solely in software startups. Its general partners include Tembusu Partners and Pepri Ventures, the investment vehicle of its founder Pande.
ICT Fund I is also one of the only six funds selected by National Research Foundation (NRF) as part of the Early Stage Venture Fund (ESVF) II scheme. The scheme is designed to promote co-investment in Singaporean startups by private capital along side capital invested by NRF.