Ecosystem Roundup: Blibli eyes 2022 IPO, Ant invests US$15M in Chope, Omnilytics to buy Supahands for US$20M

Blibli CEO Kusumo Martanto

Djarum Group-backed Indonesian e-commerce firm Blibli eyes 2022 IPO
It has picked advisers for a potential initial public offering in Jakarta as early as next year; Deliberations are still at an early stage, and the size of the IPO could depend on which Blibli businesses are included.

Omnilytics to acquire Malaysia’s Supahands for US$20M to enhance its retail tech stack capabilities
This deal is part of the Singaporean firm’s ongoing strategic acquisition drive to expand its product offerings and enhance its retail tech stack capabilities; Supahands is backed by Patamar Capital, Cradle Seed Ventures, Axiata and 500 Startups.

Singapore crypto startup Alethea AI raises US$16M to bring NFTs to life
Investors include Mark Cuban, Alameda Research, Multicoin, Galaxy Interactive, Dapper Labs, and LD Capital; Alethea is part of a select group that’s helping test Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3, a language model that can produce human-like text; Through Alethea’s platform, users can create interactive NFTs so they can come “alive.”

Ant Group invests US$15M in Chope
The fundraise comes on the back of a strategic partnership between Chope and Ant Group’s Alipay; Alipay will provide Chope with its mini-programme SaaS and know-how, while Chope becomes Alipay’s platform partner with the capability to integrate a wide variety of mini-programmes.

Dekoruma nets US$15M Series C to expand its experience centres beyond Jakarta
Investors include Nexter Ventures, KTB Network, GDN, OCBC NISP Ventura and Foundamental; Dekoruma offers an ecosystem connecting home furnishing merchants, interior designers, contractors and property developers; Dekoruma also wants to see itself in around eight cities in the archipelago by the end-2022.

Centauri Fund raises US$8.5M from K-Growth to boost investment corridor between Korea and ASEAN
Launched in December 2019 with a target of raising US$150 million, Centauri is run by KB Investment and MDI Ventures: It invests between US$1M and US$5M in machine learning and fintech startups focusing on the Indonesia market.

HIJUP launches US$7M fund to back modest fashion brands in Indonesia
Called HIJUP Growth Fund, it aims to invest around US$138K each in local modest fashion brands and has already backed Buttonscarves and Puru Kambera; Hijup does not intend to fully acquire the companies/brands it backs.

Akulaku CEO William Li: ‘Asia’s BNPL sector has great potential compared to Europe’
The BNPL sector market size and penetration in Asia will be US$134B in 2023, which is only 4% of e-commerce sales, he says; Akulaku has raised US$218M from Ant Group, Sequoia India, and Qiming Venture, among others. It is now in talks to raise US$100M.

Startup Villages helps entrepreneurs move to Italian villages and make the most of their ‘EUR1 house’ schemes
Startup Villages target startups in food, dairy, agri, automotive & EVs, future tech, drones, AI, and food in Italian and Japanese villages in the initial phases.

Medici, a health-tech firm founded by ex-Grab exec, gets seed funding led by Insignia Ventures
With the new investment, the startup aims to foray into the insurance industry; Medici has partnered with companies such as FWD, Bao Viet Insurance, PTI, PVI, VBI, and Bao Minh Insurance to co-launch insurance products; Its healthcare services ecosystem includes telemedicine, health screenings, and a marketplace for drugs and supplements. raises US$3.3M to expand workflow automation solutions in new markets
Investors include Wavemaker Partners (lead), CMIA Capital Partners, and M Venture Partners; Tessaract aims to assist professional services firms across the region to automate repetitive operations and deliver a better experience to their customers.

Insignia, Y Combinator back US$2.2M round of Intellect to provide mental health services across Asia
Intellect aims to make mental healthcare and wellbeing support accessible for everyone through its end-to-end, 24×7 mental healthcare system in a single app; It claims to have clocked over 2.5 million users and 20 enterprise clients globally, covering 12 countries and 11 languages.

Ethis Global closes US$1.7M pre-Series A to accelerate global expansion effort
Investors include Malaysia Airline chairman Wan Zulkiflee, Daud Vicary Abdullah (Trustee at RFI Foundation), and Khurram Hilal (Islamic banking lead at Standard Chartered); Ethis operates sharia-based crowdfunding platforms in Indonesia and Malaysia and social finance platform GlobalSadaqah.

Ex-TPG exec’s startup Marathon Education raises US$1.5M to change the after-school tutoring market in Vietnam
Investors are Forge Ventures (lead), Marcel van Miert and Singapore Life founder Walter de Oude; Marathon leverages a live large-class hybrid model to ensure students get access to top-quality education from “top one per cent teachers”.

Vietnam’s bookkeeping startup SoBanHang attracts US$1.5M to venture out into working capital loans
Investors include FEBE Ventures, Class 5, and Business Insider founder Kevin P. Ryan; The startup helps small retailers create e-stores and manage orders to tap into a market of 16+ million nano- and micro-businesses in Vietnam.

VUIHOC gets funding from Do Ventures to provide primary school education through animation, gamification
The edutech helps students cultivate their self-study from an early age; It covers all three core subjects for primary school students: math, Vietnamese, and English; VUIHOC currently offers more than 150 courses, nearly 9K video lectures, and a repository of 240K quiz questions.

Mindtera bags funding led by East Ventures to grow its personal growth learning platform
Hustle Fund and Henry Hendrawan of Traveloka also participated; Mindtera provides curated personal growth learning curriculums across key areas of life — family, love and work, assisting people in a structured manner to better navigate through life.

Indonesian healthtech startup Zi.Care wins Telkomsel backing in US$500K seed round
Investors are Iterative VC, Choco-Up, and Tinc; Zi.Care digitises patients’ medical and health records then stores them on its cloud-based platform; The solution can increase accuracy in medical records while reducing waiting times and administrative processes in Indonesian healthcare facilities.

Talenox co-founder reveals the grind behind the glamour of entrepreneurship
However, if you are thinking of spending time on building a really good product and only raising funds when you experience hyper-growth, then you should focus on getting more revenue on board in a sustainable way and raise buffer funds to help you bridge your cash flow.

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