Accelerating Asia Announces Fifth Cohort Startups, Deploys First Investment From Fund ll Into High Growth Pre-Series A Southeast And South Asian Startups

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Nov 2, 2021
  • Accelerating Asia, an international accelerator VC for pre-Series A startups, has unveiled its fifth cohort, deepening its presence in the region and increasing the percentage of impact and ESG startups in the portfolio, per a press release.
  • The company claims that just one month into the programme, the nine startups from Bangladesh, Malaysia, the Philippines, the US, and Vietnam have already increased their recurring revenue by over 40 percent to an average of US$20,000 per month. 
  • Cohort 5 of Accelerating Asia covers eight industries including fashion, e-commerce, fintech, healthtech, insurtech, and edtech that are poised for market growth and further digitisation.  
  • Since 2019, Accelerating Asia has invested in 100 founders from over 40 startups that have raised over US$36 million in investment to date, with 100 per cent of fund portfolio companies raising outside capital since joining Accelerating Asia.  
  • Launched in September 2021, Accelerating Asia’s US$20 million Fund II will gradually be used to bridge the market gap for pre-Series A investments in Southeast Asia and South Asia. 

Accelerating Asia, the Singapore-based VC accelerator, has officially announced the first batch of investments for Fund II and its fifth cohort of pre-Series A startups joining its flagship 100-day programme. The latest of the program has startups from Bangladesh, Malaysia, the Philippines, the US and Vietnam. The company says almost all the participating startups have increased their monthly recurring revenue by over 40 percent to an average of US$20,000 per month since joining Accelerating Asia last month. The new cohort has also attracted investor interest and received commitments from investors in Accelerating Asia’s fund who get early access to startups. This brings the total investment raised by Accelerating Asia’s startups to US$36 million.  

The company says Cohort 5 was the most competitive selection to date with 550 applications from 30 countries, of which only 1.5 percent were chosen. The cohort cover eight verticals: fashion e-commerce, agritech, fintech, e-commerce, healthtech, insurtech, and edtech. 

Amra Naidoo, Co-Founder and General Partner of Accelerating Asia, said, “Our new batch includes scale-up startups with existing traction that are uniquely placed to capitalise on the digitisation trends across the region. We believe that the startups are on track to increase revenue significantly over the next 12 months, given our track record with portfolio startups having an average monthly recurring revenue of US$55,000, up 180 per cent since joining Accelerating Asia and completing our customised, tailored accelerator that helps derisk startups across our diversified investment portfolio.”   

The new cohort continues Accelerating Asia’s commitment to investing in and accelerating startups with scalable technology solutions and profitable business models that combine purpose with profit. Since its founding in 2019, Accelerating Asia has grown to a portfolio of 45 companies with 90 percent of startups addressing at least one of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The company says 40 percent of its portfolio are female co-founded companies, which is well above global average.

The company says 50 percent of Cohort 5 startups being female co-founded and 80 percent addressing at least one SDG, such as gender equality, responsible consumption and production, and industry, innovation and infrastructure.  

Accelerating Asia’s portfolio has seen great momentum with startups having the potential to be among the region’s next generation of unicorns. Since June this year, six of the startups — Panalyt, Drive lah, Shuttle, Transtrack, Numu, and SWAP— have closed rounds and raised almost US$10 million in external investment. Accelerating Asia startups have raised from VCs including Cocoon Capital, Wavemaker, the Indonesia Women Empowerment Fund (IWEF) - jointly managed by YCAB Ventures and Moonshot Ventures, HH VC Investments, KFC Ventures, Robi Axiata Limited, and Impact Collective. 

Craig Dixon, Co-Founder and General Partner at Accelerating Asia shared, "Our portfolio startups have a solid track record of raising investment with 100 per cent of fund portfolio companies from previous cohorts raising outside capital within 12 months of finishing our accelerator and 65 per cent closing at least one fundraising round. With explosive annualised revenue growth of 800 per cent since joining our portfolio and extremely positive market dynamics, Accelerating Asia companies are well placed to attract upstream institutional investor interest. Our accelerator and fund help startups bridge the gap between angel and VC funding while providing excellent return-multiple opportunities for our fund and investors.” 

Accelerating Asia recently announced the opening of its US$20 million Accelerating Asia Fund II to a wider investor community and has since received initial commitments from existing Limited Partners from its previous fund, and partners. The new fund looks to bridge the market gap for pre-Series A investments in Southeast Asia and South Asia, the fastest-growing regions in the world. The accelerator VC has also joined Pledge 1%, a global movement to inspire, educate, and empower every company to be a force for good.  

Accelerating Asia’s Cohort 5 startups include: 

  1. Chat Genie (Philippines) is a B2B online platform, providing online stores to businesses on Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Viber, GCash, PayMaya, and other super apps. The company provides integrated online payment and automated delivery services to over 2000 merchants. ChatGenie generated revenue of over US$150,000 in the first half of 2021 and processed over US$3 million in GMV. 
  1. Dana Fintech (Bangladesh) enables banks, financial institutions, and fintechs to offer digital lending and buy now pay later (BNPL) facilities to underbanked SMEs and individuals through its unique credit scoring engine, digital underwriting, and API platforms. Dana Fintech has raised US$200,000 in seed funding, onboarded major financial institutions, and has teamed up with network partners including Ajkerdeal, Accelerating Asia portfolio company iFarmer, and Vcube. 
  1. Ellegra (Malaysia) is an online personal styling service for women. It currently has 25,000 users and has strategic partnerships with over 10 diverse fashion, contemporary, and plus-size brands such as Dressing Paula, Mis Claire, Curve Cult, and Love Knot. 
  1. Giftpack.ai (US) is an AI-powered corporate gifting CRM that digitalises your relationships. The company’s AI technology efficiently analyses each recipient’s social media, cultural background, and digital footprint to customise gift options at scale. Operating globally, Giftpack.ai already works with more than 800 corporate accounts, won the K-Startup Grand Challenge Global Top 10 and is a part of 500 Startups. 
  1. Mayani (Philippines) is an agri-e-commerce platform which empowers smallholder farmers by providing them broader access to market, while minimising food loss through a digitised agri-value chain. The company is the first Filipino agtech startup to receive investment from Silicon Valley agtech venture firm, AgFunder, and was the global winner of the Hard Hit Economic Sectors Challenge 2020 held across over 30 countries by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). 
  1. Sohopathi (Bangladesh) is an online social platform for peer-to-peer learning which enables any person to learn and teach at the same time. Sohopathi has established a community of 200,000 learners and top quality educators, improving the academic performance of 95 per cent of their learners. 
  1. Supply Line (Bangladesh) provides digital B2B procurement and invoice financing solutions to local retailers by connecting them with lenders and distributors, through one single platform. Introducing BNPL financing tools to marginal retailers, Supply Line has acquired 1200 active users within 5 months of operation. 
  1. VIFO (Vietnam) unifies insurers, agencies, customers, and customer services into a single SaaS platform to make insurance easier for everyone. VIFO ensures new products can go live within just one day, and offers end-to-end flow for agencies and customers. Right now, more than 17 insurance companies and 1600 products are digitally available on the VIFO platform. 
  1. Z-Waka (Myanmar) is a SaaS platform that enables doctors in developing countries to efficiently manage clinics, collaborate with other healthcare professionals and pharmaceutical companies in order to provide affordable high quality healthcare. The startup currently works with over 300 doctors and 70 pharmaceutical brands.  

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