Ecosystem Roundup: A new seed fund for Vietnam + a new SPAC for SEA

SoftBank Group Chairman Masayoshi Son

SoftBank Group Chairman Masayoshi Son

500 Startups Vietnam’s general partners Binh Tran and Eddie Thai launch new seed fund Ascend Vietnam Ventures (AVV); AVV will invest US$500K to US$2M into 25 startups over the next three years; A third of those companies will receive follow-on investment of up to US$4mn each.

Emtek Group buys minority stake in Grab’s Indonesia unit in sign of deepening alliance; This transaction follows Grab’s acquisition of a 4.6% stake in Emtek for US$635mn in March; According to sources, Emtek is interested in buying Tokopedia’s stake in payments firm OVO.

Following the GoTo merger, should Grab buy an e-commerce marketplace?; If Grab is indeed eyeing a merger or an acquisition, then ecommerce unicorn Bukalapak is a potential candidate; This rumor was fueled by Grab’s recent alliance with Indonesian conglomerate Emtek, which backs Bukalapak and e-wallet Dana.

Singapore’s 8i Capital files to raise US$50mn for second Asia-focused SPAC; In a filing, 8i said it will pursue prospective targets in Asia, particularly businesses with enterprise value of between US$100mn and US$500mn that are preferably already cash-generative.

GoTo’s targeting US$40bn IPO valuation — is it the price of future growth?; Food delivery and financial services will likely be the most promising businesses for GoTo; By pursuing an IPO, GoTo will be looking for ammunition to compete with Grab and Sea; But the biggest challenge right now is timing.

Singapore’s drug discovery company Engine Biosciences secures US$42mn; Investors include Polaris Partner (lead), EDBI, Baidu Ventures, Vectr Ventures; Engine will use the newly raised capital to expand its portfolio of precision oncology therapeutics, prepare for its first clinical programmes, and scale its tech platform.

Indonesia’s HR and finance management startup Mekari acquires Qontak; Qontak is startup that provides CRM and omnichannel communications platforms; It aims to strengthen Mekari’s end-to-end offering for SMEs in IndonesiaThis acquisition follows Mekari’s US$21mn Series D led by Money Forward in April.

WeedHub tells you where you can source good quality cannabis from, legally!; WeedHub is an online directory for cannabis, which targets anyone who has smoked and/or consumed alcohol before; The startup plans to launch WeedHubX Accelerator in Bangkok, WeedHub Festival/PopUp Market, and its own end-to-end e-commerce platform.

Philippine mobile healthcare and medical last-mile logistics startup zennya nets US$1.2mn; Lead investors are Foxmont Capital Partners, Ignite House of Innovation, and DayOne Capital Ventures; zennya has created a virtual hospital ecosystem through integration of diagnostic laboratories, health maintenance organisations, and pharmaceuticals, wth a delivery network of doctors, nurses, therapists, motorcycle drivers, cars, and ambulances.

Philippine startup Fortuna Cools attracts funding for its eco-friendly coolers made from coconut; Lead investors are ADB Ventures and Katapult Ocean Fund; Its first product is Fortuna Coconut Cooler, which is available Philippines as a B2B product, is for fresh food packaging and the transport of perishable goods; It will soon launch its second product, Nutshell Cooler, as an eco-conscious consumer product in key international markets.

B2B marketplace for industrial hardware and supplies Eezee raises pre-Series A; Investors include Wavemaker (lead), January Capital, and Insignia Ventures; Eezee has secured a government contract to enable Singapore’s 400K civil servants to procure items directly from its platform.

Temasek invests in Forge to help grow its private securities marketplace beyond US; Forge is a marketplace for private equity, giving private and institutional investors access to top pre-IPO companies; Since inception, Forge claims to have completed more than US$9bn in transactions in nearly 400 private companies.

Indonesian crypto exchange Pintu raises funding; Lead investors are Pantera Capital (lead), Intudo Ventures, and Coinbase Ventures; Pintu is a mobile-first platform in the archipelago offering UI/UX simplicity, security, and education for the majority of Indonesians who are mostly buying cryptoassets for the first time.

