Singapore (PRWEB) June 03, 2013
Ardent Capital (http://www.ardentcap.com) has closed its first round of external funding from Siemer Ventures (siemervc.com), Recruit Strategic Partners "RSP" (recruitstrategicpartners.com) and GMO Venture Partners (gmo-vp.com). The round includes additional investment from the Ardent management team, along with several high-profile Southeast Asian entrepreneurs.
Ardent Capital is a Hong Kong-based holding company that invests in, and helps create, technology companies located in Southeast Asia, with a strong focus on eCommerce and digital media. Ardent’s founding team consists of Paul Srivorakul, John Srivorakul, Tom Srivorakul and Piers Bennett, who have successfully founded, scaled and exited three businesses in the region: NewMedia Edge to STW Group, Ensogo to LivingSocial and Admax to Komli. Adrian Vanzyl joined the team as co-founder and CEO to found Ardent Capital in January 2012. Adrian brings extensive international venture and digital media expertise, including two previous IPOs.
The funding will be used to make additional investments, as well as fund Ardent’s key internal initiative, Ardent Labs.
1. Additional investments. Ardent has made five investments to date, and the additional funding will allow it to continue at the same pace. These investments are Anything.lk, the leading eCommerce player in Sri Lanka, co-funded by Dialog Axiata; Burufly.com, the leading social travel site in Indonesia, co-funded by Walden International and Batavia; Playbasis.com, the region’s leading gamification platform provider; Syndacast.com, the leading regional performance driven agency focused on travel with offices in five countries; and e27.co, the leading regional media company focused on technology startup news and events. The portfolio companies employ almost 200 people across the region.
2. Ardent Labs. Ardent Labs takes promising business ideas and tests them in a variety of critical areas to determine their viability. The projects are led by promising entrepreneurs who become the founder(s) if the projects are successful. If the projects pass threshold requirements, Ardent launches and funds the businesses as independent companies. This is the largest division within Ardent, consisting of 40 dedicated team members and is headed by Paul Srivorakul. Ardent Labs provides the support required for each idea, from operations and technology to sales and marketing. Ardent Labs will launch its first two companies this quarter: WhatsNew (http://www.whatsnew.asia), an eCommerce company that owns and operates several vertically focused eCommerce websites, and aCommerce (http://www.acommerce.asia). aCommerce provides end-to-end eCommerce solutions for start-ups, brands, retailers, and manufacturers in S.E. Asia. It is a vertically integrated, full service eCommerce services platform and handles everything from website development & marketing to customer service, logistics, and fulfillment. aCommerce is a key competitive advantage for Ardent Labs, reducing the time to market for eCommerce companies from months to weeks.
As part of this funding round, Paul Santos will join the board of directors of Ardent Captial. Paul is a founding partner at Wavemaker Labs in Singapore (wavemakerlabs.com), as well as a partner at Siemer Ventures.
Adrian Vanzyl, CEO of Ardent Capital, sees much potential within Southeast Asia. “We know the demand in the region, driven by 600 plus million people and a massive rising middle class, is substantial. We also know from personal experience that the challenges of operating in multiple markets with different cultures and languages, poor payment options, and unreliable logistics can be overwhelming. We are focused on solving these hard problems so we can remove the friction holding back pent up growth. This additional funding shows a clear validation of our model and allows us to accelerate our plans, team sizes and the number of countries we will operate in. With such strong support out of both Japan and the US, we have the capital to grow and provide our portfolio companies with a path for follow on investment, partnership, global growth and exits, giving them great support beyond Ardent.”
Eric Manlunas, Managing Partner at Siemer Ventures commented, “We’re bullish on Southeast Asia primarily because of its emerging consumer class. That said, now would be an opportune time to establish a unified ‘company-building and investment platform’ to produce the next generation online businesses that will cater to the needs of this growing consumer base. We believe that the Ardent team has the appropriate skill sets and track record to become the premiere online business builders and investors in the region.”
Akihiko Okamoto, President of RSP commented, “We are excited about working with Ardent to further develop the internet markets across Southeast Asia and beyond. Recruit Group, being one of the largest Media conglomerates in Japan, looks forward to combining our know-how and experience with Ardent's excellent local insights to create successful disruptive internet business models.”
Ryu Muramatsu from GMO Internet Group sees opportunity for GMO to leverage its assets and expertise to help Southeast Asian companies. “Through this alliance with and investment into Ardent, GMO has the chance to support the growth of eCommerce business and startups in SEA. The Group is a market leader in Japan's domain registration (3.77 million domains), web hosting (53.9% market share), eCommerce (over 66,000 stores), Internet security (38,000 certificates) and payment processing (annual transaction volume approx. 1 trillion yen) markets.”
Vanzyl further commented, “To leverage this investment, we are looking for three things: (1) entrepreneurs with companies or ideas looking for early to late stage seed funding with their core team and target customer base in Southeast Asia; (2) experienced entrepreneurs looking to join one of our companies, particularly CEO and senior executive candidates who can come in as co-founders to operate and grow the businesses created in our Labs group (see http://www.jobscore.com/jobs/ardent); and (3) established brands and companies looking to leverage our network and infrastructure to expand rapidly in, or enter, the Southeast Asian market.”
For more information please email pr(at)ardentcap(dot)com.
Ardent Capital, 946 Dusit Thani Building, 4th Floor, Rama IV Road, Silom, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand.
About Ardent Capital, http://www.ArdentCap.com
Ardent is a Hong Kong holding company operating across Southeast Asia. It has main two main divisions – Ardent Ventures, which provides early stage investment, and Ardent Labs, an internal incubator that builds companies. Ardent operates offices in Bangkok where most of the Labs team is based, Jakarta and Singapore.
About Siemer Ventures, http://www.SiemerVC.com
Siemer Ventures is one of the most active Los Angeles-based early stage technology investors. It was formed through the combination of Frontera Group and Siemer & Associates’ venture capital practice. Siemer Ventures predominantly invests in technology companies run by remarkable entrepreneurs with deep domain expertise. It invests in early-stage enterprise and consumer-facing businesses that are positioned for rapid growth. Siemer Ventures co-founded, and is one of the larger investors in, Wavemaker Labs (Singapore) and is also an early investor in Science Inc. (Los Angeles).
About Recruit Strategic Partners "RSP", http://www.RecruitStrategicPartners.com
RSP, the corporate venture capital arm of Recruit Holdings in Japan, is a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm investing in innovative startups from all around the U.S. They offer industry knowledge and expertise to their entrepreneurs and support them in launching their IT businesses in the Japanese market.
About GMO VenturePartners, http://www.Gmo-vp.com
GMO VenturePartners is a Japanese corporate VC firm and a member of GMO Internet Group. Its 40 portfolio companies include 5 successful IPOs - Qihoo 360 Technology(NYSE), Fullspeed(TSE), Accelmark(TSE), NEXT(TSE),Vector(TSE).