Singapore’s leading seed-stage VC firm KK Fund has announced a partnership with the Singapore arm of Industrial Growth Platform (IGPI), one of Japan’s largest management consultancy firms.
The partnership is aimed at facilitating the creation of new businesses by large corporations in Southeast Asia by combining the consultancy firm’s expertise in corporate transformation (CX) with the VC firm’s knowledge in growing startups.
As part of this, KK Fund and IGPI will co-launch an accelerator programme, SEA Point, for multinational companies (MNCs) to collaborate with regional startups and conglomerates on creating businesses.
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“There are many accelerator programmes for startups in Southeast Asia, but there are none for bigger companies who want to invest in new businesses or create their own startups for vertical integration purposes, especially in new markets,” said Koichi Saito, General Partner of KK Fund.
“With SEA Point, we are able to reinvent the idea of the startup ecosystem from being top-down to being more collaborative on multiple levels,” he added.
Southeast Asia, home to some of the world’s fastest-growing economies, is an immense emerging market that has attracted significant investment in the last decade. The region has over 70 million small and medium-sized enterprises and 30 per cent of the world’s top startup ecosystems.
With the Southeast Asian Internet economy expected to hit US$300 billion by 2025, the region is a focal point for international business expansion and provides many cross-industry opportunities for collaboration and growth – specifically in terms of social infrastructure development and SME consolidation.
“We are increasingly seeing enterprises becoming active partners in and even establishing small companies of their own to service new markets — particularly in Southeast Asia, which is a very competitive market. Some may create their own branches while others may look for local partners to set up a joint venture,” said Koki Sakata, CEO of IGPI Singapore.
“Their approach to creating new businesses must be different from typical small, agile startup teams, which is why we are pleased to collaborate with KK Fund in supporting these large corporations and create a more diversified ecosystem,” he remarked.
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Since its establishment in 2015, KK Fund has invested in over 20 mobility and internet-related firms in Southeast Asia across a wide range of industries, such as fintech, logistics and healthcare. The names include Infofed, a Thailand e-sports community hub; Med247, a Vietnam-based O2O platform addressing post healthcare treatment; and Policy Street, a Malaysian insurtech startup.
In Q1 2020, the firm collaborated with public and private ecosystem players to launch its Meet Your Match initiative across seven Southeast Asian countries, which saw over 130 investors virtually meeting promising startups in each country.
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