Taiwanese AI startup iKala snags $17m Series B led by Wistron Digital

Taiwan-headquartered artificial intelligence (AI) startup iKala has snapped up $17 million in a Series B funding round led by Wistron Digital Technology Holding Company.

iKala’s existing investors, Hotung Investment Holdings Limited and Pacific Venture Partners, participated in the round, according to a statement.

The Series B financing brings iKala’s total capital raised to date to $30.3 million. The company said it will continue to develop its AI and digital technologies and expand into new markets including Indonesia and Malaysia.

iKala has been operating in Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Philippines, Vietnam and Japan.

“With this funding, we look forward to exploring new opportunities in AI commerce beyond our existing markets,” said Sega Cheng, co-founder and CEO of iKala.

Wistron Digital Technology is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wistron Corporation, a Taiwanese listed technical services firm. The subsidiary focuses on digital technology industries and software application related investments.

The funding for iKala marks Wistron Digital Technology’s foray into Southeast Asia, according to the AI startup.

“With Wistron as a strategic partner, iKala can become a major driving force for transforming Taiwan into an AI industry and talent hub in Asia,” added Lee-Feng Chien, iKala’s board member, a former Google Taiwan managing director who joined the startup earlier this year.

In June 2020, iKala established a new division, iKala Commerce, which consolidates AI-powered influencer database KOL Radar and AI social commerce solution Shoplus to provide an integrated solution and holistic customer data insights for social commerce companies.

iKala claims that more than 400 enterprise customers across 12 industries, along with over 15,000 advertisers, have used its technology.

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.