Rising startups: edtech and fintech firms continue to raise money

Which are the startups that are on the path to becoming the next big thing? In this regular post, we give you an overview of the companies that have raised money in the past week, as well as those that we think investors should look at.

1. Unacademy (India)

Unacademy, an edtech company, announced that it has secured US$110 million in a series E funding round led by General Atlantic, Facebook, and Sequoia India. Existing investors Nexus Venture Partners, Steadview Capital, and Blume Ventures, along with Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy and Udaan co-founder Sujeet Kumar, also participated in the round. The company plans to use the new funds to launch more exam categories, acquire top educators, and improve its content and product. More info.

2. Rupeek (India)

Rupeek, a gold-backed online lending platform, said that it has raised US$60 million in two separate funding rounds from GGV Capital, Bertelsmann India Investments, Binny Bansal, KB Investments, Tanglin Venture Partners, Sequoia India, and Accel Partners. The company plans to use the fresh funds to invest in technology, customer acquisition and work towards improving the accessibility of credit in the country. More info.

3. Laiye (China)

Laiye, an AI-powered robotic process automation (RPA) solutions provider, said it has raised US$42 million in a series C funding round co-led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and Lightspeed China Partners. Cathay Innovation and Wu Capital also participated in the round. The funds will allow Laiye to recruit the best RPA and AI talent across the globe to strengthen its business and technology. More info.

4. Snapask (Hong Kong)

Snapask, an educational technology startup, has announced the close of a US$35 million funding round. The lead investors include Asia Partners, the Singapore-based fund led by Nick Nash and Oliver Rippel, as well as South Korea’s Intervest. The funds will be used to grow its business in Southeast Asia and expand into new markets such as Vietnam. The company is also opening a regional headquarters in Singapore. More info.

5. Mbiz (Indonesia)

Mbiz, an Indonesian business-to-business e-procurement platform, announced in a media briefing that it is targeting to raise US$20 million in a series B round. The company expects to finalize the round in the second quarter of this year, Ryn Hermawan, co-founder and chief operating officer at Mbiz, told DailySocial. The company will use the new funds to invest further in its platform and team. More info.

6. Eureka AI (Indonesia)

Eureka AI, an AI enterprise software company, announced that it has raised US$20 million in a series B funding round co-led by Apis Partners, Gobi Partners, the Riyad Taqnia Fund, and MEC Ventures. SG Innovate, GDP Ventures, Pacific Bridge, and Cianna Capital also participated in the round. They join existing investors in the company that include SoftBank, PPF Home Credit, and East Ventures. The company plans to use the new funds to support its international expansion plans in Europe and the US, as well as further develop its product portfolio. More info.

7. Onsitego (India)

After-sales services startup Onsitego has raised US$19 million in a series B round led by the Avendus-backed Zodius Growth Fund. Accel Partners, an existing investor in Onsitego, also participated in the funding round. It plans to use the new funds to consolidate its market position and expand into annual maintenance contracts, home protection, and on-demand services. More info.

8. Socar (Malaysia)

Car-sharing startup Socar Mobility Malaysia has raised US$18 million in a series A funding round from new investors Eugene Private Equity and KH Energy. The new capital pushes Socar’s total funding to US$40 million at a valuation of US$118 million. Socar plans to use the new funds to enhance its technology, bolster its growth in Malaysia, and expand into new countries by Q4 2020. More info.

9. CoolBitX (Taiwan)

Blockchain security company CoolBitX announced that it has raised US$16.8 million in a series B funding round led by existing investor SBI Holdings. The National Development Fund of Taiwan, Korean crypto exchange BitSonic, and Japanese financial group Monex also participated in the round. The company plans to use the new funds to expand the Sygna product line’s presence beyond Asia Pacific and continue to develop its flagship product, CoolWallet S. More info.

10. Dunzo (India)

Dunzo, a hyperlocal delivery startup, has secured US$11 million from local venture debt fund Alteria Capital. It plans to use the fresh capital to work toward becoming a profitable local ecommerce company and scale its operations in already profitable markets. More info.

11. UangTeman (Indonesia)

Online lender UangTeman said it has closed the second part of its series B round. ACA Investments, an affiliate of Japanese financial institution Daiwa Securities Group Inc, is anchoring the round with participation from Pegasus Tech Ventures and Japan’s Spiral Ventures. The entire series B funding amounts to US$10 million. The company previously closed its series B1 tranche of US$4.2 million in August 2019, which was led by Draper Associates and Japan’s KDDI Open Innovation Fund. More info.

