Collaborative platform to elevate the region’s angel investment landscape

November 04, 2016 | 11:15
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A joint effort of seven angel investment groups formed the ASEAN Angel Alliance (AAA) on November 1 to facilitate smooth cross-border angel investment and businesses.
(From left) Business Angel Network South East Asia chairman Dr Mark Hon; Cambodian Investors Corporation PLC MD Lem Chansamrach; Dr Sivapalan; Angel Investment Network Indonesia head David Soukhasing; 1000 Angels founder & CEO Nicole Paterno; of HATCH! Ventures partner Csaba Bundik and Bangkok Venture Club co-founder Mark Wolf at the launching ceremony.

AAA’s participating groups are HATCH! Ventures from Vietnam, Malaysian Business Angel Network (MBAN), Cambodia Investors Corporation, Myanmar’s Yangon Angels, Bangkok Venture Club, Business Angel Network (Southeast Asia) from Singapore, Angel Investment Network Indonesia, 1000 Angels from the Philippines.

AAA aims to improve the ASEAN angel investment landscape. It will also bring angel networks of member countries together to contribute to common objectives in whatever way they can. For instance, MBAN representing Malaysia, held a closed door discussion with member groups where it shared its experiences and knowledge in lobbying and securing the angel tax incentive for Malaysian angel investors.

‘‘In the past, collaboration between angels was conducted through through informal and often proprietary bilateral networks. AAA’s presence in the ASEAN angel ecosystem will open up a network to a wider community of angels and champion angel investment across the region,’’ said MBAN’s president Dr V. Sivapalan.

AAA has no single fund to operate, rather each group either has its own fund or is made up of individual investors. The alliance is estimated to have a little more than 1,000 investors throughout seven countries.

From an activity perspective, HATCH! Ventures partner Csaba Bundik added that AAA eventually hopes to possess harmonised methodologies or frameworks that can help ease the movement of angels and capital between different countries that will hopefully fuel intra-ASEAN investment and networking opportunities.

The initiative is also expected to be beneficial to start-ups as it can act as a focal point leveraging regional ambitions to easily connect and interact with a network of angels from different parts of the region.

ASEAN start-ups, including Vietnamese ones, can look forward to the day when an ‘angel round’ of fund raising will include angel investors from member groups across the ASEAN who can add value with their local networks and knowledge as they scale beyond their home countries.

With regards to the Alliance’s plan to obtain validation, Razif Aziz, Executive Director of MBAN, remarked that there is a plan for AAA to approach the ASEAN Secretariat or other relevant bodies to seek both validation and funding as well as support to guarantee its long-term sustainability.

Vietnam’s HATCH! VENTURES is an early-stage start-up incubator and start-up ecosystem builder. Its objective is to promote effective entrepreneurship and become the go-to resource centre for entrepreneurship in Vietnam with key activities including HATCH! FAIR—the largest annual local start-up exhibition.

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