Siemer Ventures changes name, raises $45M third fund

Steven Loeb · July 16, 2014 · Short URL:

Siemer Ventures will now be known as Wavemaker Partners

There are two big pieces of news out of Siemer Ventures on Wednesday.

First, it will no longer be called Siemer Ventures. The firm has announced that it is rebranding and will, from now on, be known as Wavemaker Partners. The move comes as the firm puts more resources into the Southeast Asian market.

"It is mainly to better differentiate the investment entity and align our branding with our Singapore entity, particularly as we're now focusing a larger portion of our resources in the region," David Siemer, co-founder and Managing Partner of Wavemaker Partners and founder of Siemer & Associates Investment Bank, told me in an interview.

"Also, the fund has grown a lot since I founded it many years ago as a personal vehicle for my own investments, and we have a much larger partnership, so it was somewhat overdue."

The second piece of news is that it has made the first close on its third fund, an early stage venture fund called stage Wavemaker Fund III. The fund is only half full at this point, but the firm expects it to reach its full $45 million goal, Siemer said.

The size of the fund is a big increase from the previous two that the firm raised: an $8 million fund, and a $28 million second fund raised in 2011. When its third fund fully closes, it will give Wavelength a total of $81 million raised.

That may not sound like much, but its perfectly in line with the firm's goals, Siemer told me, as it focuses on  on late seed stage opportunities in B2B and B2C startups.

"We are more value focused than most VCs," he said, noting that it goes by a “ponies not unicorns” thesis. That means it won't invest in companies, like Twitter or Snapchat, which do not have a revenue model.

"We only invest in companies with revenue and launched products that have customers and users. Even though we're seed stage, we don’t take bets on companies that are pre-revenue," he said. "We don’t mind investing in niche companies either, as our model is predicated on base hits rather than home runs."

And, so far, that strategy seems to have worked well for the firm, with a large portion of the 140 companies that the firm has invested in going on to raise a lot more money, and to exit.

That includes Viagogo, which Siemer called the "Stubhub of Europe." The company has raised a total of $65 million. There is also MINDBODY, which he described as "Opentable for fitness center," and which has raised $108 million. Another investment was in marketing platform Shift, which has raised $14 million and had a couple hundred million in revenue last year, according to Siemer.

Two weeks ago, the firm had two big exits: video advertising company mDialog which was acquired by Google; and Pulpo Media, which was sold to Entravision.

The other differentiator for Wavemaker is its focus on Southeast Asia.

Two of the firm's partners grew up in the Philippines, and the firm sees great opportunities in the region as there are 620 million people in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Philippines, Siemer said.

"They do have some technology. It's a huge market that's highly underserved but its they are also difficult countries to operate in," he told me. "They don’t have easy laws and there are a lot of ins and out to invest and to get the money out of there of there when you do."

For Wavelength, they do have some advantages, including the fact that most of dollars in its last two funds come from Southeast Asia. Plus, it has investors in countries that give it a leg up and it does a “funds to funds” model, with incubators and accelerators that are active investors in the countries, so that companies can be vetted and the good deals can be filtered.

"We do feel like we have help navigating the region. We are aligned with influential groups, and have decent standing, so if there was a lawsuit we’d have a chance."

In fact, Wavelength is so active in the region, that its investment team in Asia is actually larger than its team in the U.S. at this point.

The firm typically invests between $250,000 to $750,000, and never goes north of a million. Its median investment size is $300,000, and it plans to make another 100 or so investments with this latest fund.

Note: Siemer Ventures was an early investor in Vator.

(Image source:

Support VatorNews by Donating

Read more from our "Fund News" series

More episodes

Related Companies, Investors, and Entrepreneurs



Joined Vator on

viagogo is an online ticket exchange that allows people to buy and sell live event tickets in a safe and guaranteed way.

viagogo's mission is to bring efficiency and transparency to what has traditionally been a murky market place, thus allowing consumers to buy and sell tickets in a safe and guaranteed way.

At viagogo, every transaction is guaranteed. To support this, we offer full ticket tracking, managed logistics and live customer service support.

