AppWorks, a leading Greater Southeast Asian venture capital firm and accelerator, today announced the oversubscribed final close of AppWorks Fund III, successfully raising US$150 million. The new fund brings AppWorks’ total assets under management (AUM) to US$212 million, placing it among the largest early-stage venture capital firms in the Greater Southeast Asia region (Southeast Asia+Taiwan).
At US$150 million, AppWorks Fund III is 3x larger than its second fund of US$50 million (Vintage 2014) and 15x larger than its first fund of US$11 million (Vintage 2012). Fund III counts several existing and new LPs, including Taiwan Mobile, Axiom Asia Private Capital, Fubon Life, TransGlobe Life, Hongtai Group, Wistron, Cathay Life, Phison Electronics, and Taiwan’s National Development Fund, among others.
With an initial target of US$100 million, AppWorks Fund III generated outsized investor interest mainly driven by a better than expected inflow of investment opportunities from AppWorks’ three core themes of artificial intelligence, blockchain, and Southeast Asia (ABS), particularly via AppWorks Accelerator and the firm’s mentor network. Capitalizing on the growth momentum of these themes and AppWorks’ positioning as a leading early-stage venture capital firm in the region, the firm was able to achieve a final close at the US$150 million hard cap. With the industry-leading performance of Fund II, the majority of AppWorks’ LPs returned and upped their investments, resulting in Fund III being oversubscribed by 1.6x at final closing.
As part of AppWorks Fund III final close, the firm will recruit new investment associates and analysts to scale up investment activity with a focus on Southeast Asia, sourcing and executing on promising deals throughout the region. With over a decade of fund activity, AppWorks has built an open culture where talent at all levels can thrive, giving the opportunity for every team member to let their voice be heard and enjoy the fruits of success.
A Regional Fund Capable of Leading Seed to Series C
At US$150 million, AppWorks Fund III is 7.5x larger than the average VC fund size of US$20 million (NT$600 million) in Taiwan. AppWorks is also one of the few firms born out of Taiwan with a truly regional presence. With this close, AppWorks Fund III is in the process of constructing a portfolio of roughly 40 deals, including 20 investments starting at US$2 million in Series A-C companies and 20 seed-stage investments. AppWorks will also reserve capital to support its portfolio companies as they reach maturation.
In terms of AUM, AppWorks has reached US$212 million, becoming one of the largest early-stage VC firms in the Greater Southeast Asia region. On the regional stage, AppWorks invests in deals ranging from Seed to Series C stages, writing lead tickets in high-growth startups demonstrating breakout potential. In the world of blockchain, AppWorks has also stepped onto the global stage, co-investing in highly sought-after deals such as Dapper Labs/Flow, Animoca Brands and Splinterlands alongside prominent crypto investors.
“AppWorks was established in 2009, launched AppWorks Accelerator—the region’s leading startup accelerator—in 2010, and started our journey of raising and managing venture capital funds in 2011. Twelve years after our inception, we managed to successfully raise our third fund of US$150 million, a huge milestone for the firm,” said Jamie Lin, Chairman and Partner at AppWorks. “From a humble beginning, AppWorks is now one of the region’s leading investors, working together with other prominent venture capital firms to cultivate the startup ecosystem in fast-emerging Southeast Asia. On the AI and blockchain front, we have become a major player on the global stage.”
For the firm’s portfolio companies, AppWorks unlocks the Taiwan market’s distinct advantages in talent and manufacturing capabilities. AppWorks offers founders access to Taiwan’s large pool of talent in engineering, manufacturing, and other vertical expertise, creating a direct pipeline to talent via the AppWorks School. In addition, through AppWorks’ network of strategic partners, the firm provides founders with direct access to Taiwan’s world-leading hardware manufacturing resources, giving startups a manufacturing edge in critical areas that will define the future.
For the Southeast Asia market, AppWorks has implemented a local seed fund strategy, investing in different seed funds across the market to secure proprietary deal flow. These funds provide meaningful exposure to the region, giving AppWorks insights and access into potential breakout deals. In addition, during the pandemic, this strategy has allowed AppWorks to continue to deploy capital into promising deals throughout the region despite regional travel restrictions.
