Gojek to sharpen the focus on Vietnam, Singapore following Thai exit; After Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam are the second and third-largest markets in the region; Both countries are also underpenetrated in terms of financial services; According to DealStreetAsia, Gojek GMV in food delivery was behind rivals Grab, Foodpanda, and LineMan in Thailand last year.
SEA’s startups ride pandemic tailwinds to raise US$5.7B in Q2; According to DealStreetAsia; deal volume in Q2 soared to new heights at 231 transactions, up from 211 in Q1; Top three fundraisers were Trax (US$620M), VinCommerce (US$410M), and The CrownX (US$400M).
Oy! raises US$45M in funding, becomes Indonesia’s newest centaur; Investors include Softbank Ventures Asia, Pavilion Capital, AC Ventures, Alfamart, Wavemaker, and MDI Ventures; This brings its valuation to US$108M; In the B2C segment, Oy! provides a mobile app that helps customers with the inter-bank transfer.
Easy Eat AI attracts US$5M from Ritesh Agarwal’s family office, others; The list of backers also include Prophetic Ventures, Maninder Gulati, and Cem Garih; The Singapore- and Malaysia-based startup digitises all customer-facing interactions in restaurants — from browsing menu, ordering and tracking, to payments.
Malaysia’s Easybook completes US$5M Series C led by Emissary Capital; Easybook.com provides ticketing and route management software solutions to bus, train and ferry operators across the region; It operates in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Brunei; Easybook currently manages a US$1.6B worth of regional long-range travel inventory.
Singapore govt. to invest US$37M to bolster digital trust capabilities; This investment will allow Singapore to tap on new possibilities and demands arising from a global digital trust market that is expected to grow exponentially; IMDA will bring together research institutions, institutes of higher learning, and the industry, to drive research and translation in trust technologies.
Vietnam’s B2B food sourcing startup Kamereo bags US$4.6M Series A; CPF Group, Quest Ventures, and Genesia Ventures co-led the round; Kamereo optimises sourcing and purchasing in the burgeoning F&B industry; It quickly connects buyers to farmers, allowing each to speed up the lengthy process of delivering fruit and veg supplies to the kitchen.
SGX-listed Metal Component Engineering acquires Singapore wellness platform GainHealth for US$3.1M; The acquisition will help GainHealth expand its reach within the pharmaceutical industry’s digital ecosystem; GainHealth offers products that have been reviewed by clinicians for use as over-the-counter and prescription medication.
Koh Boon Hwee, Carousell co-founder join edutech startup Skills Union’s US$1.5M seed round; The list of investors also include Online Education Services, KDV, and Hustle Fund; Skills Union offers courses that are in demand by high-growth companies, such as software development, UX/UI design and growth marketing;
Vietnam expected to be ‘rising star’ in SEA’s startup ecosystem, says Golden Gate Ventures; It will emerge in 2022 as the third largest startup ecosystem in the region; More startups in SEA are expected to go public, with the annual number of IPOs expected to cross 300 by 2030; The VC firm anticipates that funding for the entertainment and media sector will grow substantially over the decade.
Indonesia’s fintech sectors experience rapid growth from e-money services; E-money is becoming a more popular method of payment; Credit and debit cards continue to account for the lion’s share of retail e-transactions in terms of value, accounting for 82% of total value in 2019; However, in terms of the number of transactions, e-money has eclipsed credit and debit cards in recent years.
Vietnamese top list of most online shoppers in SEA; Vietnam has some 49.3M online shoppers, according to the E-commerce White Book 2021 released by the Vietnam E-Commerce and Digital Economy Agency (IDEA); Its e-commerce market in 2020 reached US$11.8B; In the past two years, it has seen positive changes in online purchasing with both consumers and firms moving online.
Impact investing turns mainstream amid growing interest in Asia, Leapfrog partner; Impact investing offers opportunities for family offices, institutional investors to invest that way they like with the controls they like, says Fernanda Lima; The pandemic acts as a bit of an accelerator.
NUS to partner two Indonesian universities to boost innovation and entrepreneurship; NUS, through its arm NUS Enterprise, will offer scholarships to students from the University of Indonesia and Gadjah Mada University (UGM) to attend the Master of Science in Venture Creation programme in Singapore, starting next year; The universities will also roll out an initiative in Indonesia to build and scale up high-impact, deep tech ventures.
80% employees in SEA prefer remote work post-COVID-19, says survey; The 2021 EY Work Reimagined Employee Survey showed only 15% of respondents from SEA want to work in the office full time when restrictions are eased; The survey finds that nine in 10 Southeast Asian respondents want flexibility in terms of where and when they work.
How SMBs grow their business with TikTok; With the amount of attention that TikTok puts on digital content, there is massive potential for TikTok to be used as an avenue for advertising; SMBs can leverage TikTok’s vast reach to grow their business, tapping on the diverse customer base and laser-sharp user algorithm to execute targeted marketing campaigns effectively.
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