SEA Digest: Central Retail backs Mercular; VinaCapital unit invests in GlobalCare

Photo: Pixabay

Thai lifestyle e-commerce startup Mercular has raised fresh capital while Vietnam’s VinaCapital Ventures has invested in local insurtech company GlobalCare.

Mercular raises $4m Series A+

Thailand-based hobby and lifestyle e-commerce startup Mercular has raised capital from retail conglomerate Central Retail, extending its Series A round to $4 million, according to an announcement.

Mercular announced its Series A investment of $3 million in April this year. This round was led by cross-border venture capital firm Kairous Capital, with participation from CyberAgent, 500 Startups, N-Vest Venture, and Premier Advisory Group.

The fresh funding will be used to upgrade its platform to provide new hobby lifestyle products and categories such as a workstation, smart home, among others, and incorporating new community-like features.

The Thai startup currently sells over 20,000 hobby and lifestyle products, including headphones, speakers, smart home devices, computers and accessories.

Vietnam’s VinaCapital Ventures invests in GlobalCare

Vietnam’s largest homegrown VC firm VinaCapital Ventures has invested an undisclosed sum in local insurtech company GlobalCare, according to an announcement.

Founded in 2017 by Dinh Thi Ngoc Niem and Hang Minh Loi, GlobalCare provides solutions for the sales and administrative processes for insurance agencies and business partners selling non-life insurance policies.

The company claims that it provides a complete technology solution for more than 10 major insurance distribution channels and 200,000 agents.

“The insurance industry in Vietnam is still in an early period of development. As Vietnamese learn more about the importance of having insurance to protect them, their families and their businesses, we aim to provide a platform that removes the inconveniences that can occur when buying insurance products,” said Dinh Thi Ngoc Niem, Founder and Chairwoman of GlobalCare.

VinaCapital Ventures has invested in 11 companies including AnVui, GoStream, Homebase, URBox, and Validus.

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.