SEA Digest: ION raises funding; Layoffs at Ninja Van, Yahoo; DailySocial pivot

SEA Digest: ION raises funding; Layoffs at Ninja Van, Yahoo; DailySocial pivot

Photo by Radission US on Unsplash

Beacon VC and SUN Group have invested $3 million in Thai solar startup ION to expand clean energy solutions. Separately  Ninja Van and Yahoo implemented significant layoffs while DailySocial has shifted focus to AI-driven consultancy services after restructuring.

Beacon VC joins SUN Group to invest $3m in ION

Beacon Venture Capital (Beacon VC), the corporate venture capital arm of Thailand’s Kasikornbank, has partnered with Solar United Network Group (SUN Group), an Indonesia-based solar energy company, to invest in the $3-million Series A funding round for ION Energy Company Limited (ION).

In a joint statement, ION, a Thai solar energy startup, said the funds will be used to expand its services and offerings and for private power purchase agreements.

“This investment aims to further propel ION’s success in providing clean and affordable energy solutions to Thai residential users and businesses, leveraging Kasikornbank’s strong customer base,” according to a statement.

Beacon VC managing director Thanapong Na Ranong said ION is the first Thai startup to receive an investment through Beacon Impact Fund set up in February 2023 to back sustainable startups.

DailySocial pivots to AI-driven consultancy services

Following a recent restructuring, Indonesian media startup DailySocial has announced a strategic shift in its management. The new team – DiscoveryShift – led by CEO Rama Mamuaya, will take control and lead the company forward.

The new business specialises in artificial intelligence [AI]-driven consultancy services, assisting clients in identifying and capitalising on AI opportunities, streamlining business processes, and developing AI talents within their organizations.

“DailySocial has always been a pioneer in embracing and implementing cutting-edge technologies to address complex business challenges and the AI adoption in Indonesia is simply too big to ignore”, said Rama Mamuaya, Founder and CEO of DailySocial in a statement.

“Through DiscoveryShift, we are enhancing our ability to empower businesses to realize their full potential through AI and digital innovation,” he added.

DealStreetAsia reported on Monday that DailySocial is undergoing a significant restructuring, resulting in the layoff of its entire workforce.

Ninja Van said to have laid off tech team staff

Logistics firm Ninja Van has reportedly axed 10%, or 21 employees, from its regional tech team as part of its cost-cutting measures. The Business Times reported today that employees were based in Singapore.

Ninja Van, which Alibaba Group Holding backs, postponed its initial public offering (IPO) in March, and instead set its sights on improving profitability, with expectations to reach positive earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation within 12 months.

The company is also reportedly considering additional fundraising rounds to expand its business.

Yahoo to lay off editorial team in Singapore

Yahoo is reportedly set to lay off its editorial and social media teams in Singapore, with 17 employees departing the digital news publication after May 7, according to a report by The Edge Singapore.

Affected staff will receive compensation of slightly more than two weeks’ pay for each year of service, a source reportedly disclosed under anonymity. Yahoo had reportedly informed its affected staff that it is shifting its editorial strategy, moving away from creating original content.

Edited by: Padma Priya

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