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In an interview with TechInAsiaPaulo Campos, the managing general partner at Kaya Founders, emphasizes that while ideas are valuable, executing these ideas effectively is the real key to success. He believes that founders are the vital component in this process, often determining the trajectory of a startup.

  • Kaya Founders and its Ambitions: Aspiring to be the first port of call for any founder with an idea, Kaya Founders has been investing in Southeast Asia, primarily the Philippines, for the past two years. The firm has recently closed the first round of its second fund, aiming to raise US$25 million.
  • Investment Vehicles in two parts:
    • The Zero to One fund, a US$5 million vehicle, invests US$150,000 checks at the idea, pre-revenue, or pre-product stage. Founders at this stage may not have even left their jobs, waiting for idea validation.
    • The flagship One to Ten fund invests US$250,000 to US$500,000 into each startup, with reserves for future rounds with startups that show traction.
  • Areas of Interest and Potential: Kaya Founders sees potential in both B2C and B2B sectors in the Philippines, with a keen interest in e-commerce startups, second-generation fintech, and climate-tech innovation. Campos forecasts the emergence of a global software-as-a-service and automation player from the Philippines, considering the nation’s BPO strength.

What sets Kaya Founders apart from other VC firms is the operational and ground support it provides. With the fundraising expected to close by the third quarter of this year, Campos identifies the Philippines as an emerging window of opportunity for investors, citing its large and young population, English-speaking digital population, BPO sector, and annual remittances.

Campos also acknowledges the need for more depth in its tech talent and capital markets but remains optimistic about the potential for mergers and acquisitions.

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