Data Vantage: Cloud services, edtech startups lure more funding in a remote world

As COVID-19 alters the way we work and interact with others, companies that seek to enable remote activities and drive digitalisation continue to raise growth capital in Southeast Asia.

Singapore’s cloud-based corporate service provider Sleek raised $14.4 million earlier this week from a group of investors that include Jungle Ventures, SEEDS Capital, White Star Capital and MI8 Limited.

The investment brings the total paid-up capital received by the company to $19.4 million and its valuation to $61 million.

Founded in 2017 by Julien Labruyere and Andrien Barthel, Sleek enables foreign companies to get incorporated in Singapore and Hong Kong, and manage their governance, accounting and tax matters remotely.

In another development, Myanmar-based business conglomerate Eden Group topped up its shareholding in IT network and cloud services provider Campana Group, further securing its place as the largest investor in the Singapore-based company.

Campana has received $3.8 million in paid-up capital this year, bringing its total equity funding to date to $72 million.

Top shareholders in Campana Group

Source: DATA VANTAGE

Singapore-based edtech startup Doyobi secured $2.86 million in a seed round led by Monk’s Hill Ventures this week. Monk’s Hill contributed $2.2 million to the round, with the rest coming from other investors such as Tres Monos Capital, Novus Paradigm Capital and XA Network.

Singapore’s unique advantage

Singapore has traditionally been the most active investment destination in Southeast Asia due to its role as the region’s premier financial hub and the pandemic has provided an additional advantage to local startups.

The spread of the Delta variant has barred fund managers from travelling across the region, consequently forcing them to focus more on deals that are accessible within the city-state.

As a result, homegrown startups raised $4.1 billion in the third quarter, the highest quarterly performance on record, bringing the total for the first nine months to $9.9 billion, well above the 2020 and 2019 tally combined, our latest report finds.

In contrast, the largest consumer market in the region, Indonesia, suffered as it recorded $894 million in deal value in Q3, down from $1.5 billion in the previous quarter and $2.6 billion in Q1.

High expectations of a post-pandemic economic recovery across the region should trigger more dealmaking in the coming months, but with more distributed allocations across different markets and sectors as travel restrictions are gradually being lifted.

Dealmaking by Singapore firms in Q3 2021

Source: SE Asia Deal Review: Q3 2021

Other updates from DATA VANTAGE

Singapore-headquartered womenswear company Love, Bonito has secured $50 million in a Series C funding round led by China-based private equity firm Primavera Capital. Other investors include Japanese retail group Adastria and China-based venture capital firm Ondine Capital.

According to the startup’s filings with Singapore’s Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA), British Virgin Islands-based Merga Investments, which is understood to be a vehicle of Primavera Capital, bought Series C preference shares for $38.83 million. Adastria invested $10 million in the round, while Ondine put in $1 million.

Love, Bonito co-founders Viola Tan and Rachel Lim also sold some of their ordinary shares to Merga Investments.

Temasek-backed Tikehau Capital has acquired additional shares in Singapore-based healthtech startup ObvioHealth in a secondary transaction that was completed on Monday. The startup, which raised a $31 million Series B round in June, seeks to make clinical trials faster and cost-effective.

Singapore-based Hardskills, an edtech company that focuses on professional skills development, issued news shares worth $1.1 million last week. Co-founded by Anthony Hayward and Krish Menon, the company offers training in human behavioural skills to improve work performance.

Cialfo, a Singapore-based edtech firm that seeks to connect students to higher education institutions around the world, has added Luxembourg-based consumer-focused investment firm DLF Venture to its cap table following a secondary transaction last week. Cialfo has raised $14.4 million in funding to date.

Japan’s Nomura Holdings has transferred a stake in Tookitaki Holding, a cloud-based anti-money laundering monitoring software provider, from its investment vehicle Nomura Incubation Investment to itself.

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.