Author: vivian

Google, Temasek makes US$350 million investment in Tokopedia

Tokopedia, an Indonesia-based eCommerce marketplace is likely to receive a US$350 million investment from Google and Temasek Holdings, according to a Bloomberg report.

The deal is yet to be formally concluded but it has been revealed that the Alphabet Inc. unit and Singapore’s state investment would be signing the funding agreement soon. This major cash infusion is expected to help bankroll Tokopedia’s expansion amidst this COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite the COVID-19 outbreak, which has disrupted almost all business sectors in the country, it has had a positive impact on the eCommerce sector as the virus has created a new normal in online shopping habits.

This applies to Tokopedia as well, which saw a surge in online shopping during the pandemic with a lot of new consumers going online to buy fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG).

Health, household supplies, and food and beverages have been the top-selling categories since March, said Tokopedia’s external communication senior lead Ekhel Chandra Wijaya.

Based on the e-Conomy SEA 2019 report by Google, Temasek, and Bain & Company, it is even predicted that Indonesia’s internet economy was well on track to cross the US$130 billion mark by 2025.

At this time, the backing of Google and Temasek certainly acts as a strong vote of confidence for Indonesia’s biggest e-commerce operators. The Indonesian unicorn was also said to have held talks with United States internet giants including Facebook Inc., Microsoft Corp, as well as Inc.

America’s largest internet corporations have increasingly look toward the Asia market for growth and opportunities as development in the United States and Europe has reached a standstill.

Looking to tap into the region’s growing smartphone-savvy population, Facebook has bought a stake in India’s Jio Platforms, while its Whatsapp unit has signed a deal to invest in Gojek, which operates a popular digital payment service called GoPay.

Earlier in September 2020, Tokopedia has introduced Dhanapala, an independent peer to peer (P2P) fintech lending platform which is available for download to Android users.

Eat Just partners with Proterra to launch new Asia subsidiary and plant-based food factory in Singapore

Eat Just, a plant-based food tech startup is launching a partnership with Proterra Investment Partners Asia to form a new Asian subsidiary. The agreement includes building Eat Just’s first factory in Asia, which will be based in Singapore.

Eat Just said that Singapore has already provided a conducive environment for the project with support from the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB).

“It is increasingly important for us to invest in novel sustainable agri-food technology, such as alternative proteins, to meet the world’s future needs for food and nutrition,” said EDB executive vice president Damian Chan. “This will allow us to better cater to the needs of the Asian markets while creating exciting opportunities for Singapore.”

The deal will also see Proterra, the private equity firm spun from agricultural giant Gargill Inc, investing up to US$100 million in the facility while Eat Just will invest US$20 million. Once completed, this first factory will add to the company’s large-scale protein facilities in North America and Germany to generate thousands of metric tons of protein.

The new subsidiary, known as Eat Just Asia, will also focus on creating a fully integrated supply chain to serve manufacturing and distribution partners of Eat Just’s flagship products across Asia. This includes its plant-based egg alternative called Just Egg, which is created using mung beans and turmeric.

At present. Its existing distribution partners in the Asia market region include South Korea’s SPC Samlip, Thailand’s Betagro, and a partnership in Mainland China that has yet to be announced.

In addition to Just Egg, Eat Just and Proterra are also in talks expand their partnership to include the development of cultured meat, which is made from lab-grown cells as a substitution of slaughtered animals.

In Asia, demand for plant-based protein foods has grown exponentially during the COVID-19 pandemic, due in part to concerns about the safety of meat production and as consumers become more careful about nutrition and the environment. This has prompted various investments in alternative food companies.

Other plant-based food startups focusing on Asian markets include Impossible Foods, which announced funding of US$500 million in March to expand in Asia; Karana, a Singaporean startup that makes meat substitutes from jackfruit; and Malaysian-based Phuture Foods, which uses a variety of plants to make pork substitutes.

Relatedly, another Singapore biotech company looking to develop sustainable food alternatives is TurtleTree Labs. It is the first biotech company in the world that can recreate real milk from all mammals using cell-based technology. The startup’s goal is to produce high-value human breast milk.

Singapore’s GIC make investments in International Self-Storage Operator StorageMart

StorageMart, a self-storage company based in the United States has welcomed new investors including Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates’ private entity Cascade Investment, and other investors.

Founded in 1981, GIC is a leading global investment firm that manages Singapore’s foreign reserves. It is a global, long-term investor with more than US$100 billion in assets in more than 40 countries and has been an active participant across the US property market.

With this funding investment, the transaction will place StorageMart’s valuation at approximately US$2.7 billion and will allow the business to scale and expand its operations.

Following the investment, the company’s day-to-day management will continue to be led by Cris Burnam as the Chief Executive Officer, Mike Burnam as the President and Chief Investment Officer, and Ryan McKenzie as Chief Financial Officer.

StorageMart is one of the largest international self-storage company with 240 properties across three countries in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. It owns, operates, and develops self-storage properties in which the majority is privately owned by Stanley Kroenke and the Burnam Family who founded StorageMart.

Established in 1999 and based in Columbia, StorageMart has been in the storage industry for three generations and operates a portfolio consisting of more than 15 million square feet of storage. It serves more than 75,000 self-storage customers and operates in Chinese, English, Punjabi, Quebecois French, and Spanish.

“The self-storage sector is rapidly evolving, and companies that can deploy technology, enhanced operations, and truly memorable customer experience are going to outperform,” said Chris Burnam, the CEO of StorageMart.

“To do this, scaling is a fundamental requirement. By combining the forces of Mr. Kroenke and our new partners GIC and Cascade Investment, StorageMart will be in an unrivaled position to achieve its growth strategies in both current and new markets,” Burnam added.

