Wow, can you believe it? Exactly 2 years ago, Accelerating Asia was officially launched.
(Ok enough of that. We promise to keep all our terrible startup jokes and memes in Slack).
But in all seriousness, Accelerating Asia is only as strong as our community. And over the past two years, we’ve realised just how incredible that community is and how supportive all our investors, mentors, startups, and partners in the ecosystem have been - we couldn’t have gotten to where we are now without all of your support.
What would a celebration of a milestone be if we didn’t take some time to reflect, look back and share some of the highlights? So here we go!
Over the years our amazing network of advisors, mentors and investors have always been keen to work with us in growing the companies we believe in wherever they can. This was the catalyst behind the creation of our Venture Fund and making it accessible to our growing community to invest with us. Since then, we’ve invested in 19 pre-series A startups with 39 founders from our flagship accelerator, these startups are from 9 countries in the region across over 10 verticals. With all of this, we realised that we entered a pretty exclusive club of Venture Funds globally - as General Partner of the Fund, Amra became one of a very small group of female General Partners in the region and globally.
Our flagship program has received over 900 applications from more than 25 countries.
The 19 startups in our flagship accelerator raised over S$5M in investment within the 100-day program, raising outside capital from family offices, angels and VCs. On average they grew their businesses by 2.5X during the program (which is pretty frickin awesome).
We hosted over 60 events and webinars with 5000+ startups and investors in 9 countries including our hometown Singapore, the US, Indonesia and Vietnam. Some of these events were for our recruitment roadshow, and sometimes it was with our investor partners and angel networks across the region. We also did A LOT of talking; featuring in over 120 media interviews over the last 12 months including Deal St Asia, Tech in Asia and Singapore Business Review, talking about our startups, investment, favourite podcasts, plus more.
Through partnerships with international companies, governments and universities, we accelerated over 80 startups outside of our core flagship accelerator program. (You can meet some of those partners )
At Accelerating Asia, so far we’ve bucked the trend by investing in just over 40 percent female-led ventures - 4 times the amount the average venture fund. 5 percent of our portfolio consists of female-only founding teams (not as high as we’d like but still, incredibly it’s double the industry average). Building on this, we also appointed our first Gender Advisory Committee to support our gender lens investing and our female founders.
And here in Singapore, our home and HQ, we strengthened our work supporting local founders and became a Startup SG Founder Accredited Mentor Partner with Enterprise Singapore.
It’s been quite a ride to get to here and at times a bit of a whirlwind. While our small but powerful core team have kept the magic alive behind the scenes, as we’ve said before, we really couldn’t have done it without our support crew. Advisors, founders, investors, mentors, partners and everyone in the ecosystem who comes to our events, reads our newsletters and supports our portfolio - ie. you reading this right now.
It’s been a wild 2 years and although we’re excited to celebrate our birthday with you, we’re also excited to see how we can take things up a level.
So, here’s what’s next for us.
In working out ways we can better support more startups in the region, we’ve also found new ways to support startups and investors through virtual programs and opportunities in new markets for us, so stay tuned on for more announcements on that coming soon….
On the investment side of the ecosystem, we’ve been partnering closely with different types of investors to try and create more win-win opportunities for everyone. We’ve had increasing demand from investors interested in participating financially alongside us, especially on a broader basis across our entire portfolio of startups so we’re working on more ways to make this happen. (PS If this sounds like you and you’re an accredited investor, please reach out to us to chat more)
Right now we’re assessing applications for cohort 3, we received 450 applications - setting a new record for us! They hail from countries across the region including Singapore, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Malaysia, Australia, Indonesia and India among other places. They also represent a diverse range of industries including cleantech, edtech, medtech, foodtech, spacetech and more…
The most exciting part?
This cohort is a mixture of both experienced and first-time founders. With the standard so high, it’s going to be tough to choose the final 10 that are invited to join the program. In fact, this might be the first time we bring in a cohort of startups larger than our standard 10. These are startups who will all be coming in with revenue and significant initial traction; most have already received Seed round investment term sheets from institutional investors.
This is by far the strongest cohort going into a program that we have worked with. And, we’re ready for the challenge of taking them to the next level.
We’ve been guided over the past 2 years by our belief that entrepreneurs are one of humanity’s greatest catalysts for positive change. As we move forward into another year of growth and new opportunities, we hope that you’ll remain by our sides and are ready to continue to join us in driving, pushing and building a strong, supportive, vibrant, inclusive and impactful startup ecosystem for the region.
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.