SG Digest: Mighty Jaxx raises $1.58m funding; Kora, Rytle win Unilever Foundry startup awards

Singapore city skyline. Photo: Nicky Loh/Bloomberg

Singapore-based Mighty Jaxx raises $1.58 million in a pre-Series A funding round from Eight Mercatus, SGInnovate, while in a separate development, Unilever Foundry awards Kora and Rytle as joint winners in the startup battle.

SG’s Mighty Jaxx raises $1.58m in pre-Series A round 

Mighty Jaxx, a Singapore-based collectible and lifestyle product manufacturer, has raised $1.58 million (S$2.15 million) in pre-Series A funding round, led by Eight Mercatus, with participation from SGInnovate.

Eight Mercatus is the venture building arm of Mercatus Capital.

According to a statement, the funds will be used to drive Mighty Jaxx’s market expansion, and develop its blockchain-powered machine learning ecosystem designed to increase engagement between creators and collectors.

According to Mighty Jaxx, the company has shipped millions of products to over 50 countries with items spanning collectibles, gaming, lifestyle and fashion segments. The company has collaborations with dance crews, music labels, pop culture artists and brands such as Warner Brothers, DC Comics, Looney Tunes, Sesame Street, Casio G-SHOCK, among others.

“As an industry we are only just scratching the surface of how powerful harnessing technology can be when combined with the massive scale & transactions offered by our global fanbase to scale our growth fast. Having the support, strategic experience, perspective and relationships of leading investors like Eight Mercatus and SGInnovate onboard will help us execute our vision with better precision and speed.” said Jackson Aw, Founder and CEO of Mighty Jaxx.

Joanna Soh, managing director at Eight Mercatus will join Mighty Jaxx’s board of directors as part of the deal. Mighty Jaxx was a part of Tribe Accelerator’s first batch of startups, supported by Enterprise Singapore.

Unilever Foundry awards Kora, Rytle in Startup Battle

Unilever Foundry, the venture building arm of Unilever, has awarded Kora and Rytle as joint winners of the Unilever Foundry Startup Battle 2019.

Kora is an Indonesia-based startup that distributes over 500 different consumer products through a network of 2,800 individuals called Poskora. Rytle, on the other hand, is a Singapore-based startup that combines technology with environmental protection for flexibility in city logistics.

This year’s competition focused on startups in smart retail segment, covering various categories such as smart vending, supply chain, retail experience, product loyalty and shopper analysis.

“The variety of startups that competed in this year’s battle under the banner of Smart Retail demonstrated that we need to look at innovation through the lens of an ecosystem of technologies that goes beyond buying and selling,” said Barbara Guerpillon, Director, Unilever Foundry Asia.

Other startup finalists, which also pitched their smart retail solutions and products included Fairbanc, Perx Technologies and Fabulyst.

Since the launch of Unilever Foundry Startup Battle in 2015, over 500 startups from across the region have applied to take part in their competitions.

Unilever Foundry collaborates closely with Unilever Ventures, to provide financial support to promising startups. According to its website, Unilever Ventures seeks to back “tomorrow’s world-beaters” in personal care and digital.

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.