#Asia How does Asia fare in the global accelerator report 2015? It’s a mixed bag


Asia and Oceania invested about US$16.8 million in 1295 startups last year


In 2015, just less than US$192 million was invested in in 8,836 startups across the globe by 387 accelerators. While the US and Canada scored the top position for regions with the highest number of investment at US$90.3 million, the Asia and Oceania region beat the Middle East with US$16.8 worth of investments.

The US and Canada also lead the globe in the total number of exits at 193. While the data makes it seem as if it is impossible for Asia and Oceania to catch up, it is important to note that the region managed to closely beat Europe at 34 to 33 exits respectively.

Accelerator programme Gust and startup network platform Fundacity released a report on the state of accelerator programme around the world in 2015. The objective was to understand how the accelerator industry has developed globally, how accelerators are funded and monetised as well as provide insights on the direction of the industry in the near future.

Apart from a global version, the institutions also released region-specific versions of the report, including Asia and Oceania. They surveyed 836 organisations (out of which 387 qualified as accelerators) for the global version and 125 organisation (with 54 qualified as accelerators) for the Asian and Oceanian version.

e27 breaks down key points from the report for you.

Also Read: Leaping to new heights: Introducing Myanmar’s first ever accelerator programme

Australia scored the top position among Asian and Oceanian countries with biggest number of investment at US$5.6 million. Following in second position was India with just under US$4 million. The rest are graced by East Asian countries such as South Korea (just under US$2 million), China (US$1.9 million), and Hong Kong (US$1.2 million).

The report also stated:

“The total number of new Asian and Oceanian accelerator launches has fallen in 2015, which may indicate that the number of accelerator programmes in the market reached a saturation point related to the number of innovative ideas and tech companies that currently exist in the market”.

Todd Embley of Chinaccelerator said in the report,

” … With the Government publicly making innovation a priority in China in 2015, there has been a ‘gold rush’ of activity in the space. Once the dust settles and the pioneering costs are paid, China will have the greatest amount of players in the accelerator space in the world. The quality of the programmes offered, however, remains to be seen,” said

Out of the 11 accelerators launched in 2015, four are focused on specific niche markets, including health, education  and fintech.

In terms of capital investments, the following are the top 10 accelerator programmes in the region:

1. BlueChilli (US$2 million, Australia, private fund)
2. iAccelerator, CIIE Ahmedabad (US$1.5 million, India, mixed fund)
3. Future Play (US$1.46 million, South Korea, private fund)
4. Chinaccelerator (US$1.32 million, China, private fund)
5. AIA Accelerator (US$1.2 million, Hong Kong, private fund)
6. GINSERV (US$1 million, India, public fund)
7. H2 Accelerator (US$900,000 Australia, private fund)
8. Innovyz (US$800,000, Australia, mixed fund)
9. TLabs (US$750,000, India, private fund)
10. Slingshot (US$700,000, Australia, private fund)

It is noticeable that Indian accelerator programmes in the list are funded through various sources, while even Australia only has one mixed-fund accelerator.

Generally, 30 per cent of accelerators in Asia and Oceania reported that they either received a mix of private and public funding or were 100 per cent publicly funded. The majority (65 per cent) reported that they are solely funded through private capital.

Also Read: Opening doors: Singapore’s Jewel Paymentech hopes Wells Fargo accelerator can be springboard to US

Asia and Oceania also have the highest percentage of for-profit enterprises in the world at 76 per cent (while the Middle East, on the other hand, have the highest percentage of non-profits at 51 per cent).

In terms of ‘hot markets’, accelerators reported interest to invest in the following markets for the next 12 months: Fintech (77 per cent), IoT (75 per cent), health (72 per cent), and education (66 per cent).

Exit of startups (43 per cent), corporate sponsorship (44 per cent), and corporate partnership (46 per cent) are top three short term solutions for accelerator to generate revenue. Exits are also a favourite for long term solution (63 per cent), closely followed by corporate partnership (50 per cent).

The report predicted that the relationship between accelerators and corporations will grow significantly as an increased number of corporations — both large and mid-sized — are looking to startups as a source of innovation to help improve operational efficiency.

Image Credit: Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

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