Category: Startup

Shift4Good Completes Its First Closing Of Over $98-Milllion In Its Latest Impact VC Fund

Impact investment fund Shift4Good is a Singapore and Paris-based sustainable mobility venture capital (VC) firm. The firm has attracted $98 million in the first close of its latest impact fund. 

The VC firm confirmed the development in a LinkedIn post, which said that investors in the first close include European Investment Fund (EIF), Renault Group, French sovereign fund Bpifrance, MOTUL, some mobility players from MOBILIANS, family offices, and entrepreneur-investors. 

The firm has a fundraising target of US$293 million, which it will invest in approximately thirty start-ups over the next five years in Series A and B, two-thirds in the European Union and one-third in the rest of the world, with a focus on Southeast Asia. 

According to the company, these investments aim to accelerate their development, enable them to become international champions, and thus contribute, through their innovations, to reduce the carbon footprint of the mobility sector. 

The firm said on its website that “we are sector-focused to be more impactful. We only invest in sustainable mobility opportunities or circular economy business when they intersect with mobility.” 

Shift4Good‘s focus materialized given that the transport of people and goods has a carbon impact of eight billion tonnes each year.

The firm is co-founded by Matthieu de Chanville, Sébastien Guillaud, Yann Marteil, and Thierry de Panafieu, four French investors with a background in venture capital and mobility. The firm is an independent French management company with offices in Paris and Singapore and is certified by the AMF. 

Shift4Good brings to entrepreneurs, with the most promising projects in the sustainable mobility sector, a bespoke and global solution to enable them to become world champions. 

Their expertise covers in-depth sector knowledge and financing coupled with tailor-made support and a collaborative ecosystem fully mobilized to respond to the climate emergency. 

According to Yann Marteil, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Shift4Good, “This closing allows us to launch our support programs for entrepreneurs committed to developing sustainable mobility solutions, making it possible to contribute to reversing the climate trend.” 

He also said that “the abundance and quality of the deal flow illustrate that there are bold and profitable solutions to offer sustainable mobility.”

Global impact investing is on an upward trend in more and more regions, and this is no different in Southeast Asia. For instance, ADB Ventures, the impact investment manager of the Asian Development Bank, is planning the first close of its $100 million second fund this year.

Singapore-Based Bolttech Concludes Series B Funding Rounds

Bolttech, which is one of the world’s fastest-growing international insurtech companies, announced that their Series B funding round will be led by Tokio Marine, alongside other shareholders. 

Tokio Marine and other shareholders will lead bolttech’s Series B funding round in a move that values the Singapore-based insurtech unicorn at approximately US$1.5 billion, one year after it closed the largest-ever Series A funding round for an insurtech. 

According to the company, the proceeds of the Series B funding round will be used primarily to fuel the business’ continued global expansion. The strategic partnership with Tokio Marine would also complement the capabilities and reach of the company, as well as enhances its distribution strength, product innovation, and balance-sheet capacity. 

Bolttech’s Chief Executive Officer, Rob Schimek, said that “securing a lead investor of Tokio Marine’s high caliber and esteem is a strong validation of international investors’ belief in the resilience of bolttech’s business model, our long-term proposition, and our role in shaping the future of insurance distribution. Tokio Marine will be a pivotal strategic partner as we continue to accelerate our growth strategy and global expansion.”

Bolttech is one of the world’s leading embedded insurance providers. The company is a global B2B2C insurtech that leverages its pioneering insurance coverage to connect insurers with distributors and their customers. The company has licenses to operate in more than 30 markets throughout Asia and Europe and all 50 US states. 

Bolttech’s platform provides businesses inside and outside the insurance industry with everything they need to offer insurance products to meet their customers’ evolving insurance and protection needs in this digital age. The company’s connectivity enables bolttech’s partners to reimagine their business models and find new revenue streams, accelerate digital transformation, and deepen customer relationships. 

Masashi Namatame, the managing executive officer and group chief digital officer, said Tokio Marine is excited to have the opportunity to lead bolttech’s Series B round and to join the company on its incredible growth trajectory as their strategic partner. 

He added that “the scale and breadth of bolttech’s platform, coupled with its industry-leading tech and digital capabilities, and extensive insurance experience, uniquely positions it as a clear leader in the insurtech space.” 

He further said that “we look forward to working with bolttech to take advantage of the commercial opportunities our new strategic partnership will offer.” 

Since its inception in 2020, the company has experienced rapid growth with approximately US$50 billion worth of annualized premiums, 800 distribution partners, 200 insurance providers, and offers in excess of 6,000 product variations.

Line Man Wongnai Becomes Thailand’s Latest Unicorn After Securing $265 Million In Funding

In Line Man Wongnai’s latest funding round, Line Man Wongnai announced that they raised $265 million in a Series B funding round which values the company at over $1 billion, securing the company’s position as Thailand’s latest unicorn. 

