Exits in SEA slowed down in 2020 but next years look promising; A Golden Gate Ventures and INSEAD report said there were 107 exits in 2020, down from 115 in 2019 and 124 in 2018; The average M&A deal size in 2020 stood at US$74.7M and Singapore topped the chart with ~3.66B raised; The report forecasts the number of exits in 2020-2022 will total 468.

The Alibaba of SEA? How GoTo is shaking up fintech in the region; The group claims it has a total gross transaction value (GTV) of US$22B and 100M+ MAU, creating a digital ecosystem encompassing 2% of Indonesia’s GDP; The all-encompassing nature of GoTo’s ecosystem makes it a fertile ground for providing digital financial services, as seen from Ant’s success in China.

In a post-COVID-19 world, Vietnam is SEA’s latest hotspot for VC investment; Total value of investments poured into local startups in Q1 2021 reached US$100M+, increasing by about 34% YoY; The country’s startup ecosystem has been transformed from the second-least active to the third-most active among ASEAN countries, trailing only Indonesia and Singapore.

Thai food delivery startup Line Man Wongnai seeks funding, IPO; In July, Line Man, the delivery unit of Japan’s messaging company Line, merged with Thai restaurant aggregator Wongnai, and raised US$110M from BRV Capital; The firm believes its valuation would exceed US$1B and realistic target for IPO is within 2-3 years.

Beryllium secures US$3M to introduce trading systems to fantasy sports; Investors are Bullpen Capital (lead), Genting Ventures and Velo Partners; The Singaporean startup recently launched Sixer, a fantasy game where you can buy and sell fantasy stocks in cricket players.

Flipkart in talks to raise US$700M from SoftBank; Mint said citing sources that the proposed investment from SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 is part of a US$1.2-1.5B round; The transaction is expected to value Flipkart at $28-30B; The deal is expected to close in 3-4 months.

Bukalapak to raise US$300M from domestic IPO; A DealSteetAsia report said citing sources that the amount is likely to increase if the demand from investors is high; According to a Bloomberg report in March, the e-commerce giant is also exploring potential US listing via a SPAC merger at US$4-5B; Bukalapak is understood to be currently valued at US$3.4B.

Fintech SaaS firm Rapyd creates venture arm to invest in early-stage fintech startups; Rapyd Ventures will largely work with startups after their seed round and through Series B funding that have unique market and customer insights and are expanding on existing market traction.

Medtech startup Prixa raises US$3M; Investors are MDI Ventures, Trans-Pacific Technology Fund, and Siloam Hospitals Group; The startup builds an AI-based healthcare management platform that includes basic medical services such as telemedicine; It also includes features to support healthcare services payers, both individuals and corporates.

Vietnam’s HANET bags Series A from G-Group to take its AI camera to global market; The cameras boast of high-speed facial recognition feature that could detect people even when they are on a face mask; G-Group is a leading technology corporations in Vietnam, focusing on investments fintech, media-tech and cybersecurity.

Indonesia’s goKampus raises pre-Series A; Investors are Sovereign’s Capital, SALT Ventures, Azure Ventures and angels; goKampus is an edutech firm providing services that include college programmes enrolment, virtual courses to scholarships and jobs marketplace.

Genesis Alternative Ventures partners Aozora Bank to support Japanese startups expanding into SEA; This follows Genesis’s announcement of the final close of its US$80 venture debt fund in April this year; A private lender to venture- and growth-stage firms, Genesis has backed startups like TaniHub, Hmlet, Horangi Cybersecurity, and Deliveree.

Swiss insurtech startup Riskwolf attracts funding, to launch ‘outage benefit product’ in SEA; Investors are Swiss angel network SICTIC, and unnamed angels and professional investors in Europe, the US and Asia; Riskwolf’s platform is capable of detecting internet outages, modelling the insurance risks, and making payouts in real time.

Digital banking continues to gain traction in Philippines; A research found over 8 in 10 Filipinos are aware and interested (81%) in using digital banking services; Filipinos interested in banking with digital banks are keen to use services such as paying bills (84%), transferring money locally (78%), making deposits and withdrawals (76%), and making payments for purchases at local retail locations (71%).

The next level of e-commerce payment processing; From a merchant’s viewpoint, three levels of optimisation are needed for a seamless checkout experience — improvements to checkout, integration, and issuer responses; Checkout optimization reduces the number of steps a consumer needs to take when paying for goods online; Fewer steps mean less frustration and fewer abandoned baskets.

5 promising agritech startups in Vietnam; They are Demeter, MimosaTEK, Hachi, Zero.ai, and Naturally Vietnam; Statistics show that the Vietnamese agricultural sector accounted for 14.85% of the country’s GDP in 2020; The sector also provides 39.45% of the total employment in the country.

Photo by Yan Otson Unsplash

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