Asia VC Roundup: AIM, Xtreme Design and Credit Engine raise capital

Credit card, cash and fintech

South Korea’s AIM has raised $1.6 million seed investment while Japan’s Xtreme Design and Credit Engine have secured funding.

AIM raises $1.6m seed

Seoul-based fintech startup AIM, which provides an automated investment solution, has closed $1.6 million in seed funding with participation from DT&I, Soorim, Seoul Business Agency, and Startup Bootcamp.

The development was reported by TechCrunch. The firm is looking at expanding to Singapore and “potentially” add one more location in H2 2017, according to AIM CEO and co-Founder Jenna Lee. She said, “We’re thinking about regional expansion and want to build a playbook for international financial services.”

The venture aims to democratise financial services by having a systems that enables users to conduct trades and investments over a smartphone.

AIM streamlines the process through outsourcing trades and investments to brokers, which covers licensing and compliance matters. Currently, in an open beta, Lee claims there are more than 4000 users with about $166 million in assets waiting to use the service.

Xtreme Design raises $610k pre-Series A

Tokyo-based Xtreme Design, a startup that offers a cloud-based virtual supercomputing on-demand service called Xtreme DNA, disclosed that it had raised 700,000 yen (~$610,000) in its pre-series A round in a Tuesday announcement.

The round was led by Freebit Investment and includes individual investors. This latest investment follows a seed round it raised of 30 million yen (~ $260,000) in January and March 2016 from its  founders and angel investors.

Freebit Investments is a subsidiary of a Freebit, which is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and is engaged in the business of providing IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service).

The company provides an automated service for conducting operations monitoring to optimise system utilisation of supercomputers. This is achieved through deploying virtual supercomputers on the cloud and has been attracting attention from enterprise users due to its role in IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) applications.

Credit Engine closes seed round

Tokyo-based fintech startup Credit Engine, which operates online loan service Lendy, has raised 110 million yen (~$970,000 US) in a seed round. This follows the venture raising 50 million yen (~$440,000) from Draper Nexus Ventures and Tokyo-listed Voyage Group in September  2016.

Following Japan’s Financial Services Agency issuance of a business license for lending money – necessary for their business development – they also secured 60 million yen (~$530,000 ) from 500 Startups and  500 Startups Japan as well as Freebit Investment, the investment arm of Japanese Internet service provider Freebit.

According to a report from The Bridge, these investments qualify as seed rounds, making this investment an extended seed and brings aggregate equity funding raised to an estimated $1.94 million.

Credit Engine was founded in July 2016 by CEO Seiichiro Uchiyama and CFO Tatsuki Inoue and operates as neo-bank.  Its online loan service Lendy aims to provide rapid financing to individual business owners and SMEs (small & medium enterprises) can access funds.

Currently, Lendy caters to restaurants, barber shops, hair salons, online shop operators, with a planned average loan amount per customer being 1.5 million yen (~$13,000) and up to a maximum of 10 million yen (~$88,000 US).

Also Read:

SFA-polytechnic partnership has implications for female roles in Singapore fintech

Japanese investors back Canadian VC Pangaea Ventures’ $80m fourth fund

Japan: Enechange raises $4.4m from Opt Ventures & IMJ

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.