A support system
- 500-backed Indonesian e-commerce platform for modest fashion HIJUP will, in turn, be backing other modest fashion brands in the country. It has launched a US$6.9 million fund called the HIJUP Growth Fund.
- The startup aims to invest ~US$138,000 per local brand. It will also provide mentorship in addition to the funding. According to e27, there has been an ongoing trend of tech founders setting up funds to invest in fellow startups in Southeast Asia.
- CEO Diajeng Lestari said HIJUP will not be fully acquiring the brands that it backs. “The goal of this fund is not to dominate but to empower,” she said. “This is a solution to help [small businesses] survive and grow stronger … It is also proof of our commitment to support the modest fashion industry by becoming more than just a marketplace. We intend to become an ecosystem.”
- HIJUP was founded in 2011 to cater to the demand for modest fashion in Indonesia, which has the largest Muslim population in the world. According to the startup, it works with up to 300 brands through its online mall.
- Read the full story on e27 here.
A cycle of goodwill
- A new #SayYesToBlessings campaign has been launched by 500-backed e-commerce marketplace Carousell. This edition aims to aid non-profit organizations (NGO) to gain more traction for their causes digitally.
- NGO accounts will be upgraded to the CarouBiz Charities Package valued at over US$1,100. The package comprises a year’s subscription to resources that NGOs can use to showcase their causes effectively on their profiles.
- What’s more, they will also get ~US$900 worth of marketing credits to purchase additional ads and tools on Carousell. Users can make donations to these NGOs on the platform, with 100% going directly to them.
- According to Ng Chee Soon, managing director of Carousell Singapore, the pandemic is affecting offline fundraising events. By bringing NGOs onto Carousell, where one in three Singaporeans use the platform monthly, they’ll be able to reach a wider audience.
- The platform also enables charities to reach out to help the needy. Food From the Heart, for example, uses Carousell to offer sustainable food support.
- Get more details on Marketing Interactive here.
Sowing new seeds
- When investing in the region was still an acquired taste, 500 Southeast Asia has funded approximately 250 companies in seven years. Collectively, these companies have gone on to raise US$20 billion.
- After the rebranding, its primary focus will continue to be Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. It may also invest in the broader Southeast Asia region.
- From its existing roster of portfolio companies, the firm is nurturing what it dubs the ‘next generation’ from its existing portfolio companies. 15 of them have been reported to be worth more than US$100 million each.
- Read the full article on DealStreetAsia here.