Asia Dealbook: Eko buys ConvoLab; Plano snags investment from Santen

Bangkok, Thailand. Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

Thai workplace app Eko announced that it has acquired local AI chatbot firm ConvoLab for an eight-figure-dollar sum while Singapore-based health-tech startup Plano has received an undisclosed sum from Japan’s Santen Pharmaceutical.

Thailand’s Eko acquires chatbot platform ConvoLab

Thai workplace app Eko announced that it has acquired local AI chatbot firm ConvoLab for an eight-figure-dollar sum.

Eko also launched its parent company, Amity, which will focus on helping organizations, teams, and people to benefit from new mobile technologies and digitization, according to the company’s announcement.

ConvoLab’s acquisition, completed through a mix of stock and cash, was finalised ahead of Amity’s launch.

Amity plans to invest heavily in AI and work automation and believed chatbots will be one of the main mediums in which AI will be able to assist humans in the workplace.

Singapore’s health-tech startup Plano receives investment from Santen

Singapore-based health-tech startup Plano has received an undisclosed sum from Japanese company Santen Pharmaceutical as part of a strategic alliance between the two firms, according to an announcement.

Launched in 2017, Plano is an eyecare-focused health tech company launched in 2017, founded by Associate Professor Mohamed Dirani. It is the first spin-off from the Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI) – Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) Ophthalmic Technologies Incubator Programme.

The company claims that its application has been adopted by more than 250,000 households.

 

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.