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Editor’s opinion: What a week that was – July 5-10.

Paramita Chatterjee is a writer who lives in Kolkata, India.
11th of July, 2021

In one of the most significant developments this week, Malaysia’s budget airline AirAsia Group acquired the Thailand business of Indonesian ride-hailing and payments provider Gojek in a stock swap transaction, giving the latter a 4.76 percent ownership in AirAsia’s lifestyle platform.
In an interview with DealStreetAsia, the budget airline’s CEO Tony Fernandes discussed the origins of the deal and the inorganic development strategy the company plans to use to expand its operations in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, Salim Dhanani, CEO and co-founder of AirAsia’s fintech subsidiary BigPay, stated that the company’s goal in Thailand is to implement all essential functions, including payments and international remittance.
In Indonesia, e-commerce behemoth Bukalapak announced it plans to raise between $1.3 billion and $1.5 billion in an IPO on the Indonesian Stock Exchange, which would be the largest in the country’s history.
In yet another move in the country, media and technology conglomerate Emtek Group has raised its investment in Grab’s local unit in Southeast Asia. Sutanto Hartono, vice president-director at Emtek Group, told us exclusively that the company is actively discussing the possibilities of synergies with Grab.
Meanwhile, in China, all eyes have been on Didi Chuxing, the ride-hailing behemoth that has become the latest victim of the country’s cybersecurity probe. Online recruiter, as well as truck-hailing applications Huochebang and Yunmanman, have all being investigated by China’s cybersecurity police.
Didi and other US-listed companies have lost billions of dollars as a result of the tech crackdown, which symbolizes the Chinese government’s shift in posture toward companies listed abroad.
In other funding news, Insignia Ventures Partners is rumored to be raising its third fund, with a goal of roughly $250 million. The Singapore-based venture capitalist is expected to launch the fund in early 2022, according to sources.
Tanglin Venture Partners in Singapore is aiming for a final closing of over $100 million for its second fund by the end of the third quarter this year. During the fund’s initial close a few months ago, the company is said to have raised more than half of the target amount.
Meanwhile, KK Fund, a Singapore-based venture capital firm, is raising its third investment vehicle, with the first closing expected by the end of the year, according to Koichi Saito, co-founder and general partner.
In India, Kotak Investment Advisors raised $185 million for the Kotak Pre-IPO Opportunities Fund, which would invest in firms before they go public.
Bow Wave Capital Management, a private investment firm based in the United States, raised $22.65 million for its ASP Thailand Fund, citing the potential of Southeast Asia’s booming startup environment. It raised $26.8 million for its ASP Philippines Fund last year.
Taiwan’s Fubon Life Insurance has agreed to invest $200 million in KKR & Co’s flagship infrastructure fund. The former will receive a 1.67 percent stake in the infrastructure fund as a result of the proposed investment.
Educa, a Vietnamese edtech business, received money from the eWTP Technology Innovation Fund, which is supported by Alibaba. Despite the fact that this was not a large sale, it demonstrates how Alibaba, the Chinese billionaire Jack Ma’s company, is actively pursuing startup chances in underdeveloped regions.
DCL Investments is in the market to establish its first US dollar fund in China, as domestic and international investors’ desire for distressed investment opportunities in the world’s second-largest economy grows.
Deals section
CR-CP Life Science Fund, a joint venture between China Resources Group and Thailand’s Charoen Pokphand Group, led a $77 million Series C fundraising round for Singapore-based biotechnology business MiRXES.
Meanwhile, Ikhlas Capital, a private equity firm, formed a strategic relationship with Silverlake Group to help the software company grow, marking the latter’s first institutional partnership.
Freetech, a Chinese autonomous driving firm, raised more than $100 million in a Series A investment led by a number of investors.
DealShare, an Indian social e-commerce startup, has raised $144 million in a funding round led by Tiger Global, WestBridge Capital, Alpha Wave Incubation, and Z3Partners.
Meanwhile, Teachmint, an online teaching platform based in the country, raised $20 million in a round headed by Learn Capital.
Dives into the depths
We documented the story of Alibaba-backed Vietnamese retailer The CrownX, which is currently charting its route to profitability following a capital raise in May.
We also ran a thorough article on how the promise of a digital banking license in Malaysia enticed some unusual actors, including a seminar organizer, an army cooperative, and two state governments, to enter the fray.
The rise of earned wage access (EWA) startups in Southeast Asia is notable, especially in these COVID times. Wagely and GajiGesa in Indonesia, as well as Nano Technologies in Vietnam, have received funding.
Despite COVID setbacks, Indian firms were able to raise $3.8 billion from 152 PE-VC deals in June, allowing them to breathe a sigh of relief. This is more than double the amount they raised in May, when they raised $1.83 billion.

AirAsia Group Bhd is a Malaysian airline company. Bow Wave Capital Management is a subsidiary of BigPay. Dealshare from DCL Investments EMTEK Didi Educa group Freetech Fubon Life Insurance is a company that provides life insurance. Grab a Gojek Insignia Venture Partners HuoCheBang KK Fund is a private equity firm that invests in Tanglin Venture Partners MiRXES Teachmint The CrownX is a new type of crown.

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Questions and Answers
Following the Gojek transaction, AirAsia is on the verge of securing two more in its digital business expansion.

In addition, AirAsia has secured a $50 million share swap arrangement to acquire Gojek’s Thai operations.

Deals After raising stakes, Emtek Group is in talks to join forces with Grab Indonesia.

The prospect of putting Emtek’s Vidio app on the Grab platform is currently being discussed.

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