Vietnam-based local media group Galaxy Media and Entertainment has acquired edtech firm Hocmai, while e-commerce service provider Intrepid has raised a pre-Series B funding co-led by Singapore’s Thakral Corp and Sun SEA Capital. Singapore-based payment and loyalty player Fave has tied up with DBS Bank and Singtel for payments.
Vietnamese media firm Galaxy acquires Hocmai
Galaxy Media and Entertainment has acquired a majority stake in online education startup Hocmai for an undisclosed sum. The transaction marks Galaxy’s foray into the education sector, the firm said in a statement on Thursday.
“We have been looking for an opportunity in edtech for over a year. Hocmai has the largest market share in the online 1-12 grade education segment in Vietnam. By investing into Hocmai, we believe the company will have more resources to continue to serve the increasing demand for online education in the country,” said Luong Cong Hieu, CEO, Galaxy.
He said Galaxy will continue to look at more edtech businesses to cover from K-12 to vocational training.
Founded 13 years ago, Hocmai claims it has attracted 4 million students to its 1,000 plus courses provided by about 200 teachers.
Galaxy operates in five major verticals: movie production, movie distribution, cinema, digital content, and publishing. Its cinema business was backed by the private equity firm Vietnam Investment Group. In 2013, local media reported that Malaysia’s Golden Screen Cinemas acquired 25 per cent of the cinema operator for $20 million, before doubling down for a 40 per cent stake in 2016.
Galaxy said in the statement that its shareholders include the investors of Vietnamese e-wallet MoMo.
Intrepid bags pre-Series B funding from Thakral, Sun SEA
Singapore-based e-commerce enabler Intrepid Group has raised an undisclosed sum in its pre-Series B round co-led by Thakral Corporation and existing investor Sun SEA Capital, the company said in a statement.
The startup, which has a presence in Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia, said it now counts more than 50 international clients including HP, 3M, Colgate, P&G, Kiehl’s, Luxottica, and Xiaomi.
“To enable Thakral to have fuller access to the e-commerce market in Southeast Asia, we are embarking on a modest but strategic initial investment in Intrepid,” said Inderbethal Singh Thakral, group CEO and executive director of SGX-listed real estate investor Thakral. “The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the enormous growth potential for e-commerce in Asia. Southeast Asian e-commerce, while still small relative to China, is growing very fast.”
Evan Cheah, executive vice president of Malaysian conglomerate Sunway Group and general partner of Sun SEA Capital, added: “Sun SEA Capital is backing the digital transformation of retail in Malaysia and throughout Southeast Asia. We believe that the Intrepid team and its track record show that they are able to boost brands’ e-commerce presence and succeed in this new retail paradigm.”
Fave ties up with DBS PayLah! and Singtel Dash on payments
Payment and loyalty-programme player Fave has entered a deal for DBS Bank and Singtel to include the option to use Fave’s QR codes at retailers for their respective digital payment services — PayLah! and Dash, the company said in a statement Thursday.
Using the Fave payment system allows consumers to collect cashback loyalty rewards at participating retailers, the statement said.
Ng Aik-Phong, regional managing director at Fave Singapore and Malaysia, said in the statement the deal would extend payment options for Singapore’s consumers and for merchants’ loyalty programmes. Ng noted one in four Singapore merchants were active on Fave’s platform.