Halodoc raises US$80mn Series C; Investors include Astra International (lead), Temasek, TMI, Bangkok Bank; Halodoc’s solutions include 24X7 tele consultations with doctors via chat, voice or video and lab services at home; It claims to work with 20K licensed doctors, 2K hospitals, clinics and labs, and 4K registered pharmacies; The startup has raised US$180mn since inception in 2016. More here

Ruangguru raises US$55mn to grow its learning management system in SEA; With over 22mn users, Ruangguru offers a platform that allows teachers to create content and assign school works for students to work on; Ruangguru runs StartDee in Thailand and KienGuru in Vietnam; It has previously raised US$150mn Series C, led by Global Atlantic and GGV Capital. More here

Play Ventures buys stake in crypto-focused LuneX fund from Golden Gate Ventures (GGV); Plans to launch blockchain gaming fund; LuneX was spun out from GGV in 2018 as one of SEA’s earliest cryptocurrency and blockchain funds; LuneX’s first fund, with a corpus of US$10mn, has been fully deployed across 15 startups. More here

Uploan secures US$15mn from Lendable to expand its payroll financial services beyond Philippines; Uploan offers loans, salary advances and insurance products; The company partners with 100+ corporates in Philippines; It claims to have serviced 300K employees to date. More here

Altara Ventures joins SaaS startup FreeAgent’s US$12.6mn Series A; FreeAgent helps companies optimise sales, marketing, customer success, and project management; Partnership with Altara will help FreeAgent with expansion into SEA. More here

CoLearn bags US$10mn Series A co-led by Alpha Wave Incubation, GSV Ventures; The startup aims to provide a convenient, affordable and high-quality alternative to traditional offline tutoring to children in Indonesia; As of today, it claims to reach 3.5mn students. More here

Singapore and Philippines trail in Asia IPOs amid SPAC boom in US; The number of companies that went public in Singapore and the Philippines was lower than regional peers, with each country having only one IPO during the quarter; In contrast, Indonesia saw 12 IPOs bringing in US$218mn while Thailand raised US$1.6bn from five and Malaysia US$47mn from four. More here

Democratising ownership through crowdfunding has its challenges: Daniel Lin of FundedHere; ‘The traditional benchmark of requiring a certain amount of affluence before investing in alternative products is increasingly less relevant as the investment sizes are now significantly smaller’. More here

Vietnam’s games publisher Funtap acquires over 30% stake in e-wallet 9PAY; The alliance means Funtap users will be able to make game-related purchases using 9PAY’s e-wallet; Funtap claims 40mn+ customers across the world; The company aims to reach US$200mn in GMV and 1.5mn users this year. More here

Qapita raises US$5mn pre-Series A; Investors include MassMutual Ventures, Endiya Partners, angels; Qapita’s SaaS platform helps private companies and startups record and manage their cap tables and ESOPs. More here

STACS bags US$3.6mn pre-Series A to expand its fintech blockchain platform; Investors are Wavemaker Partners (lead), Tribe Accelerator, Stellar Partners; STAC’s DLT platforms support the effective lifecycle management of securities and ESG financing dimensions, encompassing green and sustainability-linked bonds and loans. More here

MDI Ventures invests in logistics startups Waresix and Paxel, says DealStreetAsia report; Waresix, which last year raised US$100mn from SoftBank, Emtek, etc., provide warehousing and trucking services; Paxel offers same-day delivery service and smart locker network. More here

Grosvenor invests into Taronga Ventures’s RealTech Fund supporting proptech startups; The Taronga group consists of the RealTech Ventures Fund, the RealTechX Growth Program, and Taronga Advisory; It has offices in Singapore and Australia. More here

Is SEA facing a tech talent crisis in the midst of rapid growth?; Sixty-eight per cent of hiring managers surveyed in SEA said it took 3+ months to fill an open tech position; The infocomm sector will need another 60,000 professionals over the next three years. More here

Meet Mars Growth Capital (MGC), the next in APAC to offer debt funding for growth stage tech startups; MGC is the result of a JV between MUFG Bank and Liquidity Capital; With MUFG Bank as a LP, the fund already has an initial capital commitment of US$80mn; The fund has already invested in companies such as Hiver. More here

1337 Ventures, FWD Insurance partner to launch pre-accelerator programme for Malaysian fintech, insurtech startups; Top two startups will receive an investment of US$36.5K, in addition to US$29.5K worth of infrastructure credits; Investees also stand a chance to receive further funding for their seed to pre-series A round. More here

What I learned about entrepreneurship through my journey as Coinhako co-founder; First, don’t be distracted by shiny objects — new, trendy ideas are easy distractions; remember to stay focused on your goals; Second, take risks and don’t be afraid of failure, but avoid making the same mistake twice; And third, hire people who are smarter than you. More here

Is Singapore the “Delaware” of SEA?; The government is incredibly supportive of startups from all sectors and has grant schemes and tax incentives in place to encourage foreign entrepreneurs to join the region’s leading business hub. More here

What influences customers’ attitudes and behaviour?; Economic and psychological influences, brands, media, motivations, perceptions, and cultural factors are the keys that affect consumers’ attitudes and behaviour; Branding is valuable as it impacts how customers may think and feel towards a company. More here

Next Gen Foods shares the secret behind its successful expansion, fundraising; On fundraising, it is crucial to understand what investors are looking for, especially in how a company puts everything together. A combination of a good team, product and services, and how the company communicates and delivers defines the overall objectives that investors are looking for. More here

The growth of influencer marketing in SEA; The one trend that is likely to grow in 2021 is the rise of Nano and Micro influencers mainly due to high engagement, low costs, and authenticity; Lifestyle e-commerce businesses are using influencers to push traffic to their websites with swipe-up links through stories. More here

Photo by SCREEN POST on Unsplash

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