A Different Venture Firm for Southeast Asia

A Different Venture Firm for Southeast Asia

Being a founder in Southeast Asia (SEA) is one of the hardest feats, possibly only trumped by being a mother (I’m not one so I’m really just guessing here). You spend months trying to find the right hires from a really scarce talent pool; you iterate your products multiple times to find product-market-fit for a region that’s really made up of multiple different markets; you travel across the globe explaining to investors, often whose only visit to the region was for a nice summer tan… all this while learning how difficult it is to work with your cofounder you thought was your best friend!

If you grew up in SEA, like me, you might find the proliferation of technology nothing less than a phenomenon. You might also notice a burgeoning number of venture firms promising a golden ticket to participate in the tech-boom. So why do we need another venture firm? Particularly, you might wonder what makes Lightspeed different from the 83501347 others?


First Principles Thinking: We believe in building high impact companies within the local context, even if it’s contrarian.

At Lightspeed, we are a team of local investors, who understand the nuances of the market so that you’ll never have to explain what’s CPF, ‘Win Motosai’, or the difference between a warung and a warteg! As ex-operators, we aren’t afraid to be contrarian and pay heed to neither hype nor naysayers. Our background enables us to be first principles in our investment and company building approach. That’s how we funded Snapchat in the era of Facebook/Instagram, Oyo when Airbnb was all the hype, and PinDuoDuo when everyone thought Chinese e-commerce sector was spoken for!


Hands-on Approach: We are there for founders not just in money, but in time, mindshare and resources.

We believe that startups require more than just a sugar daddy. We lead the pack in maintaining a high investor-to-investment company ratio. Startup founders often complain about them being sidelined as one of the several hundred companies in a VC’s portfolio and not getting enough time and attention. While the “spray and pray” investing style could be the conventional wisdom, we think it’s absolutely unfair. Talk with a few Lightspeed Founders; they will tell you how deep in the trenches our investment professionals will go with them when it comes to hiring, business development, pitch practices, etc. When we invest in you, we’re in deep, helping you through all the drama and heartbreaks (professional or personal!).


A global network: We don’t have the answer to every issue under the sun, but hopefully another Lightspeed family member does.

No one knows it all. But hopefully, before you spend 3 sleepless nights on an issue, someone in our global network can help you out. When you partner with us, you are part of a family. When someone joins us, they get access to our best practices, relationships and more importantly, mistakes our founders and investors around the world have made over a really long time. Partnering with the right VC firm is like injecting your company with steroids, propelling you along your growth trajectory.

Since our founding, we have backed more than 400 companies. Out of these, more than a third of our companies have either IPO’d or have been acquired. Across emerging markets (India and China), our investment philosophy has led to world-class exits in portfolio companies like Meituan Dianping, Pinduoduo, PPDai, Rong360, OYO, & Byju’s in just the last 10 years. We are excited to replicate our playbook and do make similar impact together with founders in Southeast Asia.

If you resonate with our ideas and are building something for the Southeast Asian region, please reach out. If there is anyone in your network who can benefit from knowing us better, I would love to connect with them as well.

Lightspeed Possibility grows the deeper you go. Serving bold builders of the future.