12. Tonik (Singapore)

Tonik, a Southeast Asia-focused digital bank, announced that it has raised US$6 million in an institutional funding round led by VC investors Insignia Ventures Partners and Credence Partners, with participation from regional family offices and angel investors. The company plans to use the new funds to launch its digital bank in the Philippines and start commercial operations in the third quarter of 2020. More info.

13. Clover (India)

Greenhouse agritech startup Clover announced that it has raised more than US$5.5 million in a series A funding round from VC firm Omnivore and existing investors Accel and Mayfield. Accel and Mayfield previously invested in Clover’s seed round in December 2018 when the startup was still in stealth mode. This additional funding will help to accelerate the growth of its managed farm network, support entry into new cities, and diversify its B2B and B2C fresh produce offerings. More info.

14. WhatsHalal (Singapore)

WhatsHalal, a foodtech startup focused on the halal industry, has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding at a valuation of S$4.5 million (US$3.2 million). The capital was raised through FundedHere, a crowdfunding platform licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, according to a statement. WhatsHalal plans to use the new funds to further develop its proprietary tech platform, make new hires, and push forward with its regional expansion plans. More info.

15. MaxWholesale (India)

B2B ecommerce startup MaxWholesale, which provides products to Indian mom and pop stores, locally known as kiranas, has raised US$3 million in a round led by Indian Angel Network (IAN) and Al Falaj Investment Company (AFI), an Abu Dhabi-based private family office. Existing investors Maple Capital, Infoedge’s former chief financial officer Ambarish Raghuvanshi, Maple Capital’s Abhinav Grover, and a few other angel investors also participated in the round. More info.

16. Waves (Vietnam)

Waves, an audio and podcast startup, has raised US$1.2 million in seed funding led by Singapore’s Insignia Ventures Partners. Other investors include Hustle Fund and Skystar Capital. Founded in 2019 by Kevin Gao and Ben Minh Le, Waves aims to become one of the leading platforms in Southeast Asia for podcast and audio content. More info.

17. Credify (Singapore)

Credify, a software development company, announced that it has raised US$1 million in a seed round from Beenext and Deepcore, an AI-focused incubator backed by SoftBank. The company plans to use the new funds to enhance the development of its products, further localize its software development operations in Southeast Asia, and move ahead with its live client engagements. More info.

18. ShopRunBack (Cambodia)

Logistics startup ShopRunBack has raised US$900,000 in a pre-series A round led by Phnom Penh-based VC fund Obor Capital. Other investors, such as Singapore’s Negocia Ventures, a VC firm founded by serial entrepreneur Thierry Tea, also participated in the round. More info.

19. MandiExpress (Pakistan)

MandiExpress, a Pakistani online fresh produce and grocery delivery startup, has raised US$725,000 in a pre-series A funding round led by institutional VC fund Lakson Investments Venture Capital. Private investor Disrupt,which has been backing the startup since its seed stage, also provided follow-on funding. With the new funds, MandiExpress plans to scale its successful model with sabzi mandis across the country and meet rising demand brought by its partnerships with various ecommerce firms. More info.

20. TopDev (Vietnam)

IT recruitment platform TopDev announced that it has secured a seven-digit strategic investment from SaraminHR, a publicly listed job recruitment firm in South Korea. This round is part of SaraminHR’s global market expansion plan. The new funding will be used to improve TopDev’s service quality and develop new values for its customers, while still continuing to enhance other ambitious goals. More info.

21. LetsShave (India)

Wipro Consumer Care Ventures, the VC arm of Indian fast-moving consumer goods company Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting, has made an undisclosed amount of investment in local personal care brand LetsShave. Founded in 2015, LetsShave designs and manufactures quality razor blades, which it sells directly to consumers online. More info.

22. Foodmandu (Nepal)

Nepal-based foodtech startup Foodmandu has raised an undisclosed amount of series B funding from local private investment fund Team Ventures. As part of the deal, Team Ventures will get a 20% stake in the food delivery platform. It will be done through a mix of new shares and a partial buy-out of the holdings of True North Associates (TNA), which invested in the startup in 2015. More info.

