Thursday 05 October, 2023

The Viu looks good from the top

Viu, Xylem Learning, Carro, and more raised funds this week.

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Hello reader

I grew up consuming lots of western media – think Disney Channel, Cartoon Network, various books written by western authors, and of course, Hollywood movies.

Because of that, a lot of my current media consumption is still geared toward shows for English-speaking audiences, with the rest of it being mostly anime. Netflix has been invaluable so far for that, although that platform seems to be becoming a little less… friendly to users.

Video streaming platform Viu, on the other hand, caters to an audience that’s largely different from me. As such, I’ve seen advertisements for the platform here and there but never really had an interest.

That said, with Netflix becoming a little more troublesome to use, I welcome any competition in Asia for video streaming services. And if Viu’s latest investment deal is anything to go by, that competition could be heating up fast.

Image credit: Timmy Loen

You can find all other important investment deals that happened over the last few days in our weekly funding news wrap-up.

Let’s dive into the biggest deals and M&As that recently took place.

The biggest deals by country

???????? Viu, a Hong Kong-based online streaming service, has gotten US$300 million in a strategic investment from Canal+ Group.

???????? Xylem Learning is an Indian edtech platform that offers entrance exam preparation services. It scored a US$61 million strategic investment from PhysicsWallah.

???????? Carro, the Singaporean automotive marketplace, has secured US$60 million through a strategic investment from Jardine Cycle & Carriage.

???????? Korean ecommerce startup Levit, which operates the Alwayz app, has netted US$48 million in series B money from Bond, DST Global, GS Global, GS Venture, KB Investment, Klim Ventures, Korea Investment Partners, Mirae Asset Capital, and Mirae Asset Venture Investment.

???????? Olta, a Japanese fintech firm, has raised a US$17.7 million series B round from AG Capital, Aozora Corporate Investment, Chikugin Regional Revitalization Fund, DG Ventures, Delight Ventures, and several other investors.

Here’s the complete list of this week’s funding chart: 66 deals worth over US$611 million.


???????? Indian e-learning app Veeksha has been acquired by Adda247 for an undisclosed amount.

???????? Scenes, a social networking platform based in India, has been acquired by Graphy. Financial details were not disclosed.

???????? Ekrut is a jobs platform from Indonesia. It’s been acquired by GetLinks, although financial terms are not publicly available.

Startups that are raising funds

Fundraising is hard. To make things slightly easier, we’ve compiled this list of fundraising startups for our subscribers. Do you run a startup that’s raising at the moment or know someone who does? Sign your company up for listing here.

???????? Talk Your Heart Out is a Singaporean firm that helps users get quality mental health support from accredited professionals.

???????? Singapore-based Auptimate is an online platform for professional investors to launch special purpose vehicles.

???????? Flomoney is an Indian startup whose solution serves as a portal for human-robot interactions.

You can find the full list of fundraising startups in Asia over here.

Killer pitch decks

1️⃣ This pitch deck helped a Vietnamese mobility app raise US$1.5 million in seed funding

Phenikaa MaaS, founded by award-winning programmer Yee-Thanh Le, is the developer of Vietnamese public transit app BusMap. The firm used this pitch deck to get seed funding from Pheenika Group in 2021. The presentation provides comprehensive information about Phenika MaaS’ business and lays out the milestones that the company has reached to date.

2️⃣ This healthtech firm secured US$16.7 million in series C funding with this deck

US-based helps healthcare professionals diagnose patients more efficiently. In 2020, it used this pitch deck to raise series C money. The deck begins by stating a significant problem in the healthcare sector and explains how digitalization has negatively affected the industry, which is in stark contrast with other major fields. The presentation then elaborates on’s platform and details how it makes the consultation process easier and more productive for both patients and clinicians.

3️⃣ With this deck, a Sequoia-backed startup bagged US$60 million in series C funding

Ethos, an insurtech firm based in the US, uses machine learning and data science to underwrite life insurance – no need for medical exams, blood tests, or complex paperwork. The company used this pitch deck and took home US$60 million in its series C funding round. The presentation introduces Ethos’ vision and roadmap, which is geared toward untangling problems in the insurance industry. The next slides go on to describe how the company’s services simplify the process of applying for insurance.

Tech in Asia’s Founders Meetup: Vietnam Join us and share the hardest challenges you’ve faced as a founder

If you’re an entrepreneur based in Vietnam, you’re invited to Tech in Asia’s Regional Founders Meetup, which will be held on June 28 at The Sentry in Ho Chi Minh City (2/F Sonatus Building, 15 Le Thanh Ton, District 1) from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Join us and share the hardest challenges you’ve faced as a founder. To help you find solutions, we’ll introduce you to fellow founders who have been there and done that. Starting up doesn’t have to be a lonely journey.

Register for this exclusive event here today. Tickets are priced at US$12.50 per person, inclusive of light bites and one drink. Slots are limited and are available on a first come, first served basis.

Thanks to our official event partners – AWS, CleverTap, Cooley, D.Camp, Sinarmas Land, Singapore Global Network (SGN), Quest Ventures and Purple Quarters – and our community partners – WeWork, Gobi Partners, Antler, The Sentry, Vietcetera , Golden Gate – for making this meetup possible.

Exclusive listicles Lists of most active investors in the region

China | India | Indonesia | Japan | Singapore | Southeast Asia

List of top-funded startups in Asia

China | India | Indonesia | Israel | Japan | Hong Kong | Singapore | South Korea | Vietnam

Thoughtful reads 1️⃣ Small and speedy

Competition: We can’t escape it. If you’d like to see how various global VCs stack up against each other, check out this article. Interestingly, it appears that new and small firms have performed the best – read more to find out.

2️⃣ For the noobs out there

We’ve all been a fresh-faced newcomer before. If you’re someone who just joined a VC firm and already have to start generating some due diligence reports, this Reddit thread has several commenters giving advice on which services and platforms to use.

3️⃣ Learn from the first

Personal experience is always a good measure of capability, and this pioneer has it in spades. Rana el Kaliouby is the CEO of AI company Smart Eye, and in this podcast episode, she walks listeners through some major considerations when using AI.

4️⃣ Something, something, cupid

If you’ve never been on TikTok before, it can seem like a totally wild place. You’ve got major brands like Bose and Lotus Cars putting out some truly unhinged content – and it works. Connecting with Gen Z is tough, but brands can make it easier by partnering with the right influencers. This article shares how.

5️⃣ The mentorship role

Managers are often called upon to not just be leaders, but also to help their team members become the best versions of themselves. However, doing so could also spread managers too thin. That’s where AI tools can come in handy, and this article shares some examples.


Jonathan Chew

Has a strange liking for grabbing tiny plastic things on wooden walls

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