FB Pixel no scriptDeals in brief: Qoala, StealthMole, and Applecrumby secure funding, HSBC unveils USD 1 billion growth fund, seven China deals, and more | KrASIA

Deals in brief: Qoala, StealthMole, and Applecrumby secure funding, HSBC unveils USD 1 billion growth fund, seven China deals, and more

Written by KrASIA Writers Published on   6 mins read

Bringing you the latest updates on funding deals and activities in the Asia Pacific.

Qoala completes USD 47 million Series C round

Qoala, an Indonesia-based insurtech startup, has completed its Series C funding round, securing USD 47 million. The round was jointly led by PayPal Ventures and MassMutual Ventures, with support from MUFG Innovation Partners, Ohana Holdings, as well as existing investors Flourish Ventures, Eurazeo, and AppWorks.

According to Qoala, this investment brings its total funding raised to over USD 130 million. The startup intends to utilize the newly acquired capital to enhance customer experience and operational efficiency through the utilization of generative artificial intelligence. Additionally, it plans to develop tools for its insurance partners to advance their capabilities in underwriting, claims processing, and fraud detection.

StealthMole nets USD 7 million in Series A round

StealthMole, a startup specializing in dark web data intelligence, has netted USD 7 million in a Series A funding round led by Korea Investment Partners (KIP), with participation from the Hibiscus Fund and Smilegate Investment. The Hibiscus Fund is a joint venture between RHL Ventures, Pejana Kapital, and KB Investment.

The startup said that it will utilize the funds to bolster its global expansion efforts and develop technology use cases for various sectors.

“As organizations across the world continue to digitize, cybercrime will not only become more rampant but also more advanced. StealthMole has shown tremendous agility in this regard, aggressively growing its AI and machine learning capabilities for seamless investigation by building correlations across multiple data sources from the dark web itself to insulated platforms like Telegram.” said Kim Min-Q, managing director at KIP.

500 Global invests USD 4.2 million in Applecrumby

Applecrumby, a Malaysia-based baby care brand and e-commerce platform, has secured USD 4.2 million from 500 Global to support its global expansion.

According to Tech in Asia, the company currently has a presence in 11 countries, offering its line of baby care products to consumers in China, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines, among others. Apart from offline channels, Applecrumby also sells its products through online platforms like Shopee, Lazada, and TikTok Shop.

With the newly raised capital, Applecrumby is aiming to expand its footprint to a total of 20 countries by the end of the year. In Malaysia, the company is aiming to have its products on the shelves of close to 2,000 retail locations within the same timeframe. Part of the funds will also be allocated toward product development.

This may help Applecrumby fight for market share in Southeast Asia’s competitive babycare landscape. Aside from The Parentinc and KeaBabies, the region is also home to players like Edamama in the Philippines and Concung in Vietnam.

Baby care businesses are increasingly gaining traction in the region, catching the attention of investors. Besides Applecrumby, other industry players like Edamama in the Philippines have successfully raised funding. Edamama completed a Series A+ funding round in November 2023.

HSBC unveils USD 1 billion fund to scale digital businesses in Southeast Asia

HSBC, a leading provider of banking and financial services, has launched a USD 1 billion fund aimed at supporting businesses seeking regional expansion.

Named the ASEAN Growth Fund, it targets high-growth industries, established corporations, and non-banking financial institutions planning to scale up through digital platforms across multiple markets in Southeast Asia.

According to a statement from HSBC, Amanda Murphy, the institution’s head of commercial banking for South and Southeast Asia, said that it is “excited about ASEAN’s booming digital economy” and looks forward to working with digital businesses in the region. “With a working population that is digitally native, increasing in size, and poised to consume more goods and services—especially [in] e-commerce—ASEAN has so much potential for growth,” Murphy said.

In addition to the ASEAN Growth Fund, HSBC also revealed plans for a separate lending fund. This fund, totaling USD 150 million, is designated to offer venture debt to rapidly expanding companies in Singapore backed by venture capital or private equity investors.

