HutanBio snags GBP 2.25 million from the UK’s Clean Growth Fund
HutanBio, a biotechnology company, has snagged GBP 2.25 million (USD 2.85 million) in investment from the Clean Growth Fund.
Based in Cambridge in the UK and in Malaysia, HutanBio specializes in the development of biofuels and is aiming to secure a significant share of the maritime fuels market.
The company has designed a biofuel termed “HBx” which can be used as a replacement fuel for the global shipping industry. Derived from a process that employs greenhouse gasses as a feedstock for algae grown in artificial intelligence-driven “bio-reactor farms,” the biofuel is sustainable, scalable, high in energy density, and is low-carbon and sulfur-free.
HutanBio will use the newly raised capital to expedite the commercialization of the new biofuel. It will also investigate the possibility of establishing its first farms in Morocco and Australia.
Masa Network raises USD 5.4 million to build the “decentralized Google”
Masa Network, one of the leading decentralized data marketplaces, has raised USD 5.4 million in a seed funding round led by Anagram. Other investors that took part in this round include Avalanche Blizzard Fund, Digital Currency Group, GoldenTree, OP Crypto, Unshackled Ventures, and Peer VC, among others.
According to a statement by Masa, the company’s goal is to build a “decentralized Google,” offering users the opportunity to participate in an “open, secure, and incentivized economy” without compromising data privacy.
Masa users can contribute their data to the company’s network and get rewarded in the platform’s native token. In exchange, developers can access this data to train AI models, run analytics, and build applications in a “privacy-preserving way.”
Ultra Violette secures AUD 15 million from Aria Growth Partners
The Melbourne-based sunscreen company has secured AUD 15 million (USD 9.8 million) from Aria Growth Partners. This deal was facilitated by Canterbury Partners.
According to a report by Australian Financial Review, this fundraise is targeted at acquiring the resources and knowledge necessary to expand into the North American market. Ultra Violettes’ products are scheduled to be available in Sephora stores in Canada starting March this year, with plans for further expansion into the US. The brand’s products are already present in various chain stores across Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and Southeast Asia.
MAVCAP invests in Vynn Capital’s second fund
Malaysia Venture Capital Management (MAVCAP), one of Malaysia’s largest venture capital funds, is investing as a limited partner (LP) in the second fund of Vynn Capital, a Kuala Lumpur-headquartered venture capital firm.
According to a joint statement released on January 23, MAVCAP said that its decision to participate as an investor in the fund is a reflection of its commitment to back local fund managers in nurturing startups to propel technological advancements in Malaysia and across the region.
Vynn Capital is targeting a fund size of USD 30 million for this fund and will be investing in Southeast Asia-focused early-stage startups that are raising seed or Series A funding. It will specifically focus on companies developing innovative solutions for the mobility and supply chain sectors.
In addition to MAVCAP, Sime Darby and AEI Capital also joined as LPs in the fund last year.
Recent deals completed in China:
- Sunpure Technology, a Hefei-based photovoltaic cleaning technology company, has completed its Series A funding round, raising over RMB 100 million (USD 14.1 million). This round was led by Hengxu Capital with the support of Meta Green Cooling Technology, Guoyuan Securities, existing backer GL Ventures, and other investors. Sunpure will utilize the funds to conduct product and technology R&D, and to enhance its solutions. —36Kr
- Winggen Hydrogen Technology, a Shanghai-based developer of hydrogen compressors, has secured an eight-figure RMB sum in a Series A funding round led by Orient Jiafu Asset Management and with participation from Junsan Capital. Winggen will use the funds primarily for product R&D and to expand its sales channels. —36Kr
- Reunion Biotech, a Shanghai-registered producer of medical hydrogels, has bagged close to RMB 100 million following the completion of its Series B funding round. Dingxin Capital was the lead investor for this round, with participation from other investors including existing shareholder Qiming Venture Partners and Guoxin Chuangxin. The funds will be allocated to three main areas: registration and promotion of Reunion’s first product, clinical trials, and development of new product lines. —36Kr
- Gecko Motors, a new energy vehicle company, has banked a nine-figure RMB sum in a pre-Series A funding round led by TopoScend Capital. Other investors that participated in this round include the Shenzhen Pingshan District Industrial Investment Service, Sealand Capital, Particle Future, Watere Capital, Mingzhi Fund, and Shenzhen Bay Angel Fund Phase III, among others. —36Kr
- Fosho Technologies, a data-driven marketing technology company, has raised an eight-figure RMB sum of angel funding from undisclosed investors. Unique Capital undertook the role of financial advisor for this round. Fosho will utilize the capital for technology R&D and market expansion. —36Kr
- Wattsine Electronic Technology, a Chengdu-based developer of solid-state RF generators for industrial, scientific, and medical (ISM) applications, has secured RMB 200 million (USD 28.2 million) in a Series B funding round from Richen Capital, Oriza Holdings, CDVC, New Hope Capital, GP Capital, Yongxin Capital, and Huaxi Securities, among other investors. —36Kr
- Zhika Technology, a logistics platform for short- to medium-distance automotive operations, has received an eight-figure RMB sum in a Series A funding round led by a fund under Baiyun Financial Holding Group. Zhika will allocate the capital toward product R&D, talent acquisition, and market expansion. —36Kr
- Jimu Yougong, a provider of human resource and recruitment software-as-a-service solutions, has raised an eight-figure RMB sum of funding from GMore Galaxy. The company will use the newly raised capital to expand its business team and upgrade its recruitment-focused large language model (LLM). —36Kr
Latest funding deals in India:
- RagaAI, a testing platform for AI applications, has raised USD 4.7 million in a seed funding round led by Pi Ventures. The round also saw participation from Anorak Ventures, TenOneTen Ventures, Arka Ventures, Mana Ventures, and Exfinity Venture Partners. The company will utilize the capital for R&D, focusing primarily on improving its AI testing tools, and to expand its team. —VCCircle
- Stan, a Bengaluru-based esports engagement platform, has raised USD 2.7 million in a pre-Series A funding round from Aptos Labs, Pix Capital, Maelstrom Fund, GFR Fund, CoinDCX Ventures, Climber Capital, TDV Partners, Coinswitch Ventures, and existing investor General Catalyst. Stan will deploy the funds to develop products and its technology stack, and to expand its market presence. —VCCircle
- OpiGo, a Mumbai-based community platform for investors, has raised INR 14 million (USD 168,300) in a pre-seed funding round from angel investors Manish Choksi and Shubham Satyarth (Sharpely). OpiGo will utilize the capital to improve the user experience of its platform, expand its user base, and introduce a new advisory vertical. —VCCircle
- Analytics Jobs, a course review platform, has secured an undisclosed amount in a seed funding round led by Janardan Tiwari (HotelYaari). It will use the funds to enhance its technology stack, expand its user base, and develop a mobile app. —VCCircle
AC Ventures, Sony, Clime Capital, and more led yesterday’s headlines:
- AC Ventures, a leading venture capital firm in Southeast Asia, announced the final close of ACV Capital V (ACV Fund V), its fifth investment fund, raising a total of USD 210 million after including co-investment funds. The new fund garnered support from 90% institutional investors, with returning investors contributing over 50% of the capital.
- Sony pulled the plug on a USD 10 billion merger between its Indian unit and Zee Entertainment, an Indian media conglomerate, which would have resulted in one of the largest television broadcasters in India.
- Clime Capital, a Singapore-based investment firm focused on “creating positive climate action,” reached the first close of the South East Asia Clean Energy Fund II (SEACEF II), securing USD 127 million in commitments from a diverse group of backers.
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