Asia Digest: Bangladesh’s Truck Lagbe, Korea’s Upstage, Pakistan’s Maqsad raise funds

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Bangladeshi logistics startup Truck Lagbe, South Korea-based AI startup Upstage, and Pakistan-based edtech firm Maqsad have raised funding.

Bangladesh’s Truck Lagbe raises $4m Series A

Truck Lagbe, a Bangladeshi logistics startup, has raised $4 million in a Series A funding round led by International Finance Corporation, an investment arm of the World Bank Group, according to an announcement.

IDLC VC Fund 1 co-invested alongside IFC and facilitated the fund’s limited partner Millville Opportunities to invest in the round. IFC has injected an equity investment of $2.5 million into the company.

This investment will support the expansion of Truck Lagbe’s operations, help widen the logistics network in the Bangladesh market, and support the expansion of value-added services for truck owners through the sale of fuel, tyres and lubricants, it said.

Founded in 2017, Truck Lagbe initially focused on serving consumers looking to shift houses, the company now serves Enterprise clients and SMEs/Consumers who need logistics support.

Truck Lagbe’s platform brings together shippers and truckers through its marketplace to book freight for inter-city transportation.

S Korea’s Upstage raises $27m Series A

South Korea-based AI startup Upstage has raised $27 million in a Series A funding round led by SoftBank Ventures Asia and Company K Partners, according to an announcement.

TBT Partners, Premier Partners, Stonebridge Ventures, and Primer Sazze Fund also participated in this round.

The startup plans to use the funds raised to recruit a large number of AI specialists and developers to accelerate the development of its solution, AI Pack.

Headquartered in Seoul, Upstage enables companies to easily adopt AI solutions that standardise and automate their key tasks. The company claims that within just eight months of its establishment, it recorded $7.6 million in sales, helping several clients successfully adopt AI across myriad sectors such as finance, education, and distribution.

Outside of Korea, Upstage has established a branch in Hong Kong and is now actively recruiting global talents.

By 2022, the startup plans to hire over 200 AI developers, software, and research engineers from around the world to assist with its system and solutions development. It also plans to strengthen its organisational structure for future competitiveness and to use this framework to expand across global markets, including Japan, the Americas, and Southeast Asia.

Pakistan edtech startup Maqsad raises $2.1m pre-seed round

Pakistan-based edtech firm Maqsad has raised $2.1 million in a pre-seed funding round led by Indus Valley Capital, per a  TechCrunch report.

Alter Global, Fatima Gobi Ventures, and several angel investors from Pakistan, the Middle East, and Europe participated in this round. Founded this year, the company is focused on K-12 education in Pakistan.

The proceeds will be used for developing content, and to bolster R&D and engineering.

Most recently, Indus Valley Capital also co-led a $10 million seed funding round in BridgeLinx, a digital freight marketplace and logistics provider based in Pakistan.

Indus Valley Capital’s portfolio companies include mass transit system Airlift, online marketplace Bazaar, and female fitness startup Aimfit.

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.