23. Hoolah (Singapore)

Hoolah, a Singapore-based fintech company, announced it is bringing its interest-free installment solution to Malaysia. Founded in 2018, Hoolah allows consumers to pay for their purchases in three monthly installments without any interest or fees. The startup is now expanding outside of Singapore and bringing its buy now, pay later solution to merchants across Southeast Asia, with Malaysia as its first new market. More info.

24. B Live (India)

In February 2018, Samarth Kholkar and Sandeep Mukherjee quit their cushy jobs and developed B Live, a business that provides experiential tours on environmentally friendly electric bikes. In just one year, B Live said it completed 4,000 rides. Besides setting up 10 tour circuits in Goa, it has expanded to six more states in 10 locations with one circuit each. According to Mukherjee, the company now conducts about 1,000 electric bike rides every month. Most of them are in Goa. More info

25. Binance (Singapore)

Binance Holdings, a global cryptocurrency exchange platform, has applied for an operating license in Singapore under the city-state’s new payments law. Commencing last month, the new Payment Services Act provides licenses for various payment providers as well as platforms dealing with cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ether. More info.

The following startups are a part of Entrepreneur First’s (EF) sixth cohort of deep-tech companies. EF told Tech in Asia that it invests S$75,000 (US$53,566) into each of the teams that reach the Launch phase. The investment, together with about US$3,500 in monthly stipends for each founder over the course of the program, is provided in exchange for a 10% stake in each company. More info.

26. Healium Digital Health (India)

Healium Digital Health is a healthcare AI company that focuses on early detection and the management of chronic illnesses, such as kidney disease, through non-invasive digital biomarkers.

27. Qzense (India)

Qzense is an IoT solution that harnesses the power of olfaction to enable fresh-food retailers to assess the quality of fresh food quickly and accurately.

28. Real Analytics (India)

Real Analytics brings improved transparency to the real estate market through more accurate pricing and predictive development analytics and a real-time solution that addresses land encroachment, which can reduce settlement costs by 90%.

29. Recreate (India)

Recreate leverages AI to help businesses create compelling social video content from text within minutes.

30. Sensight (India)

Sensight helps to increase in-store advertising inventory and delivers hyper-personalized content to shoppers in real time.

31. UnboxRobotics (India)

UnboxRobotics has developed an AI-powered fleet of robots that can move upwards and sideways simultaneously to sort parcels efficiently.

32. Open (Hong Kong)

Open empowers banks in developing Asia to quadruple their small and medium-sized enterprises lending business volume and reduce loan approval times from a month to one day.

33. PixCap (Hong Kong)

PixCap is reducing the barriers to 3D animation and content creation with an image-only motion capture technology that can serve as an alternative to motion capture suits.

34. RC Labs (Hong Kong)

RC Labs designs and manufactures adaptive, chemistry-agnostic IoT battery management systems and analytics dashboards to track and manage battery performance for electric vehicle and energy storage systems.

35. Spidfier (Hong Kong)

Spidfier is a biotech company that leverages DNA sequencing technology to combat fish fraud through identification, origin detection, and other metrics.

36. Energy Lite (Singapore)

Energy Lite is building the first virtual power plant for distributed solar photovoltaic systems to guarantee energy output to the power utility.

37. Fairphonic (Singapore)

Fairphonic leverages AI to ensure music platforms pay the right amount to the right creators and artists.

38. Lytehouse (Singapore)

Lytehouse builds software that acts as a command center for security control rooms by pulling their sensors and response coordination into a single platform, allowing processes, from detection to dispatch, to occur seamlessly and with just a few clicks.

39. Milkyway (Singapore)

Milkyway provides physical retailers with ecommerce visibility and insights by delivering real-time in-store data and shopper analytics through the use of computer vision technology.

40. Navarasa (Singapore)

Navarasa enables fast-moving consumer goods manufacturers to optimize their product trial losses and hasten their speed to market while helping them save on costs.

41. Plutwo (Singapore)

Plutwo is a video-sharing platform that allows domain experts to conduct lessons in their areas of expertise and in their local language via paid livestreamed lessons.

42. Poseidon AI (Singapore)

Poseidon AI builds hardware to monitor water composition and leverages algorithm parameters to optimize feed consumption and aquaculture yield for fish farmers.

43. Quantship (Singapore)

Quantship has developed price prediction technology for freight and charter rates for bulk shipping companies.

44. TeOra (Singapore)

TeOra rapidly programs smart microbes to replace synthetic products with natural and sustainable ones using a combination of microfluidics and AI.