Ecosystem Roundup: GoTo to receive US$400M from Abu Dhabi fund, Vertex mulling to launch US$150M SPAC

Abu Dhabi wealth fund to inject US$400M into GoTo’s pre-IPO round
According to a report of August, GoTo was set to close an up to US$2 billion pre-IPO funding round in a few weeks; Various reports suggested that GoTo plans to list in Indonesia by the end of 2021 before proceeding with a US listing with a potential valuation of US$40B.

Cloud communications firm Vonage acquires Jumper.ai to enter conversational commerce space
Jumper.ai allows businesses to turn shoppers’ conversations into richer AI-enabled customer experiences with rapid service and sales follow-through; Jumper.ai creates omnichannel, messaging-first customer engagement and shopping journeys across social, messaging, and web.

Vertex seeks to launch US$150M SPAC in S’pore by year-end
The Temasek-backed VC firm is understood to be filing its application with the SGX this month; Sources said Vertx aims to list its SPAC by the end of this year; Sources also said Vertex is seriously considering merging its SPAC with one of its investee companies.

Auspac Investment Management launches US$50M fund to back SEA startups
Auspac intends to invest in 15-20 firms (2-3 deals in every half year) over three years at cheque sizes ranging from US$1M to US$3M; It aims to close the first tranche of US$5M from its Australian parent; Auspac recently joined the US$6M Series A round of Malaysian insurtech startup PolicyStreet.

H3 Dynamics closes US$26M Series B to introduce long-range hydrogen-air logistics solutions
Investors include SPARX Mirai Creation Fund, EDBI, ACA investors, and Capital Management Group; H3 Dynamics aims to create a scalable path to low-carbon hydrogen-powered flight in three development phases — drones, cargo, and passengers.

East Ventures, Lightspeed, senior execs from SEA’s unicorns back Geniebook’s US$16.6M Series A financing
Geniebook employs AI and machine learning to assist students in improving their academic performance through personalised experiences on its platform; It claims to maintain its profitability and positive cash flow thanks to a strong financial year in 2020.

Indonesian farming lender Crowde bags US$9M Series B
Investors include Monk’s Hill Ventures, Mandiri Capital, PT Great Giant Pineapple; A VentureCap Insights pegs Crowde’s valuation at around US$32M; Since it started, the fintech firm has disbursed loans to around 34,000 borrowers.

ASX-listed Novatti to acquire Malaysian fintech firm ATX for up to US$7.4M
ATX provides digital payment services and owns and operates several B2B and B2C brands, such as PayHub, GoPay, MyPOSPay and RuncitHero; The deal presents strategic value for Novatti on several fronts, including access to an established network of 30,000+ payments touchpoints across Malaysia.

MarketWolf scores US$5.5M investment to simplify trading experience for short-term traders
Investors are individuals holding senior positions in renowned PE firms, investment funds, fintech and consumer internet startups; MarketWolf removes unnecessary jargon and complexities associated with options and educates them while protecting their capital with built-in risk features.

DocuSign Ventures debuts to invest in startups that innovate the agreement process
DocuSign Ventures targets early-stage companies that have achieved early signs of product-market fit -or Series A to C stage companies; The firm is also “flexible” in its cheque sizes with no stated maximums or minimums with typical deals that are up to 10% of the size of the round.

UOB’s venture arm leads US$5M Series A of Vietnamese fintech firm SAMO Holding
SAMO owns the financial comparison site thebank.vn, financial advisors platform momi.vn and insurance distribution firm TheBank Assurance; The company said that thebank.vn processes more than 1.316 financial products, from house and car loans to travel and health insurance packages.

Singapore’s Doyobi nets US$2.8M pre-Series A to upskill teachers in 10+ countries
Investors are Monk’s Hill Ventures, Tres Monos Capital, Novus Paradigm Capital, and XA Network; Doyobi enables teachers and school administrators to integrate STEM and 21st century-related classes in a fun and engaging way.

Phuture aims to help solve fibre deficiency among Malaysians using its plant-based meat products
Phuture provides a range of products, from plant-based mince and burger patties to High-Fibre Chick’n brand; Funded by accredited investors based in Singapore, Australia, and the US, Phuture Foods is currently out to raise follow-on investment.

IDX Commissioner Pandu Sjahrir invests in EmTrade
EmTrade is an Indonesian edutech startup; The startup will use the funds for technology development, expansion of userbase and transitioning the business model from edutech to fintech.

6 reasons why Hong Kong is the ideal place for fintech startups
Home to more than 460 fintech companies, including several unicorn startups, Hong Kong has emerged as one of the world’s most dynamic fintech markets; It leverages its historical position as an international financial centre and embraces progressive regulatory regimes to foster innovation and appeal to global entrepreneurs.

Facebook announces ‘Novi’ digital currency wallet
Novi is a digital wallet that aims to help people send and receive money abroad instantly; It has no fees to send or receive money internationally and no markups on exchange rates; Novi uses digital currencies that make sending money as easy as sending a message, starting with USDP.

Image Credit: GoTo

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