Asia Digest: Korea’s TMON secures $276m; Australian unicorn Canva buys two firms

Melanie Perkins, co-founder and CEO, Canva

South Korean e-commerce platform TMON has received commitments worth 305 billion won ($276 million) from investors, while the Australian online design platform and unicorn Canva has acquired two European companies in a bid to grow its global influence.

Korea’s TMON closes $276m pre-IPO round

South Korean e-commerce platform TMON has received commitments worth 305 billion won ($276 million), according to local media reports.

TMON, short for Ticket Monster, received 255 billion won in fresh funding from a consortium led by Seoul-based private equity firm PS Alliance, allowing it to get back on track for an IPO on the local stock exchange in the second half of the year.

The consortium is investing through the purchase of bonds convertible into TMON shares to be issued by KKR and Anchor Equity Partners.

Meanwhile, KKR and Anchor Equity have together injected an additional 50 billion won into TMON.

The new capital will be used to cover the company’s capital shortfall.

PS Alliance is a private equity fund manager owned by South Korean automotive and electronic components manufacturer Poongsung Group.

TMON was founded in 2010 and is one of the leading e-commerce companies in Korea. In 2015, private equity investor Anchor Equity Partners and global investment firm KKR acquired a controlling stake in Ticket Monster Inc. from Groupon.

Australian unicorn Canva buys two companies

Australian online design platform and unicorn Canva has acquired two European companies in a bid to grow its global influence.

Canva took full control of Kaleido.ai, the Austrian visual AI startup behind the eponymous popular design tool that instantly removes background from a photo or video.

Canva also purchased Smartmockups in the Czech Republic, which provides mockups for T-shirts, mugs, and other items for e-commerce entrepreneurs.

Canva is known globally as the go-to tool for crafting customisable graphic designs for a range of uses from business logos to street event posters. The company said, as of 2020, it has more than 30 million monthly active users across 190 countries. Since its launch in 2013, a total of over 3 billion designs have been created using its platform.

Last year, Canva raised $60 million in a funding round co-anchored by Blackbird Ventures and Sequoia Capital China that valued the company at $6 billion.

To date, it has acquired a total of six companies, including image providers Pexels and Pixabay.

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.