Singapore-based Expara launches accelerator for COVID-19 solutions

Photo: Unsplash/Mika Baumeister

Southeast Asia-focused early-stage investor Expara Ventures has launched a new accelerator programme that is looking for startups developing solutions to counter challenges the world is facing due to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a top executive of the firm.

Selected teams will receive three months of intensive online acceleration, mentorship and funding up to $50,000, culminating in an online Demo Day.

“Governments and corporates are struggling against the virus and Expara wants to invite entrepreneurs and startups to join the battle,” Douglas Abrams, CEO of Expara Ventures said in an announcement sent to DealStreetAsia.

The programme will focus on detection, information, prevention and protection and finally mitigation. It will cover improved ways to detect viruses; new tools to help share information about pandemics; solutions to protect people from infection and slow the spread of the virus in communities and solutions that aim to improve life quality and work efficiency during and after global pandemics.

“The Covid-19 global pandemic is causing enormous pain and widespread social and economic disruption. Clearly this is going to affect VC investments in the region, which I believe will be reduced in 2020,” Abrams told us in an interaction.

Founded by Abrams – a venture capitalist, entrepreneur, angel investor and educator who has been investing, venturing, and teaching in Singapore since 2000 – Expara is present across the spectrum from incubation, early-stage venture capital, entrepreneurship, VC to innovation training.

The company has launched five venture capital funds in Southeast Asia since 2007, investing in over 80 startups to date. It runs two incubator funds – Expara IDM Ventures and Expara IDM Ventures II — as well as Extream Ventures, a joint venture fund with Upstream.

DealStreetAsia had earlier reported that Expara Ventures was set to launch a $30-million vehicle, Expara Ventures IV (EV IV), to invest in its core markets of Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam.

However, in his most recent interview with DealStreetAsia, Abrams said that the firm had decided to defer the fundraising for EV IV in 2019 opting instead to focus on the Thai market.

“We have now made 8 investments in our Expara-GSB fund in Thailand and also launched Batch 1 of the Space-F Global FoodTech startup incubator and accelerator in partnership with Thai Union, NIA and Mahidol University,” he added.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.