MDI Ventures Ropes in CapitaLand’s Chaluangco to Lead SG Arm
MDI Ventures, the CVC arm of state-owned telco firm Telkom Indonesia, has appointed Shannon Lee Chaluangco of C31 Ventures to lead the Indonesian firm’s newly opened investment arm in Singapore, per an announcement.
At MDI Singapore, Chaluangco will take up the role of an investment director. Prior to this, she has served as a senior analyst and investment manager at multiple venture funds in the US and Asia.
Chaluangco began her career as an analyst at an angel group in the US in 2011, before joining as an associate at EY. She then returned to the venture capital industry in Singapore where she handled investments from seed to growth stage, and held roles at IMJ Investment Partners (now Spiral Ventures) and then Openspace Ventures (where she was part of the founding team)
Her experience in the corporate venture capital space came through her two-year stint at C31 Ventures, the VC arm of CapitaLand. Having joined C31 Ventures in 2017 as an investment manager, she soon became the team lead, where she helped manage the S$110 million fund and made strategic investments into startups at series B stage and beyond.
In her new role, Chaluangco is set to oversee MDI Ventures’ operation by building out the firm’s deal flow and making investments in startups throughout the region.
“While it’s great to see more female representation in this highly competitive and male-dominated space, the goal for me here is to simply let our fund’s performance do the talking,” says Chaluangco. “I have been impressed by the fact that it has returned 40% this year after a 28% gain in 2018. Having witnessed the firm’s exit spree in July 2019 from Red Dot Payment, Whispir, and Wavecell is something that also reinforced my confidence that I’m helping build a winning team here.”
Chaluangco’s appointment as an investment director in Singapore comes as MDI Ventures begins to go full throttle in expanding its global footprint. The firm is currently raising additional funds from new limited partners throughout Asia beyond Telkom Group.
According to data by CBInsights, 2018 saw a surge in CVC activity worldwide. The second quarter alone clocked a record 757 CVC deals and $14.1 billion in funding.
Asia attracted 38% of all CVC deals in 2018, up from 31% in 2017. In the third quarter of last year, Asia overtook North American deal share for the first time. CVC accounted for 38% of all disclosed funding for tech startups in Asia.
“One thing we want to strongly convey is that MDI Ventures is open for business,” explains Chaluangco. “This means we’re speaking with new investors and limited partners keen on getting their capital into our already successful fund. We welcome institutions that seek to invest and participate in Southeast Asia’s tech boom, as we help them strategically capitalize on startups that are positioned to win — with or without our help.”