FB Pixel no scriptDeals in brief: Shiok Meats and Umami Bioworks pursue merger, Peak XV Partners to launch perpetual fund, eight China and India deals, and more | KrASIA

Deals in brief: Shiok Meats and Umami Bioworks pursue merger, Peak XV Partners to launch perpetual fund, eight 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.

Singapore-based cultivated seafood startups Shiok Meats and Umami Bioworks pursue merger

Y Combinator-backed Shiok Meats is pursuing a merger with Umami Bioworks, another cultivated seafood startup based in Singapore, as first reported by Green Queen.

The combined entity will operate under the Umami Bioworks name and be led by Mihir Pershad, its existing CEO, while retaining the Shiok Meats brand for potential future use. Notably, Sandhya Sriram, co-founder, and CEO of Shiok Meats, will depart after leading the startup for over six years.

Photo of Ka Yi Ling (left) and Sandhya Sriram, co-founders of Shiok Meat.
Photo of Ka Yi Ling (left) and Sandhya Sriram, co-founders of Shiok Meat. Photo from KrASIA’s archive.

Peak XV Partners set to launch perpetual fund

Peak XV Partners, the venture capital firm formerly known as the Southeast Asia and India arm of Sequoia Capital, is set to launch a perpetual fund. This fund will be backed by its investment partners and extended team, as first reported by TechCrunch, citing an internal memo and an undisclosed source familiar with the matter.

According to reports, this news was revealed to Peak XV’s limited partners at its annual general meeting in New Delhi this week. The new fund aims to explore investment in different asset classes to position itself as a significant limited partner (LP) in the firm’s future vehicles.

Named the Peak XV Anchor Fund, the new fund will be funded by an internal balance sheet. It will enable the firm to have more involvement with its own fund and explore investments in newer areas, the source told TechCrunch.

Singapore’s DCS secures USD 75 million in asset-backed notes

DCS Card Centre, a Singapore-based financial services provider, has secured USD 75 million in asset-backed notes, bringing its total funding for the latest round to roughly USD 300 million, following a USD 225 million fundraise in December 2023.

Formerly known as Diners Club Singapore, DCS is recognized for introducing cashless payments to the city-state in the 1970s and is one of only two non-bank financial institutions in Singapore holding licenses for credit and charge cards.

DCS stated that it will utilize the newly raised capital for the company’s receivables from retail and corporate customers using its credit facilities. Additionally, it aims to diversify its offerings through partnerships with other players. Having collaborated with MasterCard and UnionPay last year to offer co-branded cashback cards, the company is now planning to launch a similar product with Visa. —Tech in Asia

Sqreem Technologies acquires Trade Indy

Sqreem Technologies, a Singapore-headquartered artificial intelligence behavior aggregator, has acquired Trade Indy, a programmatic business founded in Melbourne, as part of its global expansion plans.

According to a statement by Sqreem, this acquisition will enable brands to identify and illustrate their audiences with precision, as well as build longer-term digital relationships, thereby enhancing brand impact and driving budget accountability. Trade Indy will integrate into Sqreem and will have access to a taxonomy of audiences through the latter’s global network.

“The agreement to merge with Sqreem expands both business offerings by bringing together our experienced managed service team with advanced, cookieless, AI-driven technology. This move into the Sqreem group is an exciting growth opportunity at a time when the market is demanding next generation digital media solutions,” said Mark Rosenberg, director at Trade Indy.

Olam Agri acquires Avisen to expand into Senegal

Olam Agri, an agribusiness specializing in food, feed, and fiber, has completed the acquisition of Avisen, one of Senegal’s major suppliers of feed, for EUR 17 million, assuming full ownership of the company.

According to a statement by Olam Agri, this acquisition is aimed at strengthening its animal feed and protein capabilities, extending its presence in West Africa. The company says it is one of the leading animal feed and day-old chick producers in Nigeria, simultaneously “generating synergies” with its wheat milling business in Senegal.

LG invests USD 60 million in Bear Robotics

South Korean conglomerate LG has agreed to acquire a stake in Bear Robotics, a startup specializing in artificial intelligence-driven autonomous service robots.

LG will invest USD 60 million in Bear Robotics and will hold the largest portion of the startup’s shares on a single-shareholder basis following the completion of the deal.

Recent deals completed in China:

  • Toursun Synbio, an intelligence model developer focused on synthetic biology, has raised a seven-figure RMB sum of angel funding from Chengmei Capital. It will utilize the capital to construct its laboratory and build its team. 36Kr
  • ShengShu, a Beijing-registered large model developer, has raised a nine-figure RMB sum in a funding round led by Qiming Venture Partners, with participation from Delta Capital, Hongfu Houde, Zhipu AI, Baidu Ventures, and Z&Y Capital. China Renaissance was appointed as the exclusive financial advisor. The proceeds will be allocated toward R&D and market expansion. 36Kr
  • Alpicool Holding Group, a Foshan-registered producer of mobile refrigerators, has completed a Series B round of financing, securing over RMB 100 million (USD 13.9 million). The investors include Jinding Capital, Vision Knight Capital, Shunwei Capital, Hengxu Capital, Wens Investment, and Cowin Venture Capital. The funds will primarily be used to expand the production capacity of new energy refrigerators for vehicles, support overseas brand promotions, conduct product R&D, and bolster working capital. 36Kr
  • Xingzhe AI, a Chengdu-based artificial intelligence company specializing in gaming and data platform applications, has completed a new round of equity financing, securing an undisclosed sum from Ourpalm. 36Kr
  • Chuanhai Chineng, a Chengdu-registered energy company, has completed an angel funding round after securing an investment from Sichuan Commercial Investment Group. It did not disclose the amount of financing. 36Kr

Latest funding deals in India:

  • Fiona Diamonds, a Mumbai-based lab-grown diamond brand, has secured INR 60 million (USD 724,000) in a seed funding round led by Venture Catalysts. Participating investors include AC Ventures, Anikarth Ventures, Shantanu Deshpande (Bombay Shaving Company), Eco Brilliance, and Suraj Nalan. The company will utilize the funds to expand its presence and for product development. —VCCircle
  • The Quorum Club, a Gurugram-based lifestyle hospitality brand, has secured an undisclosed amount in a pre-Series A funding round from Nikhil Kamath (Zerodha) and Gruhas. The brand intends to use the funding to expand its presence across India. —VCCircle
  • Nanonets, an AI-based workflow automation platform with offices in San Francisco and Bengaluru, has raised USD 29 million in a Series B funding round led by Accel, with participation from Nanonets’ existing investors, including Elevation Capital and Y Combinator. The startup plans to allocate the funds toward R&D and to strengthen its team. —VCCircle

Synphne, Sleek EV, Kismet, and more led yesterday’s headlines:

  • Synphne (stylized as “SynPhNe”), a medtech spin-off from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, secured USD 5 million in a Series A funding round from Event Horizon Technologies, a member of the Nadathur Group.
  • Sleek EV, an electric two-wheeler brand based in Singapore and Thailand, announced the extension of its pre-Series A funding round with the support of Finnoventure Fund, which is managed by Krungsri Finnovate, the venture arm of Krungsri (Bank of Ayudhya).
  • Kismet, a Melbourne-headquartered healthcare startup, secured USD 8.2 million in a seed funding round jointly led by Prosus Ventures and Airtree Ventures.

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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