Asia Digest: Japan’s Paronym raises $6.5m; Employment Hero launches in SG, other markets

photo by Nicolas Perez on Unsplash

Japanese startup Paronym, has closed a $6.5 million Series B round, while Employment Hero has launched its localised versions in Singapore, Malaysia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.

Japan’s Paronym raises $6.5m Series B from InVent, others

Japanese startup Paronym has raised $6.5 million in a Series B round led by Japan Post Capital Co Ltd, NTT DOCOMO Ventures, and InVent, its newest investor, according to a press statement.

InVent is the corporate venture capital arm of Thailand-based Intouch Holdings Plc, an investment holding company in the telecom, media, and technology (TMT) sector. Intouch Holdings is also the parent company of Advanced Info Series Plc and Thaicom Plc.

Paronym develops and provides an interactive video solution named TIG, where the user can touch an image on the screen and instantly view the item description.

InVent is looking to invest in startups that are in 5G-related and emerging technologies.

Following the investment by InVent, Paronym is looking to expand into Southeast Asia, especially Thailand — the most digitally-advanced nation in the region. Thailand currently has an e-commerce penetration rate (EC rate) of over 40 per cent. The e-commerce market is forecast to increase from $900 million in 2015 to $13 billion in 2024, said Paronym’s CEO Michio Kobayashi.

“We aim to first enhance our presence in Thailand and eventually establish it as a service that is socially implemented in Southeast Asia,” he added.

Employment Hero launches in Singapore, other nations

Australia-based integrated HR, payroll, and benefits platform Employment Hero has launched localised versions of its service in Singapore, Malaysia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, according to a press release.

The launch includes the roll-out of its Global Teams service, a new Professional Employer Organisation (PEO) solution designed to democratise the talent landscape and help SMEs sustainably scale and compete on a global stage.

The platform aims to help SMEs in these markets adopt better HR processes and performance management. “Despite looming uncertainties, there are new avenues for SMEs to innovate and adapt to the new norms of working,” said CEO and co-founder Ben Thompson.

Employment Hero is backed by global human resources firm, SEEK, which made an AU$22 million investment in 2019. SEEK also provides experience and insight into the Singapore and Malaysia employment landscape.

Throughout 2020, Employment Hero experienced strong growth after successfully pivoting its offering to focus on tools and resources to help the small business community navigate the current global crisis. The platform has seen over 50 per cent growth in new customer acquisitions since March this year, and subsequently expanded its team headcount to over 40 per cent, including hiring several new leadership roles.

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.