Data Vantage: Nium bags GIC funding in Series D, buys shares from CEO Nanu + other updates

Business-to-business (B2B) payments startup Nium on Monday announced raising over $200 million in a Series D funding round that it said catapulted it into the unicorn club of companies valued at over $1 billion.

According to regulatory filings accessed by DealStreetAsia – DATA VANTAGE, investors in the round included Archipelago Investment Pte Ltd, a vehicle of Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte, which alone injected $71 million.

Source: ACRA filing for the second close of Nium’s Series D round

Nium had earlier filed with Singapore’s ACRA for what we now understand to be the first close of its Series D round at $80.35 million.

According to a separate regulatory filing on Wednesday, the company also approved the purchase of up to 10,000 ordinary shares from its co-founder and CEO Prajit Nanu and up to 3,750 ordinary shares from its chief operating officer Pratik Gandhi – both at $800 apiece. The company will use its paid-up capital for the purchases and cancel the shares after buying them.

Nium on Wednesday completed the acquisition of 10,000 shares from Nanu, who pockets a cool $8 million from the buyback.

The Nium co-founder had previously told DealStreetAsia that the startup is eyeing a New York Stock Exchange listing by 2022. The company, its recent filings suggest, remains open to a US listing via a SPAC merger, much like Grab and PropertyGuru from the region.

Investors look to agritech firms to drive yields

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the world’s agricultural markets face a range of new uncertainties related to consumption, trade, and prices, adding to the usual risks faced by the sector.

Food is the primary use of agricultural commodities, currently accounting for 52% of calories produced by global agriculture, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Feed accounts for about 31% of calories produced, while the remaining 17% is used as either biofuel, seed, or raw products in industrial applications.

In the Asia Pacific, which is projected to have the highest land area used for harvest by 2029, growth will be driven by improvement in yields this decade.

Source: FAO report, March 2021

Globally, the organization projects that around 80% of crop output growth over the ten years starting 2020 will come from yield improvements resulting from more intensive input use, investments in production technology and better cultivation practices. 

Last week, Singapore-based agritech firm JOIL(S) secured $2.9 million from Temasek Life Sciences. JOil specialises in plant sciences, crop agronomy and processing technologies. 

A timeline of JOil’s funding. Source: DATA VANTAGE

According to DATA VANTAGE, the company has raised $48.67 in total funding. JOil’s other investors include Tata Chemicals, Wuthelam Holdings and Toyota Tsusho Corporation.

KleenSoil Environmental Tech, another company involved in agricultural soil and environmental technology, secured nearly $55,200 from Origgin Ventures last week.

Other updates from DATA VANTAGE 

Job portal FastCo, a subsidiary of SPH Interactive, bagged $735,575 from Cento FJ Holdings last week, on top of the $1.7 million it had received from the investor in June. This brings the firm’s year-to-date funding to $4.2 million.

Zinfinity Pte Ltd, which operates Moladin, an e-commerce platform for motorbikes in Indonesia, received $3.3 million in funding from investors including East Ventures, which contributed $664,630 to the round.

Recruiting platform Snaphunt received $249,990 last week from BEENEXT as part of its $1 million seed round announced in January.

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.