Thursday 05 October, 2023

Former Fave execs launch early-stage fund

The fund provides pre-seed funding for consumer tech startups in Southeast Asia, with checks of up to US$100,000.

Joel Neoh (left) and Audra Pakalnyte, partners of First Move

Joel Neoh (left) and Audra Pakalnyte / Photo credit: First Move

Joel Neoh and Audra Pakalnyte, two former executives at fintech firm Fave, have launched an early-stage fund called First Move to invest in consumer-focused startups in Southeast Asia.

The fund, which is backed by 500 Global and a group of consumer tech angel investors, can provide pre-seed funding of up to US$100,000, according to a statement.

So far, First Move has invested in seven startups, including Indonesian F&B firm Giggly Coco, Malaysia-based perfume brand Scentses & Co, and Singapore-based health and beauty company Evolut Commerce.

The fund has also established a consumer tech angel syndicate, which consists of founders and executives from ecommerce, mobility, fintech, and direct-to-consumer startups across Southeast Asia. Members of the syndicate will co-invest in First Move deals and provide hands-on support to portfolio startups.

Neoh founded Fave in 2015 and stepped down as its CEO earlier this year. In 2021, the company was acquired by Indian merchant platform Pine Labs for US$45 million.

Last month, Noel officially joined Prenetics Group, a genetic and diagnostic testing firm based in Hong Kong, as both its chief consumer officer and as managing director of CircleDNA, its consumer health business.

Meanwhile, Pakalnyte had held several leadership roles at Fave since 2015 before departing in May this year.

See also: VC funds tracker: Two VCs raise $440m for new funds


Gabriel Budi Sutrisno

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