Data Vantage: A profitable 2021 for over 40 SG-registered firms, show latest filings

Singapore-based live streaming and social media platform Bigo Live had a banner year in 2021 as its revenue grew 42.8% to $2.07 billion as Asians consumed more online content during the pandemic period.

Its revenue growth translated to $258.7 million in profit before taxes, more than 10 times the value recorded in the previous year when the company was banned in India, along with global streaming giant TikTok and dozens of other Chinese companies.

Previously in July, the company’s Cayman-registered parent Bigo Inc had injected $220 million into the unit to boost its expansion in an increasingly competitive video streaming market. Bigo Live has received $242 million in funding to date, our data shows.

Alipay Singapore, the local subsidiary of Ant Group’s e-payment arm Alipay, also had a great run in the second pandemic year. The company clocked $1.11 billion in total revenue in 2021, up 84.1% year on year. Alipay Singapore clocked $61.1 million in profit before taxes last year.

Previously in April, Ant Group, via its subsidiary Advanced New Technologies (Singapore) Holding, acquired a majority stake in Singapore and Thailand-headquartered digital payments firm 2C2P for an undisclosed sum.

According to its 2020 financial report, 2C2P recorded $122.4 million in total revenue, up 57.5% year on year. The company turned a profit in 2019 of $1.86 million, which grew to $2.45 million in the following year, our data shows.

We have identified more than 40 companies that were profitable in 2021, based on filings submitted to Singapore’s Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) last week. Access our database to learn more about these companies.

Pandemic boom

Fintech, media & entertainment, and gaming are among business verticals that have benefitted from a change in consumer behaviour due to the pandemic, drawing more investor interest as a result.

One in four dollars of venture capital investment in Southeast Asia went to fintech startups last year. Media & entertainment recorded $849 million in total investment in 2021, up from just $54 million in the previous year.

In the first six months of this year, fintech startups recorded $3.27 billion in total proceeds, or 36.5% of the funding raised by all Southeast Asian startups within the period, our latest quarterly review finds.

Startups focusing on media & entertainment clocked $364 million in the first half of this year, while game publishers and platforms generated $345 million, already well ahead of the $293 million collected throughout 2021.

Other updates from DATA VANTAGE

Merkle Science, a Singapore-based provider of risk-monitoring solutions for crypto businesses and DeFi participants, raised $19 million from a group of investors, including BECO Capital, Darrow Holdings, K3 Ventures, HashKey Group, Republic Capital, 500 Global and GGV Capital, last week. The investment is part of the company’s Series A extension round.

Singapore-based co-living platform Hmlet has completed its merger with European co-living startup Habyt following a share transfer from the former’s investors to the latter on Monday. Habyt had previously acquired Milan’s Roomie in March and Frankfurt-based Homefully in June last year.

US-based luxury watch seller WatchBanQ Group has injected $6.9 million in fresh capital into its Singapore-based subsidiary Watchbox Singapore. WatchBanQ had raised $165 million from investors, including The Radcliff Companies, The Spruce House Partnership and CMIA Capital Partners, in November.

Delivery Hero has injected more capital into Singapore-based restaurant tech startup TabSquare, bringing its total investment in the latter this year to $6.4 million. TabSquare, which was acquired by Delivery Hero in 2021, reported $2 million in revenue for the 2020 financial year.

Bengaluru-headquartered SME-focused neobank FloBiz issued new shares worth $1.3 million to investors including BEENEXT, Whiteboard Capital, Crimsn Holdings, CRED’s Kunal Shah and Amrish Rau of Pine Labs this week. The allotment was part of a $31 million Series B round announced in Sept last year.

Singapore-based venture capital firm Majuven has invested in Malaysia-based wealthtech startup HelloGold. Existing shareholders in the company, which has raised $1.3 million to date, include 500 Global and UOB-backed startup accelerator The Finlab.

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