Boost Your Startup With This Early-Stage Investment Fund

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Photo by Value Research Online (left) for illustration purposes only / First Move provided to JUICE (right)

First Move might not be an instantly recognisable name among regional entrepreneurs but that’s changing fast as the early-stage investment fund has already backed its first 10 ventures in its first year alone.

The Southeast Asian fund is dedicated to early-stage investments in the consumer sector, aiming to establish Southeast Asia by stimulating economic growth and fostering innovation.

With an average investment size of RM467,000 (US$100,000) per startup, First Move has invested the majority of its funding to Malaysians and Malaysia-based founders.

First Move founders – Joel Neoh and Audra Pakalnyte (photo provided to JUICE)

Created by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, the fund was founded by serial entrepreneur and technology executive, Joel Neoh, and seasoned technology startup executive, Audra Pakalnyte.

Neoh is currently heading up CircleDNA as managing director, and also serves as the Chief Consumer Officer of NASDAQ – listed Prenetics, while Audra played a pivotal role in the success of Fave, a leading Southeast Asian fintech platform backed by Sequoia Capital and acquired by Pine Labs.

Since the most challenging years of any company are always during the beginning, First Move channels liquidity into startups at their most critical stage, giving SEA entrepreneurs a better chance of weathering the storms ahead.

Image used for illustration purposes only. Photo by Portal CFO Consulting

A significant highlight is that 35% of the founders supported are women, underscoring the fund’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. Additionally, First Move has funded early stage consumer companies in Singapore, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

Among the venture capital fund’s first investments are Koppiku, a coffee industry disruptor enhancing affordability and enabling price accessibility to premium daily necessities, and the MalaysianPAYGAP initiative which champions equal pay and career opportunities that contributes to broader social equity.

First Move also funded, among others, 3Cat, who leads the charge for sustainability by enabling device trace-in, repair, and reuse; and Collektr, a startup that connects collectors of unique items.

For illustration purposes only. Photo by Spread the ART of going UP – Startup Facebook Page

Complementing the ecosystem established by the likes of Khazanah, Penjana, MAVCAP, EPF, and KWAP, First Move also conducts strategic co-investments with international big names like Vertex Ventures, 500 Global, Gobi Partners, and more.

This way, startups do not only benefit from financial stimulus, but also gain access to a wealth of networks, expertise, and mentorship for an edge to compete internationally. 💰

To learn more about First Move and how your startup can be eligible for funding, visit their website.