Asia Dealbook: Potato Play raises $1.75m from BEENEXT; PriceOye.pk raises pre-Series A

Mobile games publisher Potato Play has raised a $1.75m seed round led by BEENEXT, while Pakistani e-commerce platform PriceOye.pk has raised pre-Series A led by SOSV.

Singapore’s Potato Play raises $1.75m seed round led by BEENEXT

Singapore-based mobile games publisher Potato Play has raised $1.75 million seed funding led by global venture capital firm BEENEXT, according to a statement. Returning investors Atlas Ventures and Play Ventures, who invested $500,000 in pre-seed money in the company in January, also participated in the round.

Potato Play aims to use the funds to scale its sourcing and marketing operations, and invest in its technology assets. The company has brought over 20 games to market including titles like Merge Quest, Crossing Gaps, and Pocket Racing. Its mobile games have been downloaded over 10 million times, the company claims.

“The hypercasual trend has peaked. Hybrid casual games that combine the simple mechanics of hypercasuals with the deeper monetisation and long-term retention of hardcore games are the next big wave,” said Potato Play’s CEO Vincent Low.

“Asian game developers with decades of experience in hardcore games and the ability to execute and iterate quickly on trends are an ideal fit to innovate in the hybrid-casual space. We use proven metrics and markers to identify high potential games early on and offer win-win deals to developers to publish and scale them,” he added.

“We were very impressed with the team and their data-driven approach to identifying high-potential games,” said Hero Choudhary, partner at BEENEXT. “We expect to see a lot of game-changing innovation from Asian game developers, and Potato Play is in the exact right spot to identify and help scale the most high-potential innovators.”

Pakistan’s PriceOye.pk raises pre-Series A led by SOSV

Pakistani e-commerce platform PriceOye.pk has raised an undisclosed pre-Series A round led by US venture capital firm SOSV. The startup had raised a $450,000 seed round led by Fatima Ventures, joined by Artistic Ventures and Kinetico, in November last year.

According to a statement, PriceOye plans to use the funds to expand its market share in Pakistan.

The company was previously a price comparison site that transitioned into e-commerce in January this year. Since then, it has quickly emerged to what it claims to be Pakistan’s second-largest e-commerce player after Alibaba-owned Daraz.pk.

PriceOye’s co-founder and CEO Adnan Shaffi told DealStreetAsia that it currently has 2 million monthly active users (MAUs) on its platform, compared to Daraz’s 8 million. It aims to fashion its business after China’s JD.com by providing authentic, high-end products at low prices to cater to Pakistan’s 210 million consumers.

“Pakistani consumers are ready for a world class online shopping experience, and PriceOye.pk has proven itself to be the market leader thanks to the platform’s unbeatable prices and seamless experience,” said William Bao Bean, general partner at SOSV.

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.