BattleBrew Productions, a new game developer based in Singapore announced that it has raised its first angel funding from Emerio’s CEO Harish Nim.
Similarly based in Singapore, Emerio Corp is an IT service provider that is a subsidiary company of NTT-Docomo, one of Japan’s largest telco operator.
The funding amount was undisclosed but BattleBrew will use the newly-raised capital to fund the development of its first game under the working title Wyldeweavers. It is said to be a free-to-play mobile strategy game for the iOS and Android platforms.
Launched earlier in February 2017, BattleBrew is made up by a team of 12 veteran game developers from Singapore, including Benjamin Chua, Louis Cua, and Greyson He who have previously worked at Ubisoft, developing triple AAA titles such as the Assassin’s Creed series.
Meanwhile, other members of the team have also worked in big-name gaming companies such as Gameloft and Sea (previously known as Garena).
Leading the team is CEO Shawn Toh who has worked as the game designer for Nubee and Gumi Asia, as well as being the associated producer at the Game Lab of the Singapore University of Technology and Design.
“The industry is pretty close-knit, so once we had an idea for a game we really wanted to work on, it was an easy decision. We have a lot more ownership in what we make, especially for the guys or girls who came from triple-A studios,” Toh explained.
The team is also supported by Elicia Lee, the founder of Singapore gaming convention GameStart Asia and Ian Gregory Tan, the creative director of Witching Hour Studios which became a crowdfunding sensation with its RPG title Masquerada: Songs and Shadows.
On the other hand, there has also been a rise of immersive VR entertainment in Southeast Asia’s gaming scene. In June, Havson group has introduced EXA Outpost, the first hyper-reality gaming theme park in Malaysia.
Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund Temasek is set to acquire a 30 percent stake in Italian fashion retailer Stone Island, according to its parent firm Sportswear Company S.p.A.
Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but it is understood that the capital will help the men’s sportswear brand to expand its reach internationally.
“I am truly satisfied for this partnership with one of the world’s most established investment companies,” said the Sportswear Company’s founder Carlo Rivetti. “I particularly appreciate Temasek’s investment strategy to participate in companies with strong growth potential, know-hows, and identity.”
For Temasek, this comes at a time when its divestment is outpacing its investment. Increasingly, the firm is under pressure for higher investment returns which has led it to make larger bets and adding more unlisted stocks to its portfolio.
However, this is not the first fashion investment for the company. Last year, Temasek has participated in the US$110 million Series F funding round for Farfetch, as well as acquired a 26.8 percent stake in Italian fashion firm Moncler.
Founded in 1982 by Massimo Osti, Stone Island’s famous jackets were the result of an experiment of creating the fabric for military jackets. The company was acquired in 1983 by Rivetti’s family firm GFT which was one of the largest apparel manufacturers in Italy.
It later became Sportswear Company and developed its brand Stone Island to become a mixture of technical wear, high-fashion, and streetwear. The company even has collaborations with Supreme and Nike, as well as stockists like Kith.
Meanwhile, the company reports revenues for 2016 to be €109 million (about US$129 million ), that is a 26 percent increase compared to last year at €87 million (about US$97 million)
With this acquisition, Temasek agrees to guarantee the continuity and the autonomy of the Stone Island management team, which according to Rivetti is essential to successfully face and overcome the challenges for the fashion sectors.
“I wanted to both capitalize on the work done in 35 years and to team with a partner to face the increasingly complex opportunities proposed by the markets,” Rivetti explained.
“I am confident that the brand Stone Island will keep on with increased success its development, being able to count on a competent and attentive partner to the specifics of our business and with strong international relations,” he added.
Southeast Asia’s leading PE firm Navis Capital Partners is set to launch its eighth fund in 2018. The vehicle will be significantly larger than the firm’s current fund Navis VII worth US$1.5 billion.
According to Navis, its seventh fund is currently in its third and final year at 70 percent drawn – a stage where most PE players have started to actively plan their new successor fund.
But so far no plans have been finalized for the size or timing of a successor fund, though the firm is said to be looking to raise up to US$2 billion for its next fund.
As an investor with a large presence in Southeast Asia and Australia, Navis focuses on building a portfolio related to food processing, restaurant dining, manufacturing, fast-moving consumer goods, outdoor advertising, auto rentals, consultancy, healthcare, and professional business services.
The Kuala Lumpur-based firm has invested in Chinese restaurant chain Imperial Treasure, Indonesian medical equipment distributor Tawada Healthcare, Vietnam’s Hanoi French Hospital and furniture and lifestyle brand Christian Liaigre, among some.