AppWorks Fund II Exhibits Top Quartile Investment Performance
Launched in 2014, AppWorks Fund II has entered its harvest phase and is currently performing among the top quartile of global venture capital and private equity funds within the same vintage, generating substantial financial returns for investors and carried interest for AppWorks team members. Fund II’s investment portfolio includes Lalamove, which recently became a decacorn, and Taipei Exchange-listed 91APP, Taiwan’s first locally grown unicorn with a market cap exceeding US$1.4 billion (NT$40 billion)—with the 91APP deal alone poised to return the fund two times over.
As of the end of July 2021, AppWorks Fund II’s TVPI reached 3.3x, with DPI at 1.3x and IRR reaching 34.7%. By comparison, the top quartile of global VC and PE funds with the same vintage have a TVPI of 2.4x, DPI of 0.7x, and IRR of 26.1%. With this fund performance, nearly all shareholders in AppWorks Fund II upped their subscription to Fund III, resulting in the significant oversubscription.
After more than a decade of development, the AppWorks flywheel is now in full swing. The overall ecosystem now encompasses 414 active startups and 1,396 founders, collectively raising US$4.3 billion and boasting an aggregate valuation of US$17.4 billion. Together, the community generates US$12.9 billion in annual turnover and created 18,591 jobs in the process. Looking towards the next ten years, AppWorks has set a goal of creating an ecosystem encompassing 1,000 active startups with a collective value exceeding US$100 billion and generating 50,000 employment opportunities.
大東南亞創業加速器龍頭，同時也是本區指標性創投的 AppWorks，在今日 (12 日) 宣布，旗下第三支創投基金 AppWorks Fund III 完成最終募集 (Final Closing)，由於獲得投資人超額認購，使得整體資金規模為 1.5 億美元 (45 億新台幣) ，這讓 AppWorks 管理的總資產規模成長至 2.12 億美元，躍升大東南亞較具規模的專業創投機構之一，並擴大展開人才招募。
AppWorks Fund III 是 AppWorks 自 2012 年 Fund I 以來，完成募集的第三號基金，主要投資人包括：台灣大哥大、Axiom Asia Private Capital、富邦人壽、全球人壽、宏泰集團、緯創資通、國泰人壽、群聯電子以及國發基金。相較於前次募集、規模 5,000 萬美元的 AppWorks Fund II 基金，AppWorks Fund III 規模為三倍。
AppWorks Fund III 最初設定規模為 1 億美元，但因聚焦的 ABS (AI、Blockchain、Southeast Asia) 三大領域成長速度高過預期，且 AppWorks Accelerator 校友、Mentors 等獨有案源管道持續發酵，使得優質投資機會流入速度持續加快。為幫助股東充分把握 ABS 三大引擎未來 5-7 年的成長動能，且進一步提升 AppWorks 在區域的規模優勢、強化從種子輪到 C 輪能全方位領投的地位，AppWorks 最終決定募滿股東合約允許的募資上限 (Hard Cap)，總金額達 1.5 億美元。且由於 AppWorks Fund II 投資績效傑出，此次 AppWorks Fund III 最終募集獲得投資人超額認購達 1.6 倍。
AppWorks Fund II 投資績效優異
2014 年啟動、目前進入收成期的 AppWorks Fund II，投資績效持續領先同期全球排名前 1/4 的創投與私募基金，為投資人創造優異的財務報酬，同時也為 AppWorks 帶來豐厚的績效獎金收益。在 AppWorks Fund II 的投資組合中，包括已晉升為十角獸 (估值超過 100 億美元) 的 Lalamove，以及今年順利在台股 IPO、總市值突破 400 億新台幣的第一隻全本土獨角獸 91APP 等。其中，僅 91APP 一檔持股的總市值，就已達到 AppWorks Fund II 規模的兩倍。
在優質投資組合陸續進入收成期帶動下，截至 2021 年 7 月底，AppWorks Fund II 總收益乘數 TVPI (Total Value to Paid-in-Capital) 達到 3.3倍，已分配收益乘數 DPI (Distribution to Paid-in Capital) 達到 1.3 倍，年化內部報酬率 IRR (Internal Rate of Return) 達 34.7%。相較之下，同期全球排名前 1/4 的創投與私募基金， TVPI 為 2.4 倍、DPI 為 0.7 倍、IRR 為 26.1%。績效表現如此優異之下，AppWorks Fund II 股東幾乎全數加碼投資 AppWorks Fund III，也因此造成超額認購。
區域級基金：可領投種子輪到 C 輪的全方位機構
以台灣平均每檔創投基金 0.2 億美金 (6 億新台幣) 規模來看，1.5 億美元的 AppWorks Fund III 為均值 7.5 倍，可說是相當獨特的存在。事實上，AppWorks 是極少數從台灣出發，達到區域級規模、投資足跡遍佈大東南亞的創投機構。
AppWorks Ecosystem breaks a US$10B valuation, with aggregate turnover and funds raised both more than doubling in growth
AppWorks Funds outperforms the world’s top quartile of venture capital and private equity funds, generating 2.5x TVPI, 1x DPI, and 26.5% IRR
AppWorks School graduates 256 students, with a 92% placement rate
