Southeast Asia’s startups raise $2.8b in Sept, up 35% over Aug

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Startups in Southeast Asia continued their dealmaking momentum in September, raising $2.8 billion in funding from at least 98 deals, up 35% from the previous month, data compiled by DealStreetAsia shows.

The data covers venture capital and private equity investments, grants, corporate funding rounds, initial coin offerings, debt financing, and convertible note offerings.

The September tally was the highest since March when startups in the region had raised the same amount from 76 deals. The top month this year has been January, with proceeds of $2.9 billion.

Buoyed by the September performance, the third quarter fundraising tally rose to $6 billion. The quarter also saw the region birth 11 new unicorns. Q3 capped a strong nine-month performance that saw startups raise at least $17.8 billion, more than twice the $8.6 billion raised in the whole of 2020.

Singapore-based logistics firm Ninja Van’s $578 million Series E round was the highest in September, followed by tech firm Advance Intelligence Group, which raised $400 million in a Series D funding round.

The month of September saw seven megadeals, or funding rounds worth $100 million and above, that raised a combined $1.8 billion in funding.

Singapore corners 65% of total funding

Singapore startups were the most active in September, cornering the lion’s share of the region’s deal value and volume. Startups in the city-state bagged $1.8 billion, or 65% of the total funding in September, from 47 transactions.

Four out of the seven megadeals in September also involved Singaporean startups. These included Ninja Van, Advance Intelligence Group, Boltech’s $210 million Series A round, and Aspire’s $158 million Series B funding.

Indonesian startups, meanwhile, raised $448.9 million from 27 deals. The country had only one megadeal in September – Xendit’s $150 million Series C round, which transformed the digital payment platform into a unicorn.

SE Asia Deal Review September

In Malaysia, local startups bagged $261.2 million in funding from four deals, thanks to Carsome’s $170 million Series D round that cemented the used car marketplace as the country’s largest tech unicorn valued at $1.3 billion.

Thailand also saw its first fintech unicorn last month after digital payments firm Ascend Money raised a $150 million funding round that valued it at $1.5 billion. The round was backed by US-based investment firm Bow Wave Capital Management and existing investors CP Group and Ant Group.

Vietnamese startups inked 12 funding deals valued at $62.1 million while companies in the Philippines raised $11.4 million from three deals.

The seven megadeals ($100m and above) in September 2021

Expand Table

StartupHeadquartersInvestment size (USD)Investment StageLead InvestorsOther InvestorsIndustry / Sector
Ninja VanSingapore$578,640,986Series EGeopostBcapital Fund, L.P., Zamrud Sdn Bhd, Monk's Hill Ventures, Alibaba Singapore, B Capial Opportunities Fund I L.P.Logistics
Advance IntelligenceSingapore$400,000,000Series DSoftBank Vision Fund 2, Warburg PincusEDBI, Gaorong Capital, Northstar Group, Vision Plus CapitalFintech
BolttechSingapore$210,000,000Series AEDBI, Mundi VenturesActivant Capital, Alpha Leonis Partners, B. Riley Financial, Dowling Capital Management, Tarsadia Investments, Tony FadellFintech
CarsomeMalaysia$170,000,000Series DMediaTek500 Startups Southeast Asia, Asia Partners Fund Management, Catcha Group, Daiwa PI Partners, Gobi Partners, MUFG Innovation Partners, Ondine CapitalEcommerce
AspireSingapore$158,000,000Series BUndisclosedAFG Partners, Alexandre Prot, B Capital Group, CE Innovation Capital, DST Global, Gerry Giacoman Colyer, Hendra Kwik, Hummingbird Ventures, MassMutual Ventures Southeast Asia (MMV SEA), Moses Lo, Picus Capital, Pierpaolo Barbieri, Steve Anavi, Taavet HinrikusFintech
XenditIndonesia$150,000,000Series CTiger Global ManagementAccel, Amasia, Goat CapitalFintech
Ascend MoneyThailand$150,000,000Series CBow Wave Capital ManagementAnt Group, Charoen Pokphand GroupFintech

Fintech, logistics continue to hog capital

New economy sectors such as fintech, e-commerce and logistics continued to witness maximum traction in September, a trend in action since January of this year, partly because most of the region’s markets are still under COVID-19 restrictions.

Fintech accounted for at least 27 deals worth $1.4 billion while e-commerce saw 16 transactions that raised $511 million. Logistics and logistics tech only had four deals during the month but these deals raised a combined $584 million, thanks to Ninja Van’s mega funding.

Startups in the business solutions sector raised $63 million while those in healthcare and healthtech gathered $51 million in funding. Meanwhile, SaaS startups raised $45 million from five deals.

Among funding stages, seed rounds continued to dominate the deal table in terms of volume with 29 transactions. There were 20 Series A and 13 Series B funding rounds.

Venture capital firm East Ventures, Monk’s Hill, and Alpha JWC Ventures were among the most active lead investors in September.

Home to a relatively young private capital market, Southeast Asia is bound to see a continued acceleration of deal activities, albeit at a more moderate pace, fund managers told DealStreetAsia -DATA VANTAGE recently.

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.