Taiwanese startup accelerator Mobile Only X (Mox), which is backed by venture firm SOSV, has launched targeting startups with a mobile-only focus.
What differentiates this specialist accelerator is that it targets mobile-only ventures, focussed on underserved, offline population in growth markets across South Asia, Southeast Asia, South America, Africa, and Eastern Europe.
SOSV is a $250M-venture capital fund focused on accelerating over 120 startups every year.
In an interaction with Tech in Asia, which first covered this development, William Bao Bean, investment partner at SOSV and managing director of Mox, said, “There are a lot of local players – say in Thailand, or India, or South America – and we’re giving them the opportunity to get out of their home market and go global. We’re also giving US and European companies that don’t have access to the next four billion a one-stop-shop.”
According to Bean, to date they have built a diverse international, with ventures from the US, Europe and Israel.
SOSV is noted for its particular model of acceleration, which involves using China as a launchpad to the global market for foreign startups, via their collection of accelerators and other resources. The venture capital firm behind mainland Chinese accelerator Chinaccelerator, SOSV has partnered with Taiwanese mobile advertising and internet services platform Gmobi.
As part of the partnership, the Taiwanese software major will be facilitating access to their mobile payments software development kit (SDK) and advertising infrastructure. Commenting on this partnership with GMobi, Bean elaborated: “These regions historically have been really hard to target because they’re fragmented, and it’s difficult to get payments set up. Our [Mox] payment SDK works in over 50 countries.”
All ventures accelerated by Mox into the eight-week course will receive an initial $500,000 in free advertising promotion and access to monetisation methods in target countries, with Mox acquiring six percent of common stock in the venture. In exchange, Mox’s standard requirement will be 6 percent of common stock in each startup, with the pioneer cohort starting its first batch on 4 January 2016.
The launch of Mox comes amidst a growth surge in the venture capital space in the Greater China region, with many first-generation entrepreneurs entering the investment space who are increasingly sophisticated and possessed of a high risk profile.
As part of its launch in Taiwan, Mox has managed to enlist more than 300 mentors in its network, as well as parters and investors that include amongst them Gen Kanai, the former Asia engagement head for Mozilla. Kanai is also engaged by Chinaccelerator and 500 Startups as a mentor for the startup ventures and their founders.
This development is expected to be beneficial for Taiwan’s startup ecosystem, which has seen modest growth in recent years but is still plagued by a lack of angel investors, as well as deficits in local investor knowledge regarding VC-class assets like startups, which are high-risk and high-reward but illiquid and highly volatile.