On February 2, 2021, AppWorks unveiled its key milestones over the past decade, while highlighting operational results from 2020 in the “10th anniversary and 2020 Year in Review” webpage. Despite the raging impact of the pandemic, the AppWorks Ecosystem displayed the utmost resiliency, with the funds and all encompassing companies producing healthy growth and profits.
AppWorks has just passed its 10 year anniversary in 2020, and with all pillars of its influence only continuing to grow, including AppWorks Accelerator, the AppWorks Ecosystem alumni, AppWorks Funds, and AppWorks School. AppWorks has achieved several key milestones, and made significant headway in establishing Taiwan as the technology epicenter of Greater Southeast Asia (ASEAN+TW). Looking forward into the next 10 years, AppWorks’ goal is to continue positioning Greater Southeast Asia at the forefront of an increasingly digital, automated, and decentralized 21st century.
Milestones in the AppWorks Ecosystem: Aggregate valuation, fundraising, and turnover each exhibited more than 2x growth, with the overall valuation exceeding US$10B
In 2020, AppWorks Accelerator announced its updated focus on “ABS” strategy, narrowing the recruitment of startups to only those focusing on AI, blockchain, and Southeast Asia. Despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic, AppWorks Accelerator graduated 51 new startups across AW#20 and AW#21, of which 27 are working in AI/IoT and 13 in blockchain/crypto. More than 62% of the entrepreneurs hail from countries across Greater Southeast Asia, including Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines, and Indonesia. In response to the widespread lockdowns and travel restrictions, we also shifted our program to a hybrid online-offline model in order to facilitate a seamless experience for all of our founders despite physical limitations.
With the addition of AW#20 and AW#21, there are now a total of 395 active startups and 1,331 founders in the AppWorks Ecosystem (including accelerator alumni and portfolio companies). Collectively, all companies produce a turnover of US$ 8 billion, an annual increase of 162% compared to the same time last year, and foster 17,359 employees, 73% more than the year prior. Altogether, the Ecosystem raised a total of US$ 2.36 billion, an annual increase of 140%, with an aggregate valuation reaching US$ 11 billion, growing 160% YoY.
With COVID-19 effectively turbocharging the demand for digital technologies in 2020, the Ecosystem’s overall valuation, total funds raised, and annual turnover have each more than doubled in growth, notably exceeding the 29%, 36%, and 98% respectively experienced a year prior.
In the course of building this ecosystem and cultivating Taiwan and Southeast Asia’s innovative capabilities, AppWorks has helped generate sizable economic impact both in terms of value created and jobs produced. The combined annual turnover of US$ 8 billion is now equivalent to 0.7% of Indonesia’s GDP, and the more than 17,000 employment opportunities created are equivalent to 0.3% of Singapore’s working population.
Coincidentally, the year AppWorks exceeded a decacorn valuation is the very same year of our 10th anniversary. The increased adoption of digital technologies and outsized demand for innovative business models under COVID-19 was just enough to inch the Ecosystem into the ten billion dollar territory, not only marking a new milestone in AppWorks’ history but also representing the sheer impact that a community of digital innovators can bring. We see the scale and influence of our ecosystem only growing from here on out, into the next decade.