Citigroup was the exclusive financial advisor to StorageMart on the deal, while Kirkland & Ellis provided legal counsel.

A report from real estate service provider JLL has stated that the self-storage industry in the United States was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with a revenue drop in the second quarter of this year by 2.7 percent on-year, while expenses rose 3.4 percent and net operating income declined by 5.2 percent.

HokuApps Creates an Effective Solution for The Severely Hit Events Business During the Pandemic

SINGAPORE – October 13, 2020 /MarketersMedia/ — HokuApps, a global player in next-generation digital transformation services made it possible for That’s Innovative to come back stronger after the COVID-19 pandemic with a robust Events app. With the pandemic, severely affecting the events business by lockdowns and strict social distancing rules, That’s Innovative was able to partner with HokuApps to rapidly develop and deploy this solution.

With the aim of digitalizing events in the era of COVID-19, That’s Innovative commissioned HokuApps to create a mobile application that is able to help themselves and the other players in the event industry easily list their event services for consumers. The app also allows consumers to effortlessly look for available virtual events in the market that they can attend. According to the International Congress & Convention Association, Singapore has been the #1 meeting city in Asia-Pacific for 18 years – there are constant demands for cutting edge, effective technological tools.

Founded in 1999, That’s Innovative Pte Ltd is a leading Singapore-based full-service event management company. They excel at producing every conceivable public function – whether it’s convention exhibition booths, large-scale dinners and live performances, corporate team-building retreats, or community festivals and celebrations. That’s Innovative works with their clients each step of the way, from planning to execution, with every detail covered and more than two decades’ experience to anticipate potential problems before they happen.

HokuApps created an impressive mobile application that gives That’s Innovative the power to manage multiple events simultaneously, promote ticket sales, organize on-site staff, analyze and quantify success with robust backend metrics and even establish a new revenue stream to boost the company’s ROI. That’s Innovative can control every detail of event management including calendars & event listings, entertainment booking, ticketing, and tracking of attendance. The app “Event Elephant” is available for iOS and Android on the App Store and Google Play.

“That’s Innovative needed a way to organize and manage the many threads that go into creating a successful event,” explained Arif Gafar, Sales Director for HokuApps. “We were delighted to work for such a prominent player in the events management industry and to meet the challenges of their business with creative technological solutions.”

“We are satisfied with the app design and support provided by HokuApps,” said Adrian Ang, Managing Director of That’s Innovative. “It has always been our wish to create a customized mobile app to enhance our business functions. HokuApps was able to quickly turn our imagination to reality, providing us with an app with a beautiful interface and impressive power which will enhance both our business functions and our image in the competitive marketplace. HokuApps empowers organizations to usher in their digital transformation journey to better engage with customers, partners, and employees.

About HokuApps

HokuApps is the fastest growing technology platform that empowers organizations to develop innovative technology solutions incredibly fast. Headquartered in Singapore, the rapid application development platform has enhanced mobile and data integration capabilities to enable companies to speedily deploy mobile and web applications. HokuApps empowers organizations to usher in their digital transformation journey to better engage with customers, partners, and employees. HokuApps has done extensive work in digital transformation spanning many industries including healthcare, education, construction, finance, transportation and many more.

Contact Info:
Name: Anuradha S.M.
Email: Send Email
Organization: HokuApps

Chinese Drug Developer Hinova Pharmaceuticals Completes Series C Funding Round Worth $147 Million

Chengdu-based drug research firm Hinova Pharmaceuticals announced on Tuesday that it has completed its Series C funding round, securing nearly 1 billion yuan, which is about $147 million in US dollars.

This funding round sees a list of backers, which include state-owned Shenzhen Investment Holdings, Beijing’s Huarong Rongde Asset Management, Chinese clinical contract research organization (CRO) Hangzhou Tigermed, and Sinopharm-CICC Capital, a healthcare-focused private equity fund.

Other investors also include China-focused fund manager Infinity Group, Founder H Fund, an equity investment subsidiary of China’s Founder Securities, and DNV Capital, a venture capital firm that primarily invests in healthcare and intelligent technology fields.

The financing capital will be used to support multi-center clinical trials and to commercialize the firm’s drug candidates locally and internationally.

Founded in 2013, Hinova Pharmaceuticals is involved in the discovery, development, and industrialisation of drugs and the treatment of metabolic diseases and cancers.

The firm to date has a pipeline of 9 drug candidates including the HC-1119, which is an innovative androgen receptor antagonist developed to treat metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). It is now in its Phase III of international multi-centre trials and the firm expects it to hit the global market in 2022.

Meanwhile, the firm is also looking to onboard a chief financial officer with preferred expertise in the city board’s biomedical listings and experience in IPOs in Hong Kong, which signals that it

So far this round follows from its Series B+ round held in January 2020, whereby Hinova had raised US$32 million from six institutional investors including Chinese PE GF Xinde Investment.

With the onset of the coronavirus, many Chinese pharmaceutical companies and healthtech startups in China have raised funding.

Just last month, we also witnessed XtalPi, a pharmaceutical company raising around US$318.8 million in its Series C funding round led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2, PICC Capital, and VC firm Morningside Venture Capital.

XtalPi is an algorithm-driven artificial intelligence (AI) healthtech company that is reinventing the industry’s approach to drug research and development with its Intelligent Digital Drug Discovery and Development (ID4) platform.

On the other hand, another biopharmaceutical startup Sinovent has also similarly reported securing a US$145 million Series C funding round led by Loyal Valley Innovation Capital in August 2020.

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