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Singapore’s Jungle Ventures brings on three new operating partners

TechCrunch TechCrunch 19/05/2016 Jon Russell

Jungle Ventures, the Singapore-based VC firm that launched a $100 million fund last year, has recruited three new operating partners to its team. Michael Smith comes from streaming service HOOQ, where he was chief product officer, joining recent recruits Gabriel Lundberg, ex-Spotify, and Tiang Lim Foo, who led Evernote business development in Asia Pacific.

The firm hasn’t formally announced the hires, but each one has updated his LinkedIn account to reflect a new role, while Smith announced his arrival at Jungle on his blog earlier this month.

The trio are interesting additions for Jungle since, angel investing aside, each is a product specialist with no history of working on the VC side.

Smith is well-known in Southeast Asia’s tech space for his previous role with Yahoo, where, as director of global tech initiatives, he presided over Yahoo’s (ultimately unsuccessful) acquisition of Indonesian location-based service Koprol and other media projects. Foo opened and helmed Evernote’s Singapore office, which was closed as part of a downsizing initiative last year, for over three years and was previously with Singtel-backed startup MoVend. Lundberg moved to Asia to help Spotify identify new market opportunities — although the Swedish music streaming firm has moved very slowly in the region thus far.

Speaking to TechCrunch last year when Jungle announced its new fund, founder and managing partner Amit Anand stressed the efforts that the firm is making to build out its operational chops. That initiative, which Smith, Foo and Lundberg are part of, is spearheaded by former Yahoo head of international M&A David Gowdey and is designed to go beyond money to provide its portfolio with the expert counsel, experience and services needed to develop their businesses.

“There aren’t too many teams with the number of years of experience in our sectors, and in Asia,” Anand told us last September.

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