Former Fave executives launch First Move, a startup fund in Southeast Asia

The fund, founded by Audra Pakalnyte and Joel Neoh provides essential pre-seed funding of up to $100,000 and valuable mentorship to early-stage ventures.

First Move
Joel Neoh (left) and Audra Pakalnyte

First Move, an early-stage fund led by former Fave executives Audra Pakalnyte and Joel Neoh, officially launched today, aiming to turbocharge the growth of consumer-centric startups in Southeast Asia.

The fund offers pre-seed funding of up to US$100,000, signaling a significant move to fuel innovation and reshape the consumer tech landscape in the region.

Pakalnyte, First Move Partner, commented, “With the vibrant ecosystem in Southeast Asia ripe for growth, we’re excited to support emerging entrepreneurs in creating the consumer-tech titans of tomorrow.”

Beyond financial support, First Move is committed to guiding founders through mentorship and providing access to an extensive network of industry connections. “We aim to leverage our experience to offer invaluable support during the early stages of our portfolio startups’ journeys, setting them up for long-term success,” added Pakalnyte.

Neoh, echoing his partner’s sentiments, emphasized the role of First Move in addressing the vital gap of early-stage support in the region. “As founders ourselves, we understand the unique challenges of startups and are committed to paying it forward by supporting other founders on their journey.”

First Move is also taking a collaborative approach by forming partnerships with other venture capital firms in the region. Among its first collaborators is 500 Global, a leading global venture capital firm. Khailee Ng, Managing Partner at 500 Global, lauded First Move’s launch and its emphasis on collaboration to foster the growth and success of regional startups.

In addition to direct funding, First Move has created the Consumer Tech Angel Syndicate, comprising experienced founders and executives who will co-invest in First Move deals and offer hands-on support to startups.

Pakalnyte and Neoh, seasoned entrepreneurs with a track record of building successful startups, bring their expertise to First Move, underlining the fund’s commitment to fostering entrepreneurial growth. The fund has already invested in a portfolio of seven startups across Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia in the e-commerce and D2C space.

First Move is actively inviting entrepreneurs with disruptive consumer-focused startups to submit their applications.