At Iterative, we spend a lot of our energy trying to make entrepreneurship more accessible in Southeast Asia. A major reason it isn't more accessible, especially for first time founders, is because investors aren't more accessible.
It turns out that since we host 2 Demo Day's a year, and they're frequently attended by 500+ investors, we have a reasonably complete list of people interested in investing in Southeast Asia startups. Furthermore, each Demo Day acts as an update as people move between funds, start new funds, etc. and come to Demo Day.
Originally, the idea was to make this list available to Iterative Founders to help them fundraise. But as we worked on it, and if our goal is to make entrepreneurship more accessible in Southeast Asia, we increasingly felt like it should be available to all founders. So that's what we're doing.
We took our list of 1,270 people and 551 funds, enriched it with information like investment stage, location, etc. and are making it available to everyone. Think of it is a searchable directory of investors for Southeast Asia.
Here is some of the information that's included.
- People and Funds – There are 2 lists, individual people and the funds they work for. We find that it's often easier to target a specific person than a fund. Angel investors show up as people but are not attached to a fund.
- Linkedin and Websites – For each person, we list their Linkedin profile and for each fund, we list their website. That way it's easier to learn more about both.
- Location – Unlike other geographies, knowing where a fund or person is based will tell you a lot about what they may or may not like to invest in so we included that too.
- Investment Stage – The data is admittedly rough but it's important that founders target investors who invest at their stage so we did our best to pull this information from people's websites.
- Area of Focus – Similar to Investment Stage, it's helpful to target investors who invest in your area of focus or industry but the information is loose.
Here's how we recommend you use it.
- Qualify – Just like with sales, maximize the return on your time by qualifying investors. Look for those who invest at your stage, country, etc. We have information in the Investor Database to filter on this but it isn't perfect (we're working on it) so use it as a rough guide but verify by clicking on their website or Linkedin profile.
- Add to List – When you find an investor that's a good fit for your startup, add them to a target list. We recommend using some sort of CRM even if it's just Airtable. We made a template here to help you get started. Keep doing this until you have a list of 30 or 40 names. It's natural if you starting adding investors that you're not sure are a good fit. Start with those that are and slowly relax your criteria.
- Contact – Once you have your list, start looking for warm introductions. You can look at mutual connections, ask founder friends, etc. If you can't find a warm introduction, message them on Linkedin or cold email them. Whatever you need to do to reach out to them. I have definitely guessed the emails of a lot of investors in my time.
To get access, fill out this form.
You will receive an email with a link to the Investor Directory. It's totally free because making startups pay for things sucks.