VC Dealbook: Migme acquires 2 Indonesian ventures; SK Group launches $25m agribusiness fund

Singapore-based social media venture Migme has raised a fresh round of funds through a placement and acquired two Indonesian firms, as part of its growth activities. Additionally, the South Korean chaebol, SK Group, has raised a new $25 million fund targeting agribusiness and fisheries ventures, as part of a broader national push within South Korea to grow entrepreneurial ventures.

Migme raises funds, acquires two Indonesian firms

ASX-listed and Singapore-based social entertainment platform Migme has recently raised a fresh round of funds and acquired two Indonesian firms, social news site Hipwee and online fashion store Shopdeca.

Hipwee delivers original and community-generated content focused on entertainment, relationships, and travel that targets Indonesia’s urban population,s while Shopdeca maintains two e-commerce sites that offer curated lifestyle products to Indonesian consumers.

In an interaction with Tech in Asia, CEO Steven Goh disclosed that the transactions amounted to more than US$2 million in cash and equity. Additionally, they were partly funded by proceeds raised from the issue of a US$2.5 million convertible note placement to new investors, led by Lucerne Investment Partners.

Goh claimed that they raised more capital than necessary, suggesting that acquisitions to expand Migme’s footprint in markets like India and Philippines were possible.

Also Read: Seed Funding Roundup: Creopop raises capital from Wavemaker Partners, NRF; Singapore Angel Network among investors in Little Black Book

SK Group raises new $25m agribusiness fund

South Korean conglomerate SK Group, which includes SK Telecom as a subsidiary, has raised a fund worth KRW 30 billion ($25 million) targeting technology ventures in the agribusiness and fisheries sector, targeting entrepreneurial ventures in the Daejeon and Sejong districts of South Korea, according to The Korea Herald.

This comes as South Korea embarks on a drive to transform its economy through the addition of greater creativity and business venture formation. However, this initiative has met with obstacles of a cultural and structural nature.

The Korea Herald has not that with traditional industrial capitalist models reaching their limit in an increasingly information-based economy, South Korea’s president, Park Geun-hye, has initiated a push towards a creative economy, given increasing competition from China and other emerging markets in manufacturing.

This is part of a move to transform South Korean socially and economically, nurturing a new generation of businesses that have the agility to survive and succeed amidst an economy that is traditionally dominated by South Korean chaebols, which adopt a corporate structure where various corporations and groups of companies are owned or otherwise dominated by a single family dynasty.

With chaebols at the centre of what is considered a divisive debate, with some seeing chaebols are problematic for the South Korean economy, as of 2010 the multi-conglomerates are evolving in the roles they play in South Korea’s economy, which they are credited with being instrumental in developing.

Adopting the new industrial concept of the creative economy, conceptualised by British author John Howkins, Park is seeking to generate synergies form the melding of ICT, science and technologies to generate new employment and markets, as a solution to emerging problems facing South Korea: deepening income inequality; slowing economic growth; and rising youth unemployment.

The launch of this fund by SK Group is part of a move by conglomerates like Samsung Group, who have been enlisted to provide technical and financial assistance to startup ventures, via partnerships with innovation centres SK Group is collaborating with an innovation centre in Daejeon, while South Korean textile major Hyosung has launched a centre in Jeonju aimed at boosting the carbon fibre industry.

To date, SK Group has allocated a approximately $63 million to its entrepreneurial initiatives, with other corporations within the group aiding startup ventures with technical and business issues. This is part of a larger boom amongst South Korean startups, as foreign venture capital enters the country.

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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.