Dear Reader,

Let’s start with some positive news amid all the talk of a funding winter. Startups in Southeast Asia raised at least $1.9 billion worth of capital in July, recording a 36% jump from June when dealmaking in the region had fallen to $1.4 billion — the lowest so far in 2022, showed proprietary data compiled by DealStreetAsia.

This was primarily driven by six mega-deals — defined as transactions worth at least $100 million — that raised a combined $1.4 billion during the month, accounting for 74% of the total fundraising.

Private companies in Singapore continued to dominate Southeast Asia’s funding scene in July, both in the number of deals and the total amount raised. DealStreetAsia’s data showed that 39 startups based in the city-state amassed about $1.1 billion in total, or about 58% of the region’s combined investments.

Read on for a recap of all that happened this week on Deal Street…

First, the scoops

Indonesian state lender Bank Mandiri is understood to be in talks to acquire a sizeable stake in Surabaya-based lender Bank Prima Master.

Indonesian digital wallet Espay Debit Indonesia Koe, popularly known as DANA, has entered the unicorn club following investments worth $554.5 million from local conglomerate Sinar Mas and e-commerce giant Lazada, show regulatory filings accessed by DealStreetAsia.

Indonesian conglomerate Emtek Group, the top shareholder of IDX-listed online marketplace Bukalapak, is exploring an initial public offering for its Netflix-like video streaming unit Vidio when the market conditions are favourable.

Venture capital firms are looking to drive the expansion plans of travel tech startups in India as business and leisure travel picks up across the globe post-pandemic. Investors betting big on the sector this year include marquee names such as Nexus Venture Partners, Matrix Partners and Tiger Global, among others.

The big interviews

The single biggest risk facing the private equity sector is rising interest rates, reckons Chew Huai Fong, the regional lead for East Asia and the Pacific at International Finance Corporation (IFC). At the same time, funds that have raised ever-growing amounts of capital could face issues with deployment. This is especially a concern with venture funds in Southeast Asia.

Hong Kong-based private equity investor Gaw Capital is looking for growth equity opportunities in real estate tech across Southeast Asia. Real estate and its related businesses are a massive asset class with healthy deal flow, Herbin Goh, director and head of venture and growth equity at Gaw Capital, told DealStreetAsia in an interview.

SCB10X, the corporate venture capital arm of Thailand’s financial services group SCBX, is looking to actively invest in startups even as other VC investors might be holding back because of the current market turmoil. “During the time that nobody wants to invest, it is the best opportunity to pick up great startups with attractive valuations,” Mukaya (Tai) Panich, the newly appointed CEO of SCB10X, told DealStreetAsia in an exclusive interaction.

Singapore-based early-stage venture capital firm Accelerating Asia has seen a 400% jump in applications between the first and sixth cohort of its accelerator programme, co-founder and general partner Amra Naidoo said.

At a time when the Indian edtech sector is struggling to stay afloat by laying off staff and going hybrid, upskilling platform Newton School has chosen a different path to profitability. The startup, which is looking to turn profitable by the end of the current financial year, is neither planning to cut costs nor expand into any new verticals, said co-founder Siddharth Maheshwari.

Numbers speak

SoftBank Group Corp posted a 2.33-trillion-yen ($17.23 billion) loss at its Vision Fund unit in the April-June quarter as the value of its tech portfolio slid. SoftBank had booked a record loss at its Vision Funds in May as market turmoil driven by rising interest rates and political instability hit the tech investor.

Indonesian conglomerate Astra International realised a gain of 3.7 trillion rupiah ($247.4 million) on its investment in IDX-listed tech giant GoTo in H1 2022. Astra’s profit rose 106% year on year to 18.2 trillion rupiah in the six-month period in part due to gains on its GoTo investment, said Tira Ardianti, head of investor relations at the conglomerate.

PE-VC updates

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments), one of the world’s largest pension funds, has made a total of at least $404 million in private equity commitments in Asia, including China and India, in the second quarter of this year, its latest report showed.

India’s largest online higher education platform, upGrad, has raised $210 million in a fresh funding round, just a week after making its third acquisition in a month, becoming an outlier in an otherwise slow edtech market in India.

International Finance Corporation (IFC) is mulling a proposal to extend a senior loan of 950 million yuan (about $150 million) to Shenzhen-listed express delivery company Yunda Holdings.

