Welcome to another Daily Markup monthly roundup. This issue covers major stories in the month of April, plus more.
Q1 of 2021 is starting off strong, with multiple announcements of funding rounds and acquisitions by 500-backed startups. We also look at strategic partnerships in space technology, healthcare, and more.
- Atomionics, a Singapore-based startup that aims to make navigation possible in areas where GPS doesn’t work successfully closed a seed funding round. More details here.
- Friz, a fintech startup focused on financial services for freelancers, raised an undisclosed amount in pre-seed funding. Read more.
- Career platform Glints raised US$22.5 million in Series C funding. Co-founder and CEO Oswald Yeo said this is the largest funding round to date for a talent platform in Southeast Asia. Details here.
- A report by Reuters revealed that Indonesian e-commerce startup Bukalapak raised US$234 million in capital in a funding round. This included strategic investments by the VC arms of two major banks in Indonesia, Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI) and Bank Mandiri. Find out more here.
- Super app Grab announced plans to go public in the United States, facilitated by a partnership with Altimeter Growth, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). This is expected to be the largest-ever U.S. equity offering by a Southeast Asian company at US$40b. Read more.
- Fintech startup Fave was acquired by Indian merchant platform Pine Labs in a US$45 million deal. Both companies noted that the acquisition will help them accelerate their growth in the Asia region. Read more.
- Digital signage startup Enplug has been acquired by Spectrio, a marketing solutions provider based in Florida, US. More details here.
- Rocket startup Gilmour Space Technologies joined forces with another Australian company in an agreement to launch small satellites to orbit. Find out more.
- B2B e-commerce startup Retailo has partnered with Maersk for warehousing services in Pakistan, enabling Retailo to rely on Maersk for its expanding business needs. Details here.
- Out of hundreds of applicants, fintech platform Curlec has been selected as one of five startups to be part of Visa’s first-ever Accelerator Program in Asia Pacific. Read more.
- A 3-year, multi-million dollar agreement between digital health startup Prenetics, University of Oxford, and Oxford Suzhou Centre for Advanced Research (OSCAR) has been signed to further develop the OxLAMP™ technology, a rapid, molecular testing technology for infectious diseases. More details here.
- Xfers’ tokenized Singapore dollar (XSGD), built on the Zilliqa blockchain, became the third-largest tokenized currency after the US dollar and the euro. Read on.
- Edtech startup Lingokids revealed it tripled revenues in 2020, reaching US$30 million. It also added over one million users per month and now has a customer base of 25 million registered users. Get the details here.
Other stories you may have missed:
- Bangladeshi super app Shohoz signed an agreement with Paperfly, making Shohoz Truck the nationwide one-stop logistics solution partner of Paperfly.
- E-commerce marketplace Carousell noted an interesting trend of buying and selling bicycles in Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore, with over 60,000 transactions in the second half of 2020.
- Neuron Mobility announced that their e-scooters have clocked up 1 million kilometers since their introduction in Canberra in September last year.
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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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