Igloo raises USD 36 million in pre-Series C funding
The insurtech company has announced the completion of its pre-Series C funding round, raising USD 36 million. The round was led by Eurazeo, utilizing its BNP Paribas Cardif-backed insurtech fund. Openspace Ventures and La Maison, existing investors that participated in Igloo’s Series B and Series B+ rounds, also took part in this round. Openspace Ventures participated in this round through OSV+, its mid-stage fund focused on Southeast Asia.
Igloo intends to deploy the newly acquired funds for both horizontal and vertical merger and acquisition opportunities. The company plans to expand its workforce by 20%, with a specific emphasis on roles in engineering, commercial, strategy, and insurance-focused verticals. Additionally, Igloo aims to intensify its efforts in the development of motor, health, and climate-related products. The funds will also be utilized for advancing initiatives in underwriting and claims digitization, as well as exploring artificial intelligence and blockchain technology.
“We have been following Igloo for some time now and have been impressed with [its] evolution into a diversified insurance platform across channels and products. The insurance market in Southeast Asia is still very underpenetrated and we believe Igloo is in a strong position to help solve this by making insurance more easily accessible and understandable for consumers,” said Albert Shyy, managing director of Eurazeo.
Gravel completes USD 14 million funding round
The Indonesian construction technology company has raised USD 14 million in funding from a slew of investors including New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Weili Dai (Marvell Technology Group), Lip-Bu Tan (Cadence Design System and Walden International), SMDV, and East Ventures, among others.
In a statement released by Gravel, the company shared that it aims to use the newly raised funds to broaden its presence within the global construction technology sector. It is currently engaged in discussions with various companies regarding the utilization of its solutions for potential construction projects. One of these companies include Sinarmas Land, the property developer behind the BSD City, Kota Deltamas, and Grand Wisata development projects.
“In Gravel, we see the embodiment of Indonesia’s digital future in construction. As Indonesia actively pursues even distribution of its developmental efforts across all provinces, Gravel’s technology emerges as a supporter and a driving force that can substantially amplify this nationwide growth,” said Edward Judokusumo, principal at SMDV.
COP28 participants step up financial commitments to achieve sustainability goals
The 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP28, began on November 30 and its proceedings are scheduled to conclude on December 12.
Global leaders at the conference have been stepping up their commitments to sustainability goals and addressing climate change through various finance-led initiatives. The UAE, serving as the host for COP28, is at the forefront of these efforts, pledging USD 30 billion to Alterra, a new catalytic climate vehicle designed to advance international endeavors for a more equitable climate finance system. Inaugural launch partners for Alterra include BlackRock, Brookfield, and TPG.
Alterra is poised to become the world’s largest private investment vehicle dedicated to combating climate change, with a goal of mobilizing USD 250 billion globally by 2030. It will focus on guiding private markets toward climate investments, particularly in transforming emerging markets and developing economies where traditional investment has been lacking.
The investment vehicle will prioritize four key areas aligned with COP28’s action agenda: energy transition, industrial decarbonization, sustainable living, and climate technologies. It will be structured in two parts:
- Alterra Acceleration, a USD 25 billion component of Alterra, will steer institutional capital toward climate investments with the potential to accelerate the world’s transition to a net zero, climate-resilient economy. Alterra Acceleration will serve as an anchor investor and co-investor in climate strategies, allocating capital both directly and through fund partnerships to maximize its impact.
- Alterra Transformation, a USD 5 billion component of Alterra, will provide risk mitigation capital to incentivize investment flows into the global south, addressing challenges that limit climate investment in this region to broaden access to affordable capital. Alterra Transformation will also strive to create opportunities to leverage concessional finance to further attract climate-focused investment to least developed countries (LDCs) and small island developing states (SIDs).
In addition to Alterra, other finance-led initiatives launched during COP28 include:
- Green Climate Fund, Allied Climate Partners, and Allianz Global Investors will collaborate to mobilize USD 5 billion through various blended finance structures. These structures will bring together philanthropies, development finance institutions (DFIs), and both the public and private sectors. The primary objective is to unlock a minimum of USD 20 billion, expediting the climate transition in emerging markets.
