Month: January 2017

Travel site Ixigo secures US$15 million funding round participated by Fosun, Sequoia Capital

Chinese conglomerate Fosun has decided to participate in a US$15 to US$20 million financing round in travel search site Ixigo, a deal that is expected to mark the investment firm’s first venture transaction in India.

The US$15 to US$20 million round was first reported by the Economic Times in December to be led by marquee venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, with Fosun coming on board as a co-investor.

This Ixigo financing round also follows a US$18.5 million funding round last raised in August 2011 by SAIF Partners and MakeMyTrip which has acquired 56.7 percent and 19.9 percent respectively.

While in June 2015, phone maker Micromax has picked up a stake in the company by investing about US$4 million. However, the three existing investors did not participate this time around in the last Series B round.

Founded in 2007 by Bajpai and Rajnish Kumar, Ixigo acts like a meta search engine for online travel agents such as MakeMyTrip and Goibibo. The company is said to have processed transactions worth Rs 300 crore during the financial year of 2015.

Besides, the Gurgaon-based company has also recently started taking bookings through its app as well as entering the cabs metasearch space where it works with Ola, Uber, among other to find the best options for commuters.

Fosun, on the other hand, has set up its India team last year to invest in domestic firms. Raisurana, an ex-MD at Standard Chartered Private Equity, Tej Kapoor, former Naspers executive, and Ajay Lakhotia, who was earlier India head of Vertex Venture, are leading the investment team for the Chinese group in India.

The Shanghai-based group, however, has earlier endeavored in the travel industry, acquiring French holiday group Club Med in 2015 and making an investment in Thomas Cook and its public market position, MakeMyTrip.

The new team will look to make early-stage tech investments signing cheques for up to US$5-10 million, as well as take picks among more mature companies in both private and public markets.

By Vivian Foo, Unicorn Media

Indonesian Indo Komoditi to acquire Sinar Cahaya Cemerlang, Zonergy’s local unit for US$33 million

Indonesia’s rubber producer Indo Komoditi Korpora has made an announcement today about its plans to acquire Chinese firm Zonergy’s local CPO unit, Sinar Cahaya Cemerlang (SCC), for a maximum price of US$33 million.

According to Indo Komoditi Management, it intends to purchase between 60 to 100 percent of SCC’s paid up capital using a total of US$15 million received in loans from major shareholders Alam Tulus Abadi (ATA) and Sinoasia to fund the acquisition.

“Sinosia will give out a maximum amount of US$10 million, while ATA will provide US$5 million,” said the company officials in a statement. The acquisition will be completed after a due diligence has been conducted.

Based in Beijing, Zonergy is involved in the development of solar and biomass energy as well as the cultivation of oil palm, owning more than 30,000 hectares of oil palm. The company is also an affiliate of ZTE Group, one of the largest Chinese telecommunications firms.

Established in 1982 under the name of Indo Aya Leasing, Indo Komoditi is a company that is involved in a wide range of activities from leasing, trading, agency, representatives, contractor, services, transportation, printing, agriculture, and real estate to industry.

The company went public in 1989 but was delisted by the authorities in 2013. It was then re-listed on the Indonesian Stock Exchange (IDX) in September 2016,

The Indonesian firm also said that it believes a stable prospect for the future of the palm oil industry, as Crude Palm Oil (CPO), is currently the most used oil in the world, being one of Indonesia’s main drivers in exports. Hence, with the acquisition of SCC, this will become Indo Komoditi’s first venture into the CPO business.

In the first nine months last year, Indo Komoditi reported a total sale of Rp 291.3 billion, a slight drop from the same period the year before which was Rp 294 billion. However, profits jumped to Rp 3 billion from Rp 1.3 billion in the third quarter of 2015.

Indo Komoditi will obtain its shareholders’ approval for the transaction on March 2, 2017.

By Vivian Foo, Unicorn Media

Thai consumer products firm Neo Corp secures US$6.73 million investment from Finansa Fund

Neo Corporate, a Thai manufacturer and distributor of house brand consumer and cosmetic products has raised an investment from Finansa Fund Management, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Finansa Pcl which is worth 237 million baht (about US$6.73 million).

As per details of the agreement, the investment is conducted in the form of an exchangeable five-year loan, which will be later converted into of Neo Corporate’s common shares.

Formerly known as BIO Consumer, Neo Corporate is a private company that was established back in 1989 by the Thakolsri family. The enterprise is one of the global suppliers and market leader in household and consumer products.

