Hi, everyone. It’s Taro here for this week’s issue.
With the end of the year coming up, it’s time to slow down to provide a well-earned window to reflect and regroup for 2022. Some startups have grown to new levels and are now stronger, while others have unfortunately fallen off—to perhaps learn from their previous experiences and start with a fresh idea.
This is the inevitable cycle of the startup ecosystem. If everyone applied the concept of wabi-sabi, finding beauty and acceptance from imperfections, breaks, and striving for excellence rather than perfection, these end-of-year walks down memory lane will be much more positive across the ecosystem.
If you have an interesting story or lead, want to know more about startups in our network, or just want to say hello, you can drop us a message at [email protected]. If you are a startup and want us to feature your fundraising news in this newsletter, please fill out this form.
The Post Up
Startups Currently Raising Funds
Country: Hong Kong
Target: USD 2 million, pre-Series A
The firm uses AI technology to provide investment analysis and bots to trade using available data. It recently soft-launched the AskLORA app on Android to coincide with the Hong Kong FinTech Week.
Target: USD 300,000, seed
ECSalary is a DeFi platform that gives employees access to their earned salaries before payday at an affordable cost. It was recently accepted as a Hong Kong Cyberport tenant and was a semifinalist in Hong Kong FinTech Week’s Global Fast Track Pitching Competition.
Country: Singapore, Thailand
Target: USD 9 million, Series A
As an adtech startup looking to provide an alternative to Google’s monopoly of the digital ad industry, ReverseAds recently shifted its headquarters from Thailand to Singapore to continue its growth within Southeast Asia. It has raised USD 3.4 million, with USD 5.6 million left before the round closes.
Target: Undisclosed, angel
Food Marquee supports local farm produce and local food distributors. It reduces food wastage and generates revenue by relieving farms and merchants of excess inventories.
Target: USD 5.5 million, seed
Insurevite’s solution is designed to efficiently access affordable insurance using bots and automation technology. Users can make payments, review policies, and find information.
Nothing But Net
Recent Startup Wins
- Una Brands closed its Series A round after continuing its steady growth across APAC.
- The Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund x HSBC JUMPSTARTER program announced its 100 shortlisted startups.
- Singapore eyecare startup foptics recently launched a prescription lens scanner app that allows users to get information about their current lenses without in-person assistance.
- Hong Kong-based Zetl announced a new partnership with Airwallex to add cross-border payment options to its existing financing services.
Pick & Roll
Interesting Drops From the Week
- BNPL companies’ share prices in Australia continue their downward trend, hitting an 18-month low this week. With increasing regulatory scrutiny, this is a worrying sign for Asia-based startups in the same space. [via Startup Daily]
- New Zealand fintech startups were highlighted as something to watch. A number of companies have already set up or will soon operate in Singapore.
- With the global supply chain moving slower, Amazon has decided to bypass the problem with its own containers, chartered ships, and planes. [via CNBC]
- A detailed look at Grab’s partnerships in Indonesia that allows it to compete against homegrown Gojek.
On the Road
Events to check out
The Alibaba Cloud x KrASIA Global Startup Accelerator is part of Alibaba Cloud’s Project AsiaForward initiative, which aims to bring digital transformation to enterprises in Asia and nurture fresh talent. Through this program, startups have the opportunity to join Alibaba’s global ecosystem.
The Hong Kong Online Demo Day, which looks to highlight startups focusing on the Hong Kong market, will be held on December 14. Register here to watch the event and support the competing startups.