SEA Digest: Lion Corp picks stake in Vietnam's Merup; ComfortDelGro backs Ottopia

SEA Digest: Lion Corp picks stake in Vietnam's Merup; ComfortDelGro backs Ottopia

Tokyo-listed consumer goods conglomerate Lion Corp has acquired a 36% stake in Vietnamese drugs and medical device maker Merup while Singapore-listed transport major ComfortDelGro participated in Israeli autonomous vehicle startup Ottopia’s $14.5 million Series A round.

Lion Corp acquires 36% stake in pharma startup Merup

Lion Corp on Tuesday said that it has acquired a 36% stake in Vietnamese drugs and medical device maker Merup for an undisclosed sum. Lion Corp, however, in its notice to the Tokyo Stock Exchange said that Ho Chi Minh-based Merap has a capital of $9.77 million.

Japanese multinational Lion Corp, which sells soaps, detergents, medicine and oral hygiene products, said that it will be acquiring 8.06 million shares or 36% of voting rights. Lion Corp said the financial impact of this acquisition is expected to be insignificant and will not materially affect its 2023 financial results.

Lion Group said the acquisition was part of its vision to expand its overseas business. Lion said it currently exports some of its products to Vietnam through overseas affiliates. But with its acquisition of Merap – it hopes to capitalise on the domestic player’s distribution network and strength in the over-the-counter pharmaceutical market.

SG’s ComfortDelGro joins Ottopia’s Series A

Israeli autonomous vehicle software startup Ottopia on Monday said that it has raised $14.5 million in a Series A funding round from investors including Singaporean transport major ComfortDelGro.

“This investment in Ottopia is an important cornerstone of our future-proofing plans. Having teleoperation capabilities which will enable us to intervene and operate an AV remotely whenever needed, is critical in our future operational plans,” said Cheng Siak Kian, MD and group CEO of ComfortDelGro.

The round also saw participation from AI Alliance Fund, and existing investors such as MizMaa Ventures, IN Venture and Next Gear Ventures.

Founded in October 2018 by founder and CEO Amit Rosenzweig, Ottopia is a Tel Aviv-based software company that enables the commercial deployment of autonomous vehicles. Ottopia hopes its autonomous vehicles find uses in various sectors such as logistics, freight, last-mile delivery, agriculture, and construction.

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