Indonesia news app Baca lands $20m Series B from Bertelsmann Asia, others

Indonesian news app Baca has raised more than $20 million of Series B investment from Chinese companies Bertelsmann Asia Investment (BAI), Crystal Stream, and CC Zhuang, its president and director Jimmy Sie said.

The fresh funds will be used for expansion to Brazil, where it aims to acquire a million active users.

Baca’s parent company, Hong Kong-based News in Palm, sees itself as a global firm that deploys local employees in the countries it operates in. After Brazil, News in Palm intends to widen its reach to other regions.

Baca claims to have touched 1 million active users in Indonesia. The news app collects up to 25,000 news articles from over 500 media sources on a daily basis. It analyses articles read by users and provides content based on their preferences.

“We monetize from advertisements placed at the bottom of the articles,” Sie told reporters in Jakarta.

To compete with other news aggregators like Babe and Kurio, Baca has developed special features for Indonesian users. It says it does not require users to create an account, and is very economical in data usage.

“We are preparing some offline and online promotion strategies to acquire more users,” Sie said.

Baca’s new investor BAI, wholly-owned by German firm Bertelsmannis focussed on new media, internet and mobile internet, online education, new technology, outsourcing and services.

In October 2014, BAI set up BetaFund to promote business ideas at the very early “angel” stage. In the next few years, BetaFund will invest $10 million-level funds in innovation, with a focus on mobility, social networking, intelligent hardware, games, education, enterprise services and contents.

BetaFund pays attention to proactive post-investment coaching, management and offers its portfolios Bertelsmann’s global resources and support.

Also Read:

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Indonesia’s iGrow gets seed funding from East Ventures, 500 Startups

Indonesian food recipe startup ResepKoki looks to raise initial funding

$14.6b to pour into Indonesian startups, says AMVESINDO

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.