SG’s Accelerating Asia to reach first close of $5m pre-seed VC fund in July

Commercial buildings in the central business district are illuminated at dusk in Singapore. Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

Accelerating Asia (AA), a Singapore-based accelerator programme, expects to reach the first close of its $5-million first pre-seed venture fund in July.

According to a statement, the fund will look to invest in over 40 regional startups. AA also unveiled its inaugural cohort of startups from sectors ranging from remittances and transportation to human resources.

The selected startups are from all over Asia, including Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Singapore, The Philippines and Vietnam.

“We’re in an incredibly exciting and dynamic market where we see boundless opportunities for growth, fueled by local companies whose founders have identified systemic inefficiencies close to the ground and bridged these gaps through innovation,” said Amra Naidoo, co-founder and partnerships & operations director, Accelerating Asia.

Eligible startups each receive S$100,000 in funding, office space in downtown Singapore, and perks such as Amazon Web Services, Hubspot, and Tribe Theory subscriptions.

AA’s programme is split into two parts: a three-month program followed by a one-month final period which includes a startup mastery programme in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Successful startups will make it to demo day where they are given opportunities to pitch to corporates and investors.

Craig Dixon, co-founder of Accelerating Asia, added that AA caters to a profile of more mature startups in the region that are too advanced for existing accelerators but are not ready for institutional venture funding.

“These startups are led by incredible founders and have great financial and customer traction, but are still missing some key elements they need to scale to success,” said Dixon. “Accelerating Asia’s program is customised to fill these gaps with needed funding and support to get them to the next level.”

Accelerating Asia is an Enterprise Singapore-supported initiative. It recently launched ASEAN Smart Cities Accelerator (ASCA), a joint partnership with the Australian government to support entrepreneurs to develop smart cities in the region.