SG Digest: Australia’s Shippit buys SaaS startup Luwjistik; Japan’s Persol acquires Workmate

SG Digest: Australia’s Shippit buys SaaS startup Luwjistik; Japan’s Persol acquires Workmate

Australian logistics tech startup Shippit has bought SaaS startup Luwjistik, while Japan’s Persol Asia Pacific has acquired Singapore-based Workmate.

Tiger Global-backed Shippit buys SaaS firm Luwjistik

Australian logistics company Shippit has acquired the Singaporean SaaS startup Luwjistik for $11.2 million, according to an announcement by Shippit’s co-founder on Tuesday.

“We see this acquisition as our most significant step since entering the region, expanding our team to over 50 employees across Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia,” said Shippit in a post on LinkedIn.

Founded in 2014 by William On and Rob Hango-Zada, Sydney-based Shippit’s multi-carrier shipping technology helps retailers ship smarter, optimise their fulfilment, and share better post-purchase experiences. Shippit’s customers include Target, Sephora, Campos Coffee, and Tree of Life.

Founder On will relocate to Singapore this month to head the company’s Southeast Asia operations, the Australian Financial Review reported on Tuesday.

In May this year, Shippit raised A$65 million ($48 million) in an extended Series B funding round led by Tiger Global Management, Tidal Ventures, and SecondQuarter Ventures. The round brought the company’s pre-money valuation to A$300 million. Shippit had raised $30 million in a Series B round in December 2020 at a valuation of A$100 million.

The buyout is Shippit’s second acquisition this year. It had bought Australian tech firm Premonition in March.

“We expect that the strong growth of e-commerce in Southeast Asia will continue, so Shippit and Luwjistik coming together is very timely,” said Luwjistik founder Syed Ali Ridha Madihid in the announcement.

Japan’s Persol acquires Gobi-backed Workmate

Human resources (HR) service provider Persol Asia Pacific has acquired a 100% stake in Singapore-based staffing platform Workmate, according to a post on the latter’s LinkedIn page.

Workmate will operate as an independent company under Persol. Persol Asia Pacific is part of Persol Holdings, which is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and is one of the largest HR management companies in Japan.

While the deal size is undisclosed, Workmate’s co-founder Mathew Ward told DealStreetAsia that it is around eight figures in US dollars. “The acquisition will allow Workmate to accelerate its investment into technology and sales as well as speed up its launch to new markets,” said Ward.

Workmate had raised $5.2 million in a Series A funding round led by Atlas Ventures in 2019. The round also saw the participation of Gobi Partners and Beacon Venture Capital.

Currently operational in Thailand and Indonesia, Workmate is launching operations in its home base Singapore this month. “After that, we will look at markets where Persol is strong, such as Malaysia and Vietnam. Down the line, I would love to tackle Australia and my home country New Zealand where Persol is also very strong. But that’s a couple of years down the road,” explained Ward.

Founded in 2016, Workmate helps businesses find frontline staff in sectors including logistics and warehousing, manufacturing, food & beverages, retail, admin, and customer service. It counts Shopee, Taco Bell, foodpanda, and Singha as its clients, according to its website.

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