Riding the SEA Wave
We are living the inflection point that we've all kind of prayed for, and it's come in this unfortunate manner, but it's certainly come: Amit Anand, Jungle Ventures
In the words of Amit Anand "There is a stark difference between the pre COVID and the post COVID mindset. I think most global investors now are thinking of India and Southeast Asia from a growth mindset. It's no longer a defensive mindset." As per him that mindset shift has been the inflection point. "We are living the inflection point that we've all kind of prayed for, and it's come in this unfortunate manner, but it's certainly come," adds Amit Anand, Founding Partner, Jungle Ventures. The Fund is a Singapore based venture capital firm focussed on early to growth-stage companies in Southeast Asia and India.
In the last four or five quarters, Jungle has made one or, or two investments every quarter in India, entering new sectors with lead finance. From CityMall to Leap Finance to Turtlemint to BetterPlace, they have the growth rounds in the region. Sharing insight on the investments, Anand mentions, "We are still at probably fewer investments in India and the reason is not because we don't think it's an exciting country or partnership. I think our focus in India which has become even more relevant today is to find companies and founders that want to build large regional global businesses. They want to build large global businesses and Jungle wants to
support it." When asked sharing his learning as a VC on how the fund supported its startups, Anand mentioned it was the other way round. He goes on to say, "During that period, March to June 2020, I had a, a certain segment of our founders that were literally challenging me back and saying, Amit, this is not a crisis. This is an opportunity way before all of us. We need to hire more people. We need to expand the new
markets. So from June 2020 Jungle flipped to the to the growth mindset and said, we will give you capital, we will give you support, we'll give you the backstop for you to aggressively go after and grow your market and grow talent and do more bets that you would make. I learned from the founders the resilience that they showed during the crisis and how quickly they were able to see the opportunity in the crisis and carry all the stakeholders along to aggressively and move forward. This has been pretty impressive and gives me more confidence on this crop of new generation of entrepreneurs."
Up until 2019, Jungle still had to still convince people why Southeast Asia and why India but today perspectives have flipped. They are adding 10 to 15 companies every year in the portfolio wherein they have 50 strong companies in the portfolio and having one exit every year since inception. Talking about what new is coming in 2022, Anand replies, "We have two companies that are going public in the next three to four months. We are also now getting to the point where every year there should be one or two IPOs from the jungle portfolio starting with literally the next three months. We still remain the closest partner to the founders, even though they are IPO stage companies, because we've been there when there was nobody there."