Qarbotech secures USD 700,000 to improve agricultural productivity
The Malaysia-based agritech startup has announced that it has secured a total of USD 700,000 in seed funding and grants. According to a statement released by Qarbotech, 500 Global led the round with support from innovation grants. Notably, these grants were obtained from the Temasek Foundation, awarded for clinching this year’s Climate Impact Innovations Challenge, and Khazanah Nasional Berhad’s Dana Impak, recognizing the victory in the Khazanah Impact Innovation Challenge (KIIC) 2023.
Qarbotech will allocate the newly raised funds toward R&D and the expansion of its manufacturing facility. It is aiming to produce up to 50 times its current capacity to better serve farmers and growers in new markets across Southeast Asia.
“Agriculture is an industry that’s ripe for investments. […] Qarbotech’s technology has exciting potential to solve the global food security challenge of the world’s growing population, of which about 30% do not have food security,” said Khailee Ng, managing partner at 500 Global.
TheVentures leads investment in Box Vietnam
Box Vietnam, a Vietnamese gaming and entertainment company, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding in a round led by TheVentures through its Asia Advance Fund 1. Angel investors also participated in this round. The company will use the funds to strengthen its platforms’ technology capabilities and widen its network of creators. —Tech in Asia
Biodiversity Accelerator+ unveils five impact-focused startups at COP28
Biodiversity Accelerator+, an impact-focused accelerator program managed by the Singapore-based family office Silverstrand Capital, has unveiled five startups that presented their solutions during a demo day at COP28 in Dubai on December 1. This event marked the culmination of a three-month capacity-building program organized by Silverstrand Capital for these startups.
The five startups include:
- Bioverse uses technology to assess the economic value of intact forests by creating forest inventories that identify non-timber forest products (NTFPs). This approach enables suppliers to sustainably source from supply chains, ensuring reliable livelihoods while mitigating the risk of deforestation.
- Blue Sky Analytics delivers climate intelligence in real-time using satellite data to support diverse use cases including risk assessment, carbon verification, and monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) solutions, among others.
- Guardians of Earth is a gaming company that develops mobile games to connect players with nature while collecting asset-level biodiversity data.
- Nika.eco is a climate tech company utilizing artificial intelligence and remote sensing technology to perform carbon feasibility studies accurately and at a rate significantly faster than the industry average.
- Xylo Systems has created a cloud-based data and AI platform providing actionable insights on nature and biodiversity. These insights are derived from an extensive network of verified data points that cater specifically to the property and energy sector.
Silverstrand Capital will invest USD 250,000 in Nika.eco and Xylo Systems. In addition, the UBS Optimus Foundation will award a cash prize to EarthAcre, a company from the program’s latest cohort, to acknowledge its innovative solution which focuses on measuring and monetizing biodiversity outcomes.
Wavemaker Impact announces final close of USD 60 million debut fund
Wavemaker Impact, a climate tech venture builder launched by venture capital firm Wavemaker Partners, has announced the final close of its debut fund after it hit its USD 60 million hard cap, surpassing its initial USD 25 million target.
The fund is dedicated to driving large-scale decarbonization efforts in the region, and will enable the Wavemaker Impact to expand its portfolio of companies while making follow-on investments in its ventures.
The firm’s latest limited partners (LP) include the United States Development Finance Corporation (DFC), British International Investment (BII), Triple Jump (Dutch Good Growth Fund), Beacon Venture Capital (Kasikornbank), Autodesk Foundation, and three undisclosed international development finance institutions and impact investors.
[Updated] Circulate Capital completes USD 76 million climate tech fund
The Singapore-based climate-focused investment firm has raised USD 7 million in committed capital from British International Investment (BII), marking the completion of the firm’s climate tech fund. With the final close, the fund’s total assets under management (AUM) now stand at USD 76 million, contributing to the firm’s overall AUM of USD 255 million.
Known as Circulate Capital Ocean Fund I-B (CCOF I-B), the fund aims to address plastic pollution and combat climate change across various industries in Asia.
In addition to BII, the fund is also backed by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the European Investment Bank (EIB), and Proparco.
Update: In our initial report on Circulate Capital’s climate tech fund, its total AUM at the final close was reported as USD 73 million. The actual amount is USD 76 million, according to an update provided by Circulate Capital. This news brief has been edited to reflect the correct amount.
