Focus Southeast Asia News Roundup – Issue #02
Every fortnight we compile a list of important news updates and events covering Southeast Asia FINTECH, MFGTECH, CLNTECH, and AGRTECH sectors.
Super, an Indonesian hyperlocal social commerce startup, raises $28M led by SoftBank Ventures Asia
Super, which took part in Y Combinator’s winter 2018 batch, focuses mainly on cities or towns with a gross domestic product per capita of $5,000 USD or lower. It currently operates in 17 cities in East Java, and has a network of thousands of agents, or resellers, and hundreds of thousands of end buyers.
Steven Wongsoredjo is the Co-Founder & CEO at Super
Cindy Jin is the Partner at SoftBank Ventures Asia
Populix raises US$1.2M to provide businesses with valuable insights on Indonesian customers
Populix, an Indonesia-based consumer insights platform, announced today that it has raised US$1.2 million in a pre-Series A financing, led by existing investor Intudo Ventures. Founded in January 2018, Populix offers a mobile-based platform that provides insights to businesses and researchers to help them better understand Indonesian consumers
Timothy Astandu is the CEO & Co-Founder at Populix
Eddy Chan is the Founding Partner at Intudo Ventures
Standard Chartered Partners with BetterTradeOff To Launch Online Financial Planning Solution
Available on SC Online Banking and SC Mobile, clients from all walks of life will be able to independently plan and track their financial goals through real-life simulations and insights specific to their life stages and financial status. The tool accounts for total household income, allowing clients to include loved ones in their financial plan and better take control of their finances, all at their fingertips.
Eugene Puar is the Head of Wealth Management at Standard Chartered Bank, Singapore, ASEAN and South Asia
Mercular raises US$3M Series A to expand its hobby e-commerce platform in Thailand
Mercular, a Thailand-based e-commerce company targeting hobbyists, has raised US$3 million in Series A funding led by Kairous Capital. Having started out selling audio gadgets, Mercular has since expanded its product line to include sporting goods, cameras and collectable figures, among others.
Woragun is the Founder & CEO at Mercular
Joseph Lee is the Managing Partner at Kairous Capital
Microsoft Announces Bersama Malaysia Initiative To Support Economic Growth Within the Country
Microsoft Corp. has recently announced its “Bersama Malaysia” (Together with Malaysia) initiative, which marks a significant commitment to empowering Malaysia’s inclusive digital economy and advancing the nation’s digital transformation across the private and public sectors.
Jean-Philippe Courtois is the Executive Vice President & President, Microsoft Global Sales,
Muhyiddin Yassin is the Prime Minister of Malaysia
Tengku Muhammad Taufik is the President & Group CEO at PETRONAS
Altara Ventures joins SaaS startupFreeAgent’s US$12.6M financing round
Singapore-based early-stage VC firm Altara Ventures announced today it joined the US$12.6-million funding round of FreeAgent, an enterprise software company offering a cloud platform that helps businesses manage customer-facing work better.
Dave Ng is the General Partner at Altara Ventures
Dave Stephens is the CEO at FreeAgent
Uploan secures US$15M from Lendable to expand its payroll financial services beyond Philippines
Uploan, a Philippines-based fintech company providing payroll financial services, has raised a senior secured loan of up to US$15 million from debt financer Lendable. Founded in 2017, Uploan offers loans, salary advances and insurance products — with the goal of improving the financial well-being of working Filipinos. The company claims it currently partners with over 100 corporates in the Philippines.
Liam Grealish is the CEO at Uploan
Aaron Collett is the Head of Asia Origination at Lendable
Finch Capital Acquire Wirecard Payment Entities in APAC Region Through Nomu Pay
Wirecard Payment entities in Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand have been acquired by Finch Capital, through Nomu Pay, after an agreement was reached. This investment is part of Nomu Pay’s larger plan to build out a leading unified payment company in high growth customer segments in EMEA and Asia.
Radboud Vlaaris the Managing Partner at Finch Capital
Hans de Back is the Managing Partner at Finch Capital
1337 Ventures, FWD Insurance partner to launch pre-accelerator programme for Malaysian fintech, insurtechstartups
The top two startups will receive an investment of US$36.5K, in addition to US$29.5K worth of infrastructure credits. Founded in 2012, Kuala Lumpur-based 1337 Ventures also runs accelerator programmes for MNCs and GLCs, such as Bank Negara Malaysia, Khazanah Nasional, Telekom, Digi, MDEC, CIMB and Maybank, amongst others. Notable graduates include Funding Societies, Parkeasy, Senang and Coins.ph.
