(L-R) RHL Ventures Partners Lionel Leong, Rachel Lau, and Raja-Hamzah

(L-R) RHL Ventures Partners Lionel Leong, Rachel Lau, and Raja-Hamzah Abidin

Malaysian VC firm RHL Ventures has entered into a strategic alliance with Hanwha Investment, a member of the South Korean conglomerate Hanwha Group, to grow and develop startups in Southeast Asia.

The tie-up also aims at providing Hanwha and its network of investors access to investing in the Southeast Asian startup ecosystem.

RHL and Hanwa together will also boost investments in the region. RHL Ventures, with its knowledge of Southeast Asia’s business landscape and its close links to some of the largest corporations, will provide access to growth investment opportunities for Hanwha Investment.

Concurrently, Hanwha Investment will provide local market expertise in the Northeast Asian region and bring to the table its experience in working on cross-border investments across Asia, as well as looking to bring RHL’s portfolio companies to South Korea.

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Raja Hamzah Abidin, Managing Partner at RHL Ventures, said: “With our combined knowledge and business networks in Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia, we are confident that this will open the gateway for more cross-border investment deals across Southeast Asia. Given Hanwha’s focus on innovation across its corporate umbrella, it fits in perfectly with RHL’s mission of bridging the divide between corporates and startups in Southeast Asia.”

“Fuelled by a rising middle-class and greater connectivity, Southeast Asia has been one of the fastest growing regions in the last decade,” said Woojae Hahn, President and CEO of Hanwha Investment Corp. “We are continuing to invest actively in Southeast Asia and look forward to working with RHL and bring together our respective network and resources to maximize strategic value add to all of our investments.”

Launched by Abidin, Rachel Lau, and Lionel Leong, RHL Ventures invests small and medium size businesses in Southeast Asia. The firm recently appointed Kong Chin Joe as its new Venture Partner.

In November last year, RHL invested in Singapore-based mobile customer engagement and loyalty platform Perx.

Established in 2000, Hanwha Investment has been focused on managing venture funds for the nation’s major pension funds and institutional investors, delivering stellar business performance.