At the Asia PE-VC Summit 2017, we are bringing together prolific entrepreneurs who are disruptors in their respective fields and are being pursued by investors to help turn their ambitious plans into reality.
Our speakers include:
— The man who raised one of the largest funding rounds in Asia this year and is disrupting India’s financial services sector — Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Paytm
— The serial entrepreneur behind one of the largest internet exits in ASEAN (iProperty) whose latest startup is a company many see as the Netflix of Asia that could arguably be Malaysia’s first unicorn (iflix) — Patrick Grove, Catcha Group
— The man whose entrepreneurial journey started in a university dormitory and who is now planning to raise $100 million at a valuation believed to be upwards of $500 million — Shashank Dixit, Deskera
— The founder of a sprawling creative ecosystem who is planning to list Asia’s largest stock library (123RF) at a valuation upwards of $220 million — Andy Sitt, Inmagine Group.
Meet Our Speakers:
Vijay Shekhar Sharma
Paytm, the Indian fintech unicorn, raised one of the largest funding rounds in Asia this year, announcing a $1.4 billion investment from SoftBank Group in May. That deal gave the company a post-money valuation of about $7 billion.
At the time of the deal announcement, Paytm founder Sharma said the company will use the funds to acquire 500 million new customers and launch a slew of financial services products such as wealth management, insurance and deposits and loans.
With such ambitious plans, it is no wonder that the company has kicked into an overdrive of late. In the last few months, it has diversified itself into a digital bank, invested in an event ticketing platform and a loyalty programme startup, and formed a JV with a Hong Kong-based mobile game developer.
According to news reports, it is also interested in buying a stake in online grocer BigBasket, and is planning to launch a messaging service to rival Facebook-owned WhatsApp.
Co-founder and Group CEO, Catcha Group
Serial entrepreneur Patrick Grove has founded and taken five companies from startup to IPO in the last 13 years. He earlier sold iProperty Group to a News Corp company in a transaction valued over $534 million, marking one of the largest Internet exits in ASEAN history.
Catcha Group’s latest business, subscription video-on-demand startup iflix, recently closed a $133 million funding round led by Hearst Communications, a US-based media, information and services conglomerate. Other investors in the round included Singapore-based EDBI and clients of DBS Private Bank.
With a valuation believed to be close to $700 million, iflix could be the first unicorn startup from Malaysia (since Grab is a Singaporean company).
While a comparison with Netflix appears obvious – many have dubbed it ‘the Netflix of emerging markets’ – Grove says he is not competing with the US service but against pirated content. For now, he has ambitious plans for iflix – cross 1 billion subscribers by 2020.
Founder and CEO, Deskera
Cloud-based ERP software provider Deskera traces its roots to the university dorm of the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in the city of Kanpur.
During their final year of college, Dixit and the three co-founders—Somesh Misra, Brajesh Sachan, and Paritosh Mahana— had built software for a local outlet near the campus to enable its offices in different locations to work on a common set of accounts.
From those humble beginnings to reporting just under $42 million in revenues in 2016, it has been a long journey for the SaaS startup. Today, it calls San Francisco, California, as its headquarters and has offices in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and India.
Deskera is now working on building a marketplace, which Dixit says will be the world’s first integrated B2B marketplace, similar to what Vijay Shekhar Sharma has done in the area of mobile payments with Paytm. An extension of this will see the company launch B2B wallet services, as it tries to become a one-stop solution for payment and transactions for its client base.
To finance its plans, it is in talks to raise $100 million from PE players at a valuation believed to be upwards of $500 million.
Co-founder, Inmagine Group
Inmagine Group owns 123RF, Pixlr, Inmagine, StockUnlimited, designs.net, Thehungryjpg, Craftbundles and Soundbounce.
123RF, Asia’s largest crowdsource stock library with over 75 million assets, is planning an IPO later this year. The company, which was looking at an ASX listing till recently and a valuation of over $220 million, appears to be in a position to also consider other stock exchanges in developed markets — Hong Kong, US, Japan, Singapore or even London.
In February, co-founder Andy Sitt told this portal that the company was looking for a ‘bigger IPO’ after it announces some acquisitions.
Sure enough, the acquisitions have followed. In August, 123RF announced the acquisition of Pixlr, a cloud and mobile photo editor from US-based software firm Autodesk Inc. The deal followed the purchase of UK-registered online design marketplace TheHungryJPEG in July by Inmagine.