- Investcorp has introduced the USD 750 million Climate Solutions Investment Platform in partnership with “Innovate for Climate Tech”—a coalition involving Masdar City, Tencent, and Catalyst. This platform is dedicated to providing growth capital to companies committed to driving decarbonization and addressing the impacts of climate change.
- The Sequoia Climate Foundation has disclosed a USD 450 million investment, collectively contributed by leading climate philanthropies in 2023 and the next three years. The funding aims to catalyze the reduction of non-CO2 super climate pollutants, with a significant portion directed at methane abatement. The remainder will be allocated to phasing out fluorinated gases, nitrous oxide, black carbon, and ground-level ozone.
- The UAE has pledged USD 200 million to enhance the climate resiliency of vulnerable countries. This commitment was announced during the World Climate Action Summit (WCAS) and follows a prior USD 200 million pledge earlier this year in Marrakech to support development in low-income countries. The new commitment will be in the form of special drawing rights (SDRs) allocated to the IMF’s Resilience and Sustainability Trust (RST).
Fenix360 goes public through SPAC merger with Duet Acquisition Corp
Fenix360, a Singapore-based social media company, has confirmed that it will go public through a merger with Duet Acquisition Corp, a special purpose acquisition company listed on Nasdaq.
Duet will acquire 100% of Fenix360’s outstanding equity interests at a valuation of USD 610 million. This merger is expected to be completed in the first half of 2024, pending regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.
Arkeus closes AUD 4.45 million funding round
The Melbourne-based autonomous optical systems developer has closed an AUD 4.45 million funding round led by Main Sequence Ventures. The lead investor contributed around AUD 3 million in this round, with the remainder financed by other investors including Beaten Zone Ventures and Salus Ventures.
According to Simon Olsen, co-founder and CEO of Arkeus, the company will use the funds for commercial expansion and to conduct R&D. —Australian Financial Review
Singtel secures SGD 535 million green loan
Singaporean telecommunications company Singtel, through its data center subsidiaries DC West and DC Kim Chuan, has secured a SGD 535 million (USD 400.8 million) five-year green loan. The loan is provided by DBS, OCBC, Standard Chartered Bank, and UOB, which have also been appointed as green loan coordinators.
Singtel will use the loan proceeds to refinance the borrowings and support the operations of the two data center subsidiaries.
Recent deals completed in China:
- Flightwin, a Beijing-based unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) developer, has raised over RMB 100 million (USD 14.1 million) in a Series B+ funding round led by E-Town Capital and Essential Capital. SDIC Taikang Trust and Zhongguancun Venture Capital Development also participated in this round. Flightwin will use the funds to invest in large-scale production and improve its manufacturing capacity. It will also conduct product R&D, iterate its technology, and build its team. —36Kr
- AiCarer, a Shenzhen-based health tech company, has closed its pre-Series A funding round, raising a seven-figure RMB sum from HSRH Venture Capital. The funds will mainly be used for product R&D and marketing. —36Kr
- Hina, an AI-based talent acquisition technology company, has raised an eight-figure RMB sum in a Series A funding round from Lenovo Capital and Incubator Group. The company will utilize the funds to recruit talent, conduct AI model R&D, and develop its marketing systems. —36Kr
- Perpetual Medicines, a peptide drug R&D company secured USD 8 million in a seed funding round led by Chengwei Capital. The company operates from offices in Shanghai and Boston. It will use the newly raised capital to advance its leading projects into the clinical stage and continue to build its portfolio of preclinical projects in the fields of oncology, autoimmune diseases and metabolic diseases. —36Kr
- Innovo Therapeutics, an anti-cancer drug developer, has bagged around RMB 100 million (USD 14.1 million) in pre-Series A funding. Huajin Capital led the round with the support of Qiandao Fund, Hainan Longmen Private Equity Fund, China Financial Strategy Investment Holdings, and returning investor Ming Bioventures, Haoyue Capital acted as the exclusive financial advisor of this round. —36Kr
