FB Pixel no scriptDeals in brief: BillEase and Prep secure funding, Malaysia’s Khazanah Nasional initiate MYR 3 billion fund with two partners, Thunes to acquire Tilia, and more | KrASIA

Deals in brief: BillEase and Prep secure funding, Malaysia’s Khazanah Nasional initiate MYR 3 billion fund with two partners, Thunes to acquire Tilia, and more

Written by KrASIA Writers Published on   4 mins read

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

BillEase secures USD 5 million from Saison’s offshore lending arm

BillEase, an app-based consumer finance platform in the Philippines, has secured USD 5 million from Saison Investment Management Private Limited (SIMPL), the offshore lending arm of Saison International.

According to a statement by BillEase, the completion of this investment expands its existing credit facility from USD 20 million to USD 40 million, which had already included participation from various investors including the Helicap Income Opportunities Fund, several institutional credit investors, and high-net-worth individuals.

BillEase offers a variety of consumer financing products including personal loans, e-wallet top-ups, prepaid loads, gaming credits, bill payments, and buy now, pay later solutions. In its statement, the company said it achieved profitability in 2023, having doubled its revenue year-on-year and delivering a 47% return on equity.

Kosuke Mori, CEO of Saison International, expressed his optimism over the completion of this deal, citing it as an opportunity for the firm to build its presence in the Philippines and catalyze the country’s digital financing ecosystem.

“Our investment in BillEase represents our only exposure to the growth in the Philippines’ credit sector at this moment, and aligns with our commitment of providing financial solutions for the underserved segments of markets globally. The Philippines is emerging as one of the fastest growing countries in Asia post-Covid-19, with a huge population that is rapidly digitizing,” Mori said.

Vietnamese edtech startup Prep raises Series A funding

Prep, a Vietnamese edtech startup specializing in preparing students for standardized language tests, has completed a Series A funding round, as reported in regulatory filings accessed by DealStreetAsia. This round was jointly led by Cercano Management and Northstar Ventures.

The startup previously secured funding in April 2023, raising USD 1 million in a separate round. Cercano Management also led that investment, in collaboration with East Ventures.

Photo of Prep’s team.
Photo of Prep’s team. Photo courtesy of Prep and East Ventures.

Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund joins hands with two partners, committing MYR 3 billion to invest in Southeast Asian startups

Khazanah Nasional, Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund, has partnered with the local pension fund Kumpulan Wang Persaraan Diperbadankan (KWAP) and Blue Chip Venture Capital, collectively committing MYR 3 billion (USD 627 million) toward an initiative aimed at investing in Southeast Asian startups.

This announcement follows Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s recent call during the KL20 Summit in Kuala Lumpur, emphasizing Malaysia’s need to attract “high-value investments.”

In addition, Malaysia is also offering incentives to technology companies that choose to establish themselves in the country, including subsidies for office space and exemptions for visas.

Photo courtesy of the Prime Minister’s Office of Malaysia.

Thunes announces agreement to acquire Tilia

Thunes, a cross-border payments company operating out of Singapore, has announced an agreement to acquire Tilia, an “all-in-one” payments platform. The financial terms of this deal have not been disclosed.

According to a statement by Thunes, the acquisition aims to accelerate its growth in the US market and expand its presence in the online gaming sector. Notably, Tilia holds licenses in 48 US states and territories, offering payment solutions for online games, virtual worlds, creator economies, and in-app purchases.

This deal is subject to regulatory approval.

Hyderabad-based startup Plane raises USD 4 million in seed round

Plane, an open source project management platform, has raised USD 4 million in a seed funding round from OSS Capital. The startup intends to use the capital to grow its community and expand its reach among enterprise customers.

Photo of Vihar Kurama (left) and Vamsi Kurama, co-founders of Plane.
Photo of Vihar Kurama (left) and Vamsi Kurama, co-founders of Plane. Photo courtesy of Plane.

Animoca Brands leads USD 3 million investment in Puffverse

Puffverse, a Web3 project featuring non-fungible token (NFT) characters, has secured USD 3 million in a funding round led by Animoca Brands. According to e27, other investors participating in this round include Sky Mavis, Arcane Group, Spartan Group, Foresight Ventures, HashKey Capital, and the Xu Family Office.

Based in Hong Kong, Puffverse plans to utilize the funds to develop its flagship game, PuffGo, and create a cloud gaming platform. This platform will enable NFT projects to construct personalized metaverses without requiring coding skills.

Additionally, Puffverse has partnered with Sky Mavis to bring its entire portfolio of products to Ronin, a gaming-focused blockchain.

Recent deals completed in China:

  • Shunde Douhe Electronic Technology, a Foshan-based producer of small home appliances, has secured a nine-figure RMB sum in a funding round. The round was jointly led by Midas Capital and Lion Partners Capital, with participation from Innoval Capital and a fund managed by Changsha Investment Holdings Group. Weizhen Capital acted as the exclusive financial advisor. The company will utilize the funds to enhance its brand, innovate products, optimize its supply chain, and develop digital infrastructure. 36Kr
  • Hyperway Pharmaceutical, a Chengdu-based biopharmaceutical company, has completed its Series A+ funding round, raising an undisclosed amount of funding from Xincheng Fund, Orinno Capital, Guoyuan Innovation Investment, and Sunbow Capital. 36Kr
  • iKitbot (Qibo Technology), a Shenzhen-registered robotics company specializing in commercial cleaning solutions, has secured an eight-figure RMB sum in a pre-Series A funding round. GSR United Capital led this funding round. The company plans to use the capital to advance product development, strengthen the team, and implement a comprehensive strategy for international expansion. 36Kr

Toku, the Jasoor Fund, Haomo.ai, and more led yesterday’s headlines:

  • Toku, a cloud communications and customer experience solutions provider, announced its intent to acquire Singapore-based chatbot startup AiChat.
  • ADQ, an Abu Dhabi-based investment and holding company, launched the Jasoor Fund in partnership with the Oman Investment Authority (OIA). The USD 180 million fund aims to support innovative tech startups in MENA across various sectors.
  • Haomo.ai, an autonomous driving solutions provider, raised RMB 300 million (USD 41.4 million) in a Series B2 funding round. The investment came from a newly formed fund by existing investor JZ Capital and Changxing County in Huzhou, Zhejiang.

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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