Venture Capital Supports Southeast Asian Start-ups amid COVID-19 Pandemic

A group of venture capital firms has launched an initiative to support start-ups across Southeast Asia and help drive up their revenues in these challenging times during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The #SupportStartups Initiative is a ground-up initiative by the venture capital community to shine a spotlight on start-ups across Southeast Asia. The project – led by Openspace Ventures, 500 Startups, and Cocoon Capital – has created a website collating offers from start-ups in the regions. Start-ups in Southeast Asia are encouraged to list their offerings on the website so that consumers can find and support their businesses. The creators of the initiative want to “give consumers and businesses a little nudge to show their support to these companies.”

“In this time of uncertainty, the biggest power consumers and businesses have is with his or her wallet. As such, we are collating all promotional activities that startups across Southeast Asia are willing to give to their customers under a single mission, #SupportStartups, to help buoy the companies we think could use it the most,” executives at Openspace Ventures, 500 Startups, and Cocoon Capital say.

Venture capital firms have also launched an initiative to connect start-ups with job seekers and help talent who have lost jobs due to COVID-19 related redundancies look for new opportunities.

The community-driven initiative, SEAcosystem, is an expanding database of job seekers and hiring start-ups and is supported by venture capital firms including Saison Capital, FutureLabs, Jungle Ventures, Alpha JWC, Convergence Ventures, among others.

“Top talent is what makes or breaks ventures, so as an ecosystem, we have a collective interest and responsibility to keep the talent in Southeast Asia,” Joachim Vandaele, founding partner at FutureLabs Ventures, told Tech Asia. “Customers come and go, financial capital flows in and out, but human capital is what we need to hold on to,” Vandaele noted.