Singapore’s social fantasy sports app TrophyRoom closes bridge funding; Investors are Maxify and Nest Tech and angels; A free-to-play game, TrophyRoom is taking the best parts of fantasy football, shaving off the complexities, focusing more on the thrill of the live matches and putting a card game as the cherry on top; The startup is taking steady aim at the exploding Indian fantasy sports market later this year.

US-based chat-commerce startup Yalo raises US$50mn led by B Capital; The funding will be used to expand its services to emerging markets like Southeast Asia; Yalo is building tools for businesses to use messaging apps as part of their customer outreach and sales strategies; The startup has raised US$75mn to date.

How SoftBank taught the market to love loss-making startups; With blockbuster listings of his risky bets on Asia, Masayoshi Son has defied critics who have said that his aggressive gambles on cash-burning startups would not be embraced by public market investors; Ahead, a slew of potentially lucrative initial public offerings are slated for 2021.

Real-time digital payments volume surges 48% in Singapore; In 2020, total real-time transactions reached 138.38mn, up a staggering 48% from 93.24mn in 2019, while the value of real-time transactions surged 40%, jumping from US$110bn in 2019 to US$154bn, says a 2021 Prime-Time for Real Time report.

Axiata Digital’s fintech holding arm acquires 68.75% stake in Indonesian P2P lender KIMO’s parent; KIMO will be a key growth engine for Boost Holdings to widen its reach to the underserved micro and small enterprises regionally; Boost disbursed over US$50mn via its micro financing and micro-insurance service provider Aspirasi to benefit 9K+ unique micro-enterprises in the last year alone.

Foodtech startup ChickP expanding into APAC with the launch of a new office in Singapore; The strategic move is in response to the rapidly growing demand for plant-based products in the region; ChickP has also appointed Moy Teo as its BD Director for Asia; ChickP has developed a neutral-taste chickpea protein isolates that are both nutritious and functional.

How to build a CX business case for your CFO; In a post-pandemic landscape, businesses are going to be expected to make more of an impact with fewer resources; CFOs need to be hyper-selective with investments moving forward, and in most cases, ROI is the only conversation that truly matters.

The post Ecosystem Roundup: A new seed fund for Vietnam + a new SPAC for SEA appeared first on e27.

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SoftBank Group Chairman Masayoshi Son

SoftBank Group Chairman Masayoshi Son

500 Startups Vietnam’s general partners Binh Tran and Eddie Thai launch new seed fund Ascend Vietnam Ventures (AVV); AVV will invest US$500K to US$2M into 25 startups over the next three years; A third of those companies will receive follow-on investment of up to US$4mn each.

Emtek Group buys minority stake in Grab’s Indonesia unit in sign of deepening alliance; This transaction follows Grab’s acquisition of a 4.6% stake in Emtek for US$635mn in March; According to sources, Emtek is interested in buying Tokopedia’s stake in payments firm OVO.

Following the GoTo merger, should Grab buy an e-commerce marketplace?; If Grab is indeed eyeing a merger or an acquisition, then ecommerce unicorn Bukalapak is a potential candidate; This rumor was fueled by Grab’s recent alliance with Indonesian conglomerate Emtek, which backs Bukalapak and e-wallet Dana.

Singapore’s 8i Capital files to raise US$50mn for second Asia-focused SPAC; In a filing, 8i said it will pursue prospective targets in Asia, particularly businesses with enterprise value of between US$100mn and US$500mn that are preferably already cash-generative.

GoTo’s targeting US$40bn IPO valuation — is it the price of future growth?; Food delivery and financial services will likely be the most promising businesses for GoTo; By pursuing an IPO, GoTo will be looking for ammunition to compete with Grab and Sea; But the biggest challenge right now is timing.

Singapore’s drug discovery company Engine Biosciences secures US$42mn; Investors include Polaris Partner (lead), EDBI, Baidu Ventures, Vectr Ventures; Engine will use the newly raised capital to expand its portfolio of precision oncology therapeutics, prepare for its first clinical programmes, and scale its tech platform.

Indonesia’s HR and finance management startup Mekari acquires Qontak; Qontak is startup that provides CRM and omnichannel communications platforms; It aims to strengthen Mekari’s end-to-end offering for SMEs in IndonesiaThis acquisition follows Mekari’s US$21mn Series D led by Money Forward in April.

