AppWorks, a Taiwan-based venture capital firm that’s one of the backers of Dapper Labs and Animoca Brands, has raised US$150 million in an oversubscribed third fundraising round aimed at bolstering its global and Southeast Asia investment activities.
Boosted by the new funding, AppWorks Fund III brings the firm’s total assets under management to US$212 million, making it one of the largest early-stage venture capital firms in the region, according to a company statement released on Thursday.
The third fundraise came much larger in value than the previous such exercises — its second fund netted US$50 million and the first brought in US$11 million. The latest capital raise counts existing and new limited partners, including Taiwan Mobile, Axiom Asia Private Capital, Fubon Life, TransGlobe Life, Hongtai Group, Wistron, Cathay Life, Phison Electronics and Taiwan’s National Development Fund.
AppWorks has been actively investing in blockchain with three core investment themes: artificial intelligence, blockchain and Southeast Asia. It has, for instance, co-invested in highly sought-after deals such as Dapper Labs, Animoca Brands and Splinterlands, alongside prominent crypto investors.
Founded in 2009, AppWorks launched its own accelerator in the same year, and in 2010 started raising and managing venture capital funds.
“From a humble beginning, AppWorks is now one of the region’s leading investors, working together with other prominent venture capital firms to cultivate the start-up ecosystem in fast-emerging Southeast Asia,” Jamie Lin, AppWorks’ chairman and partner said in a statement. “On the AI and blockchain front, we have become a major player on the global stage.”
Lin has shown particular interest in non-fungible tokens, and wrote a blog post on his personal website entitled “NFT = Next Frontier” in June. He said in the post that the company’s accelerator team had specifically carved out a category for NFT entrepreneurs, as they were quite optimistic about the outlook for NFTs in the next decade or so, which could generate plentiful entrepreneurship opportunities.
Meanwhile, AppWorks is actively recruiting investment associates and analysts as it steps into developing its third fund in a bid to scale up its investment activity with a focus on Southeast Asia, the company said in the statement.