PayPal investor Eddy Chan sets up venture fund for Indonesia
Intudo Ventures, a new Indonesia-focused venture capital firm, is launching its debut US$10 million fund today.
The firm plans to build a concentrated portfolio of only 12 to 16 companies, co-founders Eddy Chan and Patrick Yip told Tech in Asia. Both are private equity and startup investment veterans.
Intudo is part venture builder, part VC. In the first form, it helps overseas companies bring their products to Southeast Asia, specifically Indonesia.
“We launch joint ventures where we identify breakout businesses from China, Taiwan, Singapore, or Silicon Valley,” says Chan. It’s like setting up regional or local offshoots for companies like “the future Airbnbs or Ubers” in Southeast Asia, he explains.
Intudo either invests in or becomes a co-founder in these joint ventures. It helps set up legal entities, provides local market knowledge, connections to conglomerates, government relations, and puts in place the management necessary to ensure a smooth launch.
It’s a type of risk-mitigated venture capital.
Chan’s and Yip’s networks complement each other well. Yip used to head Goldman Sachs Indonesia, while Chan has deep connections in Silicon Valley. Back in 2000, he got the chance to invest in PayPal after a friend introduced him to the founders, says Chan. He helped the team with business development in East Asia. Through that connection, he later came to be a venture investor in Palantir and SpaceX, among others.
The third team member, founding advisor Timothy Chen, is based in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, which means the venture firm is also plugged into promising developments in these markets.
“This is a type of very risk-mitigated venture capital because the product very clearly already works,” says Chan.
But Intudo is also open to the classic investment approach where it backs homegrown companies with local products. In either case, it wants hands-on involvement in the business.
“A typical initial check size is up to US$1.5 million, and the target is to get to 15 to 25 percent ownership in each company. We have an expectation to be on the board,” says Chan.
Intudo is particularly interested in a founder type it’s dubbed “S.E.A. Turtle” – Indonesians who studied abroad and are returning to Southeast Asia to start businesses. It’s named after the “Sea Turtle” phenomenon in China, where returnees have contributed to the growth of tech and other high-skilled labor sectors.
The firm is vertical agnostic, with an interest in consumer, finance, healthcare, education, and media.
What’s important to the team is that it has a clear sense of how to contribute to the success of its portfolio startups, typically by linking it up with distribution channels.
“People tend to underestimate distribution,” says Chan. “If we don’t have that in place, for the most part, we’ll walk from the deal.”
Setting up the firm and the hybrid model took a long thought process, says Patrick. “We’re excited. We thought from the ground up. The fund is closed and we’ll be announcing our first deals soon.”
Intudo stitches together three Indonesian words: (integritas), sincerity (tulus), and serendipity (jodoh).
“Jodoh – that’s Patrick and I,” says Chan. “Patrick was my best friend’s roommate in college 20 years ago.”
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