Ecosystem Roundup: Carsome becomes Malaysia’s first unicorn

Carsome buys 19.9% stake in ASX-listed iCar Asia from Catcha Group; Together with Catcha, Carsome made a joint proposal to acquire the remaining 80.1% of iCar from its shareholders; The total transaction is estimated to be worth more than US$200M; With this deal, Carsome became the first unicorn startup in Malaysia.

Nium adds US$78M more into its kitty from Vertex Growth, others: report; This funding round comes close on the heels of its acquisition of the India unit from the scandal-hit German fintech giant Wirecard; To date, the company has raised over US$170 million across several rounds of financing.

Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures leads Singapore wealthtech startup Syfe’s US$30M Series B; Other backers are Presight Capital and Unbound; This takes Syfe’s total capital raised to date to US$52.6M; The fresh funds will be used to expand into new markets in Asia, invest in top talent, and develop new products and services.

Bambu acquires Tradesocio to scale its B2B wealthtech offerings, in talks to raise Series C; Tradesocio’s presence across EMEA and India is set to grow Bambu’s reach in a rapidly expanding and evolving global digital wealth market; Bambu provides digital wealth technology for B2B businesses across the globe; It had previously raised US$20M Series A, led by Franklin Templeton Investments.

Next Gen adds US$20M more to its war chest to take its plant-based chicken brand TiNDLE to US; Investors include Temasek, K3 Ventures, GGV Capital, Bits x Bites, and Dele Alli; A portion of the capital will also be used for the continued international expansion in APAC and the Middle East; The roadmap for the next one to two years includes raising Series A funding, product diversification, and continued international expansion, notably into Europe.

Indies Capital makes first close of Fund II to target late-stage tech firms in SEA; Targeted at US$80M, Fund II received support from Indies’s existing investor base, with the first closing achieving commitments totalling more than 70% of the target fund size; It will invest into sector-leading technology companies that have an established growth trajectory and clear visibility of profitability or exit.

Tinvio raises US$12M Series A to help SMEs manage their trade accounts through chat; Investors include AppWorks Ventures and MUFG Innovation Partners; The startup aims to help small and mid-sized business owners keep track of their orders, accounts, and receivables through a chat-led interface; As of now, the company claims to have grown 4x more to 5,000 activated users on the platform since its launch.

Indonesian SaaS tax compliance solutions firm OnlinePajak bags US$12M; Investors include Tencent, Altos Ventures, and Warburg Pincus; It brings the company’s valuation to nearly US$170M; OnlinePajak had raised US$25M Series B in Oct 2018; The startup claims that its corporate customers can cut down time spent on administration from an avg. of 208 hours down to only 5 hours.

Nas Academy raises US$11M to help creators make a sustainable living; Investors include Lightspeed (lead), TechAviv Founder Partners, and 500 Startups; Unlike other edutech platforms, Nas Academy supports creators with curriculum development, marketing, and community management; In just over a year, Nas Academy claims to have helped creators generate millions of revenue and teach students from 110 countries.

edamama, an e-commerce platform for moms in Philippines, raises US$5M; Investors are Gentree Fund, Robinsons Retail, Globe Telecom’s subsidiary Kickstart Ventures and Foxmont Capital Partners; edamama aims to address the issue of quality and other challenges such as channel fragmentation, non-established brand trust, the lack of a discovery-led buying experience, and poor customer service.

Vara secures US$4.8M to provide easy workforce management solutions for SMEs; Investors include Go Ventures, RTP Global, Alpha JWC Ventures, Sequoia Capital India’s Surge, FEBE Ventures, and Taurus Ventures; Vara’s product, Bukugaji, is geared towards the Indonesian market and claims to have serviced the staff management needs of over 100K small firms.

V-Flow’s recyclable energy solution with an expected lifespan of 25 yrs seeks to replace Li Ion batteries; V-Flow’s VRF batteries are ideal for micro-grid applications, grid balancing applications, and EV charging, claims CEO Dr Avishek Kumar; He says existing battery technologies like lead-acid and lithium-ion are not suitable for long-duration energy storage as they suffer from performance degradation and thermal run-away.

Taiwan’s Hive Ventures looks to invest more in SEA after second fund launch next year; Within SEA, the VC firm is currently researching the Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia markets; Hive will join other Taiwanese VC firms such as AppWorks and Ace Capital that already target SEA.

