SEA digest: FunNow acquires Malaysia’s Tableapp; Secai Marche secures $1m

Taiwan-based instant booking app FunNow has acquired Malaysia’s online restaurant reservation provider Tableapp;  while online marketplace Secai Marche has secured $1 million from Beyond Next Ventures, Monex Ventures, and others.

Taiwan’s FunNow acquires Malaysia’s Tableapp

Taiwan-based on-demand instant lifestyle booking app FunNow has acquired Malaysia’s online restaurant reservations provider Tableapp for an undisclosed sum comprising cash and shares.

“Now with Tableapp, we are set to become the largest reservation platform in Malaysia,” said FunNow founding partner and head of Southeast Asia Philip Ting in a statement on Wednesday.

FunNow is a reservation platform for various entertainment and leisure venues, including lounge bars, bistros, spas, and beauty centres in various cities in Asia. It counts Alibaba Entrepreneur Fund and CSV Venture Fund as strategic investors. The latter is jointly managed by Japan’s NEC Capital Solutions and Venture Labo Investment.

Tableapp is a Malaysian startup providing restaurant reservation and table management tools. Since its establishment in 2013, Tableapp has seated over 6.3 million diners.

“The combined entity enables restaurants to sell their empty tables at the last minute while, concurrently, attracting a bigger user base to capitalise on discounts and offers,” Tableapp founder and CEO Benson Chang said. “The combined platform also helps eliminate no-shows for restaurants while also providing deals for diners.”

Chang will join FunNow as Malaysia director and head the operations of the combined platform in Malaysia.

The acquisition will result in Tableapp’s current investors, including SEA Unicorn, global venture capital firm 500 Startups, and Singapore-based venture capital firm Crystal Horse Investments together with Tableapp’s core team led by Chang, becoming shareholders of FunNow.

Secai Marche secures $1 million

Secai Marche, an online marketplace connecting farmers to restaurants, has secured $1 million in a funding round from Japanese VC firms Beyond Next Ventures and Monex Ventures and unnamed angel investors, news portal e27 reported on Wednesday.

Secai Marche CEO Ami Sugiyama said that the startup will use the funding — which was closed in December 2019 — to expand its operations to Singapore next year, followed by Indonesia and Thailand, aiming to be the Amazon for fresh farm produce in the Asean region.

Founded by Sugiyama and Shusaku Hayakawa, Secai Marche is a platform for restaurants to purchase high-quality products directly from farmers. The platform aims to help build more economically-viable and sustainable small-scale farms around the world through improved access to quality and delicious food.

According to the report, Secai Marche is currently in talks for a Series A round of funding. “We expect to raise the new round by December-January,” Sugiyama was quoted as saying.

Located in Tokyo, Japan, and Malaysia, the platform sources ingredients from farms in Southeast Asia and Japan.

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.