Understanding the different types of investors can be challenging; there is an overwhelming amount of information out there. Whether you are hoping to raise funds for tech startup companies or are trying to pick up some tricks of the trade, it can be tough to find helpful information.

Below is a list of the 5 types of investors that are definitely worth knowing about in this sea of information.

Venture capital firms

Venture capital (VC) firms are always looking for the next big hit. They aim to invest a chunk of money early in the startup process in exchange for ownership of part of the company. And once the company has grown to a certain point, they sell off their stake and look for the next investment. 

The early-stage startup scene in Malaysia is poised for growth according to Raymond Hor, Managing Director, Orbit Malaysia

VC funding in Southeast Asia is becoming increasingly popular and even vital in raising money for new companies, especially in Southeast Asia, as seen with recent investments from funds like Warburg Pincus, Japan’s Softbank Vision 1 Fund, General Atlantic or Dragoneer Investment group. They all injected money into Vietnam’s tech sector.

Funds can be provided at many growth stages but are released primarily at the beginning or during seed rounds. 

Accelerators and incubators

An accelerator program provides a mentor and student relationship between a group of mentors and a cohort of startup founders or entrepreneurs. The purpose is to help guide them with their wealth of experience and provide knowledge on business do’s and don’ts, especially in digital-based or technology-driven fields. 

One of the world’s first accelerator programs is the widely known Y combinator. It provides access to funding in exchange for a stake in the company and opens the door to  corporate networks and connections that help founders get the ball rolling. Since its foundation in 2005, some very well-known companies have come out of this program, including Twitch.tv, Doordash, Reddit and Coinbase. 

Thanks to the growth of Southeast Asia’s startup scene, there are now dozens of accelerator programs in the region, such as Accelerating Asia,  Corporate Accelerator in Malaysia and many others. Governments and universities in the region support some of these incubator programmes.

Government agencies

Lots of governments offer incentive programs or grants for companies and startups. This assistance can be a great way to secure some early funding for a startup idea. One place this has helped immensely is Vietnam. The government has put a significant emphasis on the tech sector and is encouraging digital growth, resulting in the establishment of over 3,000 startups in the country. As a result, their startup sector has become a considerable part of its economy and even brought about the minting of its own homegrown unicorn, VNG Corp. 

There are many different funds and grants available to the right candidates in each country. Finding the proper government support for a startup is country-specific. Still, there are many options out there, with each country in the region hoping to grow their digital offerings and encouraging startups to set up. When seeking support and funding opportunities, it is necessary to check locally on the government’s website for any available grants, services and tax breaks or incentives.

Retail investors

Retail investors are usually just an average person using a broker or some form of service to invest their money. Of course, the individual retail investor may not have as much funding to offer you as  a VC firm, but one way to overcome this is through crowdfunding. Crowdfunding can be a great source of financing if approached in the right way and is a great way to spread the word about your new startup. This method of raising money has increased in popularity over time and has become a pretty reputable way to gain the funds you need. The crowdfunding or crowd-investing segment has on average provided $127,466 USD of funding to startups in 2021.

Family office

A family office is a private firm that manages the wealth of ultra-high-net-worth individuals (HNWI). Because family offices tailor their services for the family or families they work with, the experience of working with them can vary immensely. However, these types of investors are usually looking for longer-term investments that will provide a steady income. This means that a startup that has gotten the ball rolling and just needs some consistent funding to get over a few hurdles may benefit from family offices investment.

There’s a massive variety in the types of investors out there, and with the recent influx of VC funding in Southeast Asia, it’s wise to have a good understanding of what each investor may be looking for and how they provide their financing.  As the financing landscape evolves in the region, knowing how to raise funds for tech startup companies and where to access investors will become more and more crucial.