The strength and potential of the AppWorks Ecosystem is perhaps best represented through the many achievements over our alumni this past year:
AppWorks Ecosystem highlights: ShopBack successfully entered the Vietnamese market; Mighty Jaxx successfully sold 5 million collectibles
Medtech startup iWEECARE (AW#9) closed a US$2.4M pre-A financing, led by previous round investor TransLink Capital. The company’s ergonomic, child-friendly smart thermometer “Temp Pal” played a critical role in disease prevention and control in hospital systems across the world during this pandemic including Taiwan, Japan, Thailand, and Ireland. Online cashback platform ShopBack (AW#13) officially landed in Vietnam, attracting more than 800,000 users since launch and generating nearly US$200K in cashback rewards. The company now maintains a presence in 9 countries across GSEA, covering more than 20 million users.
CakeResume (AW#14), Taiwan’s leading technology job search platform, announced in 2020 that it completed a seed round of approximately US$900K. It plans to use the funds to expand into Japan and India, ultimately striving to become the largest talent platform in Asia.
Hong-Kong based Omnichat (AW#16) recently completely a seed round of US$800K in 2020. The company offers a chatbot-based marketing automation service that helps e-commerce clients enhance performance and improve checkout conversion rates by 3x – 7x. Building on its success in the Hong Kong and Taiwanese markets, Omnichat is planning on expanding its service to Southeast Asia in 2021.
Taiwan’s leading digital identity verification solution AuthMe (AW#18) helped identify a security flaw in the MyData platform, the National Development Council’s latest effort to promote personal data ownership and privacy protection. After stumbling upon the vulnerability, the AuthMe team worked together with digital minister Audrey Tang to quickly investigate the issue and install a security patch before re-launching the service 24 hours later.
MightyJaxx (AW#20), a technology-driven trading platform for art and toy collectibles, received US$3.2M in financing this past year. They’ve partnered with some of the world’s leading brands such as Warner Bros, Marvel, and Disney to design a variety of pop culture collectibles, shipping 5 million units to collectors in over 60 countries in 2020.
Cryptokitties developer Dapper Labs announced several partnerships with IP owners such as NBA and UFC, while launching a new public chain designed specifically for the entertainment ecosystem called Flow, which recently raised US$18M in a token sale.
Taiwan’s largest cloud POS provider iCHEF, completed a US$5M Series B round of financing, while accumulating more than 8,000 restaurant clients across Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Malaysia. At the same time, it successfully integrated delivery services with platforms such as Uber Eats and foodpanda, while putting in place imminent plans for an IPO.
KKday, Asia’s leading e-commerce platform for travel experiences, successfully closed a US$75M Series C round of financing. With the support of strategic investors, the funds will be used to deepen its presence across all its international markets.
The good news and milestones also extended into the personal lives of our founders, with several newlyweds coming to light. In 2020, Kevin Wong of Origami Labs (AW#15), and Tina Lin of Flipweb (AW#15) became locked in holy matrimony; Just as well, in the same year, Matthew Lee of Codibook (AW#15) and Hanna Wu of Anno (AW#15), also found themselves entering the next stage of their lives together. This is the second and third AppWorks couple after Richard Zhu of WriteTime (AW#15) and Fiona Shi of Good Moon Mood (AW#15) became the first in 2019.
AppWorks Funds II has outstanding performance: TVPI reached 2.5x, DPI reached 1x, and IRR reached 26.5%, outperforming the world’s top quartile of venture capital and private equity funds.
After 10 years of hard work, AppWorks Funds is today one of the largest and most active early-stage venture capital funds in Greater Southeast Asia. It has three venture capital funds totaling US$176M AUM, with investments in 56 startups encompassing 4 IPOs, 1 decacorn (worth more than US$10B), 1 unicorn (worth more than US$1B), and 6 centaurs (worth more than US$100M).
In 2020, AppWorks Funds continues doubling down on three key areas AI, blockchain, and Southeast Asia, with a total of 9 new investments this past year, including WeMo Scooter, Taiwan’s leading shared electric scooter operator; Fabelio, a fast-fashion furniture retailer that provides OMO consumer experience in Indonesia; and Dcard, the most widely used social media platform among Taiwanese youth.
