Asia Digest: SG’s Propseller raises $1.2m; Drone Fund makes first close of third VC fund

Propseller team.

Singapore-based, tech-enabled real estate agency, Propseller, has raised $1.2 million (S$1.7 million) in seed funding, according to a statement. The round was participated by Iterative, Hustle Fund, XA Network, Rapzo Capital, Lazada co-founder and former CFO and CMO Stein Jakob, Dot Property founder Ben Neve, and three strategic investors.

Propseller had last raised a $700,000 (S$1 million) angel round in December 2018 from investors such as Yang Bin Kwok, founder of Zopim; Erwan Mace, founder of Muslim Pro; PJ Vandepitte, Global COO of Foodpanda; Yvan de Rham, former chairman of Sotheby’s International Realty for Switzerland.

Founded in 2018, Propseller aims to offer a more reliable solution for property owners to sell or rent property. It focuses on offering an end-to-end property agent service from providing an indicative valuation to sale, leveraging on technology to achieve better and faster results at half the standard commission of 1 per cent instead of 2 per cent.

“We sell homes two times faster than average and our service is rated 4.8/5 on average by our clients. Since our agents close 60 transactions per year, and 9x more transactions than the agents of traditional agencies, we are able to pass part of the savings to our clients hence we charge only 1% to sellers while providing premium service,” said Adrien Jorge, founder and CEO of Propseller.

“Propseller’s secret to growth is they’ve figured out how to combine the best of both worlds — advice of the finest property experts plus the convenience of a digital experience,” said Brian Ma, Iterative Partner and founder of proptech startup Divvy Homes. “In a market like Singapore with high property prices and the need for high-quality service, we believe digitalisation will be inevitable. We’re excited for Propseller to lead the charge here.”

Propseller currently transacts $55.2 million (S$75 million) worth of properties per year and aims to triple its team size in the next six months. It competes with Southeast Asian players like PropertyGuru, 99.co, iProperty, and Ohmyhome which all tap on technology to facilitate the sale and rental of properties in the region.

Japan’s Drone Fund makes first close of $95m VC fund

Drone Fund, a Japanese venture capital firm that invests in drone startups, has made a first close of its third VC fund —Drone Fund III — after raising an undisclosed amount in September.

In a statement on its website, Drone Fund said the third fund secured capital commitments from SoftBank Corp, SMBC Nikko Securities, NTT DOCOMO Inc, Kobashi Industries Co Ltd, Kokusai Kogyo Co Ltd, and Leave a Nest Co Ltd.

Drone Fund III has a target of 10 billion yuan ($95 million) with the final close slated for March 2021.

The VC firm’s portfolio includes drone software developer Clue, drone patent and IP firm Drone IPLAB, done and AI business firm Aerial Lab Industries, drone flight management firm DroneDeploy, and a lot more.

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.