Foodtech startup Ai Palette raises $4.4m in Series A and other SE Asia deals

Ai Palette, a Singapore-based AI foodtech startup, has raised $4.4 million in an oversubscribed Series A round co-anchored by pi Ventures and Exfinity Venture Partners.

The round also saw participation from returning investors Silicon Valley-based AgFunder and Decacorn Capital as well as new investor Anthill Ventures.

Founded in 2018 by Somsubhra GanChoudhuri and Himanshu Upreti, Ai Palette uses artificial intelligence to help food and beverage manufacturers develop and launch new products by spotting and predicting consumer trends in real-time. The startup counts Danone, Kellogg’s, Cargill, and Dole among its customers.

The startup said it will use the fresh funds to expand its customer base beyond Asia Pacific and recruit engineering and data science talent to expand platform capabilities and product lines.

Ai Palette supports analysis in 15 languages and counting, which allows it to support most of Asia Pacific (including China, India, Southeast Asia and Australia), North America, the UK, France, Switzerland, Germany, as per the announcement.

The fresh investment brings Ai Palette’s total funds raised to date to $5.5 million.

Insignia Ventures leads seed funding in Vietnam’s Medici

Vietnamese healthtech startup Medici has announced raising an undisclosed amount in its seed funding round led by Singapore-based venture capital firm Insignia Ventures.

The funding follows Medici securing an insurance brokerage licence from the Vietnam Ministry of Finance in July — the first healthtech company in the country to receive the permit.

The fresh capital will be used to roll out insurance services in the country as part of Medici’s ecosystem of healthcare services, it said in the announcement.

“The introduction of insurance products and services in our ecosystem brings us one step closer to becoming a full-stack platform that serves the healthcare needs of the Vietnamese people through their families, neighborhood communities, and even companies,” says Duc Anh Ngo, who founded the company in 2019.

Medici started as a telemedicine service provider. Its ecosystem of healthcare services now includes insurance, health screenings, and a marketplace for drugs and supplements.

Vietnamese startup SoBanHang bags $1.5m

SoBanHang, a startup that helps small Vietnamese retailers create online stores, announced raising $1.5 million in seed funding from FEBE Ventures, Class 5, and entrepreneur Kevin P. Ryan.

The startup was launched in April this year to provide a bookkeeping app for small retailers in Vietnam. However, the founders — brothers Hai Nam Bui and Hai Long Bui — shifted business to an e-commerce enabler due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It aims to help small business owners create online stores and manage orders to cope with the pandemic and reach more customers. The company said it has already onboarded 20,000 merchants, the majority of whom are selling online for the first time.

Hai Nam Bui was the founder of data analytics and automation platform Datamart Solutions and served leadership roles at Lazada before launching SoBanHang. His brother was chief technology officer at the Philippines supermarket chain Landers Superstore.

SOUTHEAST ASIA DEAL MONITOR

DealStreetAsia has put together a table listing out prominent venture capital transactions in Southeast Asia in the week beginning August 20.

Expand Table

StartupsHeadquarterInvestment SizeInvestment StageLead Investor(s)Other Investor(s)Industry / Verticals
MindteraIndonesiaSeedEast VenturesHustle Fund, Henry HendrawanEdtech
INSEACTSingapore$1,300,000SeedADB VenturesLoyal VC, INSEAD Asia Angels ClubFoodtech
RodeoMalaysia$270,000Fidelity Funding, AngelsAdtech
WeClean PhilippinesPhilippines$320,000DayOne Capital VenturesSouth Africa Family OfficeServices
Doctor AnywhereSingapore$58,700,000Series CAsia Partners, Novo HoldingsHealthtech
ProspernaPhilippines$555,000SeedFoxmont Capital PartnersSaaS
MediciVietnamSeedInsignia VenturesHealthtech
SoBanHangVietnam$1,500,000SeedFEBE Ventures, Class 5, Kevin RyanEcommerce
MarathonVietnam$1,500,000Pre-SeedForge VenturesEdtech
DekorumaIndonesia$15,000,000Series C1Nexter VenturesSCG Cement-Building Materials, KTB Network, GDN, OCBC NISP Ventura, FoundamentalProptech
Ai PaletteSingapore$4,400,000Series APi Ventures, Exfinity VenturesAnthill Ventures, angel investorsFoodtech
Honest BankSingapore$19,700,000Series AInsignia Ventures PartnersXYZ Venture Capital, Better Capital Partners, Alumni VenturesFintech
Choco-UpMalaysia$120,000PoptronFintech
VUIHOCVietnamDo VenturesEdtech
Tessaract.ioSingapore$3,300,000Pre-Series AWavemaker PartnersCMIA Capital Partners, M Venture PartnersSaas
Zi.CareIndonesia$500,000SeedIterative VC, Choco-UP, TincHealthtech
IntellectSingapore$2,200,000Pre-Series AInsignia Ventures PartnersY Combinator, XA NetworkHealthtech
FundiinVietnam1982 Ventures, Zone Startups VenturesFintech
MomosSingapore$6,500,000SeedSequoia Capital India, Alpha Wave IncubationK3 Ventures, Captii Ventures, Integrated Capital, HOF Capital, JIA GroupSaaS
Builk One GroupThailandSeries B+SCG, Krungsri Finnovate, BCH VenturesConstruction tech
Ethis GlobalIndonesia$1,700,000Pre-Series AAngel investorsFintech

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.