Klook announces completion of USD 210 million round
Klook, one of Asia’s leading platforms for leisure experiences and travel services, has announced the completion of a USD 210 million equity funding round.
The round was led by Bessemer Venture Partners with the support of BPEA EQT, Atinum Investment, Golden Vision Capital, Krungsri Finnovate (Bank of Ayudhya), Kasikornbank Financial Conglomerate, and SMIC SG Holdings. The round also included bank facilities from Citi, JP Morgan, and HSBC.
Klook will allocate the newly raised funds to three key areas for growth:
- Product innovation, by expanding its city pass offerings to enhance the convenience and savings its platform provides to travelers.
- Social and digital marketing, by scaling its Klook Kreator program to drive conversions with social and user-generated content.
- Integration with artificial intelligence, primarily through its recent collaboration with Google Cloud to integrate generative artificial intelligence across its platform, covering automated translations, content generation, and customer service.
“We are pioneering a transformative era of travel, catering to a new generation of more digitally-savvy travelers with bigger and bolder appetites for unique experiences. Our goal is to empower travelers to explore the world effortlessly through the Klook app, a one-stop platform that seamlessly connects them to a comprehensive range of in-destination services, encompassing immersive experiences and convenient ground transportation,” said Eric Gnock Fah, co-founder and COO of Klook.
Doctor Anywhere secures USD 40.8 million in Series C1 extension round
The Singapore-headquartered health tech company has announced the completion of a USD 40.8 million Series C1 extension round. The round saw the participation of Square Peg and Novo Holdings.
Doctor Anywhere will allocate the newly raised funds for product innovation and deepen its presence in the secondary care market in response to rising demand for more comprehensive and connected healthcare solutions. —Inquirer.net
Bitsmedia raises USD 20 million in Series A round
Bitsmedia, the creator of Muslim-focused lifestyle app Muslim Pro, has raised USD 20 million in a Series A funding round from Gobi Partners, CMIA Capital Partners, and Bintang Capital Partners.
The company will use the funds to advance its AI capabilities, enhance its content offerings on Qalbox, its streaming platform, and further develop educational features to improve the user experience of its app.
“Given its initiatives to leverage technology for community benefits, such as Qalbox’s content streaming service and the upcoming integration of AI, we are confident in Bitsmedia’s continued upward trajectory,” said Lee Chong Min, managing partner at CMIA Capital Partners.
“Bintang has clear impact objectives for our recent investment in Bitsmedia: to champion digital inclusivity for Muslims, foster stronger global ties through educational content about the Muslim world, and create high-value employment opportunities through the growth of Bitsmedia’s business,” added Johan Rozali-Wathooth, founder and CEO of Bintang Capital Partners.
Singapore’s IMDA commits SGD 55 million to enhance the local media industry
The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) has announced its commitment of SGD 55 million (USD 41 million) across two funds to enhance the media industry in Singapore and meet increasing demand for virtual productions:
- The Virtual Production Innovation Fund, first announced in December 2022 with a SGD 5 million (USD 3.72 million) tranche, aims to encourage Singaporean media companies to experiment with virtual productions. IMDA’s latest commitment will inject an additional SGD 25 million (USD 18.64 million) into this fund over the next three years.
- The newly launched International Co-Production Fund aims to empower media companies in Singapore—particularly those with a track record in long-form content production—to pursue co-productions with international partners and create content about Singapore that’s tailored for global audiences through streaming platforms. IMDA has earmarked SGD 30 million from its latest commitment to support this fund.
Meatiply raises USD 3.75 million in the first close of its seed round
The Singapore-based cultivated meat startup has raised USD 3.75 million in the first close of its seed funding round. The round was jointly led by AgFunder and Wavemaker Partners with the support of SEEDS Capital (Enterprise Singapore).
A second close is scheduled to take place in the first quarter of 2024.
Meatiply intends to utilize the new funds to expand its R&D capabilities and scale up production for more extensive product co-development with its commercial partners. —AgFunder News
Dataweavers bags AUD 5.5 million in funding
The Australian marketing technology company has bagged AUD 5.5 million (USD 3.6 million) from several investors including QIC, Five V Capital, OIF Ventures, and the Queensland government. —Australian Financial Review
Vantari VR raises AUD 7 million in pre-Series A round
Vantari VR, an Australian startup that uses virtual reality to train medical professionals, has raised AUD 7 million (USD 4.58 million) in a pre-Series A funding round led by CoAct Capital with the support of Acova Capital, Significant Early Venture Capital, Sirius Capital, and other undisclosed investors.