With Navis VIII, the PE firm plans for smaller investments below US$50 million to further extend its investments into the region. These investments in the range of US$10 million to US$50 million, which Venture Capital firms often find too big and Private Equity players find too small, can work to fill the requirements for certain players.
The firm’s exits for this year include the divestment of its controlling stake in retail apparel South Africa’s The Foschini Group to Australia’s Retail Apparel Group (RAG) in a deal worth US$225 million. The firm also sold its interest in Guardian Early Learning Group, a child care business operating a network of 71 child care centers across Australia, to funds managed and advised by Partners Group.
Navis Partners Capital currently manages several private and public equity funds totaling to US$5 billion in equity capital and has made more than 70 controlling investments since its inception.
It has one of the largest private equity professional teams in Asia, consisting over 60 individuals and supported by over 30 administrative staff in eight offices across the region.
Indonesian peer-to-peer (P2P) lending startup Julo has landed an undisclosed seed funding led by Skystar Capital, with participation from East Ventures, Convergence Ventures, and other undisclosed angel investors.
The capital will be used to accelerate financial inclusion in Indonesia, that is focusing on the 100 million underbanked people to obtain loans for their various personal use.
According to Julo’s Co-founder Adriansus Hitijahubessy, it will be primarily spent on product and business development, in addition to machines learning investments, team development and distribution.
“The idea for Julo started when I was building AI-based credit scoring solutions for emerging countries in my previous company,” said Hitijahubessy. “As successful as it was, I realized that instead of helping consumers in Latin America and African countries to gain access to credit, I should be helping people in my home country.”
Hitijahubessy also notes that Indonesia is a suitable seedbed for the fintech lending company, as the country has a large segment of the population at the base of the financial pyramid and low consumer credit liquidity equipped with information technology.
Along with Hans Sebastian and Victor Darmadi, Hitijahubessy set up Julo, a personal loan app for Android users. This allows loan applicants to apply for a small personal loan from their phones, where they are required to submit pictures of personal documents.
Successful applications can receive their loan within the next 24 hours, with a maximum permissible loan size of about US$600 and a payment period up to six months.
Besides, it is the startup’s credit scoring algorithm that allows users to manage loans, due dates, and cash back bonuses paired with alerts and reminders, which draw Skystar Capital to invest.
Edward Gunawan, the Partner of Skystar said, “We believe that having a strong credit scoring algorithm is a key differentiator for P2P lending startups. Driven by a technically strong founding team, Julo is one of the first locally grown P2P lending startups. ”
The startup generates revenue from a provision fee from borrowers and service fees from lenders. Since its launch in January 2017, Julo claims to have 50,000 app downloads and more than thousands lenders.
Julo hopes the company will reach a critical mass of 10,000 borrowers within the year, and accelerate the development of its credit scoring engine.
Singapore’s food and beverage company Katrina Group announced today that it has entered into a subscription and shareholder’s agreement with Big Benefit Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ajisen (China) Holdings.
The deal will see Katrina holding a 30 percent stake in the joint-venture company which manages and operates snack bars, cafes, restaurants and other food services serving Vietnamese-style dishes under the brand – So Pho in Hong Kong and China.
Alan Goh, the Founder, CEO and Executive Chairman of Katrina said, “We are excited to partner Ajisen China, which is one of the largest and most successful restaurant chains in China. This collaboration will extend our geographical reach in China and help us enter the Hong Kong market.”
“It is a bold step in the right direction in further strengthening Katrina as a regional F&B group. We look forward to a long-lasting partnership with Ajisen China and further opportunities to come,” he added.
HKEX-listed Ajisen China is one of the leading restaurant chain operators with a retail network of close to 700 restaurants in 120 cities and 30 provinces in China and Hong Kong.
Meanwhile, Katrina Group is a food and beverage business specializing in multi-cuisine concepts and restaurant operations. It owns and operates 33 restaurants in Singapore under nine different brands including Bali Thai and Streats.
In terms of funding, Katrina and Ajisen China will provide a working capital for So Pho International of up to US$450,000 and US$1.05 million respectively, through interest-free shareholder’s loan.
Katrina will also trademark So Pho International as a sole and exclusive right to use, sub-license and franchise the trade name of “So Pho” and associated logos, designs and trade names in mainland China.
Wai Poon, the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Ajisen China said, “We are glad that this collaboration has come to fruition. With our strong track record and Katrina’s brand development capabilities, we look forward to growing the “So Pho” brand in China and Hong Kong to build mutual success for both Ajisen China and Katrina.”