Asia Dealbook: Corporate venture funds launched in Russia; MimosaTEK wins Seedstars World contest

One of significant funding activities across Asia  is the inception of a least six corporate venture capital funds in Russia. Meanwhile, Seedstars World, a global startup competition organiser, has picked Vietnamese agriculture technology startup MimosaTEK as the finalist from the country to attend the worldwide competition in Switzerland in 2017.

Corporate venture funds launched in Russia

Six corporate venture funds have been launched or have started operations in Russia since the beginning of this year, according to an East-West Digital News report.

Four of those funds was initiated by Russian, London Stock Exchange-listed investment conglomerate AFK Sistema. The latest one is Sistema Venture Capital, which has raised $154 million and kicked off operation last month to support globally-oriented early-stage startups from Russia and neighboring countries. The vehicle is expected to close soon its first deal with Erfid, a Russian developer of radio-frequency identification software solutions, said the report.

Other ventures funds announced by AFK Sistema include a $50 million Asia fund to support Indian startups, a corporate venture initiative in partnership with Russian nanotech investment firm Rusnano worth at least $80 million in size, and up to $100 million in a fund jointly established with China’s TUS Holdings.

Another initiative comes from Kaspersky Lab, which said to invest between $500,000-$1 million in seed-stage startups globally by the end of the year. Meanwhile, energy giant Gazprom’s diversified media arm Gazprom-Media Holding has also announced the Gazprom Media Ventures, with hope to close its first deals by the end of the year.

Along with corporate venture funds,Russia has seen a lot of acceleration programmes launched, such as Ikea’s accelerator, Accor Hotel’s hackathon and GenerationS, a competition organised by the state-owned fund of funds, RVC, which ended with 35 startups receiving investments from more than 150 of the project’s local and international partners.

MimosaTEK poised to Swiss $1m competition

Vietnamese IoT startup for agriculture, MimosaTEK, won the Vietnamese round of Seedstars World‘s competition and will represent the country at the Seedstars Summit in Switzerland to compete for up to $1 million in equity investment, the Swiss company has announced.

As a part of the prize, MimosaTEK will be participating at Seedstars Summit, taking place in Switzerland in March 2017, a week-long training programme with the opportunity to meet investors and mentors worldwide. Traditionally, the final day of the summit will be dedicated to pitching, with the possibility of winning up to the $1 million equity investment.

MimosaTEK competed with over 70 applicants and seven selected startups to be the local winner. The agri-tech startup, founded in 2014, is known as a graduate of the Founder Institute franchise in Vietnam, and as the winner of the IDG Ventures and Samsung-backed contest called Go Live! Vietnam Venture Cup in Ho Chi Minh City late last year, receiving a grant of $15,000.

“We provide data, advice, and remote control for farm optimisation through sensor network, cloud platform and mobile application,” explains Nam Dang, CEO of MimosaTEK, about his innovative solution for agriculture.

The Vietnamese competition round was supported by 500 Startups and local community builders including Platform5, VietYouth Entrepreneurs, Egg Agency, SHIELD, HATCH! and BCA Studio.

The 2016 contest of Seedstars World kicked off on May 23 in the Philippines awarding P2P marketplace Acudeen Technologies. Its next stop will be Seoul at Startup Alliance.

Also read:

Five Vietnamese startups to watch in 2016

Seedstars kicks off 2016 contest, awards P2P lending startup Acudeen Tech in Philippines

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.