These startups have an appetite for tackling food waste and hunger in Southeast Asia; Here’s an in-depth article about the three different categories of food waste management in SEA — food waste prevention, food redistribution, and food waste recycling.

Flash Express becomes Thailand’s first unicorn after raising US$150M; Investors include SCB10X, Buer Capital, eWTP Capital, TCP Group’s Durbell, Krungsri Finnovate; The group will use the fresh capital for tech development and expansion into Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam.

The leading Asian tech players eyeing an IPO in 2021; Asian firms are increasingly opting for IPOs as tech stocks boomed amid the pandemic; Tech in Asia’s analysis shows that 40 tech startups across China, India, and Southeast Asia are reportedly planning for an IPO this year; Out of this number, 22 startups could collectively raise over US$26.78B.

iGlobe Partners closes new US$100M fund; iGlobe Platinum Fund III invests in startups innovating in smart cities, synthetic biology and fintech; It mainly targets pre-Series A to Series C stages firms; The ticket size is between US$500K and US$10M.

Zenyum raises US$40M Series B to accelerate expansion in Asia, deepen product offerings; On this, US$25M came from L Catterton; Zenyum partners with dentists to provide 3D-printed Invisible Braces across seven markets in Asia; In Nov 2019, it raised US$13.6M Series A.

Good Startup launches US$25M fund to invest in alternative protein ventures in SEA; The cross-border VC fund is an investor in Eat Just, TurtleTree Labs, and Avant Meats; It aims to invest in a total of 32 companies.

P2P lender Amartha raises US$7.5M from Norway wealth fund Norfund; The corpus will be distributed as a capital loan to women micro-entrepreneurs in rural areas; Since inception, Amartha has reportedly disbursed loans worth over US$250M to 678,502 women borrowers across 18,9000 villages in Indonesia

EQuest raises funding from KKR to make education accessible for Vietnam’s students; EQuest is focussed on four core segments — K-12 bilingual schools, tertiary institutions, English enrichment courses, and digital learning; EQuest claims to have more than 110,000 students enrolled across its segments each year.

Indonesian P2P lenders face an existential threat as COVID reshapes finance; More than 2 dozen companies are no longer able to operate since the start of 2020; Plus, they are facing a growing challenge from the rise of digital banks that offer far lower interest rates.

Singapore’ GIC leads US$50mn Series C of Locus; It will majorly use the funds for improving geographical reach and building its research and development team to expand the product line; Locus uses deep machine learning and proprietary algorithms to offer smart supply chain solutions to customers.

Deals of less than US$500K up but later-stage deals down in Vietnam in 2020, says Report; The total capital invested decreased by 48% to US$451M in 2020, reveals a study jointly conducted by Do Ventures and NIC; The investments of US$10-50M were the worst hit with a significant 60% fall in the number of deals, followed by a 42% drop in US$3-10M deals.

Red Dot Analytics raises seed funding round; Investors include IMO Ventures, Avior Capital, GSR Ventures; Red Dot Analytics builds AI-driven digital twin solution that helps transform data centre operations and management.

How could you accelerate your fundraising efforts through thought leadership articles; Putting down your own thoughts and words will make it easier for you to take it to investors and establish greater credibility; The added validation to your ideas from other founders and professionals in the community will serve as a great endorsement to your ideas.

Line to roll out digital banking platform in Indonesia; This follows a partnership signed in 2018 between Line and Bank KEB Hana Indonesia, a subsidiary of South Korea’s Hana ZBank; Line had announced the acquisition of a 20% stake in KEB Hana.

Malaysia’s Axiata and RHB Bank team up for digital bank license; A consortium of Axiata’s e-wallet company Boost Holdings and RHB will be formalised with a 60:40 shareholding, respectively; Malaysia’s banking industry has between US$969B and US$1.2B in terms of total assets.

‘Diversity and inclusion aren’t getting enough airtime in SEA’s workplaces’; An interview with Andee Chua, a culture builder at HubSpot and co-founder of Kampung Collective, a community for community builders across Asia.

Reimagining customer engagement for the AI bank of the future; If fully integrated, AT technologies can strengthen engagement significantly, supporting customers’ financial activities across diverse online and physical contexts with intelligent, highly personalised solutions delivered through an interface that is intuitive, seamless, and fast.

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