Fundraising – Seed Round

In the dynamic landscape of Southeast Asia (SEA), early-stage technology companies are increasingly pivotal in driving innovation and economic growth. Fundraising, particularly at the Seed round, plays a crucial role in propelling start-ups towards success. However, the journey of securing capital from venture capital (VC) firms is fraught with both challenges and opportunities unique to our region.

Challenges in Seed Round Fundraising

  1. Market Diversity: SEA comprises a mosaic of countries, each with distinct cultures, languages, and regulatory environments. This diversity, while enriching, presents a significant challenge for start-ups looking to appeal to a broad range of investors. Understanding and navigating these varied markets requires not only localised strategies but also the ability to communicate this versatility to potential investors.


  2. Investor Conservatism: Many investors in SEA are traditionally risk-averse, often preferring ventures with proven business models. This conservatism can be a hurdle for technology companies that are inherently innovative and disruptive. Seed-stage companies must thus be adept at not only showcasing their potential for growth but also at alleviating risk concerns.


  3. Competition for Funding: The burgeoning start-up ecosystem in SEA has led to increased competition for funding. Start-ups must differentiate themselves in a crowded market, often vying for the attention of a limited pool of seasoned investors who can offer both capital and strategic mentorship with support from companies like Salamander Advisory Services.


  4. Limited Local Funding Sources: While our SEA region is experiencing a growth in local VC firms, the availability of funding sources is still limited compared to markets like the U.S. or Europe. This scarcity demands that start-ups be more strategic and impactful in their fundraising efforts.

Opportunities in Seed Round Fundraising

  1. Rising Interest from Global Investors: The SEA region is gaining increasing attention from international investors. This interest provides a fertile ground for start-ups to tap into a more diverse funding pool, including foreign VC firms that bring not only capital but also global perspectives and networks.


  2. Growing Digital Economy: With a rapidly expanding digital economy and a young, tech-savvy population, SEA offers a vast market potential for technology companies. Start-ups that can effectively leverage and cater to this digital landscape can present compelling cases to investors.


  3. Government Support and Initiatives: Several SEA governments are actively fostering start-up ecosystems through incentives, grants, and support programs. Leveraging these resources can provide start-ups with an added advantage in their early stages, making them more attractive to VC firms.


  4. Success Stories and Ecosystem Development: Our region has seen several success stories in recent years, such as Grab and Gojek. These successes have not only boosted investor confidence in the region but have also contributed to a more mature and supportive ecosystem for start-ups.

Strategies for Effective Fundraising

  • Tailored Pitching: Customise pitches to reflect an understanding of the diverse SEA market and the specific interests of each VC firm.
  • Building Relationships: Establish strong relationships with potential investors, focusing on long-term partnerships rather than short-term gains.
  • Demonstrating Scalability and Adaptability: Clearly articulate the start-up’s growth strategy and its ability to adapt to different markets and challenges.
  • Utilising Local Networks and Resources: Engage with local accelerators, incubators, and networking events to build a robust support system.


Fundraising in the SEA region presents a unique blend of challenges and opportunities for Seed round technology companies. Partnering with companies like Salamander Advisory Services can help a Seed round company formulate its pitch deck, teaser, and narrative to prepare for discussions with VC firms.  Due diligence is extensive and preparing financials, setting up a data room can also be daunting but another area where expert support can help. Understanding which VC fund is most receptive to your offer can reduce the time to funding which today takes longer due to the adverse financial climate. Talk to us if you think we can help.