Beamstart, a business community platform and resource database of company-related information, announced on Thursday the launch of a USD 10 million fund to invest in early-stage startups in Southeast Asia.
The fund, backed by Beamstart’s co-founders, Kenneth Ho and Wallace Ho, and an undisclosed financial services partner from Singapore, plans to invest in startups targeting cross-border digital solutions in China, Japan, and the US, according to the announcement. The fund is set to start investing in the second quarter of next year, with a ticket size of up to USD 100,000 per company.
As the pandemic has hindered investment activity worldwide, Southeast Asia has seen a decline in the number of deals sized from USD 500,000 to USD 3 million, with investment deals in the region reaching USD 22 million in the first half of the year, down 19% from the same period last year, according to a report published by Singapore-based VC Cento Ventures.
The fund aims to target pre-seed to late-seed stages startups, which are the “least supported” startups in Southeast Asia, according to a press release the company. Beamstart says startups can apply for funding online and receive full “virtual” support.
“With some capital, lots of backing, and leveraging on the power of technology, we believe many of these startups could rise to phenomenal heights. We also believe that the rise of China, coupled with COVID-19’s after-effects, has created a whole new digital-first world where consumer behavior, working patterns, and mobile usage have changed forever,” said Kenneth Ho, co-founder and director of Beamstart.
Founded in 2016, Beamstart has expanded its investor community to over 10,000 angel investors, VC/PE firms, and corporate partners in the region, the company claims.
Southeast Asia’s digital economy is expected to reach USD 100 billion by 2025, according to the e-Conomy Southeast Asia 2019 report by Google, Temasek, and Bain & Company.