Early-stage investors JFDI and Golden Gate Ventures partner up to nurture Southeast Asia’s startups

Early-stage investors JFDI and Golden Gate Ventures partner up to nurture Southeast Asia’s startups ...

Golden Gate Ventures and JFDI Asia, two of Southeast Asia’s early-stage funding specialists, have announced an alliance that will see them work together to promote, fund and grow promising tech startups across the region.

With immediate effect, Golden Gate Ventures co-founders Vinnie Lauria, Jeff Paine and Paul Bragiel have joined JFDI Asia as mentors, drawing on their background and experience to nurture its portfolio of startups, as well as helping identify companies for the JFDI’s accelerator program.

The partnership will also give the trio more influence on the JFDI.Asia Bootcamp, the inaugural class of which took place this summer. From the next intake onward, participants that they nominate will be fast-tracked for follow-on funding of up to SG$600,000 (circa US$490,000), which is a welcomed boost for growing companies in the region.

The two investment firms will also aim to cross-pollinate their work and find links between their portfolios of companies. Golden Gate Ventures will continue to work on its existing investments, independent of JFDI, but the companies share their pipelines of pre-launch companies to encourage synergies and benefits between the startups they invest in.

The coming together of the two organizations, both of which are blazing a trail for seed-stage funding in Southeast Asia, represents a no-brainer, in many ways, since both organizations are focused on highlighting and investing in promising young companies at pre-Series A funding level. Indeed, we’ve spoken to both organizations, and they share a mutual appreciation of each other and their respective work.

Speaking about the tie-in, Lauria highlighted the potential of Asia, where he says that “the next billion people are coming online”:

“[Asia] is a huge opportunity and an equally huge pool of talent in the region is set to make the most of it. Golden Gate Ventures’ links to later stage investors and Silicon Valley can add most value once start-ups launch products and prove market traction. JFDI.Asia really proved itself earlier this year and working even closer together is the best way our two firms can help the ecosystem.”

Lauria’s counterpart, Hugh Mason, co-founder and CEO at JFDI.Asia, praised Golden Gate Ventures for its work on the first bootcamp accelerator — where Lauria and Paine where mentors — and revealed he is looking to strike similar deals with other investors in Southeast Asia:

“Vinnie was amongst the most popular and valued mentors on the bootcamp we operated earlier this year. Jeff and Paul also both have great reputations for sharing their know-how. We hope that this will be the first of several alliances with key partners across the region who share our ambition to support the coming generation of digital success stories across Asia, for Asia.”

The 100-day JFDI bootcamp — the first of which was run in association with SingTel’s ‘Innov8’ investment arm —  is a member of the Global Accelerator Network and was highly praised for bringing Western style accelerator model in Southeast Asia, which has a cumulative population of 600 million people. A number of its first class, including Kark Mobile, Fetch Plus and others, landed funding.

In case you are wondering, JFDI stands for Jolly Frog Digital Incubator Joyful Frog Digital Incubator, which we think is certainly a unique and memorable name – and not just because it has other acronyms.

We spoke to both companies earlier this year, you can read more about them, and their plans for Southeast Asia, at the  links below:

Headline image via isak55 / Shutterstock

Read next: Facebook shouldn't buy WhatsApp (but it must invest in mobile messaging)