SINGAPORE, 29 June 2000 – Founded in April 2000, CocoonAsia's primary business is to match high potential technology seed and early-stage startups to angels and corporate investors.
Neo Ai-Ling, co-founder and CEO of CocoonAsia, said, "The idea of CocoonAsia evolved because we wanted to provide a service to help remove the uncertainties and intimidation faced by startups, whilst providing investors with an organized platform to access regional deal flow without having to go down to the ground.”
Expansion plans in Asia
CocoonAsia has established its headquarters in Singapore. It plans to establish regional offices in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan and India over the next six to 12 months.
“This way, startups will have access to member investors from different countries,” Neo said. “For example, a China startup can tie up with a investor from Malaysia who not only provides funding but also the crucial network to help open doors into the Malaysian market. We want to gel the whole Asian region into an active capital resource for startups.”
The establishment of CocoonAsia’s regional network hopes to pave the way for bigger things to come.
George Thia, chairman of CocoonAsia, said, “We see ourselves as building relationships with emerging companies. The first step is linking startups with the right investors and helping them secure funds. Over time, as our startups mature, we can continue to work with them and provide mergers and acquisitions, and other corporate finance services. To this end, CocoonAsia has assembled a panel of experienced advisors, including (Ng) Boon Yew and myself.”
CocoonAsia has already signed up 18 investors. Some of the corporate investors include Prudential Asset Management Asia (PAMA), Acer Venture, Deson Development (HK), and Acma.
Presently, it has about 17 startups in its purview: 12 from Singapore, three from China, and one each from Hong Kong and Korea.
Startups around Asia can submit a brief of their business plan to CocoonAsia on its Web site free-of-charge. CocoonAsia would post selected startups on its Web site after a screening process. Angels and corporate investors will have to join as members to access the selected business plans.
CocoonAsia differentiates itself as a business relationship builder with startups, member investors and partners, by providing day-to-day monitoring of the startups and also assistance to business building and operations.
It charges startups a nominal fee for professional business services such as business plan writing.
CocoonAsia draws revenue from membership fees and a fee from funds secured for the startups.
Ties with universities from China and Singapore
CocoonAsia is now working with the National University of Singapore and Tsinghua University in China, to bring promising student and staff projects to member investors.
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