Daily Markup #999: Top stories in May on SE Asia unicorns hitting EBITDA profitability, funds raised to empower farmers and designers, and more

Two 500-backed companies Bukalapak and Carsome – both valued at over US$1B – achieved their first EBITDA profitable quarter in Q1 2024. Two more companies raised funds to democratize access in their respective industries — agritech startup Elevarm to empower smallholder farmers in Indonesia, and Lottiefiles to enable more of us to create animations. Meanwhile over in Europe, Lingokids was named by TIME Magazine as one of the World’s Top EdTech Companies. Congratulations to our 500-backed teams on their new milestones!

Missed our last highlights issue? Check it out here.

Photo credit: Markus Winkler
  • Bukalapak announces first EBITDA profitable quarter, driven by their strong support and services for Indonesia’s warung community
  • Carsome reaches significant milestone of first quarterly positive EBITDA and marks 500,000+ cars sold since 2015
  • Elevarm raises US$2.6M to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers by democratizing access to quality farming essentials
  • LottieFiles secures strategic investment from Figma Ventures and Webflow Ventures to continue empowering motion designers
  • Lingokids honored by TIME Magazine as one of the World’s Top EdTech Companies, adding to a recent series of awards
  • Naluri eyes EBITDA breakeven, an expansion across Asia-Pacific, and support for a broader range of health conditions
  • Asia’s leading VCs are propelling innovation in the region; Khailee Ng on unlocking generational wealth for more
  • NodeFlair’s Asia Tech Salary Report 2024 offers insights that benefit job seekers and employers across the region
  • Meals in Minutes Co-founder Khiara Mia shares how women entrepreneurs can overcome obstacles in a male-dominated F&B industry
  • Hydroleap powers CYCLEAN to bring clean water to local communities in the Philippines, the chemical-free way
  • SOLS Energy partners Malaysian ministry to make solar power more accessible and affordable for homes
  • eFishery boosts aquafarm productivity and sustainability by equipping farmers with an AI co-pilot that understands their language
  • Prefer makes it easy for cafes to serve sustainable, beanless coffee; plans to expand to nuts and fruits in the future
  • Carousell brings circular beauty to skincare enthusiasts with Skin Inc devices at 60% cheaper than new devices
  • Seedflex provides frictionless access to micro-loans to empower small business owners with capital to grow
  • iMotorbike announces partnership to empower youth with technical skills for rewarding careers at new Malaysia showroom
  • Carousell brings secondhand shopping to Hong Kong with new REFASH store
  • Mercu, Phasio, and Prefer named SBR’s Hottest Startups of 2024

Other stories you may have missed:

  • Qarbotech Co-founder & CEO Chee Hoe Chor was selected as the fellow of the Young Founders Programme, Westerwelle Foundation, a program that offers mentoring, peer learning, and expert sessions, fostering synergies among the global fellows
  • Involve Asia was honored with two awards – the Excellence Award in Marketing and the Initiative Award in Marketing at the 2024 Malaysia National Business, International Business Awards, and Technology Excellence Awards presented by The Asian Business Review
  • abillion has made more than US$10K in donations this year so far to various non-profits, thanks to their pledge to donate a billion dollars to charities


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