[Updated] Data Vantage: Gaming, ride-hailing and e-commerce firms snag funding

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to highlight the financial performance of Funding Asia Group Pte. Ltd., instead of its subsidiary, Funding Societies Pte. Ltd.

South and Southeast Asian companies with registered entities in Singapore reported at least $140 million in fresh paid-up capital since last Wednesday, data compiled by DealStreetAsia – DATA VANTAGE shows.

Bengaluru-headquartered gaming company Mobile Premier League (MPL) emerged as India’s latest tech unicorn last week after it issued shares worth $109.7 million on Friday as part of a $150 million Series E funding round.

The investment round, which valued the company at $2.3 billion, was led by Legatum Capital with participation from existing investors such as Sequoia Capital India, Go-Ventures, Play Ventures and Telstra Ventures.

Our data shows the company has received $328.3 million in paid-up capital since it was founded in 2018, of which about two-third was secured this year.

MVLLABS, the company behind blockchain-powered ride-hailing service TADA, received $14.4 million in equity investment on Wednesday from South Korean automotive parts manufacturer Central, Singapore-based Trive Ventures and Korean furniture company Iloom. MVLLABS said the investment was part of the $15 million Series B round that it announced in April.

Evermos, an Indonesian e-commerce platform focused on Sharia-compliant products, closed its $30 million Series B round last week after securing a $6.5 million investment from an IFC co-investment fund.

A muted quarter for VC fundraising in SE Asia

While Southeast Asia’s startups continue to raise more capital, the region’s venture capital firms reported subdued fundraising in the first half of the year.

According to DealStreetAsia’s latest review of VC fundraising in Southeast Asia, the first half of 2021 saw seven VC funds securing a final close. Though higher than six funds in the first semester of last year, the total proceeds raised were 21% lower at $874 million.

Final closes, however, do not necessarily reflect overall fundraising performance. The report looks at fundraising milestones to track capital raised within a specific time frame.

During the first half, a total of 16 funds reported new fundraising milestones, raising $918 million in total proceeds. The tally was, however, lower than $1.1 billion and $1.9 billion in the first half of last year and 2019, respectively.

Fundraising milestones of Southeast Asia’s VC firms

Venture industry executives point out that limited partners, who have remained cautious given uncertainties and volatilities caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, are waiting for funds to realise initial returns before committing capital to new vehicles.

Other updates from DATA VANTAGE

Bangkok-based Beacon Venture Capital has invested $5 million in Vietnamese retail firm Ficus Asia Investment. The investment brings the total funding received by Ficus so far this year to $26 million, which includes $10 million from Alibaba’s eWTP Technology and Innovation Fund.

Kuala Lumpur-headquartered insurtech firm PolicyStreet raised $3.3 million last week from a group of investors, including Auspac Ventures, Vital Breeze, Altara Ventures, and Taklamakan Holding. With the new investment, the company’s share price has increased 16% relative to the previous funding round.

Vietnam-based new media company Vietcetera received $2.1 million in the past week as part of a $2.7 million Series A fundraising round led by North Base Media, a Washington DC-based firm that focuses on investments in media companies. Other investors included Go-Ventures, East Ventures and Z Venture Capital.

Glints, one of the largest talent and recruitment platforms in Southeast Asia, saw its revenue more than quadruple last year. At the same time, its losses expanded to $3.9 million from $1 million in 2019, its latest financial report shows. In April, the company had announced the completion of a $22.5 million Series C funding round led by Tokyo-listed PERSOL Holdings.

One of the largest SME financing platforms in Southeast Asia, Funding Societies, also known as Modalku in Indonesia, recorded a more than 51% year-on-year increase in revenue in 2020 at the Group level. It raised a Series C equity round from Samsung Venture Investment Corporation and BRI Ventures this year.

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.