Its portfolio of products includes the popular Fineline, BeNice, Eversense, Genie, Tros, D-Nee, and Vivite among some.

With the capital, the company will construct a new manufacturing facility in the province of Pathum Thani in order to increase its production capacity and meet the rising demand in the domestic market as well as neighboring countries.

According to Suttidej Thakolsri, the CEO of Neo Corporate, the company would invest around 2.5 billion baht (about US$71 million) to realise its facilities in Pathum Thani, marking the company’s highest investment over the past 27 years.

With this investment, the company expects to increase its annual sales revenue from 6 billion baht (about US$170 million) at present to 10 billion baht (about US$285 million) in the next five years.

Targeting companies from the consumer, logistics, technology, food production and distribution sector, Finansa also said that it anticipates further private equity investments in the future, aiming to complete one transaction per year.

At the same time, Finansa Fund Management plans to get Neo Corporate to be listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand within the next three years.

By Vivian Foo, Unicorn Media

Japanese Enechange raises US$4.4 million from Opt Ventures, IMJ for marketing and overseas projects

Tokyo-based energy price comparison service Enechange has closed a funding round estimated at 500 million yen (about US$4.4 million) from Opt Ventures and IMJ Investment Partners.

This round follows a 400 million yen (about US$3.5 million) investment from Energy & Environment Investment and TSE-listed Hitachi in February last year. With this funding, the collective capital raised by the firm has reached US$7.9 million.

Launched in April 2015, Enechange offers a power supplier switch service for enterprises and SIM card comparison site for companies and consumers. The startup also provides consulting services for electric companies in Japan, having partnered with UK-based SMAP Energy.

Its platform ( is an energy price comparison site under the same name which was released in September 2015.

Since the deregulation of energy supply that occurred in April 2016, the Japanese electricity industry has seen the entry of major corporates like Softbank and Rakuten establishing subsidiaries to tap into this market.

With this, Japan’s market for electricity retail to small-scale users which was previously dominated by 10 major power companies that monopolised their respective regions has seen deregulation which led to more than 300 new entrants to the power retail market from various non-electricity sectors, including companies like SoftBank and Tokyo Gas.

However, with most customers of the new suppliers concentrated in the greater Tokyo area and the Kansai region, this limited number of market entrants may serve to limit the growth prospect of Enechange.

With the latest funding round, Enechange plans to expand its businesses overseas, deploying its businesses in countries like UK and Dubai among some.

Additionally, the capital will also be used to strengthen its marketing via the production and release of mass advertisement centered on TV commercials. The commercials will begin in the Kansai area starting January 25

By Vivian Foo, Unicorn Media

Chinese antibody drug developer Mabworks raises US$39 million Series B led by GTJA Group

Mabworks Biotech Co. Ltd., a gene-engineering antibody drug developer has on Tuesday raised a RMB270 million (about US$39 million) Series B financing round led by Shenzhen GTJA Investment Group, a Chinese private equity firm focusing on the healthcare industry.

Other investors include Harvest Capital Management Co., Ltd., as well as existing investors Mefund Capital and Beijing E-Town Biomedical Park which also participated in the round

Commenting on the funding, GTJA Investment said, “Antibody drugs have high entry barriers, it demands large-scale production and massive capital investment. Mabworks has almost completed its drug development platform and is ready to manufacture drugs on an industrial scale.”

Founded in 2003, Beijing-based Mabworks is currently developing antibody drugs such as an Ebola cure MIL77. At present, the company has two drugs which have reached the clinical trial process, including MIL60, a substitute of cancer and a specific eye disease drug Bevacizumab, and MIL62, a chronic lymphocytic leukemia drug.

“Mabworks’ valuation has significantly increased because of the great progress it has made in its drug development process,” said Liang Zhanchao, founder of Mefund Capital. “We are making a follow-on investment because we believe in Mabworks’ core founding team, consisting of four overseas educated executives and their ability to support the company’s future growth.”

Prior to this, Mefund Capital has also invested and led Mabworks’ Series A in May 2016 which has raised over RMB100 million (about US$14 million).

Established in 2001, Shenzhen GTJA Investment Group has made various growth stage investment and buyout deals in the healthcare industry in China. It previously invested in Jiangxi Boya Biopharmaceutical Corporation, a biopharmaceutical company in China that achieved its stock market listing in 2013.

By Vivian Foo, Unicorn Media

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