Sng, Koo join to build Asia technology firms

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Sng, Koo join to build Asia technology firms

The great-grandson of modern China’s first president is working with a member of the family behind Korea’s LG Group to raise money for investing in Asia technology companies, people familiar with the matter said.

The fund to be run by Joel Sng and Brian Bon-woong Koo will focus on companies in Southeast Asia and Korea, said two people, who asked not to be identified because details of the investment strategy haven’t been disclosed.

Koo’s Silicon Valley firm, Formation 8, is seeking to raise $400 million for the special-purpose vehicle, according to a filing Thursday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Koo, whose family founded LG Electronics, led the firm’s investments in Oculus VR, the maker of virtual reality goggles, which were bought by Facebook for about $2 billion.

Koo later helped Oculus partner with Samsung Electronics. The Korean rival to LG supplied the screen that addressed complaints about dizziness with its original virtual reality headset.

Formation 8 announced in December that Sng, a descendant of Chinese revolutionary Sun Yat-sen, would be joining in Singapore.

Sng was an early investor in companies including smartphone-maker Xiaomi - now valued at $45 billion - Airbnb, Facebook, Uber Technologies and Palantir Technologies, Formation 8 said when he was hired.

Started in 2012, the San Francisco-based firm has made at least 28 investments, including big data startup RelateIQ, which Salesforce.com acquired in July for $390 million.

Formation 8’s portfolio includes wealth management platform Addepar, digital learning company Kidaptive and Korean beauty retailer Memebox, according to its Website.

The firm also invested $100 million in Korea’s Yello Mobile, a platform for digital businesses, valuing the start-up at $1 billion.

Formation 8’s founders include Jim Kim, Joe Lonsdale and Gideon Yu.


Bloomberg

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