SEA Digest: SG’s RootAnt raises $1.46m seed round; Vietnam’s Do Ventures invests in F99

Photo by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash

Singapore fintech startup RootAnt has raised $1.46 million in seed funding led by VC firm Linear Capital, while Vietnamese homegrown venture capital firm Do Ventures has invested $900,000 in F99, a platform for selling fruits.

Singapore’s RootAnt raises $1.46m seed funding

Singapore-based banking-as-a-service startup RootAnt has raised $1.46 million in a seed funding round led by Linear Capital with participation from KZM & Company Group, according to an announcement.

The fintech startup said it will utilise this capital for expansion in Singapore, rest of Southeast Asia, and Japan, with an aim to provide both anchor corporates and SMEs with new and enhanced solutions on its platform.

RootAnt is a technology enabler for Banking as a Service (BaaS) that connects enterprises and financial institutions with new digital financial products for easier, cheaper, and faster financing services. This empowers banks and non-bank financial institutions to integrate more digital banking capabilities, including embedded financing to create richer end-to-end journeys for customers on their respective platforms.

“As the Banking-as-a-Service sector has been thriving, RootAnt’s product fits the market well. In 2020, despite the challenge of COVID-19, RootAnt’s business grew fast. We believe the team will keep bringing value to existing and potential clients in the Southeast Asian market,” said Can Zheng, managing director, Linear Capital.

Linear Capital, established in 2014 by Facebook’s second Chinese engineer and first R&D manager Harry Wang, is an early-stage venture from Shanghai, focusing on technology-driven startups.

The firm’s investment focus includes projects in data application, data infrastructure, and frontier technology domains. To date, the valuation of all portfolios of Linear Capital has reached around $15 billion.

Vietnam’s Do Ventures invests $900k in F99

Vietnamese venture capital firm Do Ventures has invested $900,000 in F99, a platform for selling fruits, according to an announcement.

F99 is a platform that enables farmers to bypass traditional intermediaries to sell fruits directly to consumers. It is the most popular distributor of best-selling fruits such as Musang King durian and Sabudo green caviar.

The company said that it will use the proceeds to develop the technology platform, build cold supply chains, and enhance the distribution system for a better customer experience.

F99’s impressive performance in an extremely tough food retail market convinced us to invest and support the founding team. Although it has only been a year in operations, F99 has been profitable, and its revenue is growing very fast at a rate of nearly 3,600 per cent in the most recent month, compared to the same period last year,” said Dzung Nguyen, general partner, Do Ventures. 

Last month, Vietnamese venture capital executives Nguyen Manh Dzung (formerly with Cyberagent Capital) and Le Hoang Uyen Vy (ex-general partner at ESP Capital) launched Do Ventures that is seeking to raise $50 million for its debut vehicle.

Do Ventures Fund I has achieved the first close and hit the half-way mark in terms of fundraising.

Do Ventures seeks investment opportunities in technology startups with outstanding execution capabilities that are able to develop convenient products and services to improve the lives of consumers in Vietnam and Southeast 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.

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.