Singapore-based Velocity Ventures has hit the first close of its $20-million Southeast Asia-focused hospitality and travel fund, according to a statement.
The venture firm shared that it has secured $8 million or 40% of its fund target corpus, with capital raised from family offices, high net worth individuals and other institutional investors. Velocity aims to reach its final close by the end of 2021.
Velocity focuses on seed and early-stage startups, with a focus on tech-enabled companies across five sectors: accommodation, food and beverage (F&B), retail and experiences, travel services and transportation sub-sectors. It also supports distressed travel and hospitality companies in Southeast Asia.
“We believe the pandemic will deliver a period of unparalleled innovation and opportunity in the hospitality and travel space as the industry transforms and adapts post-Covid-19. This coupled with the adjustment to valuations driven by the extreme distress in the sector, provides an unprecedented opportunity to invest, support the industry and earn outsized returns,” said Nicholas Cocks, founder and managing partner of Velocity Ventures.
Velocity also announced two new investments from the fund – Hong Kong-based F&B software as a service (SaaS) platform Aigens, and Singapore-based hotel revenue and distribution management platform Zuzu Hospitality.
Velocity Ventures has also included Lufthansa Group as a member of its strategic partner network from which it provides its portfolio startups with mentoring and piloting support. The Singapore-based venture firm was last reported to have also collaborated with Singapore Tourism Board’s Singapore Tourism Accelerator, Plug and Play APAC, and Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) in this corporate partnerships feature.
“In order to recover from the COVID pandemic as quickly as possible, collaboration in the global travel industry is more important than ever. We are excited to support Velocity Ventures with our data-driven expertise of the global travel and mobility tech ecosystem, while also broadening our own perspective and network through this partnership,” said Christine Wang, managing director of the Lufthansa Innovation Hub, Lufthansa Group’s digitisation unit.
Velocity Ventures was founded by A Patrick Imbardelli, the former CEO of the Pan Pacific Hotels and InterContinental Hotels Group (APAC) and Nicholas Cocks, the entrepreneur and investor. Its team consists of hospitality and travel sector specialists and entrepreneurs with over 13 decades of operating and investing experience in Asia.