Wavemaker Impact leads USD 525,000 investment in Elevate Foods

Elevate Foods, a Singapore-based developer of small- and medium-sized farm-gate processors, has completed its pre-seed funding round, raising USD 525,000.

The round was led by Wavemaker Impact, providing funds for Elevate Foods to establish a network for processed agricultural produce, assemble a team focused on sustainable food systems and enhanced quality management tools, and expand its footprint across the Gulf and Southeast Asia regions. —TechNode Global

Blue Planet acquires Vac-Tech Engineering

Blue Planet Environmental Solutions, a Singapore-based sustainable waste management company, has acquired Vac-Tech Engineering, a provider of industrial and waste management services, for an undisclosed sum.

This acquisition marks Blue Planet’s second buyout in 2024, following its acquisition of Mahindra Waste to Energy Solutions Limited (MWTESL) from parent company Mahindra Group in February.

Prior to these acquisitions, Blue Planet raised USD 35 million in December 2023, financed by The Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU).

SuperK bags USD 6 million in Series A round

SuperK, a franchise-based retail chain in India, has raised USD 6 million in Series A funding from various investors including Blume Ventures and Silver Needle Ventures.

According to Tech in Asia, SuperK leverages technology to conduct detailed purchase analytics, assisting its stores in understanding buying patterns and customizing their offers accordingly. Currently, its stores are operating in over 80 towns in Andhra Pradesh.

SuperK intends to utilize the newly raised capital to bolster its technology infrastructure, hire new staff, and onboard digitally native brands onto its platform.

Oman launches USD 5.2 billion fund to drive economic development

The Oman Investment Authority has launched Future Fund Oman, a USD 5.2 billion fund that will allocate approximately USD 1 billion per annum to support national investment projects, attract foreign direct investment (FDI), and bolster its small and medium enterprises.

The fund will aim to diversify Oman’s economy, focusing on various sectors including tourism, manufacturing, renewable energy, and more.

Recent deals completed in China:

  • Beauty Farm Medical and Health Industry, a provider of beauty and medical aesthetics services, has acquired a 70% equity interest in the core assets of industry counterpart Naturade Health Technology for a consideration for RMB 350 million.
  • X Square, a developer of embodied large models for robotics solutions, has completed an extended angel funding round, raising two separate eight-figure RMB sums. The initial investment was made by Legend Star, with Unity Ventures joining the round in its extension. I&R Capital was appointed as X Square’s exclusive financial advisor. 36Kr
  • Intellicube Technologies, a Chengdu-based technology firm, has secured an eight-figure RMB sum in a pre-Series A funding round, with the investor details remaining undisclosed. 36Kr
  • Eapil Technology, a Chengdu-registered company specializing in AI-powered camera and videography technology, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Huaxi Securities. 36Kr
  • iSlide, a Chengdu-based provider of PowerPoint templates and materials, has banked an undisclosed sum of funding from Dongyue Information Technology. 36Kr
  • Aerospace Kate Electromechanical Technology, a Chengdu-registered developer of photoelectric and electrochemical systems, has raised an undisclosed amount of financing from various investors. 36Kr
  • Yuanju Technology, a Shaoxing-based company specializing in micro LED mass transfer technology, has secured an eight-figure RMB sum of angel funding from Crestvalue. 36Kr

Kamereo, Ekuinas, iKala, and more led yesterday’s headlines:

  • Kamereo, a B2B purchasing and sourcing platform for farmers and restaurants in Vietnam, raised USD 21 million in a pre-Series B funding round led by Reazon Holdings and Thoru Yamamoto (Foodison). Quest Ventures also participated in this round.
  • Ekuiti Nasional, a Malaysian government-linked private equity firm, divested a 50.2% equity stake in Icon Offshore to Singapore-based Liannex Maritime, a fully-owned subsidiary of Liannex Corporation, for MYR 172.7 million (USD 36.5 million).
  • iKala, an AI solutions provider based in Taiwan, announced the completion of its Series B funding round. The round was led by Chunghwa Telecom, with support from existing investors including Wistron Digital Technology Holding, Huitung Investments, Honesty Ventures, and Cherubic Venture.

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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