Data Vantage: Southeast Asia mints two new unicorns and other updates

Southeast Asia minted two new unicorns this week. On Wednesday, online classifieds major Carousell announced it secured $100 million in fresh funding from South Korean private equity firm STIC Investments, increasing its valuation to $1.1 billion.

The company is riding on the strong growth seen in the “circular economy.” This economy, which embraces the reuse, repair, and resale of goods, is a $4.5 trillion business opportunity, estimates the World Resources Institute. 

In a report earlier this year, we did a deep dive into the potential of this sector and the fortunes of the Singapore startup, which had then stood within striking distance of the unicorn clubAttractive pricing of pre-loved items, as well as better awareness of one’s environmental footprint, has prompted more Asian consumers to check out pre-loved items on marketplaces such as Carousell.

Prominent companies in the circular economy 

In the latest funding round announced by Carousell, STIC Investments paid $17.32 per preference share, an 8.6% increase over the preference share price paid by New Horizon Investment last year. 

After the latest funding round, Telenor Communication remains the startup’s largest shareholder, followed by Rakuten Capital.

Top shareholders in Carousell

Source: DATA VANTAGE

Indonesian digital payment platform Xendit also joined the unicorn club as it announced raising $150 million in its Series C funding round on Wednesday. New York-based investment firm Tiger Global Management, which had previously backed Indonesian fintech startup Payfazz, led the funding round. 

Existing investors Accel, Amasia, and Justin Kan’s Goat Capital also participated. The latest funding round comes six months after the Indonesian fintech firm raised $64.6 million in its Series B round, which was led by Accel.

Other updates from DATA VANTAGE

Alternative protein firm Growthwell received an additional $4 million from GGV Capital and DSG Consumer Partners this week, taking its Series A round total to $19.9 million. It had earlier secured $15.9 million in the round from return backer Temasek Holdings and French investment firm Creadev.

Indian transport tech company Chalo received $25.7 million from various entities this week. LR India Holdings pumped in $19.8 million this time and is now the largest shareholder in the company. Filter Capital and AKSS Holdings also invested in the round, pumping in close to $4 million and $1.5 million, respectively.

Vietnam’s AI-enabled tutoring platform Clevai secured new funding this week, with the bulk of it coming from Altara Ventures. Existing investor FEBE Ventures also participated in the round, with the share pricing being nearly 70% higher than a previous round in April this year.

Indonesia’s e-commerce enabler Sirclo received $4 million from PT Duta Virtual DotKom this week, as part of its $36 million funding round. Traveloka had invested $5 million in the round, we wrote previously. 

Fertility clinic chain operator IVF Access raised new funding from existing investor Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India this week. This brings the fund’s year-to-date investment in the chain to $2.6 million.

Short content and news aggregator Inshorts received $2.5 million from A91 Partners this week. Its location-based social network Public app had announced in March raising Rs 300 crore ($40.8 million) from A91 Partners and existing investors.

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.