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Angel Investors in Asia

Nicholas J Cameron

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Angel investment in Asia is a significant source of capital raising for businesses. Investments by private high nett worth individuals represent a very high proportion of capital raising in Asia especially for early stage investment.

In many respects, it has been a traditional way of doing business in the region. For many centuries, Arab and Chinese traders were financed by wealthly merchants and guilds to take risks in establishing new trade routes and business across all of Asia and the Middle east. These networks of trade and finance were the foundation of business in Asia. Thesedays, it is a matter of very informal networking of friends, relatives and close associates that is a major source of small and medium scale investor funding.

Formal angel investment clubs of the style we see in Europe and the United States are not the norm in Asia. Angel investment clubs and associations are present in only a few countries in Asia. The networking side of business in much less formalised and this actually does create more of a challenge for entrepreneurs to raise capital in Asia. This is especially the case for new types of business which are appearing in Asia where the support network is less established. It is quite common to see entrepreneurs seeking funding travelling to Singapore from places such such as Vietnam, Thailand and from Bahrain, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to Dubai to meet angel investors.

In Dubai, there is the Arab Business Angels Network (ABAN) which is to provide early stage seed funding for businesses to develop in the MiddleEast and North Africa. In Singapore, there is the Business Angels Network SouthEast Asia (BANSEA) Both are highly recommended for those entrepreneurs seeking to raise capital for early stage investments.

If you are seeking funding, then you need to ensure that you are prepared with your investor presentation. Angel investor associations in Asia have demanding criteria for entrepreneurs that require submission of business plans prior to having any opportunity to present in front of potential investors.

As always, professional advice is recommended and there are workshops provided to entrepreneurs in Singapore and Dubai to assist those if making a better investment presentation. If you are seeking to raise capital through angel investor associations then invest the time and resources to meet with angel investors is worth the effort, even if you may not obtain finance the process can certainly improve your business plan.

If you are prospecting for an investor consider as a good starting place to find potential investors in Asia.


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