The latest funding round was anchored by Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC and Japan-based Line Corporation. The funding round was also participated by the likes of PTT Oil and Retail Business Public Company Limited, BRV Capital Management, Bualuang Ventures, and Taiwan Mobile. 

According to the company’s statement, the funding will strengthen Line Man Wongnai’s strong position in the food delivery market, expand new service categories, recruit tech talent and improve tech infrastructure. 

“The announcement opens the next chapter for Line Man Wongnai to grow from a local Thai startup to a regional tech platform. We thank LINE for embracing us into its deep mobile ecosystem and providing ongoing support for our journey,” said the company’s Chief Financial Officer In Young Chung. 

The valuation makes Line Man Wongnai the third unicorn in Thailand after logistics service operator Flash Express and fintech firm Ascend Money. 

The food delivery startup was formed in July 2020 from the merger of Line Man, Thailand’s on-demand assistant app, and Wongnai, a Thai restaurant aggregator. 

Yod Chinsupakul, CEO of Line Man Wongnai, said: “Food has been our passion since I co-founded Wongnai, and now, to collect millions of users with the biggest pool of restaurants we have is a dream come true. We are also proud to create over 100,000 rider jobs, most of whom earn more than twice the minimum wage.” 

Line Man Wongnai reported revenue of 1.05 billion baht in 2020, behind key rivals Grab at 7.21 billion and Foodpanda at 4.37 billion. 

The latest funding round is expected to fire up the competition while other players, which are weakening, are sharpening their focus on more specific areas. 

Competition could escalate next year, particularly when other rivals also receive funding.

Indian Logistics Tech Platform Becomes India’s 106th Unicorn After Raising $33.5 Million

Logistic enablement platform Shiprocket raised $32.6 million in the latest funding round from returning investors. The funding round was co-led by Singapore’s Temasek and Lightrock India. 

The firm was valued at around $1.2 billion with a fresh round of funding, joining India’s exclusive club of unicorn companies. Other investors that also joined the round include Bertelsmann, Moore Strategic Ventures, March Venture Capital, Huddle Collective, and Paypal. 

Publicly-listed food technology major Zomato, however, which had led the previous round of funding at Shiprocket in December 2021 did not participate in the latest funding round. 

The fresh funds will help Shiprocket extend its operating system by building newer software and intelligence products along with deepening its capability in the fulfillment and same-day delivery experience. 

Saahil Goel, CEO and Co-founder of Shiprocket said “This investment will help accelerate our roadmap and will also help us bring world-class e-commerce experiences to every direct commerce retailer in India.” 

Shiprocket was founded in 2017 by Saahil Goel, Gautam Kapoor, and Vinesh Khurana, the company then elevated its Chief Business Officer Akshay Ghulati to the post of Co-founder in 2020. The company currently delivers packets to more than 66 million consumers annually and is growing 3 times year on year. 

Since its latest funding round, Shiprocket has made five acquisitions, including cargo shipping business Rocketbox, supply chain management solution Glaucus, marketing automation platform Wigzo, logistics aggregator Pickrr, and Arvin Internet’s retail enablement business, Omuni.

Chinese Firm Raises $110 Million In A Funding Round Led By SoftBank And Sequoia

China-headquartered e-commerce SaaS platform Dianxiaomi has raised $110-million in Series D funding led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Sequoia China. The funding round also participation from Tiger Global Management, GGV Capital, and Huaxing Growth Capital. 

The Series D funding brings the company’s total funding for the year 2022 to $210-million. The company plans to use the fresh funds to expand its overseas market, specifically to expand its overseas team and strengthen its international business. 

In a statement by Dianxiaomi founder and CEO Du Jianyin he said, “after this round of funding, we will accelerate our strategic planning for Dianxiaomi’s international expansion, to truly make e-commerce more efficient.” 

The firm, founded by Du Jianyin in 2014, specializes in enabling merchants, including small and medium enterprises, to set up their online stores and connect them to global e-commerce platforms with its core enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution. The company works with global clients and Chinese brands looking to expand abroad. Additionally, the company has an annual transaction volume of orders exceeding 350-billion yuan ($51.6-billion). 

“We have always believed that products are the best way to test the market. In the past two years, the cross-border e-commerce industry has experienced different cycles, and the movement of the market has validated our strategy,” said Du Jianyin. 

Today, the platform has over 1.5-million global users and partners with more than 50 leading e-commerce platforms. The company has over 1600 high-quality logistics providers and over 80 overseas warehouses. With services provided by the company, global e-commerce sellers can now do business with just a laptop and Dianxiaomi’s services.

The company’s core solution is a diversified product matrix focusing on Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). While the company’s other products include SellFox, an e-commerce ERP for Amazon sellers, and BigSeller and UpSeller, e-commerce ERPs for local sellers in Southeast Asia and Latin America. 

SoftBank Investment Advisers managing partner Kentaro Matsui stated, “Dianxiaomi’s ability to standardize the merchant experience by streamlining 36 global e-commerce platforms has given them a real competitive edge.” 

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