Insignia Ventures invests in six Topica Founder Institute startups

Six startups incubated by Topica Founder Institute have received $50,000 each in seed funding from Insignia Ventures Partners, with three companies being in advanced talks for further financing.

These include names such as on-demand telemarketing firm TelePro, referral recruitment platform Recruitery, travel ticket startup Cheep Cheep, drone delivery solutions provider Drone Pro, outdoor advertising firm Gigantec Media and enterprise software developer Clavis Aurea.

These comprise the list of graduating startups from Topica Founder Institute’s seventh batch.

The financings for the startups come from a blanket deal Insignia Venture Partners and Topica Founder Institute forged earlier this year to provide seed capital to the latter’s graduates.

A slew of startups that have graduated from Topica Founders Institute’s previous courses have gone to raise follow-on funding rounds. These include names such as Appota, Beeketing, Logivan and Kyna.

According to the accelerator, startups from its seven batches so far raised more than $40 million in funding at a combined valuation of over $300 million.

Topica Founder Institute aims to establish a network that it calls ‘TFI mafia’, something people have seen in the Silicon Valley wherein founders and senior executives of tech giants established new companies.

There are similar examples in Asia too. For instance, founders of Recruitery and fitness app WeFit left Topica and Ticketbox (acquired by Tiki) to set up their own ventures.

“A lot of our founders have done very well and have helped other founders. This spirit of giving back and helping new entrepreneurs grow their startups is quite similar to the Silicon Valley mafias and will continue living,” Bobby Liu, director of Topica Founder Institute, told DealStreetAsia.

He said that Vietnam currently has more than 1,000 early-stage startups, a number of which even started as early as from universities.

“The number of investable early-stage startups is around 150-200, so it is quite healthy,” he said.

Topica Founders Institute is the accelerator programme sponsored by Topica Edtech Group, which late last year raised a $50 million in Series D funding from Singapore-based private equity firm Northstar Group.

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.