Professional employment organisation platform Multiplier raises US$4M; Investors are Sequoia India Surge (lead), Golden Gate Ventures, MS&AD Ventures, Picus Capital and angels; Multiplier provides integrated solutions that allow companies to hire talent from anywhere in the world, efficiently, with all compliance taken care of.

Malaysian VC Vynn Capital invests in HK-based trade finance company Velotrade; With this partnership, Velotrade plans to scale its technological infrastructure and expand into new geographies in SEA; Vynn Capital Carsome from Malaysia and Travelio from Indonesia; Velotrade operates a digital platform that matches corporates in need of working capital with institutional investors willing to advance funds.

Malaysia’s Speedhome attracts US$1.7M Series A to expand its zero-deposit property rental platform into Bangkok; Investors are Gobi Partners and Allianz Malaysia; A zero-deposit automated platform, Speedhome connects landlords directly to quality tenants providing rental protection services; It claims its mobile app has over 575K app downloads and a database of more than 128K property listings in Malaysia.

Edukasyon investor Foxmont joins Philippine proptech startup AHG’s US$1.1M seed round; Real estate mogul David Leechiu, entrepreneur Melissa Limcaoco, and Magsaysay family also joined; AHG focuses on rolling out asset-light accommodation brands, organising and structuring integrated services for renting and buying, and developing proptech apps.

Vietnam to pilot virtual currency as crypto thrives in grey zone; In Vietnam, using crypto to make purchases is illegal; The move comes amid a wide-ranging crackdown on private cryptocurrencies elsewhere, from a China clampdown that sent bitcoin prices plummeting last month, to a ban on the Binance platform by the UK.

Philippines’ biggest bank seeks slice of mobile payment boom; BDO Unibank early this year launched BDO Pay, a mobile wallet for bills, merchant payments and money transfers; Its venture into the mobile wallet business highlights how traditional lenders are pushing further into digital services amid a growing threat from fintech challengers.

Image Credit: Carsome

The post Ecosystem Roundup: Carsome becomes Malaysia’s first unicorn appeared first on e27.

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Carsome buys 19.9% stake in ASX-listed iCar Asia from Catcha Group; Together with Catcha, Carsome made a joint proposal to acquire the remaining 80.1% of iCar from its shareholders; The total transaction is estimated to be worth more than US$200M; With this deal, Carsome became the first unicorn startup in Malaysia.

Nium adds US$78M more into its kitty from Vertex Growth, others: report; This funding round comes close on the heels of its acquisition of the India unit from the scandal-hit German fintech giant Wirecard; To date, the company has raised over US$170 million across several rounds of financing.

Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures leads Singapore wealthtech startup Syfe’s US$30M Series B; Other backers are Presight Capital and Unbound; This takes Syfe’s total capital raised to date to US$52.6M; The fresh funds will be used to expand into new markets in Asia, invest in top talent, and develop new products and services.

Bambu acquires Tradesocio to scale its B2B wealthtech offerings, in talks to raise Series C; Tradesocio’s presence across EMEA and India is set to grow Bambu’s reach in a rapidly expanding and evolving global digital wealth market; Bambu provides digital wealth technology for B2B businesses across the globe; It had previously raised US$20M Series A, led by Franklin Templeton Investments.

Next Gen adds US$20M more to its war chest to take its plant-based chicken brand TiNDLE to US; Investors include Temasek, K3 Ventures, GGV Capital, Bits x Bites, and Dele Alli; A portion of the capital will also be used for the continued international expansion in APAC and the Middle East; The roadmap for the next one to two years includes raising Series A funding, product diversification, and continued international expansion, notably into Europe.

Indies Capital makes first close of Fund II to target late-stage tech firms in SEA; Targeted at US$80M, Fund II received support from Indies’s existing investor base, with the first closing achieving commitments totalling more than 70% of the target fund size; It will invest into sector-leading technology companies that have an established growth trajectory and clear visibility of profitability or exit.

Tinvio raises US$12M Series A to help SMEs manage their trade accounts through chat; Investors include AppWorks Ventures and MUFG Innovation Partners; The startup aims to help small and mid-sized business owners keep track of their orders, accounts, and receivables through a chat-led interface; As of now, the company claims to have grown 4x more to 5,000 activated users on the platform since its launch.

