Vietnam’s Mekong Capital invests $8.8m in probiotics producer LiveSpo Global

Vietnam-based private equity firm Mekong Capital has invested $8.8 million in local consumer health product company LiveSpo Global, according to a statement.

LiveSpo, founded in 2010, produces spore-based probiotics in liquid form, multi-strains, and high concentration.

LiveSpo’s technology can formulate spore-based probiotics in liquid form for faster absorption, and produce a combination of multi-strains of probiotics and high concentration, which can enhance the treatment of intestinal diseases’ symptoms, especially the colon.

Meanwhile, the most common forms of probiotic products are powder or capsules, which require a long time for the bacteria to be absorbed, and most probiotics cannot survive in the acidic gastric environment of the stomach before reaching and improving the intestinal system.

“Before meeting LiveSpo Global I had already been very interested in the health benefits of maintaining a healthy microbiome, but I have also learned so much as a result of our engagement with LiveSpo Global about the broader applications of naturally occurring probiotics in areas such as skin health, reducing the need for antibiotics, reducing cholesterol levels and even maintaining mental health,” said Chris Freund, partner at Mekong Capital.

Formerly known as ANABIO R&D, LiveSpo launched its first commercial spore-based probiotics in water form in 2013, and began exports in 2014. The company has exported its products to more than 20 countries.

LiveSpo’s domestic revenue comes from the pharmacy channel and the company’s website. In terms of exports, it promotes online sales to the US and Europe via Amazon.com.

LiveSpo is the fourth investment clocked by Mekong Enterprise Fund IV (MEF IV), after chocolate crafter Marou Chocolate Company, water purifiers manufacturer and distributor Mutosi Group, and cosmetics retailer HSV Group.

MEF IV is Mekong Capital’s largest fund launched in January 2021 with $246 million in committed capital. Its predecessor, the $112 million MEF III, remains invested in F&B chain Red Wok, financial services firm F88, education firm YOLA, mattress retailer Vua Nem, pharmacy retail company Pharmacity, 4P’s restaurant chain and logistics firms Nhat Tin and ABA Cooltrans.

Singapore Reporter/s

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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. 
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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.