Grab, the regional superapp unicorn, announced recently that its venture building and investment arm, Grab Ventures Velocity (GVV), which is a scale-up program focusing on post-seed startups’ development to help them scale and expand across Southeast Asia, is now accepting new applicants across the region for its third cohort of Grab Ventures Velocity Batch 3. GVV’s third iteration of its startup accelerator program will provide its curated startups the ability to leverage on Grab’s extensive ecosystem for mentorship, pilot market access and capability development opportunities.
Grab Ventures Velocity Batch 3 is a strategic joint collaboration with Indonesia’s BRI Ventures, which is a corporate venture capital initiative supported by Bank Rakyat Indonesia, the country’s oldest and one of its largest banks. Other partners for the third batch of GVV include CoHive, Indonesia’s largest office and coworking space provider, and DailySocial.id, Indonesia’s leading tech portal that focuses on the news coverage of social media, gadgets, startups and future technology.
For the third batch of its regional startup accelerator program, GVV will debut the program around the concept of “Enabling Micro Entrepreneurs”. This year’s theme will revolve around two entirely new premises: Business-to-business logistics and value-added services for restaurant businesses. The B2B logistics premise will focus specifically on startups that are innovating solutions and products in the trucking and warehousing space that have demonstrated the capability of disruption in the logistics industry. Meanwhile, the value-added services for restaurant businesses track will seek active engagement with startups that offer innovative and practical digital solutions for small and medium-sized restaurant enterprises to lower costs, improve performance, streamline business operations and stimulate the growth of their business,
GVV will look to admit eight to ten startups for its third batch, with applications closing at the end of March 2020. Each startup will be evaluated in a comprehensive manner based on a wide ranging set of criteria, including tech capabilities, growth potential, culture fit and synergy, and market traction.
The partnerships by GVV with the various Indonesian entities is a part of Grab Ventures’ dedicated effort under its ‘Grab 4 Indonesia 2020 Master Plan’ to make investments of US$250 million in the country’s startup ecosystem. The aim of the initiative is to provide capital and support to the nation’s goal of becoming the leading digital economy for the region of Southeast Asia by the year 2020. Towards this end, both BRI Ventures and Grab Ventures have established a strategic partnership with the aim of developing joint collaborations that unite both BRI and Grab’s ecosystems for the betterment and advancement of Indonesia’s burgeoning startup community.
Chris Yeo, chief executive officer of Grab Ventures Velocity, said that the unicorn company’s main investment criteria has always been about a startup’s business model, though other important criteria such as its profitability model and strong revenue stream also matter. Other than that, the second criteria that Grab looks for in startups is their capability to synergize with the superapp company. Even though profitability is a significant factor, Yeo maintains that Grab’s main investment criteria from the very beginning has always been about a startup’s business model.