In addition, AppWorks Fund II, which was established in 2014, reached peak performance in 2020, reaching a TVPI multiple (Total Value to Paid-in-Capital) of 2.5x, a DPI multiple (Distribution to Paid-in Capital) of 1x, and an IRR (internal rate of return) of 26.5%, surpassing the top quartile of global venture capital and private equity funds with the same vintage, while creating superior financial returns for our investors.
Exceeding a 1x DPI multiple not only means that we’re now at a point where we can generate substantial returns to our shareholders, but also that AppWorks Fund II has begun to produce carried interest, generating profits that effectively cover all the accumulated losses over the last 10 years.
Most of these bonuses have been distributed to all members of the AppWorks team. Thank you to all of our colleagues for their hard work in the past 10 years. With the addition of the bonuses, the average annual salary of AppWorks (excluding partners) colleagues has reached US$ 87,000 in 2020, operating on par with most internationally recognized VCs. In the next few years, as AppWorks Funds continue to realize profits, we plan to further increase the annual compensation packages to better attract and retain the best talents both domestically and from abroad.
Key figures of AppWorks School: 256 graduates, 92% successfully placed in software engineering roles
Needless to say, quality talents are the lifeblood of any startup, but they continue to be a scarce resource in this part of the world. In order to plug the increasing talent gap and truly help facilitate the region’s digital economy, AppWorks School was started in June 2016, offering intensive 4-month long coding programs spanning iOS, android, front-end, back-end, and data science which are free, practical, and efficient.
Since its establishment in 2016, AppWorks School has successfully graduated 256 students across 12 batches. 92% of the graduates have been successfully placed in prominent tech companies such as iCHEF, 91APP, KKBOX, LINE TV, WeMo Scooter, LineTaxi, PicCollage, Hahow, VoiceTube, Bonio, Omnichat, and Gogoro, with a median starting salary is US$25,060 (approximately NT$700,000).
Chairman & Partner Jamie Lin: AppWorks will help grow an early-stage VC ecosystem in Southeast Asia over the next 10 years
Looking back on the first 10 years since its establishment, AppWorks chairman and partner Jamie Lin said: “It was no miracle that helped us get to this point, only hard work and consistent effort. After a long and continuous 20-mile march, AppWorks’ flywheel has finally begun spinning at high velocity. Whether it’s the nearly 400 startups fostered, US$ 8 billion of economic value produced, or over 17,000 jobs created, AppWorks has helped spawn an entirely new digital ecosystem in Taiwan and across the region without consuming a single dollar of social capital. We’ve also helped solidify venture capital and the broader startup industry as a prominent asset class for potential investors and employees.”
He took a step deeper and pointed out: “A society that wants to accelerate digital transformation while empowering and providing opportunities for the younger generation to flourish requires more VCs like AppWorks — I think Taiwan and Southeast Asia can have at least 10 more AppWorks. Therefore, looking at the next 10 years, AppWorks will continue to operate accelerators, alumni communities, and venture capital funds based on the original ethos of “by founders, for founders”, that is assisting more startups and promoting win-win collaborations between them and corporates. To promote the development of the digital economy in Greater Southeast Asia, we will dedicate our resources to cultivating the “venture investment ecosystem”, with hopes of producing more high-quality venture capital firms, especially those focusing on early stages to seed the region’s future pipeline of innovators. On the other hand, the scale of AppWorks School will continue to expand, providing more interested tech talents an intensive environment to learn and hone their craft among like-minded peers. In other words, building on top of the current momentum, AppWorks hopes to further accelerate and amplify our contributions in the next 10 years, and we look forward to presenting an even more outsized impact during AppWorks’ 20th anniversary.”
At the end of the year, taking this opportunity to look back, Jamie also extends his gratitude to all the friends, partners, and stakeholders that have assisted AppWorks along the way: “I sincerely thank the 1,331 entrepreneurs who have given AppWorks the opportunity to serve you over the past 10 years. I also thank all AppWorks Mentors who have enthusiastically mentored these founders without asking for anything in return. I would also like to thank our platform partners, including AWS and GCP, investors in AppWorks Funds, and partners in government departments that have given us their continued support over the past 10 years. Of course, I also want to thank our media friends for their long-term interest in AppWorks and all the initiatives that we’ve undertaken in the past decade. In addition, I would like to especially thank all the present and former AppWorks colleagues who have participated in this journey, if it were not for your contribution, the company would not have been able to reach this point. Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the angel investor who took a bet on me and generously lent the tens of millions of NT dollars that helped get AppWorks started — my mother, Dr. Lin Jeang-Yun, without you and your blind faith, all of this would not have been possible; Grandpa and grandma are proudly looking down from the heavens. Thank you, everyone, and please continue to lend us your support and guidance over the next 10 years.”
