Supalaunch your business with Venture Capital Firms, Investors and Accelerators in APAC

How do you beat the competition in the fast-paced world of startups in Asia? The right amount of funding is one of the main factors that stands between your company’s success or failure. With no cash, upscaling becomes a longer, more difficult challenge. We’ve shared with you the best APAC countries to start a business, now find out about Asian-focused investors from India to China that you can approach to help fund your startup.

Before we dive in, here’s the difference between venture capitalists, angel investors and seed accelerators. Venture capitalist firms focus on providing funds to startups that they recognise to have high potential for growth. More often than not, they provide more funds than a bank loan and there is no obligation to pay them back if the business tanks. Angel investors operate on a much smaller scale, often investing in a business as an individual or in a small group. For both, mentorship and guidance is optional. Seed accelerators offer the benefits of funding as well as mentorship. Competition to be accepted into an accelerator program is high as successful applicants receive an intensive period (typically 3 months) of training from experienced professionals on how to grow their businesses as well as a monetary investment in exchange for equity.

Here are 10 venture capital firms, investors and accelerators that have been the most active in the past 6 months.

1. 500 Startups (Malaysia)

Investments Made – 11

A renowned Global venture capital seed fund and a startup accelerator from Silicon Valley with over US$250 million in assets under management.

Key Investees/Graduates in APAC:
Grab (Malaysia/SG)
TukTuks (Thailand)
Supahands (Malaysia)
CatchThatBus (Malaysia)

Type of Fund:
Seed
Series A
Bridge/Loan

Investment Round Range:
US$100,000 to US$12,000,000

Top APAC Countries Invested in:
Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia

Top Industries:
E-Commerce
Marketplaces and Platforms
Fintech

2. Sequoia Capital (China)

Investments Made – 10

Known for their collaborative efforts with legendary founders like Steve Jobs (Apple), Elon Musk (SpaceX), and Peter Thiel (Paypal). Sequoia now provides the new generation of innovators the opportunity to build lasting companies of tomorrow.       

Key Investees in APAC:
Kfit (Malaysia)
Zilingo (Singapore)
Gojek (Indonesia)
Futu5 (China)

Type of Fund:
Seed
Series A, B & C

Investment Round Range:
US$1,000,000 to US$200,000,000

Top APAC Countries Invested in:
Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia

Top Industries:
Social networking & communication
Marketplaces & Platforms
Logistics and Transportation

3. SAIF Partners (Hong Kong)

Investments Made – 8

An Asian-focused private equity firm that focuses mainly on businesses that operate in China or have significant operations or businesses in China.

Key Investees in APAC:
Voodoo (India)
Treebo Hotels (India)
UnionPay (China)

Type of Fund:
Seed
Series A, B, C & D

Investment Round Range:
US$ 200,000 to US $100,000,000

Top APAC Countries Invested in:
India, China, Indonesia

Top Industries:
E-Commerce & Advertising
Marketplaces & Platforms
IoT

4. Microsoft Accelerator (India)

Investments Made – 7

Microsoft Accelerator is a global initiative empowering entrepreneurs around the world on their journey to build great companies by offering 4-6 months programs for later-stage startups.      

Key Investees in APAC:
SadakPlay (India)
Raven Tech (China)
Taihuoniao (China)

Type of Fund:
Seed
Series A, B, C & D

Investment Round Range:
US $ 25,000 to US $ 4 000, 000

Top APAC Countries Invested in:
India, China, Indonesia

Top Industries:
Finance & Marketing
Mobile & Communication
Customer Acquisition

5. Blume Ventures (India) 

Investments Made – 6

One of India’s first venture capital firms that’s focused on early-stage tech companies that also co-invests with partner angel investors and seed funds.       

Key Investees in APAC:
Unacademy (India)
RoadRunnr (India)
GreyOrange (Singapore)

Type of Fund:
Seed
Series A, B

Investment Round Range:
US$50,000 to US $2,000,000

Top APAC Countries Invested in:
India, Singapore

Top Industries:
Software
Mobile
E-Commerce

6. East Ventures (Indonesia, Japan)

Investments Made – 5

An early stage fund VC, incubator and accelerator focusing on consumer web and mobile startups based in Southeast Asia, Japan and USA.

Key Investees in APAC:
Kargo (Indonesia)
Kaodim (Malaysia)
99.Co (SG)
TechinAsia (SG)
Hyper8 (Japan)

Type of Fund:
Seed
Series A, B
Bridge/Loan

Investment Round Range:
US$300,000 to US$4,000,000

Top Countries Invested in:
Singapore, Thailand, Japan

Top Industries:
E-Commerce
Marketplaces and Platforms
Fintech

7. Brand Capital (India)

Investments Made – 5

A venture arm of Bennett Coleman and Co Ltd; over 10 years the venture has partnered in building more than 850+ indigenous brands in India.

