Philippine start-up accelerator IdeaSpace has formally launched an Opportunity Fund to invest in startups within and outside of the IdeaSpace portfolio. The Opportunity Fund aims to cater to early stage to pre-series A startups, particularly to founders who may be looking for funding to help make key business and strategic decisions.
IdeaSpace is a non-profit organization supporting early-stage technology entrepreneurship in the Philippines. To date, IdeaSpace has mentored and supported 91 startups under its incubation and acceleration program and has invested over P200 million worth of support into the Philippine startup ecosystem.
IdeaSpace President Butch Meily sees the Opportunity Fund as a vehicle for IdeaSpace to support founders and startups as they work to build stable, scalable, and sustainable businesses.
“We started the Opportunity Fund with the support of our Chairman, Manuel V. Pangilinan, to widen our net and to find dynamic, investment-worthy startups within and beyond the IdeaSpace ecosystem and to earn additional revenues to support IdeaSpace in the future,” shares Meily.
During the early stages of its Opportunity Fund, IdeaSpace first invested in Coins.ph for P1 million, eventually netting a 5x return after the startup was acquired by Indonesian tech platform provider Go-Jek. Since that initial investment, IdeaSpace has deployed its resources to its portfolio startups, which include 1Export, Experience Philippines, Cocotel, Airship, TimeFree Innovations, and to startups outside of the IdeaSpace network such as Acudeen, and Qwikwire,
“Our initial investment in Coins.ph showed us that there is another way for us to potentially support startups in their entrepreneurial journey,” noted IdeaSpace Executive Director Diane Eustaquio. “Not all founders go into our acceleration program and there’s still a lot of talent and leadership potential in the ecosystem. The Opportunity Fund is a way for us to support those founders and through our investment, show them that they’re on the right track.”
The accelerator is now looking for startups to invest in through its Opportunity Fund, as part of its efforts to grow its own resources while supporting founders as they pursue technopreneurship.
IdeaSpace evaluates startups in areas such as business model, traction, financials, and team competencies. With the Opportunity Fund, IdeaSpace hopes to help startups secure the resources they need to grow their business.
“IdeaSpace is looking for teams that have proven their ability to execute, their commitment to building and growing their startup, their ability to secure and keep business, and their ability to manage their resources,” shared Meily. “We are hoping that with the Opportunity Fund, we can bring the attention of more corporations, financial institutions, and investors to more Philippine startups that can take on larger, more long-term investments, be it through business partnerships or through additional funding.”