Recent deals completed in China:
- Panther Technology, a Shenzhen-based industrial technology company, has raised an eight-figure RMB sum in a pre-Series A funding round led by IPV Capital. The round also witnessed the participation of Shenzhen Co-stone Asset Management, Tianwen Times Private Equity Fund Management, and Xianzhi Industrial Technology. Panther will utilize the funds to industrialize and promote the application of its technology products. —36Kr
- UHAlean, a Shanghai-based supply chain solutions provider, has completed its Series C+ funding round, raising close to RMB 100 million (USD 14.1 million). Hengxu Capital led the round. The company will utilize the funds to strengthen its value proposition by investing in R&D, talent acquisition, and product and system enhancements. —36Kr
- DVSense Technology, a Beijing-based developer of bionic eye sensor solutions, has secured an eight-figure RMB sum of angel funding in a round jointly led by Estar Capital and V-Capital. —36Kr
- Tongyu Automotive, a Shanghai-registered automotive chassis systems developer, has secured RMB 500 million (USD 70.5 million) in a Series B funding round from BAIC Capital, Xpeng Motors-backed Rockets Capital, Xyuan Capital, Guojiang Fund, Shenzhen Capital Ground, GGV Capital, Xiaomi, Dongfeng Asset Management, and Bocom International. The funds will be used for the R&D of chassis products, team expansion, and to establish Tongyu’s headquarters in Shanghai. —36Kr
- Huachen Xinguang Semiconductor Technology, a Wuxi-based manufacturer of optical communications and light detection and ranging (LiDAR) chips, has received over RMB 100 million following the completion of a Series A1 funding round. The round was led by Vinno Capital with the support of various institutional investors. The company will use the funds to expand its production capacity. —36Kr
- Beichen Innovation, a Shenzhen-based lithium battery and cathode materials manufacturer, has secured RMB 100 million (USD 14.1 million) in a Series A funding round from Lenovo Capital and Incubator Group, Supcon, Leading Capital, and other investors. —36Kr
- IME Future, an IT company, has raised close to RMB 100 million (USD 14.1 million) in a Series A+ funding round. The investors were undisclosed. —36Kr
- HiPA, a Shenzhen-based semiconductor components manufacturer, has secured RMB 40 million (USD 5.65 million) in strategic financing from undisclosed investors. —36Kr
- Polar Precision Instrument, a Shenzhen-based R&D company specializing in precision measurement tools, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from MiraclePlus. —36Kr
- Istaric, a Shenzhen-based electronic chips developer, has secured over RMB 10 million (USD 14.1 million) in a Series A funding round from Jiupai Capital. —36Kr
- Saius BioMed, a Shenzhen-based biomedical company, has bagged a nine-figure RMB sum in a Series A funding round jointly led by SCGC, Qianhai FOF, and BioTrack Capital. The round also saw the participation of Bioching Capital, Honest Capital, and Sanya Yazhou Bay Venture Capital. The company will utilize the funds for R&D, IP registration, and market expansion. —36Kr
Latest deals in India:
- Pikndel, a delivery platform, has secured USD 285,000 in a pre-seed funding round led by 100X.VC. Anay Ventures, Flawless Company, Shavdia Ventures, Pradeep Desu, and other investors also participated in this round.
- Biryani By Kilo (BBK), a New Delhi-based cloud kitchen startup, has raised around USD 9 million in a Series C funding round led by Alpha Wave Ventures. The round also saw participation from Vevek Ventures, DSP HMK Holdings, IvyCap Ventures, Incred Weath, and Clear Bridge Ventures, among others. —Inc42
- Scandalous Foods, an Indian sweet brand, has secured INR 16 million (USD 191,000) in a pre-seed funding round. The investors include Anthill Angel Fund, EvolveX, Value360, SapphireInk Ventures, as well as angel investors Sagar Daryani (Wow! Momo), Vikas Aggarwal (We Founder Circle), and Harpal Singh Sokhi. Scandalous Foods will use the funds to expand its production unit in Nashik, diversify its product portfolio, and broaden its market reach. —VCCircle
Igloo, Gravel, COP28, and more led yesterday’s headlines:
- Igloo, an insurtech company, raised USD 36 million in a pre-Series C funding round 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.
- Gravel, an Indonesian construction technology company 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.
- Global leaders attending COP28 have been stepping up their commitments to sustainability goals and addressing climate change through various finance-led initiatives. The UAE 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.
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