Acceleration in Asia-Pacific

Early Impacts on Participating Ventures

Nov 2020

With the support of the Australian Government, GALI is working to increase understanding of acceleration and early-stage ventures in the Asia-Pacific. This knowledge brief includes application and one-year follow-up data from 473 ventures operating in emerging markets in the Asia-Pacific region to better understand short-term impacts and key challenges. In addition, three accelerators from the region are profiled to give a closer look at how programs are adapting to meet local needs.

Key Takeaways:

  • Ventures that apply to accelerators in Asia-Pacific are established but still at an early stage of growth. The majority of ventures in the GALI dataset had been in operation for two years or less. Well over half were generating revenue, and nearly 75% had employees at the time of application, yet less than 15% had equity or debt financing.
  • Applicants are seeking acceleration to improve their business skills and develop networks. When asked to rank the potential benefits of acceleration, applicants prioritized network development and business skills, followed by direct funding and mentorship.
  • Financial track record is not necessarily an indicator of program acceptance. Simply having revenue, employees, and investment did not appear to carry much weight in program selection decisions, as the percent of ventures with these financial milestones was similar in both accepted and rejected pools. Rather, interviewed program representatives note that they're looking for high-potential ventures based the founding team, impact potential, and market opportunity.
  • Accelerated ventures are significantly more likely to increase their revenues than rejected ventures. Nearly 75% of accelerated ventures increased revenues over the course of one year compared to only 50% of rejected ventures.
  • Nearly all applicants have a fundraising target, yet few accelerated ventures secure funds their first year. Less than 10% of accelerated ventures increased their equity investment levels in the year of the program, and only in debt funding did accelerated ventures outperform those ventures that applied but were rejected.
  • Programs are shifting their models to more fully address ventures' fundraising challenges. From launching their own funds to providing deeper investment readiness training, accelerators are seeing success with new approaches to filling the missing middle finance gap. 

Read the full brief for more specific insights and profiles of three accelerators that shared venture-level data with GALI.