Key Investees in APAC:
Yeh China (China)
CityFurnish (India)
MeruCabs (India)

Type of Fund:
Seed
Series A
Bridge/Loan

Investment Round Range:
US$500,000 to US$5,000,000

Top Countries Invested in:
India, China

Top Industries:
Retail
Consumer Durables
Fintech

8. IMJ Investment Partners Pte. Ltd (Japan, Singapore)

Investments Made – 5

A Singapore based venture capital that provides funding to startups in SEA and Japan based on the principles of operational support, equality, and global outlook. They also provide direct operational support and connections for startups en route to success.

Key Investees in APAC:
Carsome (Malaysia)
Pawnhero (Philippines)
Fabelio (Malaysia)

Type of Fund:
Seed
Series A

Investment Round Range:
US$ 50,000 to US$ 2,000,000

Top Countries Invested in:
Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia

Top Industries:
Lifestyle
Ecommerce
Consumer Internet

9. Kalaari Capital (India)

Investments Made – 5

An India-based venture company investing in tech-related companies in India, as an Indo-US venture partners. They are focusing on poised to break out Startups in India and future global leaders.

Key Investees in APAC:
HolaChef (India)
Curefit (Philippines)
Parablu (Malaysia)

Type of Fund:
Seed
Series A, B, C, D

Investment Round Range:
US$ 500,000 to US$30,000,000

Top Countries Invested in:
Indonesia, India, Philippines, Malaysia

Top Industries:
E-Commerce
Internet
Curated Web

10. Beenext (Japan, India)

Investments Made – 5

Founded by Teruhide Sato and other experienced entrepreneurs and founders, to support thriving startups around the globe with capital, knowledge, experience, operational expertise, and a unique global network. On top of that, they believe in helping entrepreneurs get to the next level by providing a highly unique perspective that comes from investing in startups in 9 different countries.

Key Investees in APAC:
Creo (India)
HappyFresh (Indonesia)
Voonik (India)
Kaodim (Malaysia)

Type of Fund:
Seed
Series A, B

Investment Round Range:
US$ 200,000 to US$40,000,000

Top Countries Invested in:
India, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia

Top Industries:
E-Commerece
Internet
Curated Web

Next steps to meeting investors

Research your different options before you start approaching investors for money as some focus only on later-stage startups, some in early-stage. They also tend to focus on a select few industries that is in line with their expertise. Besides that, have you also considered if you are ready to give up part of your ownership in order to scale up quickly? Investors generally place their money in a company in exchange for equity so you will have to face the possibility of not being your own boss anymore.

Finally, when it comes to taking that step to meet potential investors, be resilient. Send your proposal out to a number of relevant companies or individuals and don’t be afraid to use your network to your advantage. Gain exposure for your startup through a mutual contact that is also involved in the startup or investing scene. Getting your business funded is a long but often rewarding process so make sure you have a strong team to support you and stay passionate about your work. Good luck!

by JUINN TAN

Digital Marketing @ Supahands. I crunch numbers, I weave sentences, and my life revolves around my Google Calendar.

MTDC (Malaysian Technology Development Corporation)

Malaysian Technology Development Corporation (MTDC) was set up by the Government of Malaysia in 1992 to spearhead the development of technology businesses in Malaysia. Its initial role was to concentrate on the promotion and commercialisation of local research and invests in new ventures that can bring in new technologies from abroad.

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Private Investor : Hamed Bin Khadim

Preferred Investment Amount RM2,000,001 to RM3,000,000
Preferred Investment Opportunity Oil and Gas, Technology, Innovation, Real Estate, Manufacturing, Safety Products
Will NOT Invest In Construction, Hospitals, Education, Restaurants
Preferred Location Doesn’t Matter
Public Profile Industrialist, Businessman and Philanthropist engaged in diversified business activities in Middle East, Africa and urope
NAME Hamed Bin Khadim
Organization Private Equity
Address Abu Dhabi

Corporate Investor : Gian Lim

Preferred Investment Amount RM500,001 to RM1,000,000
Preferred Investment Opportunity AI,VR, HEALTHCARE, SOCIAL MEDIA
Will NOT Invest In LOGISTIC
Preferred Location Doesn’t Matter
Public Profile PUBLIC LISTED COMPANY
NAME GIAN
Organization MYEG
Address MYEG TOWER, EMPIRE CITY DAMANSARA

