Coronavirus: Venture capital firms help laid-off start-up employees find new jobs

SINGAPORE – Venture capital (VC) firms across South-east Asia have launched a ‘community-led’ initiative to help start-up employees laid off due to the economic impact of coronavirus outbreak to find new opportunities.

The anchor of the initiative is a public database of affected employees who can opt to have their names, functions and contact details included in it. The database will be publicised on the social media platforms of the participating VC firms.

They include Saison Capital, FutureLabs, Jungle Ventures, Alpha JWC, Convergence Ventures, Patamar Capital, Rainmaking, TRIVE Ventures and Tribe Accelerator.

Interested applicants with at least one year of working experience can apply to have their names included on the database via a form found at www.SEAcosystem.com. Their application will be verified by one of the supporting VC firms before being listed on the database.

The database will also include a list of companies that are still hiring in the region.

The initiative is spearheaded by Chia Jeng Yang, principal at Saison Capital; Simin Liu, an analyst at FutureLabs Ventures; and Rachael De Foe, a freelance communications consultant.

They were inspired by a similar effort started by VC firms in the United States.

Said Joachim Vandaele, partner at FutureLabs Ventures: “Top talent is what makes or breaks ventures, so as an ecosystem, we have a collective interest and responsibility to keep the talent in South-east Asia. Customers come and go, financial capital flows in and out but human capital is what we need to hold onto.”

On Monday (March 30), the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said that it expects increasing job losses and fewer pay rises this year, as the economy heads into a deep recession.

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