FB Pixel no scriptDeals in brief: Seaplane Asia secure funding, generative AI startup Pika raises USD 80 million, CICC Porsche Fund completes initial closing, and more | KrASIA

Deals in brief: Seaplane Asia secure funding, generative AI startup Pika raises USD 80 million, CICC Porsche Fund completes initial closing, and more

Written by KrASIA Writers Published on   3 mins read

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

TK & Partners and A2D Ventures co-lead investment in Seaplane Asia

Seaplane Asia, a provider of commercial seaplane, aviation, and lifestyle services in Southeast Asia, has closed its latest funding round. The round was co-led by TK & Partners and A2D Ventures, with support from several other unnamed investors.

The company intends to use the funds to accelerate its growth in Thailand and facilitate its expansion across Southeast Asia.

Seaplane Asia is focusing on providing a unique, sustainable mode of transportation to connect remote islands and coastal areas, while also offering services for medical evacuations, search and rescue, and corporate charters.

“Seaplane Asia’s commitment to sustainability and direct waterfront access not only promises to enhance connectivity and convenience but also to open up a world of untapped potential for tourism, commerce, and community development in Thailand,” said Ankit Upadhyay, founder and general partner at A2D Ventures.

Tomas Koch, founder and chairman at TK & Partners, added that the company is “on track to make a substantial impact on lifestyle travel, enriching the experiences of tourists and residents in Thailand and beyond.”

Hero MotoCorp invests INR 1.24 billion in Ather Energy

Hero MotoCorp, one of the world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturers, is purchasing an additional 2.2% stake in Bengaluru-based electric two-wheeler startup Ather Energy for about INR 1.24 billion (USD 14.8 million). This will be its third investment in the startup over the last nine months.

Prior to this transaction, Hero MotoCorp acquired a 3% stake in Ather for INR 1.4 billion in December 2023, having held 39.7% holding in the company beforehand.

This development also follows a USD 34.5 million debt and equity funding round completed by Ather, which saw co-founders Mehta Jain and Swapnil Jain jointly investing over USD 10 million.

Ather was last valued at USD 750 million as per the Series E round completed in May 2022, but has not disclosed its valuation since then.

electric vehicle, Ather
Photo from KrASIA’s archive.

Generative AI startup Pika raises USD 80 million

Pika, a startup developing artificial intelligence solutions to generate videos on command, has raised USD 80 million in Series B funding from a myriad of investors. The round was led by Spark Capital and saw participation from Greycroft, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Neo, Makers Fund, Jared Leto, and Craig Kallman.

The completion of this round elevates Pika’s total sum raised to date to USD 135 million, and doubles its valuation to USD 470 million, according to Bloomberg.

The scale of Pika’s fundraise stands out due to the age of the startup, founded only in 2023 by co-founders Demi Guo and Chenlin Meng, who left their graduate studies at Stanford University behind to focus on the company full-time.

Pika rolled out its first program in late 2023, which enables users to generate short video clips from written prompts, still images, or other videos. The program is complemented by a feature for sound effects that makes clips more lifelike, pairing AI-generated footage with realistic sounds.

Photo of Demi Guo (left) and Chenlin Meng, co-founders of Pika.
Photo of Demi Guo (left) and Chenlin Meng, co-founders of Pika. Photo source: Lauren Segal.

CICC Porsche Fund completes initial closing

The CICC Porsche Fund, a fund co-sponsored by CICC Private Equity Investment Management and the wholly-owned overseas entities of Porsche, has completed its initial closing.

This partnership marks Porsche’s first collaboration with a leading Chinese financial institution’s private fund management subsidiary. Porsche, as the anchor investor, will use its technical expertise to help the fund select investment targets and promote post-investment empowerment.

The fund will target opportunities in the fields of new energy and intelligent connected vehicles, supporting China’s burgeoning industry in these areas.

The Sandbox, Wrtn, Astroscale, and more led last Friday’s headlines:

  • The Sandbox, a user-generated content (UGC) metaverse platform, raised USD 20 million in convertible promissory notes with a USD 1 billion valuation cap. The funding round was jointly led by Kingsway Capital and Animoca Brands, with participation from LG Tech Ventures and True Global Ventures.
  • Wrtn Technologies, a South Korean artificial intelligence tech startup, raised KRW 25 billion (USD 18.1 million) in a pre-Series B funding round led by BRV Capital Management, with participation from existing backers Capstone Partners, Industrial Bank of Korea, and Z Venture Capital.
  • Astroscale, a Japan-headquartered space tech company, is aiming to raise USD 153 million through its IPO on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s Growth Market, involving a global offering of 28.05 million shares of common stock at an initial price of JPY 850 (USD 5.4).

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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