Nikkei acquires 14.8% stake in SPH-backed AI startup DC Frontiers

The Singaporean startup uses artificial intelligence for automated tagging and to map out relationships between companies, individuals, and capital investment.

Image from Shutterstock. Image from Shutterstock.

36Kr, KrASIA’s parent company, has a partnership with Nikkei.

Nikkei, Asia’s largest independent business media group said today it has acquired a 14.79% stake in Singapore-headquartered artificial intelligence firm DC Frontiers (DCF), according to an official statement.

Nikkei will work with DCF to improve scoutAsia, its data and news service that provides users a comprehensive English-language database of Asian companies as well as Asian business news that was launched last year.

DCF will use its technologies and data to enhance scoutAsia’s news monitoring and corporate information search functions, which will be available from October onwards.

Founded in 2011, DCF specializes in using artificial intelligence for applications such as automated tagging. It also uses algorithms to map out relationships between companies, individuals, and capital investment. The company provides financial and non-financial corporations as well as Asian government institutions under the brand name Handshakes, which is a due diligence portal. DCF is licensed to sell the corporate data of more than 90 million registered companies in China, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam.

The fresh funding DCF pocketed through this acquisition will be used to expand its technological capabilities such as through establishing offshore research centres, according to Singaporean business news outlet Business Times whose publisher, Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) remains the second largest shareholder of DCF. The biggest shareholder is still Daryl Neo, one of DCF’s co-founders.

Tokyo-headquartered Nikkei is one of the world’s largest media corporations with 37 foreign editorial bureaus and approximately 1,500 journalists around the world. It has been diversifying its business with projects such as scoutAsia and Excedo (a business English education program). It also acquired United Kingdom-based FT in 2015.

As it looks to increase its focus on Asian technology news, Nikkei has invested and partnered with several media startups in China, Southeast Asia, and India, including 36Kr and DealStreetAsia.