【If you are a founder working on a startup in SEA, or working with AI / IoT, Blockchain / DeFi, apply to AppWorks Accelerator to join the largest founder community in Greater Southeast Asia.】
AppWorks, a leading accelerator and one of the most active VCs in the region, finished 2019 prepared for the next decade by bringing it total capital raised to over US$170 million across three funds, and generating an amount of revenue and new jobs creation for Southeast Asia and Taiwan that is equal to the GDP of the island nation of Barbados. The AppWorks Ecosystem, a community of startups and founders directly associated with AppWorks, grew to 376 startups from 356 last year, and 1,113 founders from 925, with the graduation of cohorts AppWorks #18 and AppWorks #19, a total of 49 startups working on AI and blockchain businesses. The total AppWorks Ecosystem created over 11,000 jobs in Taiwan.
Over 60% of the accelerator founders hail from territories in SEA, including: Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia. Over 35% of these founders are women. AppWorks continues to be a pivotal catalyst for startup growth and diversity in the GSEA region.
In reviewing the growth and successes over the past year, AppWorks Chairman and Partner Jamie Lin says, “The combined efforts of the company and the founders we assist are helping Taiwan further position itself as a regional hub that is uniting the Greater Southeast Asia startup ecosystem.”
“We look forward to a decade of radical innovation and transformation, as the newly minted middle class continues to grow across GSEA and new technologies and smart founders contribute to powerful trade and market creation that lifts the entire region and demonstrates to markets around the world how Asia is leading in technology and business.”
“We could not have done this without the help of our limited partners, but most especially, we thank the founders from across GSEA who have contributed some new leading edge technology to a fast-growing region. GSEA will over the next ten years generate numerous unicorns and Taiwan will be a fundamental part of that movement and growth.”
The Funds’ capital raise will assist the fund and the accelerator in continuing in its mission to support founders of AI and Blockchain startups throughout Greater Southeast Asia.
In 2019, AppWorks made investments in 11 promising startups, including Dapper Labs, a world-class Blockchain company creating new methods for enjoying entertainment; Deep Sentinel, an AI-driven home security camera network; as well as HarukaEDU, an online learning platform, and Infra Digital, a revolutionary payments application, both of which are based in Indonesia.
“We continue to be bullish on AI, blockchain and the growing Greater Southeast Asia market,” says Jamie Lin. “Over the next five to ten years, Taiwan’s startup ecosystem will contribute to some of the next innovations in these industries, and what will make those contributions special will be the integrated way in which founders working in this space will launch from Taiwan and expand and localise throughout this massive region.”
“Taiwan has much in common with the SEA region, but most directly this connection is it e-economy and the way that its bilingual engineering talent and familiarity with the newest technologies and programming methods are easily paired with unique strategies that are growing out of countries like Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore and the Philippines, if not the entire SEA ecosystem.”
“AppWorks will continue to work side by side with founders. With our new Fund III, we are now prepared to invest greater sums of money in rounds up to Series C and lead some of these deals that we think will bring unique changes to the regional economy. We look forward to supporting and working closely with founders in this next decade.”
Key Company Highlights
In 2019, AppWorks Accelerator continued with its focus to recruiting and accelerating only AI / blockchain startups, graduating a total of 48 startups across AW#18 & AW#19, with 29 startups developing for AI / IoT and 19 deploying solutions in Blockchain
Across AW#18 & AW#19, over 60% of the accelerator founders hail from territories in GSEA, including: Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia.
