More drivers, wider range of services on the horizon for gojek users in Singapore, says co-CEO; The firm is prioritising areas such as helping small merchants move online as well as enhancing its payments and financial services offerings; Investing in and growing its markets outside Indonesia is a key priority. More here

‘SEA is lagging behind in the growth of insurtech, financial advisory, embedded finance’; Ganesh Rengaswamy of Quona Capital however says he sees growth in open banking platforms, embedded finance in different value chains like retail, digital banks, insurtech, and relationship-based, digitally-driven banking and financial services. More here

How a great back-end tech helped GrabFood capture half of SEA’s food delivery pie despite being a latecomer; Launched only in 2018, a Momentum Works report has found that GrabFood already amassed an estimated GMV of US$5.9bn in 2020. More here

Grab weighs US IPO through SPAC merger: Bloomberg; Still, a US listing via a traditional IPO is not off the table, the report says citing sources; Merging with a SPAC would allow Grab to accelerate the listing process; Indonesian unicorns such as Traveloka are also considering going public through SPAC. More here

B Capital launches US$126mn Ascent Fund II targeting seed, Series A startups; B Capital has been riding on the rising popularity of SPACs within the region by filing one of its own; According to an SEC filing, it’s looking to raise up to US$300mn for its SPAC. More here

Oyo’s Singapore subsidiary secures US$204mn term loan from SoftBank; This’ll help the budget hotel brand to bolster its ops, which have been hit hard by COVID-19; The development comes at a time when it has started recovering from a very low booking rate during the lockdown last year which continues still in many ways. More here

Singapore’s on-demand bus services firm Swat Mobility considers Japan IPO; Swat uses high-precision route-optimising tech to pool multiple passengers; It sees Japan as a promising market for on-demand bus services in the wake of fatal accidents involving elderly drivers. More here

Goldbell looking to foray into autonomous mobility space, says Future Mobility unit MD Kelvin Tay; The company sees immediate opportunity in the ‘controlled environment autonomy’, wherein autonomous vehicles will be put in a controlled environment to reduce the possibility of accidents. More here

M Capital’s maiden fund hits final close at US$31mn, to invest in 40 early-stage startups; It focuses on technology-enabled B2B or B2B2C companies, with an average initial cheque size of about US$500K; The VC firm has made 11 investments, including ASX-listed 3D Metal Forge, and Naluri. More here

East Ventures appoints Roderick Purwana as Managing Partner as it takes charge of EV Growth; EV Growth was originally formed in 2018 as a JV between East Ventures, SMDV and ZVC; EV Growth’s Fund I (with a corpus of US$250M) has invested in notable growth-stage companies including Ruangguru, Waresix, and Shopback. More here

After Grab, gojek joins LinkAja’s US$100mn+ Series B financing round; LinkAja is focused on digital payments for retail, public services and other daily needs, with 80% of users coming from tier 2 and 3 cities; This integration builds on gojek’s existing partnership with LinkAja, which included payment for transportation and ticket reservation services. More here

S’pore health-tech startup Mesh Bio raises US$1.8mn seed; It offers a solution that helps specialists, general practitioners and doctors lacking specialist training in endocrinology predict diseases before they even occur; It will use the money for SEA and Hong Kong expansion. More here

Ex-Nordic Eye chairman’s new Singapore-based fund to back tech startups solving logistics challenges; Tradeworks.vc has a global focus, targeting early growth startups in seed and Series A stages, and is looking to invest US$100K-US$2mn per deal; The VC firm has raised US$1.5mn at launch; Guernsey-based OracleVC is the anchor investor. More here

Temasek joins Snyk’s US$300mn Series E to help expand its cloud security services to APAC; The round was led by Accel and Tiger Global; The transaction included both primary and secondary offerings and resulted in US$175mn of new capital pumped into the business. More here

1982 Ventures partners with 3 Korean investors to help country’s startups enter SEA; 1982 has signed an MoU with Infobank, C&Venture Partners, and BTC Investment to collaborate in pursuing investments in Korea and SEA; 1982 Ventures focuses on investing in early-stage fintech startups across SEA; Its portfolio companies include Homebase. More here

What will a Grab-Singtel and Sea digital bank look like when it launches in S’pore from 2022?; Both companies are likely to cross-sell services and offer customised experiences, due to the breadth and depth of their customer relationships and data analytics. More here

Ryde plans for IPO on SGX, aims to capture 30% of Singapore’s ride-sharing market; The IPO is slated for 2022 at a US$148mn valuation; Ryde claims its app has facilitated over 16mn bookings to date and been downloaded close to 700K times. More here

Rise of the she-economy: 11 femtech companies and organisations aiming to empower women in SEA; The global femtech industry is poised to grow at over US$3.04bn by 2030; Experts believe femtech sector promises plenty of profitability but for it to truly grow, the investment world and tech developers need to be “more aware and focused” about the opportunities that the industry brings. More here

SEA-focused medtech firm Genetica secures US$2.5mn; Investors include Greylock Partners’ Dave Strohm, Meritech partner and MD Craig Sherman, and Miasnik Ventures CEO Guy Miasnik; Genetica is an AI-enabled genomic testing company that analyses and decodes genes to help with personalised nutrition, sickness prevention, and children’s development planning. More here

Kopi Kenangan’s founders launch angel fund for Indonesian startups; The average ticket size ranges from US$10K to US$150K in investment; Kenangan Fund doesn’t have a preferred sector; So far, it has invested in podcast platform Noice, automotive aftermarket services provider Otoklix, and e-grocery startup Dropezy. More here

Temasek forges US$500mn partnership with LeapFrog Investments; The partnership will see a multi-fund investment strategy by Temasek as it becomes an anchor investor in LeapFrog’s funds; The partnership aims to ramp up its impact investment; LeapFrog has so far received US$2bn+ from global institutional investors since its inception in 2007. More here

MDEC announces new women-led data science and AI department; Based on the AI Readiness Index IDRC and Oxford Insights, Malaysia is ranked 28th with a score of 63.66 involving the readiness to use data science and AI for healthcare, education and transportation sectors, and is ahead of Brunei (49th), Thailand (60th), Indonesia (62nd), Philippines (74th) and Vietnam at (76th) position. More here

Image Credit: Grab

The post Ecosystem Roundup: Grab weighs US IPO through SPAC merger; After Grab, gojek invests in LinkAja; Ryde plans for SGX IPO appeared first on e27.



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