PHILIPPINES, November 2022: International early-stage VC fund, Accelerating Asia has announced its latest round of investments today including ten new companies joining Cohort 7 of the flagship program, which includes two Filipino-founded startups, Shoplinks and Cocotel. Founded by Reginald Go, Rafael Jouwena, and Jitendra Dadhaniya, Cocotel is a proptech company that helps independent hotels and resorts with technology, property management, and digital marketing. Cocotel is currently present in over 50 cities and destinations across the Philippines and Australia.
Shoplinks was founded by Filipina Teresa Condicion along with JD Lee, but operates out of Singapore. Shoplinks partners with supermarkets, leveraging their transaction data to deliver personalized promotions through chat or apps. This helps consumer brands triple their return on investment on their US$28 billion promotions spend in Southeast Asia.
According to Craig Bristol Dixon, Cofounder and General Partner at Accelerating Asia, Shoplinks and Cocotel are some of the most promising startups not only in Southeast Asia, but Asia Pacific as a whole.
“Both companies are digitizing industries that still operate with legacy technologies. Each of their solutions are being aggressively adopted among target users because they provide exponential value. Together they show that innovation wins the day, whether you’re in hospitality or in retail,” said Dixon.
Including Shoplinks and Cocotel, the new investments take Accelerating Asia’s portfolio to 60 startups who have raised a total of over US$50 million, with Cohort 7 having raised US$5.2 million prior to joining the accelerator program. The new investments in Cohort 7 also have market traction and growth revenue with an average Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) of over US$46,000 per month and an average monthly revenue of over US$13,000.
Cohort 7 startups cover a wide spectrum of verticals, including hospitality, enterprise software, telecommunications, entertainment, logistics, retail technology, healthtech, and ecommerce. The cohort has a market presence in 9 countries across East Asia (Korea), South Asia (Pakistan and Bangladesh), Southeast Asia, (Indonesia, Myanmar, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines).
Like Cocotel, which targets Sustainable Development Goal 8 (decent work and economic growth) and Shoplinks, which targets SDG 8 and 9 (industry, innovation, and infrastructure), 100% of their fellow companies also address at least one SDG. The ten new startups also include 60% female co-founded startups, Easy Rice, Shoplinks, Kooky, BizB, Healthpro.id, and SafeTruck all have at least one female co-founder. This is significantly higher than the average portfolio given just 17.2% of private capital Southeast Asia was deployed to female founded startups.
According to Amra Naidoo, General Partner at Accelerating Asia, this cohort has some of the most mature startups to date.
“What we’ve seen in Cohort 7 is a kind of success inflation: The ten startups we invested in have even more significant milestones in revenue, user acquisition, and other metrics than you would typically associate with early stage startups. We believe this is a positive sign for not only Accelerating Asia, but the ecosystem in Asia Pacific as a whole: Our startups are finding product-market fit faster than ever before, allowing them to focus on scaling toward market leadership,” said Naidoo.
Naidoo stated that the impressive success of Cohort 7 is attributable in part to the application process for startups. Since the launch of Cohort 1 in 2019, Accelerating Asia has seen startup applications grow rapidly with each cycle, culminating in over 600 for this latest batch, a growth of 232% in applications from the inaugural batch to the current one.
“When we started operations a few years ago, the idea of Accelerating Asia was still very much a forward-looking vision for Asia Pacific. Now I’m happy to see that it’s well on its way: More and more startups are scaling up quicker, thanks largely to the support system they can turn to, which includes everything from events and conferences to angel investors and syndicates,” said Naidoo.
Cofounder and General Partner Craig Bristol Dixon detailed how Cohort 7 continues the strengths of previous batches.
“Cohort 7 builds on our previous cohorts. We’ve got great founders, innovative products, and impressive financial traction. Teams like these are likely to succeed and deliver good investment returns for us and the other investors who back them. If you want to work with this caliber of founders, do consider partnering with Accelerating Asia - we are excited to work with stakeholders across the ecosystem,” said Dixon.
Since the current investment climate is a hot topic, Dixon also wanted to emphasize that Accelerating Asia always invests in businesses that can make money today and our investment lens is focused on intelligent financial plans and founders who can monetise gaps in the market in the shorter term.
“When it comes to investments, we follow a simple strategy at Accelerating Asia. One, we back organizations that can monetise in any economic climate, and two, founders who can navigate through any market conditions. The most innovative organizations, after all, will succeed in any era,” said Dixon.
Accelerating Asia launched Fund II in 2021, Cohort 7 is the third batch of investments for Fund II which will deploy capital across Southeast and South Asia pre-Series A startups. If you’re an accredited investor who is looking to build the best pre-Series A startups in the region, reach out to the Accelerating Asia team for more information about investing alongside us.
Accelerating Asia invests in startups with scalable technology solutions and revenue generating business models that combine purpose with profit.
In making an investment decision, investors must rely on their own examination of startups and the terms of the investment including the merits and risks involved. Prospective investors should not construe this content as legal, tax, investment, financial or accounting advice.