Asia Digest: Insignia Ventures backs Waves; Lakson invests in MandiExpress

Insignia Ventures Partners has led a $1.2 million seed round in Vietnam-based podcast startup Waves. In a separate development, venture capital firm Lakson Investments Venture Capital has led a $725k funding in a pre-Series A round in Pakistan-based online fresh produce and grocery delivery service MandiExpress.

Insignia Ventures Partners leads $1.2m seed round in Waves

Insignia Ventures Partners has led a $1.2 million investment in a seed round in Vietnam-based podcast startup Waves, according to an announcement.

The round also saw the participation of Hustle Fund, Skystar Capital and a slew of Asian and Silicon Valley angel investors.

The corpus raised will help Waves launch its audio podcast app in Vietnam on February 28, and expand its operation in the Southeast Asian region.

The startup said it will closely work with content creators in Vietnam to promote podcasts.

“The dominance of audio platforms like Spotify makes us believe that audio content is the next development of digital content, and this development has come to Southeast Asia,” said Yinglan Tan, founding managing partner of Insignia Ventures Partners.

Waves said it has developed over 30 original programmes, 50 content partnerships and more than 500,000 other contents.

These contents are available in multiple languages.

Lakson Venture leads pre-Series A round in MandiExpress 

Pakistan-based online fresh produce and grocery delivery service MandiExpress has raised $725,000 in a pre-Series A round led by venture capital firm Lakson Investments Venture Capital (LIVC), per a report by local media.

The proceeds from this funding round, which was joined by existing private investor Disrupt, will be used by the company to expand its operations across the country.

Founded in 2015 by Jehanzeb Chaudhri, MandiExpress provides consumers fresh produce and groceries through its platform.

The firm said in its website that it sources produce from New Sabzi Mandi, from the same suppliers that supply products to 5-star hotels, upscale restaurants and grocery stores in Karachi.

LIVC is a technology-focused pre-Series A venture capital fund regulated by the Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP). It is one of the largest private-sector asset managers in Pakistan with over $300 million under management.

Recently, the venture capital firm has co-led $2 million series A equity funding in Pakistan-based edtech startup Knowledge Platform. The firm had earlier led a pre-Series A funding round in transport and events e-ticketing platform Bookme.

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.