WeedHub tells you where you can source good quality cannabis from, legally!; WeedHub is an online directory for cannabis, which targets anyone who has smoked and/or consumed alcohol before; The startup plans to launch WeedHubX Accelerator in Bangkok, WeedHub Festival/PopUp Market, and its own end-to-end e-commerce platform.

Philippine mobile healthcare and medical last-mile logistics startup zennya nets US$1.2mn; Lead investors are Foxmont Capital Partners, Ignite House of Innovation, and DayOne Capital Ventures; zennya has created a virtual hospital ecosystem through integration of diagnostic laboratories, health maintenance organisations, and pharmaceuticals, wth a delivery network of doctors, nurses, therapists, motorcycle drivers, cars, and ambulances.

Philippine startup Fortuna Cools attracts funding for its eco-friendly coolers made from coconut; Lead investors are ADB Ventures and Katapult Ocean Fund; Its first product is Fortuna Coconut Cooler, which is available Philippines as a B2B product, is for fresh food packaging and the transport of perishable goods; It will soon launch its second product, Nutshell Cooler, as an eco-conscious consumer product in key international markets.

B2B marketplace for industrial hardware and supplies Eezee raises pre-Series A; Investors include Wavemaker (lead), January Capital, and Insignia Ventures; Eezee has secured a government contract to enable Singapore’s 400K civil servants to procure items directly from its platform.

Temasek invests in Forge to help grow its private securities marketplace beyond US; Forge is a marketplace for private equity, giving private and institutional investors access to top pre-IPO companies; Since inception, Forge claims to have completed more than US$9bn in transactions in nearly 400 private companies.

Indonesian crypto exchange Pintu raises funding; Lead investors are Pantera Capital (lead), Intudo Ventures, and Coinbase Ventures; Pintu is a mobile-first platform in the archipelago offering UI/UX simplicity, security, and education for the majority of Indonesians who are mostly buying cryptoassets for the first time.

Singapore’s social fantasy sports app TrophyRoom closes bridge funding; Investors are Maxify and Nest Tech and angels; A free-to-play game, TrophyRoom is taking the best parts of fantasy football, shaving off the complexities, focusing more on the thrill of the live matches and putting a card game as the cherry on top; The startup is taking steady aim at the exploding Indian fantasy sports market later this year.

US-based chat-commerce startup Yalo raises US$50mn led by B Capital; The funding will be used to expand its services to emerging markets like Southeast Asia; Yalo is building tools for businesses to use messaging apps as part of their customer outreach and sales strategies; The startup has raised US$75mn to date.

How SoftBank taught the market to love loss-making startups; With blockbuster listings of his risky bets on Asia, Masayoshi Son has defied critics who have said that his aggressive gambles on cash-burning startups would not be embraced by public market investors; Ahead, a slew of potentially lucrative initial public offerings are slated for 2021.

Real-time digital payments volume surges 48% in Singapore; In 2020, total real-time transactions reached 138.38mn, up a staggering 48% from 93.24mn in 2019, while the value of real-time transactions surged 40%, jumping from US$110bn in 2019 to US$154bn, says a 2021 Prime-Time for Real Time report.

Axiata Digital’s fintech holding arm acquires 68.75% stake in Indonesian P2P lender KIMO’s parent; KIMO will be a key growth engine for Boost Holdings to widen its reach to the underserved micro and small enterprises regionally; Boost disbursed over US$50mn via its micro financing and micro-insurance service provider Aspirasi to benefit 9K+ unique micro-enterprises in the last year alone.

Foodtech startup ChickP expanding into APAC with the launch of a new office in Singapore; The strategic move is in response to the rapidly growing demand for plant-based products in the region; ChickP has also appointed Moy Teo as its BD Director for Asia; ChickP has developed a neutral-taste chickpea protein isolates that are both nutritious and functional.

How to build a CX business case for your CFO; In a post-pandemic landscape, businesses are going to be expected to make more of an impact with fewer resources; CFOs need to be hyper-selective with investments moving forward, and in most cases, ROI is the only conversation that truly matters.

The post Ecosystem Roundup: A new seed fund for Vietnam + a new SPAC for SEA appeared first on e27.

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