Bikesh Lakhmichand is the CEO at 1337 Ventures
Singapore-based fintech STACS raises $3.6M to develop blockchain platforms for financial institutions
Founded in 2019, STACS has now raised a total of more than $6 million and is preparing to raise Series A funding later this year. The company’s goal is to fix fragmentation in the tech systems used by financial institutions that can result in capital being locked in international clearing systems, a build-up of transaction fees and fines for trades that fail to settle.
Benjamin Soh is the Co-Founder & Managing Director at STACS
Vietnam’s mobile gaming company Funtap invests in 9PAY
Founded in 2015, Funtap provides mobile game publishing and development. Its games are also available in Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore. Last year, the company secured a seven-digit investment in a Series A round of financing, led by Makers Fund.
Minh Bui is the CEO at Funtap
Thanh Nghiem is the Product Owner at 9Pay
Grab acquires US$274M-worth stake in Emtek, fuels talks of OVO-DANA merger: Report
Southeast Asian superapp Grab has acquired a 4 per cent stake in Indonesian media and technology conglomerate Emtek. Citing a source, the report stated the transaction was valued at more than IDR 4 trillion (US$274 million) and took place in a recent private placement sale of Emtek shares.
Anthony Tan is the Group CEO & Co-founder at Grab
Plentina raises US$2.2M seed round to improve trustworthiness in financial lending in Philippines
Philippines-based fintech startup Plentina has raised US$2.2 million in a seed financing round, co-led by Andrew Vigneault (CEO of ClearGraph and former Tableau executive), Unpopular Ventures, and DV Collective. Plentina will use the funding to grow its data science, business development, and customer operations teams.
Kevin Gabayan is the CEO & Co-Founder at Plentina
Malaysia’s FinTech platform Fave acquired by India’s merchant commerce unicorn Pine Labs in an US$45M deal
India-based merchant commerce platform Pine Labs has acquired Fave, its investee consumer FinTech platform in a cash and equity deal valued at US$45 million. According to the company sources, Fave’s investors will receive an all-cash payout, while the key employees and founders will receive both cash and shares of Pine Labs.
Joel Neoh is the Founder at Fave
Amrish Rau is the CEO at Pine Labs
Shipper banks US$63M Series B to compete with the likes of Waresix in Indonesia
Shipper, an Indonesia-based digital logistics provider, announced today that it has secured US$63 million in a Series B funding round, led by DST Global partners and Sequoia Capital India. Launched in 2016, Shipper offers a suite of logistics solutions like multi-courier shipping, distributed warehousing and fulfilment networks for businesses of all sizes.
Budi Handoko is the Co-Founder at Shipper
How Oyika helps tackle global warming through its power subscription plan bundled with e-motorbike
The Singaporean startup is currently in talks to raise US$100M, which will be used to roll out the battery-swap service in Indonesia. The cleantech company is backed by Sunseap co- founders — CEO Frank Phuan, and President Lawrence Wu. Phuan invested in his personal capacity, while Lawrence invested through TRIREC, an investment firm with a focus on renewable energy and clean technology projects.
Jinsi Lee is the Founder & CEO at Oyika
Frank Phuan is the Co-Founder at Sunseap
Renewable capacity to nearly double in Asean by 2025: HSBC report
Six key countries in Asean – Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia – added around 24 gigawatts in renewable capacity between 2016 and 2020, according to the report. As an investment destination for renewables, Vietnam currently ranks highest, due to favourable policies (with deadlines set in the fourth quarter of 2020) rolled out by the government to attract capital. The criteria considered are entry barriers and regulatory environment. Singapore currently ranks fourth.
Dat Bike bags US$2.6M pre-Series A to bring more electric motorbikes to Vietnam
The funds will bankroll expansion plans after what the company claims is a 35 per cent MoM growth in demand for its bikes. Launched in 2018 after founder Son Nguyen left a cushy job in Silicon Valley, Dat Bike provides electric motorbikes that are on par with their gasoline counterparts.
Son Nguyen is the Founder & CEO at Dat Bike
Impact-tech investor ADB Ventures in talks to raise US$100M debt fund
The debt fund will target tech startups that are slightly further along the commercialization lifecycle. The ADB Ventures Equity Fund is backed by Finland’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Government of the Republic of Korea, Climate Investment Fund’s Clean Technology Fund, and the Nordic Development Fund.
Daniel Hersson is the Senior Fund Manager at ADB Ventures