K2 Global is announcing a $183 million venture capital fund targeted at early stage startups with global aspirations. The fund is closing significantly larger than the $58 million the firm initially raised. With a decentralized team and no Sand Hill Road office, K2 Global aims to bring Valley hustle to international technology investing.
In contrast to well known VC firms like Sequoia and KPCB that have historically tried to build out a presence in Asia by dedicating independent investment teams to the region, K2 is going global with a single, Cayman headquartered fund. Minal Hasan and Ozi Amanat, co-founders and general partners at K2 Global, are of the belief that US funds have struggled to build an Asian presence, in part, because of a lack of relations between investing teams.
Though K2 hasn’t drawn a ton of attention to date, the firm has managed to take stakes in Magic Leap, Twilio, Spotify, Paytm and Paktor. It’s targeting companies with an eye for going global early in their lifecycle. K2 can support entrepreneurs looking to scale in unfamiliar markets, offering founders assistance with navigating foreign regulatory hurdles. A majority of K2 limited partners are based outside the United States in places like Singapore, Hong Kong and Indonesia.
Taking a leaner approach to venture, Hasan asserts that K2’s overhead is probably lower than that of other firms, despite the costs associated with having a global reach. Unlike Andreessen Horowitz and other venture firms looking to differentiate with in-house professional services, K2 doesn’t rent office space or spend money on administrative staff. Hasan says partners at her firm often work out of the offices of their own portfolio companies.
“You get to know your portfolio companies much better,” explains Hasan. “You only need an office if you’re concerned about getting into the deals you want.”
Hasan’s views originate from her diverse set of past experiences in Silicon Valley. After roles as a developer, product marketer and tech writer, Hasan became a startup/VC lawyer. She got to have eyes on a lot of deals and see how different stakeholders negotiate. All the while she maintained a fascination with the opportunities available to investors willing to go all in on a global thesis.
“Venture capital has traditionally been hyperlocal, but startups in Silicon Valley are often in the wrong market and should be elsewhere,” notes Hasan.
The overall venture capital scene in Asia remains hot, particularly for firms investing in technologies like artificial intelligence. But it hasn’t been smooth sailing for everyone. Just this week, 500 Startups relaunched its presence in greater China after putting efforts on hold during a leadership change.
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