* Buyers: Once you purchase a ticket or win an auction and receive a confirmation email from us, viagogo makes sure that you receive your ticket on time for the event. If a problem arises and you do not receive your ticket, viagogo will provide similar or better tickets at the same cost.
* Sellers: We collect the money once the purchase occurs so we can make sure that you get paid.

viagogo takes security very seriously - all transactions are safe and secure. We use the most up-to-date SSL encryption technology to protect your personal and transaction information.

Pulpo Media


Joined Vator on

Name of the company

Siemer & Associates


Joined Vator on

Siemer & Associates LLC is a global boutique merchant bank dedicated to offering candid insight and guidance to digital media, software and Internet companies throughout their business life cycles. Composed of industry veterans who have worked both inside and out of technology enterprises, S&A has successfully completed more than 50 transactions that aggregated over $3 billion in sell-side mandates and surpassed $1.5 billion in equity capital. Headquartered in Los Angeles with offices in New York and Hong Kong, S&A offers exceptional corporate capital raising, financial advisory services and M&A, specializing in complex cross-border transactions.

Committed to expanding the international technology ecosystem, Siemer & Associates promotes innovative entrepreneurs through its early-stage investment arm, Siemer Ventures, and its incubator, Wavemaker Labs. One of the most active investment funds in Southern California, Siemer Ventures claims more than 40 current portfolio companies and makes an average of 12 new investments each year in digital media startups. Based in Singapore, Wavemaker Labs is a joint venture between Siemer & Associates and Tholons that receives significant co-investment from the Singaporean government as an “approved technology incubator” under the Technology Incubation Scheme (TIS) of the Singaporean government’s National Research Foundation (NRF).



Joined Vator on

What is Twitter?

Twitter is an online information network that allows anyone with an account to post 140 character messages, called tweets. It is free to sign up. Users then follow other accounts which they are interested in, and view the tweets of everyone they follow in their "timeline." Most Twitter accounts are public, where one does not need to approve a request to follow, or need to follow back. This makes Twitter a powerful "one to many" broadcast platform where individuals, companies or organizations can reach millions of followers with a single message. Twitter is accessible from, our mobile website, SMS, our mobile apps for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, our iPad application, or 3rd party clients built by outside developers using our API. Twitter accounts can also be private, where the owner must approve follower requests. 

Where did the idea for Twitter come from?

Twitter started as an internal project within the podcasting company Odeo. Jack Dorsey, and engineer, had long been interested in status updates. Jack developed the idea, along with Biz Stone, and the first prototype was built in two weeks in March 2006 and launched publicly in August of 2006. The service grew popular very quickly and it soon made sense for Twitter to move outside of Odea. In May 2007, Twitter Inc was founded.

How is Twitter built?

Our engineering team works with a web application framework called Ruby on Rails. We all work on Apple computers except for testing purposes. 

We built Twitter using Ruby on Rails because it allows us to work quickly and easily--our team likes to deploy features and changes multiple times per day. Rails provides skeleton code frameworks so we don't have to re-invent the wheel every time we want to add something simple like a sign in form or a picture upload feature.

How do you make money from Twitter?

There are a few ways that Twitter makes money. We have licensing deals in place with Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft's Bing to give them access to the "firehose" - a stream of tweets so that they can more easily incorporate those tweets into their search results.

In Summer 2010, we launched our Promoted Tweets product. Promoted Tweets are a special kind of tweet which appear at the top of search results within, if a company has bid on that keyword. Unlike search results in search engines, Promoted Tweets are normal tweets from a business, so they are as interactive as any other tweet - you can @reply, favorite or retweet a Promoted Tweet. 

At the same time, we launched Promoted Trends, where companies can place a trend (clearly marked Promoted) within Twitter's Trending Topics. These are especially effective for upcoming launches, like a movie or album release.

Lastly, we started a Twitter account called @earlybird where we partner with other companies to provide users with a special, short-term deal. For example, we partnered with Virgin America for a special day of fares on that were only accessible through the link in the @earlybird tweet.


What's next for Twitter?

We continue to focus on building a product that provides value for users. 

We're building Twitter, Inc into a successful, revenue-generating company that attracts world-class talent with an inspiring culture and attitude towards doing business.