SEA Digest: Vietwash, Reality Detector in funding news

In Vietnam, carwash chain Vietwash has bagged $1.7 million in fresh funding from South Korea’s GS Caltex. Meanwhile, in Singapore, deeptech startup Reality Detector has secured a S$500,000 investment.

Vietnam-based carwash chain Vietwash raises $1.7m 

Vietnam-based carwash chain Vietwash has bagged $1.7 million in fresh funding from GS Caltex in lieu of 11.56 per cent stake.

GS Caltex is an energy business run by Korean chaebol GS Group.

Nguyen Thanh Duong, co-founder of Vietwash, announcement that the company seeks to expand its network to 100 outlets in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City as well as 20 more in tier-1 and tier-2 cities across Vietnam by 2022.

The company currently operates over 50 outlets in Ho Chi Minh City.

Vietwash earlier received a $1 million funding from local private equity firm Vietnam Investment Group in 2016.

Its new investor, GS Caltex, is the operator of the autoOasis car maintenance chain with more than 1,000 stores in Korea.

Founded in 2016, Vietwash offers washing and maintenance services for cars and motorbikes. It claims to receive 1.3 million customers every year.

Draper Associates backs SG’s Reality Detector

US-based early-stage venture capital firm Draper Associates has invested S$500,000 ($367,000) in Reality Detector, a Singapore deep-tech startup that delivers video-based deception detection software.

The startup claims it is “the first of its kind in Singapore”, that allows people to access undistorted reality, restoring authenticity, realism and credibility in human interactions.

Prior to the investment by Draper Associates, Reality Detector raised a pre-seed round with the support of Draper Startup House, a startup ecosystem builder and global hospitality chain for travelling entrepreneurs.

“Thanks to the connecting, inspiring and empowering from Vikram (founder of Draper Startup House), we managed to raise our angel round from Aaron Lim of Dymon Asia and Saif Farooqui of Facebook Startup Station,” said Dennis Ye, who founded Reality Detector in 2019.

Conventional methods for deception detection such as polygraphic use are inaccurate, time-inefficient and restrictive; while other existing methods are also quantitatively and qualitatively inferior, requiring hardware, contact and control, according to the startup.

Reality Detector detects deception cues by analysing live or recorded videos, through behavioural science, AI, deep-learning and computer vision methods, to eliminate the need for physical contact.

 

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.