Ecosystem Roundup: Traveloka stops talks with SPAC Bridgetown, Intudo Ventures closes US$115M fund


Traveloka

Traveloka reportedly stops talks with Richard Li-backed SPAC for US listing
It has decided to drop merger talks with Bridgetown Holdings as interest in the SPAC market has declined; Instead, the travel company will look at doing things the traditional way for its US listing — an IPO.

‘League of Legends’ owner Virtuos nets US$150M
Investors are Baring Private Equity Asia and 3D Capital Partners; The company will use the funds to accelerate growth and finance its buy-and-build strategy across global markets with strategic partnerships and acquisitions.

Indonesia-only Intudo Ventures hits final close of Fund III at US$115M, to back 12-14 firms
Its notable LPs include Koh Boon Hwee’s family office Black Kite Capital, Gregory Wasson’s Wasson Enterprises; Intudo Ventures III seeks to invest US$1-10M each in companies across agriculture, B2B, education, finance & insurance, healthcare, logistics, new retail, and entertainment.

Agritech ecosystem in Thailand: 60%+ startups haven’t raised external funding, says a white paper
In terms of the amount of investment, Thailand is categorised at the same level as its neighbours Malaysia, Vietnam and Myanmar but much lower than those of Indonesia and Singapore; This is a reflection of the local agritech ecosystem still being in its initial phase, calling for the need for promotions and cooperation.

Digital assets platform Zipmex rakes in US$41M Series B, plans to launch in Thailand
Investors include Krungsri Finnovate, Plan B Media, Master Ad, MindWorks Capital and Jump Capital; Zipmex’s crypto exchange serves both new investors and high-net-worth individuals through two earning accounts, underpinned by its native ZMT token.

E-commerce brand aggregator Rainforest raises US$20M pre-Series A
Investors include Monk’s Hill Ventures (lead), January Capital, Crossbeam Venture Partners, Amasia, and Lo & Behold Group; Rainforest leverages tech to improve inventory management, cost optimisations, and expansions to new marketplaces and channels for these brands – mainly in home goods, mother & kids, personal care, and pet categories.

Ovo leads in Indonesia’s digital payments war, report says
The reports puts Ovo – which still counts Grab and Tokopedia as its stakeholders – ahead of several rival payment platforms such as Gojek’s GoPay, Sea Group’s ShopeePay, Ant Financial’s Dana, and LinkAja.

Go-Ventures leads US$16M Series A in grocery social commerce startup Segari
SIG, Alfamart, Gunung Sewu Group and Intrinity Capital also participated in the round; Segari streamlines Indonesia’s complex agri supply chain through tech and empowers local community leaders to offer grocery services to their social networks.

Ex-Uber, Facebook exec’s data security firm Borneo secures US$15.5M in Vulcan-led round
Investors are Vulcan Capital, Prosus Ventures, Lytical Ventures, and Wavemaker Partners; Borneo is already working at cloud scale with some technology companies and has seen higher demand for its solutions amid the current wave of public listings among such firms.

Indonesian agritech startup Crowde to close US$7M Series A led by Monk’s Hill
The funding follows a recent streamlining of Crowde’s lending business amid the impact of COVID-19 and the prolonged drought in 2019 that resulted in repayment difficulties for its customers.

Indonesian multi-brand e-grocer Pasarnow to expand to new cities with a US$3.3M funding
Investors include East Ventures (lead), SMDV, Skystar Capital, Amand Ventures, and Prasetia Dwidharma; This funding will be used to expand Pasarnow’s regional coverage and strengthen its capability in the groceries supply chain and last-mile solutions.

AI-powered logistics startup Portcast raises US$3.2M
Investors include Imperial Venture Fund, Wavemaker Partners, TMV, and Innoport; Portcast offers global freight forwarders and manufacturers an intuitive SaaS platform and APIs to accurately predict air and ocean cargo flows and forecast daily demand.

Singapore pre-employment screening firm Veremark nets US$2.8M in seed money
Investors include ACF Investors, Triple Point Ventures, and SOV Ventures; Veremark provides an automated solution that helps companies verify employee credentials such as employment history as well as academic, criminal, and credit records.

Indonesian podcast network NOICE nets ‘7-figure USD’ funding co-led by Alpha JWC, Go-Ventures
NOICE provides hyperlocal audio streaming content, including radio, music, audiobooks and podcasts, for Indonesian listeners; NOICE will use the new capital to add a new live audio feature, develop original content and hire talents across the region.

Vietnam-focused fintech startup Jeff bags US$1.5M for SEA expansion
Investors include J12 Ventures, EstBAN, Startup Wise Guys, iSeed Ventures and Toy Ventures; The company plans to enter the Indonesian market by the end of 2021 and expects to start its operations in the Philippines in the third quarter of the year.

Vietnam’s audiobook app Fonos raises US$1.1M seed round to become ‘super app’
Investors are AngelCentral Syndicate, HustleFund and iSeed, and angels; Fonos produces short 10-15-minute book summaries, guided meditation, stories, news, and offline reading options; Its audiobooks are multi-genre, ranging from fiction, classics, economics to startups. Of these, non-fiction books are the most popular.

Startup IPOs in 2021 are encouraging interests of Asia’s founders, investors
According to VC firms in the region, the startup IPOs that have happened this year has created a positive impact on an otherwise challenging year; Spiral Ventures’s Partner Ryu Hirota says the recent groundbreaking IPO by Bukalapak has triggered greater interest from Japanese investors in the SEA market.

Underrated, untapped, and unknown: Malaysia’s startup ecosystem is coming of age
Malaysian startups have shown the highest investment to return ratio in the region – more than double that of Singapore, and nearly 10x more than its neighbours down south in Indonesia.

Why BNPL will change the payment landscape in Vietnam?
Traditional banks are believed to utilise BNPL channels to catch up on the race of acquiring young and new potential credit users and leverage their large customer base via card-linked instalments; Customers who own credit cards still claim to prefer BNPL.

Thai logistics unicorn Flash Express enters Laos via partnership with AIF Group
They will jointly launch Flash Laos, a land and air delivery service, in the country; Flash Laos will allow customers to courier parcels between Thailand and Vientiane, the capital of Laos, through an app on which they can pre-book a delivery service, track parcels, and check service fees on their own.

Image Credit: Traveloka

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