Siemer Ventures and Golden Gate Ventures Lead Investment in Ayannah


ayannah_tnManila, Philippines (19 June 2013). Ayannah, a leading provider of mobile commerce and payments services to the unbanked in emerging markets and migrants in OECD countries received additional funding from investors led by early-stage technology and new media venture firms, Los Angeles-based Siemer Ventures and Singapore- and San Francisco-based Golden Gate Ventures. US, Russia, and Philippine-based angel investors and family offices also participated in the equity financing round.

Ayannah has launched two flagship services, Sendah, which addresses the large underserved market of migrants working in rich countries and Sendah Direct which caters to the large underserved market of the unbanked in emerging markets.  Sendah is initially addressing the 10 million migrant Filipinos all over the world, and with Sendah Direct, the 70 million unbanked Filipinos […]

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Golden Gate Ventures announces initial investments into TradeGecko, RedMart, and Coda Payments

SINGAPORE – 18 December 2012 – Golden Gate Ventures, an early stage technology seed fund focused on Southeast Asia, today announced its first three investments into TradeGecko, RedMart and Coda Payments. Golden Gate Venture’s portfolio now spans start-ups supporting the growth of e-commerce across Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

The investments realize Golden Gate Venture’s ambition to position itself as a South East Asia specialist, operating from a regional hub in Singapore and with strong links to Silicon Valley.

Vinnie Lauria, Founding Partner at Golden Gate Venture, said: “We selected these investees for two reasons. First, for their strength as high-growth start-ups that are already impacting regional buying and selling behaviours positively and expanding e-commerce in Asia. Second, because they plug us into a market of more than half a billion people. Southeast Asia sees 650,000 new internet users come online each month. Smart mobile devices are the future in this part of the world and our portfolio puts us right at the heart of the mobile space.”

Golden Gate Venture’s investment decisions are based on more than a year spent researching the region, meeting start-ups and hosting events across a dozen cities. In that time, Golden Gate Venture’s team has met with over 400 teams, built a community of over 1,800 talented individuals and logged over 500,000 kilometers, sometimes covering 3 countries in the same week. The research has given Golden Gate Venture an unrivalled picture of grassroots market opportunities and challenges across South East Asia.

Paul Bragiel, Founding Partner at Golden Gate Venture, said: “While e-commerce is a strong thread through our first investments, it is only a starting point. We are actively looking across content sites, apps, and B2C services and we are looking in places that other funds are not represented. Many people I talk with in the valley think Asia is just China and India but we see a huge booming market across the region. We are really excited to be at the heart of it.”

Each of Golden Gate Venture’s new investee start-ups rides a wave of change in South East Asia. Coda Payments serves the rapidly expanding universe of online properties that seek to charge their users for content and services. TradeGecko solves as a chronic problem for regional wholesalers who want to connect better with their customers. RedMart enables internet users to buy everyday home essentials online.

While western markets continue to stay flat, Southeast Asia is booming, with some countries seeing double digit GDP growth. Golden Gate Venture has seen a big bump since 2011 in the number of new entrepreneurs pitching quality startups, and expects that trend to continue through 2013. Golden Gate Venture has an aggressive outlook for 2013, with plans for more than 10 investments in the coming year.

Jeffrey Paine, Founding Partner at Golden Gate Venture, said: “With so much activity in the region, I find myself hustling 24×7, and I love it.  I’m meeting inspiring entrepreneurs every day and that gives me the energy to keep moving forward.  Southeast Asia is brimming with smart, talented, and self-driven entrepreneurs. Mix that with double digit growth in the region and the stage looks set for us to create a number of breakout successes over the next few years.  It reminds me of what China was in the early 2000’s. It seems quite fortuitous that we launched our fund in the Year of the Dragon!”

About the companies

TradeGecko Pte Ltd
TradeGecko was founded by three entrepreneurs from New Zealand in January 2012. It makes Inventory and Sales management easy for small- and medium-sized businesses. TradeGecko was selected for, and accelerated through, the JFDI-Innov8 2012 Bootcamp program, where its team received intensive mentoring and the business attracted substantial investor interest.