The AppWorks Ecosystem reached US$ 4.72B in valuation, encompassing 376 startups & 1,113 founders, with the number of startups in the ecosystem accounts for over 11,100 new jobs in Taiwan
Many of the existing startups in the ecosystem raised significant amounts of capital this year and drove their expansion plans into GSEA, opening up markets in places like Hong Kong, Indonesia and Vietnam, as well as in other parts of Asia like Japan
The AppWorks ecosystem continued to be a powerful driver of economic growth and a stunning creator of innovation. Several of the early entrants of the startup accelerator raised capital this year and many of the founders and companies achieved new milestones.
Key Milestones of AppWorks Alumni in 2019
Tagtoo (AW#1) became the Leading MarTech Startup in Taiwan, raising a US$ 1.8M Series A to Drive expansion in GSEA.
PetPetGo (AW#3) was acquired by WonderPet Group, the largest pet chain group in Taiwan
VoiceTube (AW#7), the largest language edtech platform in Taiwan, raised US$3.5 M in a Series A to fuel its ambition to become the largest edtech platform in Japan and Vietnam.
UmboCV (AW#9), the leading AI video security solutions provider, sold to more than 30 countries and raised US$ 8 M in a post-A round to continue its global expansion.
TaxiGo (AW#17), a ride-hailing platform created by founder Kevin Chan was acquired by LINE Taiwan and rebranded as LINE TAXI.
WeMo Scooter (AW#12) growing and expanding throughout Taiwan in 2019-2020, hitting 5M trips per year
Additionally, another transport startup from a previous accelerator batch, WeMo Scooter (AW#12), the largest e-scooter sharing service in Taiwan, expanded to KaoHsiung and achieved more than 5M trips per year.
Fugle (AW#12), the leading stock investment mobile platform in Taiwan, surpassed NT$ 500 M in GTV within six months. It raised a NT$ 29 M angel round.
ShopBack (AW#13), the largest cashback platform in GSEA, raised US$ 45M to drive GSEA growth.
FBbuy (AW#15), Asia’s leading B2B live social commerce SaaS product, was acquired by M17 and rebranded to HandsUp.
Booqed (AW#15), the Airbnb for workspaces in Hong Kong, raised Us$ 1.68 M in a seed round. It currently possesses 1,600 listings for spaces.
In the area of AI, MoBagel (AW#16), the leading AI-driven data solutions provider in Taiwan, raised US$5 M in a Series A, to bring widespread AutoML tech into enterprises.
Novelship (AW#16), GSEA’s leading online marketplace for limited-edition sneakers and streetwear, raised over US$2 M in a seed round.
TWDD (AW#16), the leading designated driver service in Taiwan, raised US$ 1.3M in a Series A.
Soda Labs (AW#17), the leading Hardware-as-a-Service venture builder in Taiwan, raised US$ 2M in a seed round, aiming to create a better connected world. They will be hiring in 1Q 2020.
Outside of the direct work we do with startups, our Funds team announced that the development of AppWorks Fund III had created opportunities to work closely with a host of new limited partners such as Taiwan Mobile, Fubon Life Insurance, Cathay Life Insurance, Wistron Corporation, Hungtai Group, Capital Securities, as well as Taiwan’s National Development Fund.
With the addition of Fund III, total assets under management has grown to US$ 170 million, making it one of the largest venture capital firms in Greater Southeast Asia.
Since mid-2016, AppWorks School has graduated 179 newly trained software engineers (an increase of 73 in 2019) through a 16-week free coding program. Of these trainees, 91.6% of graduates went on to pursue successful software engineering careers in prominent internet companies such as 91APP, KKBOX, LINE TV (CHOCO Media), WeMo Scooter, LINE Taxi, PicCollage, VoiceTube, Gogoro and UDN Group, with a media starting salary of US$ 23,333 (annually).
To say it’s been a productive year would have been an understatement. Tapping into the collective effort of each and every one of our team members, we successfully shifted our focus to AI / blockchain and made substantial strides in empowering founders across Greater Southeast Asia to fully embrace a smart and decentralized future. Finally, we’d like to extend a special thanks to all of our partners and friends in the startup community and look forward to working together to strengthen the regional ecosystem even further in 2020.
If you are a blockchain or AI founder in Greater Southeast Asia, and you would like to explore working with us in our semi-annual accelerator program, keep updated by following our blog or the Accelerator page on this site.
You may also find us on LinkedIn and Facebook, where we interact with founders on a daily basis.