- Gesi Aerospace Technology, a Shanghai-based startup providing R&D and smart manufacturing solutions to civil and commercial satellites, has secured close to RMB 600 million (USD 84.8 million) in a Series A funding round. The investors include CAS Capital, Songjiang SAIM, Xin Ding Capital, Huge capital, and Microsat Holdings. —DealStreetAsia
- SanegeneBio, a biotechnology company headquartered in Suzhou and Boston, has secured USD 80 million in an extended Series A funding round led by Tencent and YuanBio Venture Capital. The round also saw participation from various local investors including Northern Light Venture Capital, Xiamen C&D, Oriza Holdings, and Shenzhen Capital Group, as well as existing shareholders Qiming Venture Partners, Alwin Capital, TF Capital, and K2VC. —DealStreetAsia
Latest deals in India:
- CarDekho Group, the operator of automobile marketplace CarDekho, two-wheeler platform ZigWheels, and fintech platform Rupyy, among others, has secured a majority stake in Revv, a Gurugram-based car rental platform. As part of this deal, Jaipur-based CarDekho Group will merge Revv with its portfolio of offerings. —Inc42
- Non-banking financial company (NBFC) StrideOne has acquired a strategic stake in MoEVing, a last-mile electric vehicle logistics platform. The financial details of this deal was undisclosed. —Inc42
- Zyla Health, a Gurugram-based healthcare management platform, has raised USD 4 million in a Series A funding round led by Exfinity Venture Partners. Sony Innovation Fund, Venture Catalysts, and Aureolis also participated in the round. Zyla will use the funds to facilitate its growth and integrate its products into the broader healthcare ecosystem. —VCCircle
Rounds closed in the Middle East:
- Flow48, a fintech startup, has secured USD 25 million in pre-Series A funding using a mix of equity and debt financing. The investors include Speedinvest, Daphni, 212, Blockchain Founders Fund, Unpopular Ventures, Endeavor Catalyst, TLG, and angel investors. The startup intends to use the funds to fast-track its expansion into South Africa. —VCCircle
- Yabi by Souqalmal, a Dubai-headquartered fintech startup, has raised USD 8 million in a seed funding round led by Shuaa Capital with the support of Al Wafra Al Thunya (Wafra II). Wafra II invested USD 2 million in this round. Yabi will utilize the funds to accelerate its expansion in the region and invest in product development. —VCCircle
- Retailo, a Saudi Arabia-based B2B online marketplace, has secured USD 15 million in funding from a combination of new and existing investors. The new investors that participated in this round include the Yusuf Bin Kanoo Group, Technology Group, and Majd Digital, while the existing investors that contributed to this round include Aujan Group Holdings, Shorooq Partners, Abercross Holdings, and Graphene Ventures. —VCCircle
- Raha, a Kuwait-based online grocery platform, has raised USD 7 million in a pre-Series A round led by Soor Capital and eWTP Arabia Capital. It will use the funds to facilitate its expansion. Raha last raised funds last year, when it secured USD 7 million in seed capital from Aujan Investments, Nox Management, and Cedar Mundi Ventures. —VCCircle
- Kitchenomiks, an Oman-based food tech startup, has raised USD 1.8 million in a pre-Series A funding round from various regional investors. The startup will use the funds to facilitate its expansion in the Gulf region, with a focus on Saudi Arabia and the UAE. —VCCircle
Bioniqa, Term Structure, LeapFrog Investments and more led last Friday’s headlines:
- Bioniqa, an Indonesian clean tech startup, secured an undisclosed amount of funding from the Bali Investment Club (BIC) to develop a laboratory and algae plantation, and enhance the capabilities of its photobioreactors.
- Term Structure, a decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol for non-custodial fixed-income solutions, raised USD 4.25 million in a seed funding round led by Cumberland DRW. Decima Fund, HashKey Capital, Longling Capital, and the MZ Web3 Fund also participated in the round.
- LeapFrog Investments announced its strategy to invest USD 500 million in companies with green solutions tailored to Africa and Asia. This strategy is backed by Temasek, the European Investment Bank (EIB), and other investors that will be revealed in due course.
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