Venture Capital / Private Equity : Jimmy Tham

Investor Type Venture Capital / Private Equity
Preferred Investment Amount RM4,000,0001 or more
Preferred Investment Opportunity Engineering, consumer, healthcare, logistic and technology related companies
Will NOT Invest In Gaming, religion and bereavement care providers
Preferred Location Doesn’t Matter
Public Profile We’re a Bursa listed VC/PE company with a focus in minority and growth related investments. Our profile can be viewed at www.oskvi.com
NAME Jimmy Tham
Organization OSK Ventures International Bhd
Address 15th Floor, Plaza OSK

Professional Investor / Institutional : PlaTCOM Ventures

Preferred Investment Amount RM500,001 to RM1,000,000
Preferred Investment Opportunity HIGH IMPACT PROGRAMME 2 (HIP2)

HIP2 is a programme designed for Malaysian SMEs to help them seamlessly move their innovations along the complex stages of the commercialisation process. It is about ‘Innovating A Better Future Together’.

The implementation of High Impact Programme 2 (HIP2) – Technology Commercialisation Platform (TCP) under one of the size High Impact Programmers of SME Masterplan 2012 – 2020 is a strategic partnership between SME Corporation Malaysia (SME Corp) and Agensi Inovasi Malaysia (AIM). PlaTCOM Ventures Sdn Bhd is the public-private partnership under which this programme is implemented.

The model addresses the innovation gaps through a holistic and ‘market-driven’ approach in supporting innovation and industrial competitiveness. It is designed to remove market and financing barriers to innovation. The major benefits of this innovative commercialisation model will be de-risking the risks involved for SMEs to develop products and services with lower costs and faster time-to-market, leveraging on trusted technologies from across Malaysia and overseas and receiving technology transfer and commercialisation support to further develop innovations.

The programme provides necessary support from ‘concept to commercialisation’. This is done through the provision of access to technical assistance, market intelligence, incubation facilities, testing facilities and other relevant services – all in a single platform.

Benefits for SMEs

The programme will provide complete support from ‘concept to commercialisation’. This will be done through the provision of access to technical assistance, market information, incubation facilities, testing facilities and other relevant services and linkages necessary for SMEs to move their innovations to the market.

  • The programme is about de-risking the risks involved in SMEs to develop products and services with lower costs and faster time to market
  • SMEs can leverage on trusted technologies from across Malaysia and overseas
  • Technology transfer and commercialisation support to further develop innovations
  • We provide necessary support from ‘concept to commercialisation’ through the provision of access to technical assistance, market intelligence, incubation facilities, testing facilities, and other relevant services – all in a single platform
  • We assist by removing market and financial barriers

Eligibility Criteria for Admission into the HIP2 Programme to Receive End-to-End Facilitation

If you think you are HIP2 material by meeting the following criteria, speak to us today:

  • Must be an SME with a minimum of 51% equity held by Malaysian Citizen/s
  • The company must have a minimum paid up capital of RM10,000
  • None of the company directors or project team members have been convicted of any fraudulent activities or the company been declared bankrupt, under liquidation or placed under receivership
  • The proposed project must contain elements of technological innovation leading to commercialisation of innovative products, processes and services
  • There is no restriction as to where the proposed project is in the commercialisation process; however, it must be demonstrated that the innovation has stalled due to a number of barriers
  • The project leader and team members must be competent to undertake the proposed project
Will NOT Invest In Not Applicable
Preferred Location Doesn’t Matter
Public Profile Raise matching fund to assist companies in term of products/services development.
Contact Person Nalni Subramainam
Organization PlaTCOM Ventures
Address 3501, Level 3, Quill Building 3, Jalan Teknokrat 5, 63000 Cyberjaya, Selangor, Malaysia.

Professional Investor / Institutional : Jie Ren

Preferred Investment Amount RM4,000,0001 or more
Preferred Investment Opportunity Healthcare sector
Will NOT Invest In Non-healthcare sectors
Preferred Location Doesn’t Matter
Public Profile Quadria is a leading healthcare investor with a strong track record in the Asia region and helped build some of the largest healthcare companies in Asia by adding both financial and operating value.

Overview
– Asia’s leading specialist healthcare private equity firm
– 3 private equity vehicles since 2008
– 15 investments across 6 countries
– Over US$1.5bn in managed capital

Value add
– Industry knowledge, experience and relationships
– Patient, selective approach to partnerships
– Dedicated team to address company needs and drive value creation
– Regional and global connectivity to unlock growth opportunities
– Long-term alignment and management stability
– Works closely with management to clearly define and execute on growth plans

NAME Jie Ren
Organization Quadria Capital
Address 11A Stanley Street, Singapore