The company will use the funds to grow its technology and operations team. It also plans to expand its footprint in the US. —Australian Financial Review
Recent deals completed in China:
- TrueHealth, a portfolio company of Y&R Capital that specializes in medical robotics, has bagged over RMB 100 million (USD 14 million) in a Series B+ funding round. The funds will help accelerate TrueHealth’s R&D of surgical robots, aiming to expand its market share and enhance its competitiveness. —36Kr
- Weimei Youpin, a Guangzhou-based food tech company, has secured RMB 30 million (USD 4.22 million) in a Series A funding round from Taishi Capital and Hezhi Capital. It will invest the newly raised capital in product R&D. —36Kr
- AquaHelpers, a Beijing-based unmanned ships developer, has bagged an eight-figure RMB sum in pre-Series A funding from Forestry Ecological Development Group. —36Kr
- RongCan Biotech, a Shanghai-based biotechnology company, has raised over RMB 100 million (USD 14 million) in a Series A funding round led by the industrial fund of Yuexiu Financial Holdings. The round also saw participation from Shaanxi Shantou Capital Management, Zhangjiagang Jintai Jinhong Fund, and Huafang Investment. RongCan will utilize the funds to accelerate its product R&D, build its team, and advance its clinical research pipelines. —36Kr
- Weimu Medical, a Shanghai-based medtech company, has secured over RMB 100 million (USD 14 million) in a Series A funding round jointly led by Botanee Bio-Tech and Huajin Dadao Investment. Other investors that participated in this round include Sharewin Capital, CS Capital, and existing investors Woyong Fund and IDG Capital. —36Kr
- Prime Lifescience, a Shanghai-based clinical research and technology company, has raised close to RMB 100 million (USD 14 million) in a pre-Series A+ funding round jointly led by Qiming Venture Partners and Qiji Investment. —36Kr
- Seev Tech, a Guangdong-based optoelectronics company, has raised an eight-figure RMB sum in a pre-Series A+ funding round from the Chinese Academy of Sciences. It will use the funds for product R&D, company operations, and to purchase equipment. —36Kr
Latest deals in India:
- SenseAI, an artificial intelligence-focused investment firm, has announced the launch of SenseAI Fund I, which will commit INR 2 billion (USD 25 million) to fostering India’s AI startup ecosystem. The fund aims to invest in 18–20 AI-focused startups, focusing primarily on companies raising seed or pre-Series A funding. A portion of the fund will also be allocated to make follow-on investments in SenseAI Ventures’ portfolio companies.
- Sarvam AI, a Chennai-headquartered startup specializing in generative AI, has raised USD 41 million in a Series A funding round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners. Other investors that took part in this round include Peak XV Partner (formerly known as Sequoia Capital India and Southeast Asia) and Khosla Ventures. —VCCircle
- Navadhan, a Mumbai-based non-banking financial company (NBFC) that focuses primarily on micro, small, and medium enterprises, has raised USD 5 million in a pre-Series A funding round led by Prime Venture Partners, with participation from Varanium NexGen Fintech Fund and Gemba Capital. Navadhan will utilize the capital to enhance its technology and expand the scale of its distribution and service delivery network. —VCCircle
- VoiceClub, an on-demand online consulting platform, has secured USD 700,000 in a seed funding round led by Better Capital. The round also saw the participation of TDV Partners, Blume Founders Fund, Sunn91, Astir Ventures, and angel investors. VoiceClub will allocate the funds toward product development and the expansion of its platform. —VCCircle
- ChainRisk, a Web3 security infrastructure company specializing in economic risk management software, has raised an undisclosed amount of pre-seed funding from Antler. —VCCircle
- Ashv Finance, a Mumbai-based NBFC, has raised USD 10 million in a Series E funding round led by Encourage Capital. Intellecap, the advisory arm of Aavishkaar Group, served as the sole advisor for this round. —VCCircle
- Airblack, a Gurugram-based online beauty and culinary education platform, has secured USD 4 million in a pre-Series B funding round led by the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, with participation from Blume Ventures, the Thadani Family Trust, the Pawar Family Trust, as well as existing backers Elevation Capital and InfoEdge Ventures. The platform will use the funds to fast-track its growth and enhance its offerings. —Entrackr
Major deals in the making:
- Chinese tech giant ByteDance is planning to buy back around USD 5 billion worth of shares from investors. The company is offering to buy the shares at USD 160 each, which will value the company close to USD 268 billion—around 10% lower than its value a year ago when it conducted a share buyback plan for investors. This was the same price it offered to employees last month. —Reuters
- xAI, an AI company established by Elon Musk, is raising USD 1 billion in funding from equity investors. Musk has reportedly already raised around USD 135 million, according to a document filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The names of investors were undisclosed. —Bloomberg
- Mistral AI, the French rival of OpenAI and Anthropic, is nearing the completion of a EUR 450 million (USD 487 million) funding round. The completion of this round would value the company close to USD 2 billion. The deal comprises over EUR 325 million (USD 350 million) in equity from various investors led by Andreessen Horowitz, and could include EUR 120 million (USD 129 million) in convertible debt from Nvidia and Salesforce. —Bloomberg
Fantuan, CodeNinja, GEF Capital’s new climate fund, and more led yesterday’s headlines:
- Fantuan, an Asian food delivery and lifestyle service platform, secured USD 40 million in a Series C funding round jointly led by GrubMarket and Celtic House Asia Partners. The round also saw the participation of VisionPlus Capital, JSD Capital, and other undisclosed backers from North America and China.
- CodeNinja, a Lahore-based software services provider, secured USD 1.6 million in a funding round led by sAi Venture Capital. The round also saw the participation of Dallas, Plutus21 Capital, and affiliates.
- GEF South Asia Growth Fund III, a climate-focused fund by GEF Capital Partners that targets investments in India, secured a USD 25 million commitment from British International Investment, the UK’s development finance institution and impact investor, during COP28.
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