SINGAPORE – Audra Pakalnyte and Joel Neoh, former executives of Fave, have launched an early-stage fund, First Move, dedicated to empowering consumer-focused startups across Southeast Asia.

Offering pre-seed funding of up to US$100,000, the fund is aimed at accelerating the success of consumer ventures and fueling innovation in the region.

“Southeast Asia is a vibrant epicenter for consumer technology innovation. At First Move, we are committed to being companions on the journey of emerging entrepreneurs and setting them up for long-term success,” said Pakalnyte, Partner at First Move.

First Move seeks to provide more than just capital to startups. The fund offers guidance, mentorship, and access to a wide network of industry connections to help entrepreneurs get on the right path. Partner Joel Neoh emphasized the fund’s mission to support early-stage companies in the region.

“Having embarked on my own entrepreneurial journey, I understand the importance of early-stage support. First Move is committed to paying it forward,” Neoh said.

First Move is already actively collaborating with other venture capital firms in the region, with 500 Global among its first backers.

The fund has also established the Consumer Tech Angel Syndicate, a group of experienced consumer space founders and executives from Southeast Asia who will co-invest in First Move deals and provide hands-on support to startups.

Joel Neoh, who is also the Managing Director of CircleDNA under leading healthtech company Prenetics, made his first angel investment in Prenetics back in 2014. Alongside him, Pakalnyte, an experienced founding team member of multiple successful startups, brings her unique expertise in assisting startups.

Currently, First Move’s portfolio consists of seven startups spanning Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia, focusing on the e-commerce and D2C sectors. The fund is actively investing and encourages entrepreneurs working on innovative consumer startups to submit their applications.