Daily Markup #290: Carsome partners Thai insurance firms to offer more online services; Over US$86M raised by five 500-backed Malaysian startups since 2020 as featured on VulcanPost; abillion seeks funding to grow plant-based movement

Credit: Nation Thailand

Gearing up

  • 500-backed used car trading platform Carsome has formed a business partnership with Muang Thai Insurance, an insurance company in Thailand, and gettgo, an insurance broker and insurance comparison platform.
  • Under the partnership, the three companies will develop a full range of insurance services for Carsome’s customers. According to The Nation Thailand, this partnership is a significant move as it is the first of its kind.
  • K. Paphatsarin Siribanluelot, Country Head of Carsome Thailand, said, “At Carsome, we are always about giving maximum assurance, peace of mind and convenience to every customer who purchases a car from us. Offering online car insurance is an important step to reaffirm our service commitment.”
  • She added that together, they will create an integrated online used car ecosystem that provides convenient end-to-end solutions for their customers.
  • Read the full article on The Nation Thailand here.
Credit: Fave / Aerodyne / Generation T / Carsome / Business Wire

Rising up to the challenge

  • Vulcan Post, a Malaysia and Singapore tech publication, featured 23 Malaysian startups that successfully raised funding over the first year of the pandemic in the country. Five 500-backed startups were featured on the list.
  • Fintech and rewards platform Fave was recently acquired by an Indian unicorn, Pine Labs for US$45 million. According to TechCrunch, this is one of the rare times a Southeast Asian startup is launching its offering in India.
  • Carsome also makes the list, with a US$30 million Series D funding round led by Asia Partners. The startup claimed the investment to be one of the largest “all-equity financings to date in Southeast Asia’s online automotive industry.”
  • In another Series A, LottieFiles bagged US$9 million in a round led by M12, Microsoft’s venture fund. The platform allows designers and developers to create cross-platform animations without additional coding.
  • Joining the ranks is GoGet, an on-demand work platform. In 2020, GoGet closed a US$2 million Series A investment round led by Monk’s Hill Ventures. These funds were committed towards expanding the startup in Malaysia.
  • Drone startup Aerodyne secured an undisclosed investment sum from a consortium of Japanese investors last year. According to the startup, the strategic partnership will propel Aerodyne’s growth in the agricultural sector in ASEAN and grow its core business in Japan.
  • Get the full list on Vulcan Post here.
Credit: abillion

Growing the plant-based movement

  • Vikas Garg, founder, and CEO of 500-backed food review platform abillion, spoke to Vegconomist about the plant-based landscape and what’s in store for the startup this year.
  • Citing data from The Good Food Institute, Vikas said that US$3.1 billion was invested into alternative protein producers in 2020. Meanwhile, plant-based products are becoming more affordable.
  • To help investors, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers identify market gaps and growth opportunities, abillion launched its data team’s website last year. “We hold the world’s most valuable and unique consumer data set for sustainability,” Vikas said.
  • He revealed that abillion is launching a Series A funding round, and that part of the capital will go towards building the startup’s capabilities.
  • This comes after a positive performance in 2020. “We grew five times across our key metrics last year and had four record quarters and grew our team from 8 to 26,” Vikas shared. “This year we’re looking to double that and it’s going to be a big year for further establishing the company and movement around the world.”
  • Read the full interview on Vegconomist here.

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500 Startups is a venture capital firm on a mission to discover and back the world’s most talented entrepreneurs, help them create successful companies at scale, and build thriving global ecosystems. In Southeast Asia, 500 Startups invests through the pioneering 500 Southeast Asia family of funds. The 500 Southeast Asia funds have backed over 240 companies across multiple sectors from internet to consumer to deep technology. It continues to connect founders with capital, expertise and powerful regional and global networks to help them succeed.

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