Asia Digest: Xeraya invests more capital in GreenLight; Sentient.io raises Series A

Photo: Pixabay

GreenLight Biosciences has raised $17 million additional investment from a combination of new and existing investors while Sentient.io  announced an undisclosed Series A round from investors led by Japan’s Digital Garage Group.

GreenLight Biosciences raises additional investment from Xeraya Capital consortium

US-based bio-performance company GreenLight Biosciences has raised an additional sum of $17 million from new and existing investors including Malaysian PE firm Xeraya Capital, Baird Capital and global investment firm Flu Lab, according to a press statement.

The investment was made through Greenlight Pandemic Response Inc, a special purpose vehicle of GreenLight Biosciences, Xeraya Capital CEO Fares Zahir told DealStreetAsia.

The fund will be used to establish a scaled process under current good manufacturing practices (cGMP), capable of supporting clinical development and enabling the production of billions of doses of COVID-19 vaccine using GreenLight’s proprietary bioprocessing technology.

Currently, GreenLight is accelerating the research and development of its fully integrated mRNA (messenger ribonucleic acid) production capability and product platform, which has limited global supply. GreenLight is building the scalable biomanufacturing capacity to quickly address the needs of pandemic response.

In addition to expanding its manufacturing capacity, GreenLight is developing several differentiated mRNA vaccine candidates against SARS-CoV2. So far, mRNA has not yet resulted in a vaccine approved for human use despite its existence for veterinary treatment.

“It’s an investment towards the world having access to an affordable Covid-19 vaccine. A bet that mRNA will play an important part in human vaccines,” Zahir said.

mRNA vaccines have that advantage of being relatively safe because they contain no actual virus, with shorter pre-clinical development times as well. Thus, the whole cycle from development to testing and deployment is shortened.

mRNA acts as an intermediary between the genetic information in DNA and the amino acid sequence of proteins.

Singapore’s Sentient.io raises more than $5 million to date

Singapore-based artificial intelligence (AI) and Data Platform company Sentient.io, has raised more than $5 million investment since its inception in May 2017, according to a press statement.

The company recently announced the close of an undisclosed Series A round from investors led by Japan’s Digital Garage Group. Other investors involved in the deal are ABC Dream Ventures, the CVC firm of Japan’s Asahi Broadcasting Group Holdings Corporation; as well as Leave a Nest Group, the global deep-tech innovation accelerator.

Sentient.io is also backed by Singapore’s technology research institution A*STAR and the global technology venture capital BEENEXT.

The new fund will be used to scale Sentient.io’s platform to the global market, mainly to fulfill the surging demand for the digital transformation from Japanese corporations.

Sentient.io will also scale up its presence in the local and overseas markets by opening sales offices in Japan this year. Besides, it also plans to expand into Indonesia and the US.

 

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.