Press Release

Press Release | Gütersloh, Singapore, 01/24/2020

Bertelsmann Investments starts investing in Southeast Asia

  • Bertelsmann invests in the Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia & India Fund IV
  • Southeast Asia a new focus of Bertelsmann's growth regions strategy

Bertelsmann Investments (BI) has committed an investment to the latest fund by Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia & India (Vertex Ventures SEA & India). This new fund – the fourth raised by Vertex Ventures SEA & India – closed at US$305 million and, like its predecessor funds, will invest in startups in Southeast Asia and India in the fields of enterprise technology, financial technology, and consumer internet.

“Besides Brazil, China, and India, we are gradually strengthening our strategic commitment in other growth regions, including Southeast Asia,” says Shobhna Mohn, Executive Vice President Growth Regions Strategy and Bertelsmann Investments. “The region offers great potential for some of our businesses, including the activities of Bertelsmann Investments. With Vertex Ventures SEA & India, we have a partner with a very experienced team and an excellent network. Our partnership and the investments allow us to gain additional expertise on the markets and companies in Southeast Asia and position Bertelsmann as an innovative partner in the tech sector. This in the long-term is helpful to enable further growth in the region.”

A large and growing population, above-average economic growth, and politically stable systems in several countries – these are the factors that make parts of Southeast Asia more and more attractive for investors. Some Bertelsmann divisions are already active in Southeast Asia and plan to expand their operations there. Considering this development, Bertelsmann has decided to take a closer look at Southeast Asia in addition to other promising growth regions. Another argument in favor of expanding Bertelsmann Investments' activities is a study by the Singapore Venture Capital & Private Equity Association, which indicates that around US$7 billion are invested in startups in the region every year. Although the region's startup scene is small compared to China or the U.S., it is promising.

“We have already partnered with Bertelsmann Investments in India and are very happy that they have decided to deepen the relationship with Vertex Ventures SEA & India by investing in our newest Fund IV, to expand on their impressive global presence,” says Ben Mathias, Managing Partner of Vertex Ventures SEA & India. “Given the strong economic growth with rapid internet adoption and digitization of businesses in Southeast Asia and India, our investors are very positive about the region. We have been one of the first institutional investors in many successful Asian companies and continue to look for high-growth startups in the region that we can build into global champions.”

By participating in the Vertex Ventures SEA & India Fund IV, Bertelsmann Investments is pursuing a “fund-of-fund” strategy in Southeast Asia, similar to that proven strategy used for its entry into Brazil, India, and China, and most recently on the African continent via the Partech Africa VC fund. Participation in a third-party investment fund gives Bertelsmann Investments rapid access to the market and know-how in the respective regions.

About Bertelsmann
Bertelsmann is a media, services and education company that operates in about 50 countries around the world. It includes the broadcaster RTL Group, the trade book publisher Penguin Random House, the magazine publisher Gruner + Jahr, the music company BMG, the service provider Arvato, the Bertelsmann Printing Group, the Bertelsmann Education Group and Bertelsmann Investments, an international network of funds. The company has 117,000 employees and generated revenues of €17.7 billion in the 2018 financial year. Bertelsmann stands for creativity and entrepreneurship. This combination promotes first-class media content and innovative service solutions that inspire customers around the world.

About Bertelsmann Investments
Bertelsmann’s global venture capital arm, encompasses four funds: Bertelsmann Asia Investments (BAI), Bertelsmann India Investments (BII), Bertelsmann Brazil Investments (BBI), and Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments (BDMI, investing in the USA and Europe); as well as fund-of-fund investments e.g. in Southeast Asia and Africa and funds with a focus on new technologies. So far, over €1 billion has been invested in more than 250 innovative companies and funds through the Bertelsmann Investments division. The Bertelsmann Investments Digital Partners initiative facilitates collaboration between start-ups and all Bertelsmann divisions to drive the digitalization of the businesses.