Editor’s take: The week that was — Nov 16-21

At DealStreetAsia, we have been busy preparing for our annual flagship conference, Asia PE-VC Summit 2020, which is virtual this year.

The two-day event, to be held on November 24-25, promises to offer the most comprehensive coverage of the investment landscape and outlook for 2021 in the region across asset classes.

We have put together an editorially-driven agenda, covering 40 tracks, with a lineup of over 65 stellar speakers who represent the most influential stakeholders from the private equity, venture capital, and startup universe.

Explore our full agenda and speaker list and be sure to join us at the Asia PE-VC Summit 2020.

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Moving on to one of our top stories this week, we discussed how China’s move to suspend Ant Group’s mega IPO earlier this month has also sent ripples across the fintech industry in Southeast Asia. The company is, after all, an investor in major fintech players in the region.

Meanwhile, the Asia-Pacific region topped the global mergers and acquisitions (M&A) tally in the third quarter as private equity firms, corporates, and other buyers made the most of low valuations to lap up assets.

From unicorn land

In 2014, gaming and entertainment giant VNG Corp became Vietnam’s first unicorn. It took six years for the country’s second unicorn to surface – e-payment enabler VNPAY. The development is seen as a testament to the growth potential of the local startup ecosystem and is expected to boost investor confidence.

NYSE-listed Sea Ltd.’s disparate pieces – gaming, e-commerce and financial services – are slowly coming together to form another Southeast Asian super app. The rise of its fintech arm is likely to be at the heart of this evolution.

Indonesian e-commerce unicorn PT Tokopedia has bagged capital from US internet giant Google and Singapore state investor Temasek, its CEO and co-founder William Tanuwijaya confirmed this week. The developments were previously reported by DealStreetAsia in June and October.

In a managerial reshuffle at Gojek, its co-CEO Andre Soelistyo will now be fully responsible for overseeing the company’s payment services, while his counterpart Kevin Aluwi will be in charge of other services, including ride-hailing and food delivery. Aldi Haryopratomo, the current CEO of Gojek’s payment arm GoPay, will leave the company at the start of 2021.

Interviews

Hong Kong-based MindWorks Capital – an investor in HK-based logistics firm Lalamove and Taiwan-based travel e-commerce platform KKday – is planning to tap limited partners in the US for the first time for its upcoming fourth fund. “I have not seen any slowdown among US-based LPs investing in the venture capital asset class in Asia,” Mindworks Capital co-founder and managing partner David Chang told us.

In August, consumption-oriented Chinese investment firm Tiantu Capital roped in Nestlé as the cornerstone investor of its debut, USD venture capital fund. In an interview, Tiantu Capital managing partner Pan Pan talks about the enormous potential the firm sees in new retail, new lifestyle and the digital economy. The firm’s investments include digital items recycling platform Aihuishou, perfume brand Scent Library, pet provider Crazy Doggy and ice-cream brand Chicecream.

Delta Capital Myanmar is seeking to raise $100 million for its third fund that will target control deals in the frontier market, managing partner Nick Powell told us. The PE firm has started talking to existing LPs as part of the fundraising process and expects to hit the fund’s first close in March 2021.

In other news from SE Asia

Indonesia Stock Exchange’s business incubator programme is seeking to nudge three more participating startups to list this year. It has facilitated the listing of two startups – travel planning company Pigijo and mobile point-of-sale operator Cashlez – on the IDX acceleration board since December 2019.

Indonesian F&B startup Hangry is in talks to raise $10-15 million in its Series A round as it carves out its expansion plans amidst the COVID-19 crisis.

Indonesian dental technology startup Rata is in advanced talks to close a pre-Series A funding round, which is understood to be backed by existing investor Alpha JWC Ventures and other regional investors.

As the COVID-19 global crisis pushes for faster adoption of artificial intelligence-driven technologies, Vietnamese startups are looking at keeping pace with the trend. Vietnamese AI startups, which have seen sporadic deal activity in recent months, are deploying capital to build tech capabilities and hire talent.

Malaysia Debt Ventures Bhd, a state-owned financier of technology and green startups in the country, is charting its own course to become self-sustainable. To raise funds, the firm is planning a $485 million bond programme expected to be launched by mid-2021.

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.