Grab confirms US listing plan with Altimeter partnership at US$39.6bn valuation; It will provide the SEA tech giant with approximately US$4.5bn in cash proceeds; The combined entity expects its securities will be traded on NASDAQ under the symbol GRAB in the coming months. More here

SEA’s startups beat pandemic blues to raise record US$6bn in Q1; As per DeaslStreetAsia’s report, companies in the region inked at least 211 deals in Q1 to raise close to 70% of the total capital secured in 2020; In terms of deal count, the Jan-Mar period saw a 48% increase relative to the previous quarter and 43% increase y-o-y. More here

Bukalapak bags US$234mn; Lead investors are Microsoft, GIC, and Emtek; Should the local listing materialise, Bukalapak will then look to merge with a SPAC in the US; Bukalapak is planning to list in Indonesia and has engaged Bank Mandiri’s securities arm to assist in the process; Bukalapak, which was last valued at US$2.5bn in 2019, claims it has 100mn+ users on its platform. More here

Genesis Alternative Ventures makes final close of US$80mn venture debt fund; Genesis claims it has to date deployed over US$30mn to a portfolio of 12 venture-backed companies across SEA; Genesis positions itself as a private lender to venture and growth-stage companies funded by tier-one VCs. More here

Shipper raises US$63mn Series B from DST Global, Sequoia India; The capital will enable Shipper to further invest in its tech and significantly expand its logistics network; Shipper provides fulfilment and delivery services through its digitally managed network of fulfilment centres, delivery partners, and retail points.

Fave acquired by Pine Labs for US$45mn, to expand its consumer payments app to India; Fave, which also offers a loyalty cashback platform to restaurants and retailers, operates in 35 cities across SEA; Fave has raised US$32mn to date from investors including Sequoia India, SIG Asia Investment and Venturra Capital. More here

Draper Startup House acquires HATCH! to expand its entrepreneurship network to Vietnam; The cash-cum-equity deal will result in a new Vietnamese entity, with investors including Pham Vinh, a UK-based property developer; It aims to attract the digitally nomadic fans of Draper Startup House such as remote workers and other travellers to Vietnam for its culture, geography and talent. More here

How KK Fund evaluates a early-stage startup for investment; ‘The management team is the most important factor because we cannot change the management team once we invest in a company’, he says. More here

Ex-VinaCapital Ventures exec’s US$50mn fund Touchstone Partners hits first close; Touchstone seeks to invest in Vietnamese startups in fintech, real estate, healthcare, edutech and technology that enhances efficiency in major value chains such as manufacturing and agriculture; Touchstone’s notable backers include Pavilion Capital and Vulcan Capital. More here

Tribe raises funding to expand its accelerator programme globally; Investors include Korea Investment Partners, Mandiri Investment, Greg Kidd (early investor in Twitter, Coinbase and Square); Tribe will use the funds to grow its accelerator and academy programmes into newer markets, including the US, Korea, Indonesia and HK. More here

Docosan raises US$1mn to provide online healthcare services in Vietnam; Investors are AppWorks, Huat Ventures and David Ma; The Docosan app enables patients to compare healthcare providers, book appointments, chat with primary care assistants, and manage health data for free; It claims to have helped 50K patients in Vietnam book appointments with physicians across 35 specialties so far. More here

Tembusu Partners’s e-sports fund invests US$1mn into Singapore’s RSG; FrontSight Capital Fund seeks to leverage the exponential growth potential of e-sports in the region, where online entertainment and play is driven by digital adoption and transformation; It plans to launch a second fund in the future to capitalise on the growing e-sports industry in SEA. More here

Dat Bike bags US$2.6mn pre-Series A to bring more e-motorbikes to Vietnam; Investors are Jungle Ventures, Wavemaker Partners, Hustle Fund, iSeed Ventures; The company claims its flagship Weaver model (which retails at US$1,700) can rival gas bikes in power and range and is powered with a 5,000W motor that helps the bike accelerate from 0 to 50kmph within three seconds. More here

Former MDEC CEO Yasmin Mahmood joins global AI firm Skymind as Chairperson; With a presence in 17 countries, Skymind develops innovative AI technologies that it claims are deployed in Fortune 500 companies including Nvidia, IBM, Huawei and NASA; Last year, its venture arm launched a US$800mn fund to support promising new AI companies and academic research globally. More here

Otsaw Digital launches home delivery robots in Singapore; Named Camello, the robots are currently undergoing a one-year trial with their services offered to 700 households; Users can book delivery slots for groceries including milk and eggs, and they will be notified through an app when the robot is near a pick-up point, such as the lobby of an apartment building. More here

How Xendit rose quickly in SEA’s crowded fintech space; Xendit, which began as P2P provider in 2015, was the first Indonesian company to be accepted into seed-stage accelerator YC; Midway into the 12-week programme, the startup pivoted into a payment gateway firm — a bet that has paid off. More here

Fund raising 101 for early-stage startups; Be doubly sure that you are raising for the right reasons; As an example, if your product market fit (PMF) is visible and sales are shooting up, then hiring for customer services is a good example of right fund usage; But if you are yet to hit the PMF, seeing poor retention and then you want to raise funds, hire more sales people to push revenue, that is bad usage and will probably not find investors. More here

Difference between seed funding and early-stage funding; Seed money is funding collected from investors and used to start a business; Early-stage financing comes in two parts — Series A generates more funding than seed funding, but the risks are higher; VCs are most likely to invest in your business at this stage, and the method of raising funds involves allotting preferred stock to investors. More here

How the work-from-home shift impacts SaaS security; In the remote-work world, SaaS apps have become an enticing vector-of-choice for bad actors; Just think of the typical employee, working off-site, untrained in security measures, and how their access or privileges increase the risk of sensitive data being stolen, exposed, or compromised. More here

3 AI-driven digital marketing strategies your startup needs right now; When it comes to online ads, AI is the superpower all SMEs should have up their sleeves for three key reasons: to optimise ad spend, create compelling content and drive innovative campaigns. More here

Image Credit: Grab

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