Asia Digest: Patamar Capital leads Kim An funding; Descartes plans Asia expansion

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Vietnamese fintech startup Kim An Investment Consulting JSC has raised a Series A investment led by Patamar Capital, while insurtech company Descartes Underwriting is planning an Asia expansion after an $18.5 million Series A round.

Patamar Capital leads funding in Vietnam’s Kim An

Vietnamese fintech startup Kim An Investment Consulting JSC has raised a Series A investment led by impact investing firm Patamar Capital, according to an announcement on September 11.

Indonesian VC firm East Ventures and Vietnam-based Viet Capital Ventures also participated in the round. The value of the investment was not disclosed.

Kim An connects institutional lenders and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) through its online platform and more than 80 branches across Vietnam. The segment the company is targeting is a lucrative one with over 5 million MSMEs. Kim An has facilitated more than 25,000 loans to customers through its platform, according to the announcement.

The startup said it will use the fresh capital to develop its core technology system to process data and optimise its credit scoring service.

“There is widespread interest in providing financial services to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME), the backbone of the Vietnamese economy. However…very few have cracked the code in terms of how to serve this segment effectively,” said Shuyin Tang, partner at Patamar Capital.

Kim An has also sealed partnerships with Vietnamese financial institutions including Nam A Commercial Bank and FE Credit — the consumer finance arm of Vietnam Prosperity Bank — to offer more consumer loan products for individual customers, household businesses, and micro-enterprises.

Descartes plans Asia expansion after $18.5m Series A

Paris-based Insurtech company Descartes Underwriting has raised $18.5 million in a Series A funding round from global venture capital firms Serena, Cathay Innovation, and BlackFin Capital Partners. The company said that it will use the fresh funds to support expansion in Asia and the US.

Descartes’s current operations cover a wide variety of geographies including Asia, Europe, North America, and Latin America. It has plans to open new offices in New York and Singapore.

Founded in 2018, Descartes Underwriting is disrupting the insurance industry by scaling up parametric insurance, leveraging new technologies and data science. Descartes will also use the funds to grow its product range, target larger deals, and deepen its tech capabilities and data science team.

The fresh funding follows a $2.5 million seed fund that the company raised 18 months ago from BlackFin Capital Partners.

“Non-life insurance is going through an existential crisis due to the growing impact of climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic: in addition to large losses, the sector is suffering from a lack of trust,” said Tanguy Touffut, CEO and co-founder of Descartes Underwriting.

“With the support of our partners, we aim at rebuilding customer trust through products that are tech-driven, fully transparent, and providing swift claims payment,” he added.

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.