FB Pixel no scriptDeals in brief: Marqo bags USD 12.5 million in funding, Mizuho Bank invests in Credit Saison India, CapitaLand Investment sets up new lodging private fund, and more | KrASIA

Deals in brief: Marqo bags USD 12.5 million in funding, Mizuho Bank invests in Credit Saison India, CapitaLand Investment sets up new lodging private fund, 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.

Marqo bags USD 12.5 million to make AI-powered vector search seamless

Marqo, an Australian vector search company, has secured USD 12.5 million following the completion of a Series A funding round led by Lightspeed. Blackbird VC, January Capital, and Rob Skillington (Chronosphere) also participated in the round.

The company announced that it will utilize the newly raised capital to advance the adoption of its next-generation search platform, aimed at unlocking the value of unstructured data across business-critical applications like end-user search and retrieval-augmented generation. Including this latest fundraise, Marqo has raised USD 17.8 million to date.

Unstructured data represents one of the biggest untapped information resources globally, and can be harnessed using vector search technology to deliver better search experiences and build more relevant generative artificial intelligence applications.

Unlike traditional vector databases and search tools, Marqo’s platform offers a unique approach, handling the entire process from embedding generation to storage and retrieval. This enables seamless implementation of multimodal, multilingual search through a single API. The company also provides open-source access to its core code for developers, along with Marqo Cloud, a fully managed cloud service optimized for production and suited to enterprises looking to innovate their search experiences and improve their top line.

“Mastering unstructured data will be the key to success in the AI race. … Our platform transforms this challenge into an opportunity, creating vector embeddings that deliver intuitive and accurate search results with human-like understanding. It opens up tremendous possibilities for the future of search, smarter large language models (LLMs), and much more,”  said Jesse Clark, co-founder and CTO of Marqo.

“The world of search is fast moving from keyword-based to natural language-based thanks to wide adoption of products such as ChatGPT, … Marqo’s mission is to bring this transformational technology to every company in the world through a simple developer API and an enterprise-grade platform offered on-prem and on-cloud,” said Hemant Mohapatra, partner at Lightspeed.

Alongside its Series A round, Marqo will relocate its headquarters to San Francisco. Tom Hamer, CEO of Marqo, will also relocate to support the expansion, joining Brett Umberg, who has recently joined Marqo as its head of sales. The company will maintain its presence in both London and Australia.

In Indonesia: Privy acquires AyoPajak

Privy, an Indonesian digital authentication services firm, has acquired its domestic counterpart AyoPajak for an undisclosed amount. AyoPajak is an online tax platform that supports taxpayers, companies, and tax consultants in various tax administration tasks, including managing tax returns and reporting tax invoices.

The acquisition is reportedly aimed at bolstering Privy’s digital identity and certified electronic signature business, while also expediting the digitization of tax administration processes. —Tech in Asia

Mizuho Bank invests USD 145 million in Saison International’s India arm

Saison International, the global headquarters of Japanese lending conglomerate Credit Saison, has announced a strategic investment of USD 145 million by Mizuho Bank into Credit Saison India, its India business.

“We first entered India in 2019 with a vision of assembling a strong and experienced local team, each with a founder mindset, to build a solid business which plugged the gap of financial accessibility for individuals and enterprises. Today, Saison International remains very committed to India. The investment from Mizuho comes at an opportune time as we undertake ambitious growth plans to capitalize on our success to deepen our lending franchise in the market,” said Kosuke Mori, CEO of Saison International.

CapitaLand Investment sets up new lodging private fund with USD 600 million target in equity

The Singapore-based real estate investment manager has established a new lodging private fund with a target equity size of USD 600 million. Dubbed CapitaLand Ascott Residence Asia Fund II (Clara II), this latest fund represents the firm’s second private fund focusing on serviced residence and co-living assets.

CapitaLand Investment (CLI) has secured equity commitments from institutional investors in Europe and the Asia Pacific. The firm will retain a 20% sponsor stake in the fund, with the remaining 80% allocated to third-party institutional investors.

Per the firm’s statement, Clara II will leverage Ascott’s global operational expertise, along with its sales and marketing network. Moreover, there is potential to establish similar funds in regions such as Europe.

As seed assets, two Lyf-branded properties in Singapore and Japan will be added to the fund. Clara II will acquire a 50% stake in Lyf Bugis Singapore, featuring 308 units, and a full stake in Lyf Shibuya Tokyo, comprising 200 units.

Image courtesy of CapitaLand Investment.

Latest deals in India:

  • Tork Motors, an electric vehicle manufacturing startup, has secured INR 500 million in a funding round led by Maxis Capital. Tork is most well known for Kratos R, an electric two-wheeler product, and currently has a monthly production capacity of 4,000–5,000 units. With this funding, the company is planning to broaden its geographical reach. —Entrackr
  • Noccarc, a medtech startup, has raised USD 2 million in a funding round led by the Indian Angel Network (IAN). Other participants in this round include Sunil Munjal (Hero Enterprises), IIT Kanpur, Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), and the Technology Development Board (TDB). Noccarc will utilize the proceeds for R&D, increasing market penetration, and setting up a sales and distribution network. —Inc42
  • Supertails, a Bengaluru-based company offering pet care products and online services, has announced that it secured INR 1.25 billion in a Series B funding round led by RPSG Capital Ventures. Existing investors Fireside Ventures, Saama Capital, DSG Consumer Partners, and Sauce VC also participated in this round. The funds will be used to acquire new customers, invest in technology, and expand the company’s range of services. —VCCircle
  • PocketATM, a Mumbai-based fintech startup, has raised USD 400,000 in a pre-seed funding round from various investors including Indian Express Commercial Ventures, Samir Modi (Modicare) and Himanshu Nautiyal (Fractal Analytics), among others. PocketATM aims to enable local mom-and-pop shops to become cash dispensing touchpoints, enabling cash withdrawals using a QR code. The platform is operational in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai, with plans for gradual expansion. —VCCircle
  • Dev Milk Foods, a Jaipur-based company that sells ice cream, milk, and dairy products under the brand Frubon, has secured an undisclosed amount in a Series A funding round from Fireside Ventures, Pi Ventures (Narotam Sekhsaria Family Office), and angel investors. The company will use the capital to grow its retail footprint, enhance production and distribution capabilities, expand to other North Indian cities, and diversify its product offerings. —VCCircle

Diraq, the UAE’s new tech fund, ConveGenius, and more led yesterday’s headlines:

  • Diraq, a quantum computing company specializing in solutions based on silicon quantum dots, completed its Series A2 funding round, raising USD 15 million in capital. The round was led by Quantonation, with participation from John Higgins Family Investments and UNSW Sydney.
  • The UAE launched a USD 200 million fund aimed at financing the development of advanced technology in developing nations. It is backed by the Abu Dhabi government and will be overseen by the state’s Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC).
  • ConveGenius, an edtech startup specializing in AI-based chatbots and adaptive learning platforms, raised INR 150 million (USD 1.8 million) as part of a strategic partnership with Searce, a provider of cloud solutions and technology services.

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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