Yinglan Tan, Venture Partner at global VC firm Sequoia Capital, has quit, he confirmed to e27.
According to multiple industry sources, Tan is in the final stages of launching his own fund. Christened Insignia Ventures Partners (not to be confused with US-based Insignia Capital), the new VC firm is in the midst closing a funding round, and it will be announced in a week or so.
One of the persons cited above revealed that the corpus of Insignia Ventures Partners is going to be US$300 million, while another person said the size is going to be much smaller. Other details of the fund, such as the investment philosophy, key focus areas, and ticket size are unknown.
Tan declined to comment.
He, however, added that he has got some plans in mind but nothing concrete yet to share with the industry. “Yeah, I officially resigned from Sequoia Capital a few months ago. I had a good time at Sequoia. I finally have some down time to pursue my interest to holiday in Southeast Asia and spend more time with my kids. More importantly, I have got some time to shape my thinking. I am starting to crystallise my thoughts for Southeast Asia.”
Tan also said that the startup ecosystem in Southeast Asia is booming and he thinks now is the right time to do something. “I am hatching my plans, but nothing concrete yet. Give me some time and stay tuned,” he said.
The startup ecosystem in Southeast Asia has seen steady growth over the past few years. There are multiple VC funds in the region, focussing on various stages of investments, such as Golden Gate Ventures, East Ventures, 500 Startups, Wavemaker Partners and Convergence Ventures, but experts feel there is still room for new VC funds.
According to Jeffrey Paine, Managing Partner at Singapore-based Golden Gate Ventures, more Series A and B funds need to come in Southeast Asia. Krating Poonpol of 500 Startups Thailand also shares Paine’s views: “We are okay at seed stage, but there is a Series A/B crunch in the region. I think we need more funds in Series A/B.”
Eddie Thai, Partner at 500 Startups Vietnam, feels that there is a lot of money looking for deals, and a lot of startups looking for money, but the market is still quite inefficient for a variety of reasons. “An inefficient market means opportunity for smart VCs. Yinglan is sharp and knows the regional landscape well. I wish him all the best,” he said.
Who is Yinglan Tan?
A Stanford And Carnegie Mellon alumnus, Tan joined Sequoia in July 2012. He has been Board of Commissioner at Indonesia’s leading e-commerce company Tokopedia since 2014. In the past, he has worked as Board Member at Artificial Intelligence company Appier.
Before Sequoia, Tan was the Head (Projects), National Research Foundation, Prime Minister’s Office in Singapore. He had previously been the first Director (China) at 3i. Tan had also been the Senior Assistant Director at the Ministry of Trade and Industry (Singapore).
A Kauffman Fellow, Tan has authored two books, titled The Way Of the VC: Having Top Venture Capitalists On Your Board and Chinnovation – How Chinese Innovation is going to Change the World.
Tan holds a Masters Degree in Management Science & Engineering from Stanford University.
Founded in November 1972 by Don Valentine, Sequoia Capital is one of the most active VC firms globally. The Wall Street Journal has called Sequoia “one of the highest-caliber venture firms” and noted that it is “one of Silicon Valley’s most influential VC firms”.
Sequoia invests between US$100,000 and US$1 million in seed stage, between US$1 million and US$10 million in early stage, and between US$10 million and US$100 million in growth stage. It mainly invests in companies the energy, financial, enterprise, healthcare, internet, and mobile industries.
With offices in the US, China, India and Israel, Sequoia has made 1,442 Investments in 776 companies to date, including Google, Yahoo, Paypal, Electronic Arts, NVIDIA, Cisco Systems, Oracle, Apple, YouTube, Admob and Zappos. In Asia, it has made several investments, including Mobike, Zomato, Practo, and Trveloka.