Tokopedia CEO William Tanuwijaya

SOCAR raises US$55M Series B from EastBridge Partners, Sime Darby
Investors are South-Korea-based EastBridge Partners and Malaysian multinational Sime Darby Berhad; The Malaysian car-sharing platform plans to use the funding to support continuous tech enhancements, the introduction of clean mobility initiatives, and further development of its P2P car-sharing marketplace TREVO.

E-commerce firm Blibli to acquire Ranch Market operator in Indonesia
Blibli, which is backed by Indonesian conglomerate Djarum Group, will buy more than 797.8M shares of Supra Boga Lestari; Kusumo Martanto, CEO of Blibli, said in a statement that the acquisition was made to strengthen the company’s ecosystem and accelerate business expansion.

Growthwell Foods raises US$22M Series A to manufacture plant-based meat, seafood for F&B businesses
Investors include PE firm Creadev, GGV Capital, Iris Fund, Temasek and DSG Consumer Partners; The startup plans to use the capital to accelerate its business expansion and product development efforts within Southeast Asia.

Wealthtech startup Ajaib set to be unicorn with DST-led round
The online brokerage platform is understood to be raising over US$100M in its latest funding; It would be the company’s third round in this year alone, including a US$65M in March and a US$25M round in January.

SCB Abacus raises US$12M Series A to accelerate product development, talent acquisition
Backers include Openspace Ventures (lead), Vertex Ventures, and CAI Partners; SCB Abacus is a fintech spin-off in the local banking industry that enables the company to combine “the resources of a leading national bank with the expertise and scale-up experience of international venture capitals.”

Tokopedia CEO defends merger with Gojek to lawmakers
William Tanuwijaya said the merger was never intended to control the domestic market and that people still have abundant choices for similar services offered by both Tokopedia and Gojek; Reuters first reported that Indonesia’s anti-trust agency’s plans to scrutinise the merger to check for potential monopolistic behaviour.

Singapore taps Temasek, EDBI to boost SGX appeal
Gan Kim Yong, minister for trade and industry, revealed four core plans: establishing a co-investment fund, setting up a growth fund for initial public offerings, enhancing the Grant for Equity Market Singapore (GEMS) scheme, and forming a strategic partnership model for SGX.

How Tribecar aims to build business, environmental sustainability with a subscription-based car-sharing model
Tribecar has introduced a subscription service that allows customers to rent a vehicle for only S$88 a month instead of the usual price of S$128; It also runs an initiative where new drivers can sign up for this subscription service without paying for an additional New Drivers’ Surcharge during the included free hours.

Ackcio nets US$3M Series A to expand industrial monitoring applications
Investors include Atlas Ventures, Enterprise Singapore, Wavemaker Partners, and Aletra Capital Partners; Ackcio provides cutting-edge, long-range, mesh-based wireless monitoring solutions to industries such as construction, infrastructure, rail, and mining.

Vietnam’s Clevai bags US$2.1M to bolster AI-driven adaptive learning
Investors include Altara Ventures, FEBE Ventures and FJ Labs; Clevai is an AI-enabled, after-school tutoring platform for students from kindergarten to K-12; Its Clevai Math product provides live-streaming classes in mathematics with teachers from the country’s top-tier schools.

Tokyo Stock Exchange-listed Giftee invests in loyalty, rewards platform TADA
The TADA investment marks Giftee’s second investment outside of Japan and is part of its expansion in Southeast Asia; Tokyo Stock Exchange-listed Giftee provides an end-to-end solution, from e-gift issuance to distribution.

Crowdfunding for startups: Where to begin and how to go about it
Crowdfunding is one of the most secure methods of raising cash because no one is going to ask you to return it; They just want the goods or services that you committed to providing.

E-payments continue to drive the Philippine economy post-pandemic
The government aims to increase customer preference for digital payments by converting 50% of total retail payments to digital form and increasing the number of financially included Filipino adults to 70% by onboarding them to the formal financial system via payment or transaction accounts.

Choco Up invests US$630K in Singapore augmented reality startup BuzzAR
BuzzAR provides location-based solutions that allow retail and commerce firms to create personalized AR experiences for their customers; It also offers an AR wayfinder, which uses a point cloud to help users navigate shopping malls and view shop details with their phone cameras.

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