Editor’s take: The week that was — Aug 30-Sept 4

Data gleaned from DealStreetAsia’s DATA VANTAGE platform is helping us bring fundraising news to our readers early and accurately.

This week, our proprietary platform helped us uncover several deals in the private equity and venture capital space.

On Monday, we reported that the Singapore-based caregiving services provider Homage raised $26.6 million in a round led by Caelum Healthcare Investments, a unit of Temasek.

Regulatory filings accessed via DATA VANTAGE also showed that Singapore’s Neuroglee Therapeutics raised $9.7 million in a fresh round from investors including Openspace Ventures, and EDBI.

It also helped us break the news about Indian telehealth platform MFine’s $34 million Series C funding round, which was backed by existing investors Heritas Capital, family office Y’S Investment, SBI Investment, and BEENEXT.

We also found out about Bangladesh-based ShopUp’s recent $74.4 million round led by Valar Ventures.

Meanwhile, Singapore-based Doctor Anywhere and Indonesia’s Ayoconnect, this week, officially confirmed our previous reports on their $65.3 million and $10 million funding rounds.

Moving on to other dealmaking, IPO, and fundraising news.

Big deals

Indonesian B2B marketplace Ralali is looking to raise $50 million in a Series D round, its CEO Joseph Aditya told DealStreetAsia.

Vietnamese B2B startup KiotViet, a merchant platform for MSMEs, has raised $45 million in a Series B funding round from global private equity powerhouse KKR, with participation from Jungle Ventures.

Indonesian social commerce firm Chilibeli is in talks to raise around $20 million, its co-founder and chief executive Alex Feng told DealStreetAsia in an interview.

Southeast Asian used-car marketplace Carsome said it has raised $170 million in a funding round from investors including Taiwanese chipmaker MediaTek.

Malaysia’s Creador is set to invest in a Philippine-based digital bank as it looks to clinch some new economy assets.

The deal will be announced shortly, Brahmal Vasudevan, founder and CEO of Creador, told DealStreetAsia. The firm is scouting for assets in the digital space, among other sectors, across the region.

Similarly, Lightspeed Venture Partners, is looking to ramp up investments in the region across sectors such as fintech, SME, and creator economy, said Akshay Bhushan, a partner at the firm.

Prosus NV doubled down on its investment in India with a $4.7 billion deal for payments platform BillDesk, making it one of the biggest players in the country’s fast-growing fintech sector.

IPO and SPAC news

This week, the Singapore stock exchange (SGX) relaxed its initial draft norms for the listing of special purpose acquisition companies. SPACs will now be allowed to list if they have a minimum value of S$150 million ($111 million) instead of the initially proposed S$300 million. The new rules will likely help it attract regional funds and fast-growing firms, as it seeks to revitalise a staid market for equity listings.

The move comes as SGX faces competition from regional bourses such as the Hong Kong stock exchange, which is gearing up to woo Southeast Asian companies. Christina Bao, MD and co-head of sales & marketing at HKEX told DealStreetAsia in an interview that the bourse expects more listings from Southeast Asia as the region’s tech sector matures.

In other IPO news, India’s ride-hailing giant Ola, SaaS unicorn Freshworks, and SoftBank-backed e-commerce firm Snapdeal have firmed up listing plans.

India’s markets regulator faced one of its busiest months in August as a record 29 companies filed draft prospectuses for public listings. While the beeline for IPOs reflects the current buoyancy in the primary market, it could also be a sign of an impending correction, as historical data shows.

In Indonesia, J&T Express is in talks with investors to raise more than $2 billion ahead of a Hong Kong IPO.

Meanwhile, China’s President Xi Jinping said the country would set up a stock exchange in Beijing to serve small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

While the move is aimed at deepening financial supply-side structural reforms and improving capital market systems, it raises fears of a bourse war with Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges, and possibly the HKEX.

The plans for a new bourse is just one among the many reforms that are underway in China.

China’s tech crackdown

The key question in China’s tech sector these days is ‘who will be Beijing’s next target?’

The country’s tech crackdown has become more wide-ranging, and the justifications more varied, since authorities forced Ant Group to freeze IPO plans late last year.

The clampdown expanded this week to sectors including ride-hailing, and online gaming.

On Tuesday, authorities barred minors from playing video games for over three hours a week, dealing a body blow to gaming titans such as Tencent.

The authorities, which placed the onus on implementing the norms on gaming companies, cited addiction and rising rates of nearsightedness as concerns, even as young Chinese gamers vented on social media.

The new rules reverberated across the world. Shares in Amsterdam-listed Prosus, which holds 29% in Tencent, and European online video gaming stocks Ubisoft and Embracer Group fell, as did shares of US-listed NetEase and Bilibili.

The move may also be the reason why China’s JD.com withdrew sales of unapproved gaming titles on its store on Friday.

JD.com, though, is among the beneficiaries of China’s recent regulatory actions as e-commerce leader Alibaba Group bears the brunt of the damage, recent earnings releases show.

China is also threatening to curb the ability of big tech companies to list in the US, seeking to tighten regulation of their use of algorithms and sidelining their cloud computing businesses.

Control over data is also the reason why Beijing city is reportedly considering taking US-listed ride-hailing firm Didi Global under state control.

In a similar vein, state-backed firms are set to take a sizeable stake in the Ant Group’s credit scoring JV, loosening the Chinese fintech giant’s grip on a data treasure trove of over 1 billion users. However, the move could revive its IPO plans.

China’s market regulator is also stepping up oversight of the so-called sharing economy.

Fundraising news

South Korea’s KB Investment and Malaysia’s RHL Ventures have launched a $55-million co-general partner (GP) fund backed by Malaysia government-backed Penjana Kapital.

KB and RHL’s “Hibiscus Fund” comes under a Malaysian government scheme called Dana Penjana Nasional aimed at spurring digitalisation and innovation amid the COVID-19 pandemic and economic challenges in Malaysia.

Prominent venture capitalist Helen Wong, a partner at Qiming Venture Partners, is leaving the firm to set up her own venture. Wong was also among the prominent investors in Southeast Asia.

Quan Capital, a China-based healthcare-focused VC, is seeking to raise up to $350 million for its new fund, Quan Venture Fund III.

Lightspeed China Partners, an early-stage VC firm that manages over $2 billion, is planning to raise $850 million across two new funds.

And finally, DealStreetAsia organised a webinar on ‘Reshaping Healthcare with Fintech for the Emerging Middle Class in Asia’ sponsored by Milvik Bima this week. The keynote speaker in the address was Seemant Jauhari, the managing partner at healthcare-dedicated VC fund HealthXCapital.

He spoke about the yawning gap that existed between the needs of the region and the resources being deployed to meet these requirements.


(Web Source: https://www.dealstreetasia.com/stories/week-that-was-57-259016/)