appworks, startup accelerator
Source: AppWorks

Taiwan-based AppWorks has fostered 395 active startups and is one of the top startup accelerators in greater Southeast Asia (ASEAN+TW).

The community was built in 2009 “by founders, for founders,” seeking to bring regional tech startups to the forefront of a digitalized era.

A one-stop-shop for startups to grow

The programs provided at AppWorks support startups throughout seed-stage venturing (accelerator), growth-stage financing (funds) alongside nurturing quality talents (school).

So far, 92% of the graduates have subsequently landed in prominent tech companies, such as 91APP, KKBOX, PicCollage and HaHow, with a median starting salary of US $25,060.

A myriad of startups as well as 1,331 founders across Taiwan and Southeast Asia have been part of the AppWorks ecosystem over the past ten years, some profoundly successful examples are KKday, ShopBack, Omnichat, CakeResume and Authme.

And the list goes on.

Up to date, a total of US$ 8 billion economic value is produced, equivalent to 0.7% of Indonesia’s GDP. More than 17,000 jobs are created, which is equal to 0.3% of Singapore’s working population.

Taiwan is a startup hub in Asia

Undeniably, AppWorks has made headway in establishing Taiwan as the technology epicenter of Greater Southeast Asia.

Statistics in 2019 show 85.6% of the Taiwanese population are using the Internet and the prevalence of English usage among the young to middle-aged adults contributes to making Taiwan a startup hub in Asia.

In 2020, AppWorks narrowed down to supporting startups in AI, Blockchain and Southeast Asia.

Despite the pandemic crisis, AppWorks was able to venture off 51 new startups last year with more than 62% of the entrepreneurs hailed from locations across Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Indonesia.

One of the largest early-stage venture capital funds in Greater Southeast Asia

AppWorks Funds outperforms the world’s top quartile of venture capital and private equity funds, generating 2.5x TVPI, 1x DPI, and 26.5% IRR.

The community has three venture capital funds, totaling US$176M AUM with investments in 56 startups.

In 2020 alone, nine new investments were made to startups including WeMo Scooter, the leading shared electric scooter operator, and Dcard a reddit-like social media platform that is widely popular among youths. Both of which are located in Taiwan.

AppWorks Chairman Jamie Lin says there can be at least ten more AppWorks in Taiwan and Southeast Asia and will continue dedicating to creating a “venture investment ecosystem.”

Looking into the next ten years “AppWorks’ goal is to continue positioning Greater Southeast Asia at the forefront of an increasingly digitalized, automated, and decentralized 21st century,” he says.