Executive General Manager of Convenience Retail, Caltex Australia
Very few VC companies manage to hit a home run with their very first investment, but that’s exactly what Willson Cuaca did when he wrote a check in 2010 for future Indonesian unicorn Tokopedia.
Cuaca heads up East Ventures, one of the longest-serving seed investors in Southeast Asia and a pioneering VC firm in Indonesia. Established by Cuaca and two other partners in 2010, the company focuses on consumer internet and mobile and SaaS startups, and has invested in over 180 ventures.
Tokopedia, now with a valuation of $7 billion, was the first investment but later financial injections into the likes of fellow Indonesian unicorns Traveloka and Disdus proved equally prescient.
Cuaca’s tech foresight has served East Ventures well. The company’s early single-market focus on Indonesia created a lucrative niche for the company and also helped boost Jakarta’s status as the startup capital of Southeast Asia.
Cuaca has not limited his investments to Indonesia. Outside bets have included Japanese e-commerce player Mercari and Singapore-based cashback reward program platform ShopBack.
Cuaca tells Business Insider, “We were lucky to be early investors in the Indonesian and Southeast Asian digital ecosystem, the challenges ahead may be complex, but always rewarding."
Most recently, East Ventures said it was targeting a new US$88 million seed fund to invest in promising startups emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic.