Asia Digest: SG’s BeeNext backs Finja’s $9m funding; Mirae launches India-focused fund

Finja Co-Founders Qasif Shahid, Umer Munawar, and Monis Rahman.

Pakistani digital lending platform Finja has secured $9 million for its Series A1 financing, backed by existing investor BeeNext, while Mirae Asset Venture Investment is launching an India-focused venture fund.

Singapore VC BeeNext backs $9m funding in Pakistan’s Finja

Pakistani digital lending platform Finja announced that it has closed $9 million of a $10 million Series A financing round, with new investor ICU Ventures and all previous institutional investors, including Singapore venture capital firm BeeNext, participating.

The company also has the flexibility to raise an additional $1 million as part of this round, based on the terms of the financing.

Founded in 2016 by Qasif Shahid, Monis Rahman, and Umer Munawar, Finja operates lending and digital payments businesses and partners with banks, FMCGs, distributors, kiryana stores, and small businesses.

The startup targets Pakistan’s small business and consumer lending sector, a potentially $60-billion market that is only 4-per cent penetrated. Small businesses in the country have been struggling to grow due to limited availability of capital, Finja noted.

Last year, the startup clocked over 100 billion Pakistani rupees ($625 million) in transactional volume, with assets under management growing in excess of 110 per cent.

Mire Asset launches $35m India-focused VC fund

Mirae Asset Venture Investment, the venture capital arm of Seoul-based financial services firm Mirae Asset Financial Group, is launching a $35-million fund that will back Indian startups in their seed to Series A stages, according to a report by The Economic Times.

The fund – Mirae Asset Venture Opportunities Fund 1 – has an option to grow into a $75-million vehicle and will write checks ranging between $2 million to $4 million over the next 12 to 18 months. It will focus on finch, consumer internet, and software-as-a-service sectors.

Ashish Dave, who joined Mirae in 2018 and currently manages investments from the Mirae Asset-Naver Asia Growth Fund, will lead the fund independently, according to the report.

Over the past two years, Mirae has already deployed $200 million in India across Ola, BigBasket, Zomato, and Shadowfax, among others, underscoring its bullish stance on Indian technology.

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.