KL-based 1337 Ventures invests in three Philippines startups
By Digital News Asia November 23, 2015
- Micro funding to get startups off the ground
- Part of 1337’s regional expansion plans
KUALA Lumpur-based 1337 Ventures said it has made ‘micro investments’ in three Philippines-based startups that participated in its recent Alpha Startups pre-accelerator programme in Cebu, even as it continues to roll out its programmes in more South-East Asian countries.
The startups, the top three teams at the programme, will also get ‘credits’ from Amazon Web Services, 1337 Ventures said in a statement.
The teams are Pas Pas, a last-mile delivery service to get anything done fast anywhere in Cebu via text messages; Fresk2Ket, an online marketplace that connects farmers directly to restaurants and other businesses; and iMpok, a cash deposit and micro-financing platform for schools.
1337 Ventures said its pioneer Alpha Startups pre-accelerator programme in Cebu – part of its South-East Asian expansion plans – had close to 100 applicants, of which 28 teams were selected for the actual five-day programme.
Of this, 11 teams were then selected to pitch at a Demo Day.
“We have been expanding into countries which 1337’s sister company iTrain has a presence in,” said 1337 Ventures chief executive officer Bikesh Lakhmichand.
“iTrain goes in and introduces technical training content via our training and university partners; then 1337 follows in closely after to develop the entrepreneurial talent,” he added.
He said 1337 Ventures had already been putting in some groundwork in the Philippines with events such as MaybankFintech in Manila, and sponsoring events like ‘Geeks on a Beach’ in Boracay.
It is also working with local universities, communities, and governments to identify upcoming talent.
1337 Ventures has already rolled out Alpha Startups in Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines, and is doing “lighter fintech initiatives” in Indonesia and Thailand.
It will introduce the Alpha Startups pre-accelerator programme in Indonesia by January 2016, before potentially bringing it to Thailand and Vietnam.
While growing its presence in capital cities, the second phase of its expansion will be into satellite cities within the countries that have a larger population, it added.
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