London-based Hedosophia invests $14m in SG startup Osome

Osome co-founder and CEO Victor Lysenko

London-based venture capital firm Hedosophia has emerged as the lead backer of a $16 million Series A round announced earlier this month by Singapore-based corporate services firm Osome.

The firm, whose founder Ian Osborne is one of the architects of the US SPAC boom, now has two Southeast Asia investments under its belt. It recently led a $50 million Series B funding round for BukuKas, a startup that focuses on digitising small businesses in Indonesia.

According to regulatory filings accessed by DealStreetAsia – DATA VANTAGE, Hedosophia invested $14 million in Osome in May through subsidiary HS Investments FT Limited. It acquired 635,367 preference shares at $22.03 each.

Osome, which digitises accounting and compliance services for small and medium businesses, had not disclosed Hedosophia as an investor while announcing the Series A round. This is in keeping with the firm and its founder Osborne’s reputation for preferring to fly under the radar.

Following the Series A financing, Hedosophia has become the second-largest shareholder in Osome. Co-founder Victor Lysenko holds the largest stake in the startup, according to DATA VANTAGE.

Current shareholders of Osome 

Source: DealStreetAsia – DATA VANTAGE. Subscribers can view the funding, shareholding and financial data.

Founded in 2017 by Lysenko and Konstantin Lange, Osome leverages artificial intelligence software to automate administrative, accounting, payroll and tax-related work for businesses. The startup has five offices, including in Singapore, the UK and Hong Kong, and employs over 200 people.

Other investors in its Series A funding round included European investment manager Target Global, Tel Aviv-based AltaIR Capital, US-based Phystech Ventures, US and Europe-focused early-stage fund S16VC, and Peng T Ong, co-founder and managing partner of VC firm Monk’s Hill Ventures, as an angel investor.

The Singapore-based startup earlier said the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated demand for business automation, resulting in year-on-year revenue growth of over 100%. It claims to have over 6,000 customers in Singapore, Hong Kong, and the UK.

Osome said its annual recurring revenue – a metric used by software-as-a-service companies calculated by multiplying the monthly recurring revenue by 12, although not all of it may be recognised as revenue in the same year – stood at $9.5 million.

The startup competes with Singapore-based firms such as Sleek, Lanturn, and BlueMeg that focus on reducing the burden of administrative work for SMEs.

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.