Partners at RHL Ventures: (L-R) Teng Chen Shun, Jo Jo Kong, Rachel Lau, Tengku Ahmad Ridhwanuddin, Raja Hamzah Abidin.
Malaysia-based venture capital firm RHL Ventures is looking at raising up to $100 million for Hibiscus Fund, a venture vehicle it formed with South Korea’s KB Investment Co.
RHL Ventures managing partner Rachel Lau confirmed to DealStreetAsia that the fund, which made its first close at $50 million, is targeting a final close at $80 million to $100 million.
KB Investment and RHL Ventures initially launched the $55-million co-general partner fund backed by Malaysia government-backed Penjana Kapital in August. The fund, however, will have a bigger close as there was strong interest in the vehicle over the past few months.
Hibiscus targets early-stage startups at Series A and B stages and writes cheques of $1-5 million. As part of its mandate under Penjana, at least half of the investments must be made in Malaysian startups. The remaining corpus will be allocated to Southeast Asian firms.
Hibiscus has already begun deployment, with one of its early investments being Malaysian digihealth firm Naluri, which closed a $5 million Series A round led by Integra Partners in June.
The firm has another 3-4 investments in the pipeline that will likely be finalised in the coming months.
“The fund’s primary objective is to accelerate Malaysian economic recovery by digitalising and automating Malaysian businesses through innovation from various stage companies and especially startups in the Series A and Series B stage,” RHL said on its website.
Apart from Malaysia’s Hibiscus, KB Investment also manages Indonesia’s Centauri Fund, another co-GP fund set up with MDI Ventures.
Hibiscus and Centauri are currently KB Investment’s only two co-GP commitments in Southeast Asia. It also selectively looks at direct investments in the region, particularly in consumer internet startups exploring new and emerging models of commerce whether in direct selling, group buying, or social commerce.
RHL was founded in 2016 and is based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, it is a multi-family private investment firm championing growth for the best businesses in Southeast Asia. It aims to drive transformative growth by fueling the growth of ASEAN-linked start-ups as well as small and medium-sized companies.