Vietnamese game publisher Funtap raises Series A round led by Makers Fund

Photo: Funtap

Vietnamese mobile game publisher Funtap has secured a seven-digit investment in its Series A round led by Makers Fund, a venture capital firm focused on the interactive entertainment industry, according to a senior executive of the company.

Other investors participating in the round included South Korean venture capital firm DT&Investment (DT&I), and Colopl Next, the corporate VC arm of Japanese gaming company Colopl Inc. Funtap’s existing backer Soulbei also topped up in the latest round, the startup’s CEO Minh Bui told DealStreetAsia.

While Bui did not disclose the amount of funding secured, industry sources privy to the development pegged it at $5-6 million.

In 2018, Funtap had raised $300,000 in a seed funding round from Korean investor Soulbei.

“We will use the fresh funding to develop our digital content platforms for entertainment and education in the future,” Bui said, adding that the investors will support the startup’s overseas expansion to countries such as Japan, South Korea and Singapore, among others.

Established in 2015, Funtap is one of the largest game publishers in Vietnam. The company claims to have acquired over 12 million users and published 57 game titles in Southeast Asia to date. It publishes game titles, offers an ecosystem to connect gamers, and provides entertainment products and software.

The lead investor in its latest round, Makers Fund, has been extensively investing in the gaming and entertainment media sector across different stages. Its other portfolio companies in the sector in Asia include Japanese influencer marketing firms BitStar and Activ8.

The investment firm raised its $200-million first fund in 2018. In December last year, the firm launched its second vehicle, according to a stock exchange filing.

The gaming industry in Vietnam is dominated by homegrown internet unicorn VNG Corporation and Garena, a unit of Singapore-headquartered Sea Group. Other players include Appota, which has raised capital from Korean funds such as Korea Investment Partners and Mirae Asset Venture Investment; VTC Game; and Soha Game, where Funtap CEO Bui used to serve as a director.

Vietnam’s internet economy was estimated to touch $12 billion in 2019, per the e-Conomy SEA 2019 report by Google, Temasek and Bain. Online media, which includes advertising, gaming, subscription music and video on demand, was expected to be a $4 billion market in the country.

According to a recent report of Vietnam’s game publisher Appota, the country’s mobile game revenues reached $365 million with 33 million users in 2018.

Singapore Reporter/s

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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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.