RedMart.com is a Singapore based online grocer that delivers everyday essentials, such as diapers, rice, soda, and bottled water to busy consumers. RedMart is backed by well-respected investors and advisors, such as Golden Gate Ventures, Toivo Annus (Skype Co-founder), Jason Ackerman (Co-founder and CEO of online grocer in US), Boon Ling Yee (Singaporean, former Commercial Director of Tesco China), and Anne-Ev Juette-Enzmann (former Marketing Strategy Director at Tesco Thailand).

Coda Payments
Coda Payments offers a convenient way for customers to make purchases online using their pre- or post-paid mobile accounts, while helping mobile operators manage a sophisticated margin differentiation program that allows them to better monetize their direct billing capabilities. Coda is active in Indonesia and Malaysia, and headquartered in Singapore.

Golden Gate Ventures and JFDI.Asia form alliance

SINGAPORE— Golden Gate Ventures and JFDI.Asia today announced a new strategic alliance that could offer early-stage digital start-up companies a seamless transition from idea to substantial pre-series A funding. Key to that journey is intensive mentoring that accelerates the journey to market traction.

Applications now open for JFDI’s 2nd bootcamp (Feb 2013)!  

Apply before Dec 24th

With immediate effect, Golden Gate Ventures co-founders Vinnie Lauria, Jeff Paine and Paul Bragiel join JFDI.Asia’s “bootcamp” accelerator program as mentors. Start-ups they nominate and which show sufficient traction through the bootcamp will be fast-tracked to follow-on funding up to $600k.

Paul Bragiel mentors Singapore entrepreneurs Thomas Tan and Huang Yanying

Paul Bragiel mentors Singapore entrepreneurs Thomas Tan and Huang Yanying during the JFDI-Innov8 2012 Bootcamp

Vinnie Lauria, co-founder and mentor at Golden Gate Ventures said: “The next billion people are coming online in our region. It’s a huge opportunity and an equally huge pool of talent in the region is set to make the most of it. Golden Gate Ventures’ links to later stage investors and Silicon Valley can add most value once start-ups launch products and prove market traction. JFDI.Asia really proved itself earlier this year and working even closer together is the best way our two firms can help the ecosystem.”

Golden Gate Ventures will continue to fund start-ups that have already launched and shown traction, independent of the bootcamp. However, Golden Gate Ventures and JFDI.Asia have agreed to share their respective pipeline of pre-launch companies, working together to identify businesses that could benefit from a boost before their first major cash injection. Support from both teams of mentors will substantially increase startups chances of success.

Singapore entrepreneur Adrian Tan seeks advice from Vinnie Lauria at the JFDI-Innov8 2012 Bootcamp

Singapore Entrepreneur Adrian Tan seeks advice from Vinnie Lauria at the JFDI-Innov8 2012 Bootcamp

Hugh Mason, co-founder and CEO at JFDI.Asia said: “Vinnie was amongst the most popular and valued mentors on the bootcamp we operated earlier this year. Jeff and Paul also both have great reputations for sharing their know-how. We hope that this will be the first of several alliances with key partners across the region who share our ambition to support the coming generation of digital success stories across Asia, for Asia.”

Golden Gate Ventures operates a seed investment program for digital start-up companies that have already launched a product and achieved market traction. With offices in Singapore and San Francisco, Golden Gate Ventures brings access to regional and international mentors, invitations to networking events across the region, and access to an active investor network across Silicon Valley and Asia. Since March 2012, Golden Gate Ventures has been accredited as a Technology Incubation Scheme (TIS) incubator by Singapore’s National Research Foundation.

Hugh Mason said: “Bootcamp participants run their own companies, so they are free to accept investment from anyone at any time. Most of the 2012 batch who have got funded were in discussion with more than one investor, so we encouraged them to wait until after Demo Day in order to be able to compare offers.

“A key point is that investment in early stage businesses is about a lot more than money. If you ask most entrepreneurs who have had a successful relationship with a business Angel about the experience, they will tell you that the cash was the least valuable element of the relationship. In retrospect, they realize, if they had had the balls they could probably have borrowed the money or got it from many other places. The real value in an early-stage investor relationship is frequently the advice, connections and support that the investor gives.

“The reason that many of our mentors give up their time to add so much value is because it gives them and our start-ups time to get to know each other. Golden Gate quite literally bridges Silicon Valley and Asia. Startups working with Vinnie and his colleagues as mentors see the value of that at first hand and make their own judgement on how it could help their future.”