May is almost over, and we can clearly see how Asian startups are evolving and growing at an incredible rate, as well as creating a plethora of opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs and investors. Because of supportive governments, access to capital, a growing consumer market, and an innovative culture, the region is poised to remain a prominent player in the global startup landscape. You've probably heard of unicorns like Alibaba, Tencent, Grab, and Flipkart, which have not only achieved phenomenal success but have also paved the way for future generations of entrepreneurs. These success stories entice investors, talent, and attention to the Asian startup ecosystem.
Today, we will highlight a few of the many Asian startups that excelled this week. Indeed, they are all racing to be the next unicorn by raising funds or by launching their own IP's in the Asian markets. This week, a startup called Generation Prime launched two clinics in Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur to make IVF and other fertility services more accessible to patients in Asia, while Gan.ai raised $5.2 million in seed funding led by Surge, Sequoia Capital's rapid scale-up programme.
Generation Prime, a startup that wants to make IVF and other fertility services more accessible to patients in Asia, is launching its first two clinics in Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur. The company also announced seed funding led by Recharge Capital, which incubated it, with participation from Thiel Capital, Shamrock Holdings, the Disney family’s investment vehicle and Blue Lion Global.
Generation Prime describes itself as the first “full-stack, closed-loop IVF health services clinic” in Southeast Asia, which means that IVF services will be provided through digital and physical channels, starting with initial consultations and including egg and sperm freezing, diagnosis, testing, IVF and surrogacy. The clinics expect to serve both patients who live locally, as well as those traveling from other countries, like China, for fertility services.
Hopscotch, an Indian brand offering fashion wear for kids, has raised $20 million in a funding round led by Amazon amid the ongoing market slowdown and funding crunch that have significantly impacted young firms in the South Asian nation.
The Mumbai-headquartered startup’s Series E financing round also saw participation from existing investors including IIFL Seed Venture Fund, RPG Ventures, Lionrock and Techpro Ventures. Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin also invested in the round, the startup said.
Founded in 2015, Hopscotch competes against the likes of FirstCry, Babyhug and LuvLap with its wide collection of kids’ fashion wear and accessories. The startup gained popularity from various online marketplaces, though its eponymous apps only have about 700,000 monthly active users, according to Sensor Tower data shared by an industry executive.
Skorlife, the fintech that wants to give Indonesians more transparency into their credit scores, has raised $4 million in seed funding. The round was led by Hummingbird Ventures, with participation from QED Investors and returning investors AC Ventures and Saison Capital.
The startup’s last funding round was $2.2 million in pre-seed funding announced in September. Co-founded by Ongki Kurniawan and Karan Khetan, Skorlife launched to the public around the same time.
Since then, it has reached 100,000 downloads. Other milestones Skorlife has hit over the past eight months include being the only credit builder admitted by the Financial Services Authority (OJK) of Indonesia into a regulatory sandbox, and receiving ISO 27001 and ISO 27701 certifications.
San Francisco-headquartered startup called Gan.ai has also attracted the attention of investors. The outfit — which helps brands create tailored videos for their customers with an AI-powered video creation platform just closed on $5.2 million in seed funding led by Surge, Sequoia Capital’s rapid scale-up program. Emergent Venture and other angel investors also joined the round.
Gan.ai’s video personalization software enables brands to record with an actor, add keywords to a script and send personalized videos to their customers in one click. According to founder and CEO of Gan.ai, Suvrat Bhooshan, Gan.ai allows users to create landing pages and shopping and payment options by integrating with Shopify, Calendly, Stripe, HubSpot and Salesforce.