FB Pixel no scriptDeals in brief: Alibaba-backed Akulaku secures USD 100 million from HSBC, eFishery acquires DycodeX, seven China deals, and more | KrASIA

Deals in brief: Alibaba-backed Akulaku secures USD 100 million from HSBC, eFishery acquires DycodeX, seven China deals, and more

Written by KrASIA Writers Published on   5 mins read

Bringing you the latest updates on funding deals and activities in the Asia Pacific.

Akulaku secures USD 100 million from HSBC to drive expansion in Southeast Asia

Akulaku, a digital banking and finance platform, has secured a credit facility from HSBC Singapore of up to USD 100 billion. The company stated that the funds will be utilized to facilitate its expansion plans in Southeast Asia and to support the development of new financing products.

William Li, CEO of Akulaku, told Reuters in an interview that a portion of the proceeds will be allocated to settle some of Akulaku’s debts.

In a statement released by Akulaku, Shaun Sakhrani, head of structured banking at HSBC Singapore for Southeast Asia, added that the deal underscores both entities’ commitment to supporting new economy businesses.

eFishery acquires DycodeX to double down on AI

eFishery, an Indonesia-based aquaculture company, has acquired DycodeX, a local artificial intelligence-of-things (AIoT) startup. The company did not disclose the financial terms of the deal, but said that this acquisition will enable it to double down on AI, with plans to launch a brand called eFishery.ai.

DycodeX’s team will join eFishery to focus on AIoT and cultivation intelligence as part of its product division. Andri Yadi, co-founder and CEO of DycodeX, will lead the team as vice president.

According to Tech in Asia, eFishery is planning a two- to three-year roadmap where it would launch up to ten new products and platforms, including internet-of-things solutions, a generative AI product, and other aquaculture intelligence solutions.

BPI to exit GoTyme Bank for USD 16 million

Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), the banking arm of the Zobel de Ayala family, is divesting its entire stake in GoTyme Bank, one of six digital banks licensed to operate in the Philippines. GoTyme is a joint venture of JG Summit Holdings and Tyme.

According to DealStreetAsia, BPI disclosed to the Philippine Stock Exchange that its board has agreed to sell its entire 15% stake in GoTyme Bank for PHP 902.47 million, valuing the digital bank at around PHP 6 billion.

BPI acquired a minority stake in GoTyme Bank following its merger with Robinsons Bank in January 2024 but has opted for divestment due to a “potential conflict of interest.”

Should the divestment secure approval from the country’s central bank, BPI’s shares will be sold to GoTyme Financial and Giga Investment Holdings.

The Mills Fabrica invests in Nukoko

The Mills Fabrica (TMF), a Hong Kong-based startup incubator and ecosystem builder, has announced its investment in Nukoko, a UK-based startup producing cocoa-free chocolates using fermentation technology. This investment comes as part of Nukoko’s USD 1.5 million seed funding round, led by Oyster Bay Venture Capital, with participation from SOSV and Innovate UK.

Nukoko has innovated a method to develop chocolate by fermenting fava beans, a nitrogen-fixing crop, resulting in a 90% reduction in carbon emissions without contributing to further deforestation. The startup said that this approach avoids ethical concerns associated with traditional chocolate production and claimed that the product is high in protein, fiber, and antioxidants, with 40% less sugar than regular chocolate.

As plant-based meat initiatives encounter hurdles, attention in the pursuit of sustainable food alternatives has diversified. Recent investments in innovations such as Nukoko’s cocoa-free chocolate and Prefer’s bean-free coffee underscore this trend, presenting consumers with novel options to mitigate their environmental footprint while retaining familiar indulgences.

Prefer, a Singapore-based food tech startup, secured USD 2 million in February 2024 to scale its production of a coffee substitute with comparable characteristics to actual coffee by upcycling surplus bread, soy pulp, and spent grain using fermentation technology. Photo source: Prefer.

Amber Group joins Tensorplex Labs’ USD 3 million seed round

Amber Group, a leading digital asset company, has participated in the USD 3 million seed funding round of Tensorplex Labs, an AI and Web3 technology startup.

The round was jointly led by Collab+Currency and Canonical Crypto, with contributions from Digital Currency Group (DCG), Accomplice, Golden Chain, Mechanism Capital, Quantstamp, and various angel investors.

Recent deals completed in China:

  • Brattea, a Shanghai-based medtech company, has secured a nine-figure RMB sum in a Series D funding round. The round was led by Zhongping Capital, with participation from Shanghai Healthcare Capital (SHC), Dingxin Capital, and Morning Spring Venture. The company will utilize the funds to propel the commercialization of its renal denervation therapy (RDN) solution, conduct clinical studies, and further its R&D endeavors. 36Kr
  • Zongwei Technology, a R&D enterprise specializing in intelligent magnetic drive and magnetic levitation conveying technology, has bagged RMB 200 million (USD 27.7 million) in funding across two strategic rounds. The investment came from BYD, Yongxin Capital, Shengbao Capital, and Leader, with continued support from existing shareholders Hua Capital and 01VC. The funds will be directed toward team expansion, R&D, and product diversification, particularly focusing on the company’s magnetic drive conveyor system. 36Kr
  • Yueshi Robot, a Shenzhen-based provider of equipment and systems for food cold chain management, has secured an eight-figure RMB sum in pre-Series A2 funding from GSR United Capital. 36Kr
  • HiCoffee, a functional coffee brand, has announced the completion of an angel funding round, raising a seven-figure RMB sum from a subsidiary of Chancemate. The capital will support HiCoffee’s product R&D and marketing initiatives. 36Kr
  • Pateo, a Shanghai-headquartered company focused mainly on the development of intelligent telematics systems and provision of after-sales services, has raised RMB 1.5 billion (USD 208 million) in funding. 36Kr
  • Evomotion, an AI platform provider, has closed its Series C funding round with investments from Bauhinia Huifu, Zhicheng Fund, Tianrui Fengnian Private Fund, and Bridge Private Fund Management. The company did not disclose the specific amount raised, but said the funds will be used to construct a new production line and expand its operations in Longnan, Ganzhou. 36Kr
  • Orient Motion, a Suzhou-registered solutions provider for wire-controlled chassis, has completed a RMB 50 million (USD 6.9 million) pre-Series A funding round led by Northern Light Venture Capital. The investment will be channeled toward product development and production line construction. 36Kr

Spacely AI, ABM Investama, PoreSpect, and more led last Friday’s headlines:

  • Spacely AI, a startup developing an AI-powered spatial design platform, secured an undisclosed amount of pre-seed funding from SCB 10X, a subsidiary of SCBX Group.
  • ABM Investama, an Indonesian investment company focused on energy-related sectors, entered into a credit facility agreement with Bank Central Asia, securing IDR 1 trillion (USD 63.2 million).
  • PoreSpect, a Guangzhou-registered company specializing in solid-state nanopore single-molecule sensing technology, bagged an eight-figure RMB sum in an angel round of financing led by Forcefield Ventures (IMO Ventures), with participation from Tiantu Capital, Yael Capital, and other institutions.

If there are any news or updates you’d like us to feature, get in touch with us at: [email protected].


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