Ecosystem Roundup: gojek, Tokopedia said to be finalising terms of mega merger; SEA’s VC firms report lacklustre fundraising performance in 2020

gojek, Tokopedia said to be finalising terms of mega merger ahead of dual listing; The target valuation in the public markets is between US$35B and US$40B; The latest terms under discussion call for gojek shareholders to own about 60% of the combined entity while Tokopedia’s investors hold 40%, source told DealStreetAsia. More here

‘Singapore isn’t ready for mass adoption of EVs yet; hybrid may be better for the present’, say industry experts; Island-wide, there are only 1,800 charging points but the govt has plans to take this number to 28K by 2030; As of now there are only around 1,000 electric cars on the roads today but there is a strong push to increase this number to around 200K by 2030. More here

SEA’s VC firms report lacklustre fundraising performance in 2020; They raised US$1.96B in the year, a 39% drop from the US$3.23B in 2019, says a DealStreetAsia research; VC firms closed 11 funds last year, down from 28 in 2019; A total of US$4.08B was raised by 9 global funds in 2020, a massive jump from US$867M by 5 funds in 2019. More here

Unicorns globally now worth US$1.7T with 10 largest companies accounting for 24%; The valuation is for the 528 total global unicorns, says data researched by Trading Platforms UK; Bytedance is the most valued unicorn at US$140B, followed by Didi Chuxing (US$62B), SpaceX (US$46B, Stripe (US$36B), and Roblox (US$29.5B). More here

Singapore to phase out petrol cars by 2040 – How close are we to nearing that ambition?; Singapore’s attempts to ramp up EV ownership have been impressive, but more effort is needed to continue this growth; Even though the government has also implemented policies to reduce the number of cars, there are nearly one million vehicles on Singapore’s roads, making the percentage of EVs astoundingly small. More here

Chinese apps had Clubhouse tech as early as 2011, but they didn’t take off; For many Chinese, the tech behind Clubhouse is not new; The US social media app is currently invite-only and allows users to jump into different audio chatrooms to discuss different topics, features that appeared on YY.com, Dizhua, Lizhi, etc. More here

LongHash Ventures launches US$15M fund to support early-stage blockchain startups; The new fund will focus on investing in startups leveraging Web 3.0 infrastructure components and DeFi; LongHash Ventures seeks to build the native Web 3.0 blockchain economy through a global network across the Republic, Shanghai and Hong Kong. More here

East Ventures (EV) appoints Pavilion Capital founding member Koh Wai Kit as Venture Partner; He has in the past served in the investment, strategy and portfolio management functions at Temasek; To date, EV has supported more than 170 companies across Southeast Asia; It’s an early investor in Tokopedia and Traveloka. More here

Ex-Grab Chief Economist, Impiro back Bangladeshi digital food court Kludio; Unlike other food delivery apps, Kludio provides more flexibility to customers by enabling mix and match of cuisines from multiple brands; The company claims to have clocked over 20K app downloads within just two months of its launch. More here

Temasek-backed Reefknot invests into US-based supply chain startup Roambee; The fresh funds will go towards global expansion into new markets, including Asia; It seeks to open its Southeast Asian headquarters in Singapore by Q1 2021. More here

Bambooloo on creating everyday low carbon footprint products that save the planet; The firm makes a range of sustainable consumer products made from virgin bamboo pulp sourced from bamboo groves in China; Its products are also available in Singapore, Malaysia and New Zealand. More here

LottieFiles acquires India-based design asset marketplace Iconscout; The Indian firm claims it has 2.2M+ assets, ranging from SVGs and vector icons to illustrations and 3D graphics; LottieFiles recently raised US$9M Series A, led by Microsoft’s Venture Fund, M12, with participation from 500 Startups. More here

Philippine edutech startup Avion School secures funding from Y Combinator; Avion is an online school that teaches Filipinos to become remote software engineers globally; Since its launch in May 2020, it has kicked off seven batches of students and partnered with over 80 companies globally; Tinder co-founder Justin Mateen invested in the firm last year. More here

Kairous Capital, SPH Ventures join TechNode Global’s US$1M seed round to help it accelerate Asia expansion; The Singapore-based media firm will set up an office in Malaysia soon; TechNode Global is building a community platform that offers news, provides fundraising and deal flow support and facilitates corporate-startup partnerships. More here

Is Southeast Asia ready to BNPL?; The first indicator of the market potential of BNPL in SEA is its age group demographics; A second indicator is the underbanked population; Finally, the growth of e-commerce in Southeast Asia highlights the viability of BNPL in the region. More here

This startup lets you create over 100 premium ice cream out of a mini capsule; Advantir Innovation’s flagship product is Swirl Go, an ice cream-making capsule that makes sure that consumers get their favourite flavour dispensed at its finest quality. More here

Philippine fintech startup Ayannah seeks Series B funding  for Vietnam, India expansion; Ayannah provides digital financial services to the middle-class population in emerging markets by partnering with financial companies to launch services on behalf of them; To date, it has raised US$9M+ from two funding rounds. More here

Razer co-founder Lim Kaling to sell his stake in Myanmarese military-linked Virginia Tobacco; He is selling his one-third stake in a joint venture that owns RMH Singapore, a tobacco company which in turn owns 49% of Virginia Tobacco; The development comes against the backdrop of the recent events in Myanmar. More here

Philippine startup Mosaic Solutions bags US$1M in pre-Series A from Gentree; Mosaic offers cloud-based management software for F&B and hospitality companies; It recently raised US$1.5M pre-Series A round in September 2020 from Investible, IdeaSpace, KMC Founders Fund, and JC Capital. More here

Digital tech growth to create 65M jobs annually in Asia Pacific; ADB said the expansion of the digital sector would contribute to an average annual gain of 26.8% in APAC’s GDP, 15.6% in trade, and 26.1% in employment over the next five years. More here

Unlimited ‘fuel for a flat fee? This S’pore firm offers a subscription plan for EV drivers; Homegrown solar energy firm Sunseap’s green mobility business arm called Charge+ plans to set up 10K EV charging points across Singapore by 2030; It aims to install charging points in public housing estates and private developments, particularly condominiums. More here

Can Asia copy Estonia’s digital nation model?; Since 2014, it has allowed citizens of other countries to become an ‘e-resident’ of Estonia; They can run an Estonian business or open a bank account without stepping into the country. More here

SME digital financing platform Funding Societies expands to Thailand; Thailand marks the fourth market in its six years of operations; Since 2015, the company claims to have supported over 65,000 SMEs in Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia with over USD1.5B in funding. More here

Siam Commercial Bank’s venture arm SCB 10X sets up US$50M VC fund; The blockchain, DeFi, and digital assets-dedicated fund will invest across the capital stack in innovative and promising startups in blockchain infrastructure, blockchain innovative applications, and decentralised finance globally, to better prepare the bank for future disruption. More here

How the young, unbanked online users are spearheading the rise of AI-banking in SEA; There are around 290M unbanked people in the region and that only around 120M people have access to credit; The untapped potential behind the population without access to credit is one of the determining factors that make SEA so attractive to investors. More here

The WFH era: How SMEs should select the right digital collaboration tools; According to a Lark study, the top three tasks among Singapore PMEs are chat/messaging, video meetings, and emails; With the rise of remote collaboration, the study also found that Singapore’s professionals, managers, and executives use video meetings (94%), file search (90%), and messaging (80%) for up to half of their day. More here

Image Credit: gojek

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