Xcelerate, a Singapore-headquartered operating and investment platform, announced raising fresh capital in an equity funding round backed by private equity firms Altair Capital and Exacta Capital Partners. The firm did not disclose how much it raised in the funding round, but a regulatory filing showed Xcelerate raised $11 million in the round.

Bengaluru-based fintech startup Jar is in talks with US-based venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, also known as a16z, to raise $20 million in an extended Series A funding round as it plans to expand its fintech offerings, DealStreetAsia has learnt.

IFC is considering a $150 million investment in bonds to be issued by TMBThanachart Bank (TTB), one of the largest banks in Thailand. TTB plans to issue a green bond of up to $100 million and a blue bond of up to $50 million via private placement to IFC, according to a disclosure.

Thai energy major Gulf Energy Development said it has committed to invest 75 million euros (nearly $77 million) in the Lightrock Climate Impact Fund. The fund is advised by Lightrock, a sister company of the global private banking and asset management group LGT.

edamama, a parenting-focused e-commerce platform in the Philippines, has raised $20 million in a Series A funding round led by Jakarta-based venture capital firm Alpha JWC Ventures.

Singapore-based global carbon exchange and marketplace Climate Impact X secured fresh capital to the tune of S$28.4 million ($20.6 million) in July, show regulatory filings accessed by DealStreetAsia – DATA VANTAGE.

Dutch entrepreneurial development bank FMO has proposed to extend $10 million in debt financing to Indonesia-focused microfinance institution Bina Artha Ventura (BAV) to help grow its loan portfolio.

Southeast Asia-based Locad, a logistics and supply-chain management integrator for cross-border e-commerce, has raised $7.9 million in a Series A funding round, according to regulatory filings.

Indian fintech startup Jodo has raised a Series A funding round of $15 million led by Tiger Global. Separately, SquadStack has scooped up about $17.6 million in its Series B funding round led by Bertelsmann India Investments.

Deals digest

Frontier Towers, the KKR-backed subsidiary of telecom operator Pinnacle Tower, has agreed to pay 45 billion pesos ($810 million) to acquire 3,539 telecom towers from Philippine telecom giant Globe.

Keppel Infrastructure Trust (KIT), Keppel Asia Infrastructure Fund (KAIF), and Keppel Infrastructure (KI) are jointly acquiring Eco Management Korea Holdings (EMK), a South Korean waste management company, for ₩626.1 billion (about $482 million).

US-based investment firm Franklin Templeton has offloaded its entire stake in Vietnamese logistics company Indo Trans Logistics Corporation (ITL) to Japan’s Mitsubishi Logistics Corporation.

SirionLabs, a company that provides software applications for enterprise contract management, is acquiring Kenzai Intelligent Systems (Zendoc) for about $3 million, according to a regulatory filing.

Vietnam’s loyalty and e-commerce firm Society Pass has acquired Thailand-headquartered media company Thoughtful Media Group (TMG) to enter the local market.

Grab Philippines has acquired local motorcycle taxi firm MOVE IT’s business operations.

From Nikkei Asia

Social media giant ByteDance paid about 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) to take full control of one of China’s largest private hospitals, the tech giant’s latest step to expand in healthcare. The business registration system showed an ownership change for Amcare Healthcare, a private hospital for women and children known for high-end services.

Southeast Asian super-app Grab will continue investing in the region’s talent pool through training and support programmes, CEO Anthony Tan said at an event on Thursday, vowing to ensure the ecosystem becomes sustainable for its partners and workers.

Across the wall

Geek+, a China-based developer of autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) for intelligent logistics, has secured $100 million in a Series E1 round of financing, bringing the company’s valuation to over $2 billion.

Insilico Medicine, a clinical-stage artificial intelligence (AI)-driven drug discovery startup, has closed the second tranche of its Series D round led by new investor Prosperity7 Ventures, the diversified growth fund of oil giant Saudi Aramco’s Aramco Ventures.

Jet Commerce, a China-based e-commerce enabler that focuses on emerging markets, has completed its Series B funding round at over $60 million.

Haitai Solar, a Chinese provider of new energy solutions and solar modules, has raised nearly 487.1 million yuan ($72.1 million) in an IPO on the Beijing Stock Exchange.

And finally…

DealStreetAsia – Professional subscribers got access this week to our Greater China Deal Review: Q2 2022 report, which showed that privately held companies in the region secured nearly $11.3 billion in the April-June quarter this year, down 33.5% year on year. The report offers data and insights on the quarterly and monthly startup fundraising trends, the top deals of Q2 2022, the top sectors that attracted investors, and more.

Read More