Joel Neoh and Audra Pakalnyte, former executives at Fave, have come together to create First Move. This new early-stage fund seeks to bolster consumer-focused startups throughout Southeast Asia, providing a platform for innovation and shaping the future of the region’s consumer technology industry.
First Move is set to offer pre-seed funding of up to $100,000 to promising ventures. It has already accumulated a diverse portfolio, featuring seven companies across Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
Pakalnyte describes Southeast Asia as a “vibrant epicenter for consumer technology innovation.” She emphasizes that First Move’s goal is to partner with upcoming entrepreneurs and fuel the emergence of future consumer-tech behemoths.
Neoh and Pakalnyte’s approach to funding is distinctive. As founders themselves, they offer more than financial backing. They believe in delivering guidance, mentorship, and access to an extensive network of industry connections to their portfolio startups, a crucial factor for companies in their early stages.
Neoh expresses his gratitude for the support he has received on his entrepreneurial journey, and through First Move, he is committed to reciprocating the gesture to other budding entrepreneurs.
In addition to direct funding, First Move adopts a collaborative approach, teaming up with other venture capital firms in the region. It counts 500 Global among its first collaborators and backers, highlighting its cooperative approach.
First Move has also set up the Consumer Tech Angel Syndicate, a group of seasoned founders and executives within the consumer space. This syndicate allows its members, which include founders and executives from diverse sectors across Southeast Asia, to co-invest in First Move deals and provide hands-on support to the startups.
Neoh was recently appointed as the managing director of CircleDNA, a genomics and precision oncology company by Prenetics Global. He will also serve as the group’s chief consumer officer, guiding CircleDNA’s expansion into a leading consumer preventive healthcare platform.
Meanwhile, Pakalnyte stepped down from her role as head of FavePay Later after a successful eight-year stint at the Malaysian fintech platform. The launch of First Move marks a significant milestone for Neoh and Pakalnyte as they strive to foster an ecosystem that propels Southeast Asian startups towards success.
This news is based on information provided by Marketing Interactive.