FB Pixel no scriptDeals in brief: NSG BioLabs bags USD 14.5 million, SoftBank leads Wayve’s Series C round, 12 China and India deals, and more | KrASIA

Deals in brief: NSG BioLabs bags USD 14.5 million, SoftBank leads Wayve’s Series C round, 12 China and India deals, 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.

NSG BioLabs bags USD 14.5 million, partners with Enterprise Singapore and Merck

NSG BioLabs, a provider of coworking biotechnology laboratories and office space in Singapore, has announced the completion of a USD 14.5 million funding round. The round was jointly led by Celadon Partners and Temasek’s ClavystBio.

This announcement coincides with NSG’s latest partnerships, secured with Enterprise Singapore and Merck, aimed at bolstering the biotechnology landscape. These partnerships will provide resources such as funding, expertise, and networks to advance startup R&D.

SoftBank leads USD 1.05 billion investment in AI company Wayve

High-profile investment firm SoftBank Group has spearheaded the Series C funding round of British self-driving technology startup Wayve, leading a USD 1.05 billion investment in the company. SoftBank made this investment with support from various investors, including existing investor Microsoft and new investor Nvidia, thereby bringing Wayve’s total funds raised to just over USD 1.3 billion.

In a statement, Wayve highlighted that this investment represents the largest funding round to date for a British startup focused on developing AI technology. It will enable Wayve to fully develop and “launch the first embodied AI products for production vehicles.” These products will empower original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to upgrade cars to higher levels of driving automation, specifically achieving Level 4 autonomous driving.

Kentaro Matsui, managing partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers and head of the new business office at SoftBank Group, described Wayve’s technology as “transformative.” He emphasized its potential to eliminate 99% of traffic accidents by equipping vehicles with the capability to “interpret their surroundings like humans, enabling enhanced decision-making that promises higher safety standards.”

Japanese startup Orange raises JPY 2.9 billion in pre-Series A funding

Orange, a Japanese startup that has developed a manga localization tool, has raised JPY 2.9 billion (USD 18.7 million) in a pre-Series A funding round. The investors for this round include Shogakukan, Globis Capital Partners, ANRI, SBI Investment, JIC Venture Growth Investments, Miyako Capital, Chiba Dojo Fund, Mizuho Capital, Mitsubishi UFJ Capital, and GFR Fund.

The funds will be allocated toward the development of a localization product based on deep learning models, as well as the launch of a digital manga store in the summer of 2024.

Recent deals completed in China:

  • Astathera, a Ningbo-registered medtech company, has secured an eight-figure RMB sum of funding in a round jointly led by the Ningbo-Fudan Innovation Center and Junan Holding, with participation from various other investors. The company will utilize the funds to supplement capital for the construction of its East China production center. 36Kr
  • Rapid Flex, a field-programmable gate array (FPGA) technology developer based in Shanghai, has bagged an eight-figure RMB sum of angel funding from Chengwei Capital, PDVC, SND Financial Holdings, and other investors. 36Kr
  • CAS Linkfiber New Materials, a Changzhou-based company specializing in the production of carbon materials, has raised an eight-figure RMB sum in a funding round led by Phoenix Tree Capital Group, with follow-on investments from Gobi China, KylinHall Partners, Jingjinji National Center of Technology Innovation, GBA Institute of Collaborative Innovation, and other institutional investors. The company will use the funds to construct production lines for mass production. 36Kr
  • Booster Robotics, a developer of humanoid robots, has snagged an eight-figure RMB sum in a pre-Series A funding round led by Source Code Capital, with follow-on investments from Tsinghua Innovation Ventures and Green Harbor Investment. The company will utilize the funds for small-scale production, market promotion, talent acquisition, and R&D. 36Kr
  • Trunk, a Chinese firm developing Level 4 self-driving technology for use cases related to trucking and port logistics, has raised a nine-figure RMB sum in a round of financing from the Civil Aviation Investment Fund, Shunchuang Investment Management, and Changzhou Zhonglou Holdings. The company will utilize the funds for R&D as well as mass production of its products. 36Kr

Latest funding deals in India:

  • Parseable, a Bengaluru-based log analytics company, has raised USD 2.75 million in a seed funding round jointly led by Peak XV Partners’ Surge and NP-Hard Ventures.
  • 50Fin, a fintech startup, has secured USD 550,000 in its latest funding round. The round was jointly led by Arali Ventures and Nitin Gupta, providing 50Fin with funds for its expansion plans and technology development.
  • Lendingkart, another fintech startup, has raised USD 10 million via external commercial borrowing from a fund managed by BlueOrchard. —Inc42
  • Icon, a D2C seller of luggage and travel accessories, has announced the completion of a seed funding round, raising USD 1.2 million. The round was led by DSG Consumer Partners, with participation from a clutch of angel investors. —Inc42
  • Eternz, a Bengaluru-based jewelry e-commerce company, has secured USD 1.15 million in a pre-seed funding round. The round was led by Kae Capital with participation from Gemba Capital, IIMA Ventures, TDV Partners, and VentureLab. Eternz is aiming to use the capital to expand its presence in India by partnering with international brands and opening a retail experience center. —Inc42
  • Superplum, a Noida-based fruit supplier, has secured USD 15 million in a Series A funding round led by Erik Ragatz, the former partner of private equity firm Hellman & Friedman. The startup aims to use the proceeds to streamline its supply chain and build out the infrastructure needed to connect fruit suppliers to marketplaces. —Inc42
  • GyanLive, an edtech startup, has received an undisclosed amount of investment from Classpass to expand its scope of services. The startup will also be leveraging Classpass’ technology to enhance its tech stack. —Inc42

Brainfish, Jejakin, Ai Palette, and more led yesterday’s headlines:

  • Brainfish, a Sydney-based startup providing artificial intelligence-powered customer support solutions, netted AUD 3.85 million (USD 2.5 million) in its second funding round. The round was led by Peak XV Partners’ Surge, with participation from macdoch Ventures, Black Sheep Capital, Justus Hammer (MadPaws), and angel investors from Australia and the US.
  • Jejakin, a carbon management company from Indonesia, reportedly raised USD 2.7 million in seed funding. The investors for this round include ITM Group, Indogen Capital, Asia Venture, Aurum Venturs, SMDV, East Ventures, and various Indonesian companies.
  • Ai Palette, a Singapore-headquartered technology startup specializing in using AI and machine learning to enable consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies in product creation, has announced the extension of its Series A1 funding round, bagging USD 500,000 from Orzon Ventures.

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