A decade ago, we saw the potential to invest in Southeast Asia, then an underserved but fast-growing region with talented founders. Since then, we’ve backed more than 340 Southeast Asian companies, with several earning unicorn status. They include category-defining companies such as Grab, Bukalapak, Carsome, Carousell, FinAccel, and eFishery.
As companies enter their next phase of growth, 500 Global is committed to support their ambitions from idea to exit. I’m thrilled to welcome new Partners Saemin Ahn, Martin Cu, and Shahril Ibrahim who will lead the charge in building our growth initiatives across Southeast Asia.
Saemin brings a decade of experience in growth investing. He was the Founding Managing Partner at Rakuten Ventures, where he led investments in more than 25 technology companies, including GoTo Group, Carousell, Epic, and Coda Payments. Saemin also has deep expertise in advising companies on public listings and acquisitions. Prior to that, he held management roles at Google in Korea and Singapore.
Shahril was Director of Investments and Head of Khazanah Americas, a sovereign wealth fund of Malaysia. He established Khazanah Nasional’s presence in the U.S., deploying investments in enterprise technology and deep technology, focusing on AI, ML, and robotics. Shahril was also a board member at global fusion energy company, General Fusion, and on the advisory committee of growth equity VC firm March Capital.
Martin was previously Philippines Country Head of Ninja Van, one of Southeast Asia’s largest tech-enabled logistics companies. He grew the Ninja Van team in the Philippines from 0 to over 5,000 employees, and built a nationwide network serving 97% of the country. Amid the global pandemic, Ninja Van achieved a company valuation of more than $1 billion, and Martin played a key role in transforming the firm into a unicorn.
Saemin, Shahril and Martin are a testament to the growth of 500 Global as we expand our multi-stage investment strategy. Welcome aboard!