Indonesian SaaS tax compliance solutions firm OnlinePajak bags US$12M; Investors include Tencent, Altos Ventures, and Warburg Pincus; It brings the company’s valuation to nearly US$170M; OnlinePajak had raised US$25M Series B in Oct 2018; The startup claims that its corporate customers can cut down time spent on administration from an avg. of 208 hours down to only 5 hours.

Nas Academy raises US$11M to help creators make a sustainable living; Investors include Lightspeed (lead), TechAviv Founder Partners, and 500 Startups; Unlike other edutech platforms, Nas Academy supports creators with curriculum development, marketing, and community management; In just over a year, Nas Academy claims to have helped creators generate millions of revenue and teach students from 110 countries.

edamama, an e-commerce platform for moms in Philippines, raises US$5M; Investors are Gentree Fund, Robinsons Retail, Globe Telecom’s subsidiary Kickstart Ventures and Foxmont Capital Partners; edamama aims to address the issue of quality and other challenges such as channel fragmentation, non-established brand trust, the lack of a discovery-led buying experience, and poor customer service.

Vara secures US$4.8M to provide easy workforce management solutions for SMEs; Investors include Go Ventures, RTP Global, Alpha JWC Ventures, Sequoia Capital India’s Surge, FEBE Ventures, and Taurus Ventures; Vara’s product, Bukugaji, is geared towards the Indonesian market and claims to have serviced the staff management needs of over 100K small firms.

V-Flow’s recyclable energy solution with an expected lifespan of 25 yrs seeks to replace Li Ion batteries; V-Flow’s VRF batteries are ideal for micro-grid applications, grid balancing applications, and EV charging, claims CEO Dr Avishek Kumar; He says existing battery technologies like lead-acid and lithium-ion are not suitable for long-duration energy storage as they suffer from performance degradation and thermal run-away.

Taiwan’s Hive Ventures looks to invest more in SEA after second fund launch next year; Within SEA, the VC firm is currently researching the Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia markets; Hive will join other Taiwanese VC firms such as AppWorks and Ace Capital that already target SEA.

Professional employment organisation platform Multiplier raises US$4M; Investors are Sequoia India Surge (lead), Golden Gate Ventures, MS&AD Ventures, Picus Capital and angels; Multiplier provides integrated solutions that allow companies to hire talent from anywhere in the world, efficiently, with all compliance taken care of.

Malaysian VC Vynn Capital invests in HK-based trade finance company Velotrade; With this partnership, Velotrade plans to scale its technological infrastructure and expand into new geographies in SEA; Vynn Capital Carsome from Malaysia and Travelio from Indonesia; Velotrade operates a digital platform that matches corporates in need of working capital with institutional investors willing to advance funds.

Malaysia’s Speedhome attracts US$1.7M Series A to expand its zero-deposit property rental platform into Bangkok; Investors are Gobi Partners and Allianz Malaysia; A zero-deposit automated platform, Speedhome connects landlords directly to quality tenants providing rental protection services; It claims its mobile app has over 575K app downloads and a database of more than 128K property listings in Malaysia.

Edukasyon investor Foxmont joins Philippine proptech startup AHG’s US$1.1M seed round; Real estate mogul David Leechiu, entrepreneur Melissa Limcaoco, and Magsaysay family also joined; AHG focuses on rolling out asset-light accommodation brands, organising and structuring integrated services for renting and buying, and developing proptech apps.

Vietnam to pilot virtual currency as crypto thrives in grey zone; In Vietnam, using crypto to make purchases is illegal; The move comes amid a wide-ranging crackdown on private cryptocurrencies elsewhere, from a China clampdown that sent bitcoin prices plummeting last month, to a ban on the Binance platform by the UK.

Philippines’ biggest bank seeks slice of mobile payment boom; BDO Unibank early this year launched BDO Pay, a mobile wallet for bills, merchant payments and money transfers; Its venture into the mobile wallet business highlights how traditional lenders are pushing further into digital services amid a growing threat from fintech challengers.

Image Credit: Carsome

The post Ecosystem Roundup: Carsome becomes Malaysia’s first unicorn appeared first on e27.

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