Digital media firm Collab Asia raises $7.5m Series B from Korean investors

Collab Asia founders Eugene Choi (left) and Allen Lee.

Asian digital media company Collab Asia announced Tuesday that it has raised $7.5 million in its Series B funding round backed by Korean private equity and venture capital firms.

The venture-backed firm, which manages over 1,800 YouTube channels worldwide, said the funding round was led by Gorilla Private Equity (Korea), an alternative asset investment firm. The fundraising was also backed by Samsung Ventures, NCORE Ventures of Korea, PKSHA SPARX Algorithm Fund, and Silicon Valley-based Altos Ventures.

The fresh capital investment, which followed a $3-million Series A funding round in 2017, will be used to expand the firm’s service and grow its global workforce of 150 people. It has set up offices in Seoul, Tokyo, Jakarta, Hong Kong, Manila, and most recently Singapore.

The Singapore office will be used as its regional hub for Southeast Asia.

“Collab Asia will use the funds to create localised content for Asia and focus on helping creators and content companies produce, distribute, monetise, and build audiences across multiple digital platforms,” the firm said.

Eugene Choi, the company’s CEO and co-founder, said the Series B round of funding is a “big milestone” toward connecting creators with brands and other business opportunities to extend reach and revenues.

A spin-off from Collab Inc in 2017, the firm offers creator management, branded content consulting, and digital rights management services. It manages over 1,800 YouTube channels encompassing various interests, such as gaming, beauty, music, lifestyle, animation, comedy, and other formats.

The channels that Collab Asia manages deliver content to over 155 million subscribers, generating over 2.5 billion monthly views on YouTube alone.

“Our first round of funding allowed us to prove that our business model works in every Asian market that we enter. We’re excited to continue our growth in each of our markets and strive for leadership in each business segment,” said COO and co-founder Allen Lee.

Online video advertising and subscription revenue in the Asia Pacific are projected to increase from $26 billion in 2019 to $52 billion in 2024, according to a report released by Media Partners Asia. This trend is expected to also boost the demand for content from influencers and content companies.

Investors have also taken notice of this trend. Recently, Singapore-based influencer commerce platform RAENA closed a $1.82-million funding round led by Bennett and backed by Been the company offers services beyond paid promotions marketing for existing brands and helps influencers launch brands and businesses of their own.

In April, Vietnamese social influencer platform Hiip acquired BP Network, Indonesia’s largest female influencer network, as part of its expansion drive into the country.

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.