Asia Digest: SoftBank invests $300m in LTK; Japan’s Forest raises $8m seed round

SoftBank Vision Fund 2 has invested $300 million in global influencer marketing platform LTK while Japanese e-commerce aggregator Forest Co., Ltd has raised $8 million in a seed funding round.

SoftBank invests $300m in LTK

SoftBank Vision Fund 2 has invested $300 million in LTK, a US-based global influencer marketing platform, bringing the company’s valuation at $2 billion.

The company plans to step up hiring to accelerate the growth of its three-sided technology platform with new products for creators, brands and shoppers.

Angela Du, Investment Director at SoftBank Investment Advisers, will join the company’s board of directors.

Founded in 2011 by Amber Venz Box and Baxter Box, the company aims to empower the world’s premium lifestyle creators to be as economically successful as possible.

Japan’s Forest raises $8m seed round

Japanese e-commerce aggregator Forest Co., Ltd has raised $8 million in a seed funding round led by The University of Tokyo Edge Capital Partners (UTEC) and Nordstar Partners, per a TechCrunch report.

Founded this year, Forest operates as an e-commerce aggregator of sustainable, high-quality products and brands that embrace the spirit of Japan.

The funding round will be used to apply digital marketing strategies at scale, optimise sales and acquire more than 300 Japanese e-commerce brands that have been crafted and curated by entrepreneurs.

The startup plans to raise around $20 million to $30 million debt and equity capital of Series A, targeting the first half of 2022, its CEO Shingo Yuhara told TechCrunch.

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.