Singapore-headquartered early-stage venture capital fund Accelerating Asia has launched Fund II which focused on seed to Pre-Series A investments into startups across Southeast and South Asia.

The targeted $20 million fund already has around 50 percent in soft commitments from existing investors and partners, Accelerating Asia said in a statement on Thursday.

“The number of unicorns expected to rise in the region by 2025 and we believe now is the time to invest at the early-stage to capitalize on outsized returns in Southeast and South Asia,” Accelerating Asia Co-Founder and General Partner Amra Naidoo said. “With significant traction and investor interest, our startups are on track to raise Series A within 6 to 12 months of graduating from our program and receiving investment from us and we believe they are well-placed to grow and scale and perhaps even be part of the dozens of unicorns expected to rise in the region by 2025.”

In a new initiative for Accelerating Asia, a percentage of the carry and profit from Fund II will be committed to corporate philanthropy as part of Pledge 1%.

Fund II is on track for its first close later this year, with Accelerating Asia already securing initial commitments of $10 million from existing Fund I Limited Partners and ecosystem partners, the VC fund said.

Through Fund II, Accelerating Asia will increase its investment amount into startups to up to $250,000 each. The fund will start to deploy capital this year.

The VC fund looks to invest in a wider number of high potential early-stage startups with viable business models and is delivering innovative, commercially viable solutions to real-world problems across the region.

The launch of Accelerating Asia Fund II builds on the track record from Fund I which invested in 36 startups across ten markets and 20 verticals within two years.

Fund I portfolio companies have collectively raised $30 million to date, with around 70 percent of capital raised through Accelerating Asia’s network.

Within 12 months of completing Accelerating Asia’s accelerator program, 80 percent of portfolio startups have received follow-on funding from the region’s leading VCs including, D4V, Chiba Dojo Fund, Headline Asia, Impact Collective, SOSV, MDI Ventures, Falcon Network, and Anchorless.

Accelerating Asia’s VC accelerator model provides investors with access to a diverse pool of high-potential startups. The startups selected for investment represent the top 2 percent of over 1,000 applications received each year. The rigorous selection process, investment structure, and accelerator program ensure that capital is efficiently directed to top-performing startups, the VC fund said.

Accelerating Asia said its diverse portfolio includes 80 percent of startups that are addressing at least one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals, and 65 percent are considered Gender Lens Investments.

Accelerating Asia is an accelerator VC that runs programs for early-stage startups and investors. Licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Accelerating Asia’s early-stage VC fund focuses on pre-Series A startups with untapped potential that are 6-18 months away from institutional funding.

Accelerating Asia invests up to $250,000 in pre-Series A startups, and the current portfolio covers over ten
countries in Southeast and South Asia.

VC industry benefits from having diverse perspectives, says Amra Naidoo of Accelerating Asia [ORIGIN Innovation Awards Q&A]