Velocity Ventures launches sector-specific fund to help startups through COVID-19

Mar 8, 2021 | News, Press Release

Helping Travel & Hospitality businesses in Singapore and Southeast Asia digitalise and return to growth
through the COVID-19 pandemic with USD20million fund.

SINGAPORE, 4 DECEMBER, 2020 – Velocity Ventures, a Travel & Hospitality-focused Venture Capital (VC) based in Singapore, is launching a new sector-specific VC fund, the first of its kind in Southeast Asia. The fund will focus on 2 key investment themes that are emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic – Innovation & Opportunity.

In the Innovation space, the Fund aims to grow early stage, tech-enabled start-ups within Southeast Asia, from Seed to Series A, that will enable the transformation and rapid digitalisation of the sector post-COVID. On the Opportunity front, the Fund seeks to help growth stage start-ups (Series A & above) and SMEs primarily located in Singapore, to return to growth post-COVID by facilitating pivots, financial restructuring or the creation and adoption of new technology. Another unique feature of the Fund is its Corporate Partnerships, which partners renowned corporations in the Travel & Hospitality sector to provide mentoring and piloting opportunities for our portfolio companies.

Velocity Ventures also works closely with accelerators as part of their community engagement efforts, such as Singapore Tourism Accelerator by Singapore Tourism Board (STB), Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and Plug and Play APAC.

Velocity Ventures is founded by A. Patrick Imbardelli, ex-CEO of the Pan Pacific Hotels and InterContinental Hotels Group (APAC), and Nicholas Cocks, a successful entrepreneur turned professional investor, and they bring relevant travel and hospitality expertise to the Fund.

“The current structural change in consumer behaviour is a game changer as it will not only create new forms of opportunities within the Travel & Hospitality sector but will also drive the sector to develop transformative tech-driven solutions – which has largely been lacking in the industry.” says Patrick Imbardelli, as he explains how the industry will make a comeback despite the ongoing pandemic.

The firm anticipates that the Travel & Hospitality sector will take up to 3 years to recover. Some sub-sectors such as food and beverage are already in the recovery phase while others, such as air and business travel, will take longer. The varied recovery profile provides the firm with unique widows in which to deploy the fund. With the macro trends of globalisation and urbanisation, and accelerated digitalisation driving the sector, the firm expects a full recovery to pre-COVID levels of 5.5% growth within the duration of the fund.

Speaking on how Velocity Ventures will differentiate itself, Nicholas Cocks said “our portfolio companies will benefit from far more than just financial investment. We employ our industry expertise, corporate partners, panel of advisors and deep networks within the Travel & Hospitality sector to help these companies successfully grow and scale their brands, products and services across the region. COVID-19 is resulting in a complete industry reset and will accelerate consolidation, rapid digital adoption and new business models, all of which provides an unprecedented opportunity for founders and our fund.”