Singapore VC Dealbook: Grey Orange raises $30m Series B; Practo raises $90m Series C; Jungle Ventures participates in LivSpace

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Singapore-based startup ventures have raised a total of $120 million of funding in recent weeks, while Singapore-based Jungle Ventures has increased its investment in an existing portfolio firm in a Series B funding round.

Grey Orange Robotics raises $30m in Series B funding

Robotics startup venture GreyOrange raised $30 million in a Series B round led by US-based Tiger Global Management and Indian VC Blume Ventures. Tiger Global has previously backed social network giant Facebook and Indian e-commerce firm Flipkart.

Grey Orange will use the funds to undertake further product development and expand their business operations. The robotics systems developer and manufacturer is focused on developing robotic smart technologies targeted at helping e-commerce, manufacturing and logistics firms achieve warehouse automation.

They are currently looking at international expansion across geographies, with a focus on on Japan, China and Southeast Asia. The robotics systems manufacturer has identified strategic partners in these and other markets and while their headquarters is in Singapore, their research & development is based in Gurgaon, India, with an additional office in Hong Kong.

Currently underway in expanding to Japan and China, GreyOrange plans to build a robust product pipeline to facilitate access to their products. Co-founder and CEO Samay Kohli said, “We are doubling our team size globally as we steer the company and our products beyond India and into international markets.”

Commenting on expansion in a statement to e27, their international VP James Chan stated: “We are also beginning to explore setting up a production facility in Singapore.”

GreyOrange currently sells two products: The Butler and the Sorter. The Butler is an automated storage and goods-to-man system that delivers/stores parcels within a warehouse while the Sorter is a automated conveyer belt that GreyOrange claims can handle approximately 6000 packages per hour.

In official statements, GreyOrange claims the automation its systems facilitate can enable a 60 to 80 percent reduction in manpower, in addition to enabling real-time auditing and providing insights into the inventory via analytics.

Practo secures $90m in Series C funding

Healthcare start-up Practo secured $90 million in Series C funding, in a round led by Chinese Internet giant Tencent. Other investors in the round include Sequoia India, Google Capital and Russian investor Yuri Milner. 

Founded in 2008, Practo enables patients to make appointments with doctors and also helps clinicians with their clinic management. Currently, Practo maintains a database of more than 200,000 doctors across Singapore, the Philippines and India. Singapore has more than 5400 doctors listed, with the company claiming that more than 10 million monthly searches occur.

The venture will be using the capital to finance expansion to 10 other countries, expand its product lines and will continue to seek potential acquisitions in the form of ventures operating in other healthcare segments such as medicine, wellness and fitness.

Prior acquisitions for Practo include health technology firm Fitho and web & mobile product development studio Genii Technologies, which were acquired in April and July 2015.

Commenting on the investment in a statement to the Straits Times, Hongwei Chen, Tencent’s senior director of investment and mergers and acquisitions, said, “We look for ambitious, visionary Internet companies that are improving people’s lives on a global scale. Practo is a digital healthcare leader and we want to help it become one of the fastest-growing healthcare companies in the international markets.”

This Series C round brings cumulative funding for the startup to $134 million, with seven investors involved across all rounds.

Jungle Ventures increases investment in Livspace in $8m round

Singapore-based Jungle Ventures has increased its investment in Bangalore-based startup Livspace in an internal round of investment worth $8 million alongside existing investors Helion Ventures and Bessemer Venture Partners. Angel investors were also involved in this round, among them Gokul Rajaram. 

Rajaram has been recruited to serve as a special adviser to LivspaceAn end-to-end home design and decor service provider and curated marketplace for homeowners and designers, Livspace allows customers to browse interior designs for all room types of rooms and personalise them.

Anuj Srivastava, co-founde and CEO of Livspace, said, “It has been a high octane past few months since the launch of Livspace in December 2014. We’re seeing strong growth and business fundamentals across the board and have created an enviable content, and community driven commerce business in the home design space for the first time in India.”

Launched in December 2014 with a $4.6 million Series A round by Srivastava, Ramakant Sharma and Shagufta Anurag, Livspace has already acquired two companies; DezignUp and Dwll.in. The Indian home design and décor market in India is estimated to be worth $30 billion projected to grow at over 25 percent year-on-year (YoY).

Speaking on the investment, Akash Goel, VP at Bessemer Venture Partners said, “We’re thrilled with the outstanding growth that the Livspace team has achieved across all business metrics – user traffic, engagement, product launches, and business traction – in a very short period of time. The Indian end-to-end home design industry is very large but fragmented.

Goes added, “It is heartening to see Livspace emerging as the disruptor and innovator in this category. We are impressed with the vision of the founding team and their ability to drive execution and are strongly supportive of their growth plans.”

Amit Anand, managing director of Jungle Ventures, also weighed in, saying, “Anuj, Shagufta, and Ramakant are disruptive entrepreneurs and have created a truly innovative approach to a complicated problem like home design. Their astounding growth across all both consumer engagement and business metrics is a testament to the strength of the Livspace team.”

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.