A Recap On What Happened This Week: Asian Startup News Overview (September 11th - September 15th)
By: Asia Business Outlook Team | Saturday, 16 September 2023
We saw a lot of significant movements in the startup ecosystem this week, such as HSBC Malaysia setting up a fund worth $100 Million dedicated to scaling startups. Saudi’s Sovereign Wealth Fund also discussed opening an office in India to facilitate their investments into Indian startups, and the G20 Meet also concluded on a high note.
This week, a diverse set of startups achieved significant milestones. Most of them equipped their enterprise with AI and capitalized on it, ranging from healthcare to manufacturing. Prominent venture capitalists and investors, too, pitched in to reap the benefits.
Sompo, Japan's leading commercial insurance provider, has partnered with Israeli telehealth startup TytoCare to launch its artificial intelligence-based remote medical device for elderly nursing care services.
According to the Times of Israel, TytoCare will integrate its remote medical examination products into nursing homes and the elderly care market throughout Japan under a recent commercial collaboration agreement with Sompo's digital arm, Light Vortex. This collaboration comes after the Japanese Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA) approved TytoCare's products.
Since 2018, Sompo has been active in Israel through its Digital Lab Tel Aviv, investing over $20 million in Israeli startups such as Nexar (smart car dashcams), Intuition Robotics (robotics development), and Binah.ai (health data platform).
Buyandship, a global cross-border eCommerce platform headquartered in Hong Kong, announced on September 11 the first closing of its Series B round, led by Cool Japan Fund, with a $10 million strategic investment.
The funds will be used for operations automation, research and development in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning, and market expansion into the Southeast Asia (SEA) regions, according to a statement released by the company on Monday.
Buyandship claims to be a market leader in cross-border ecommerce thanks to its strong community, data analytics, and logistics network, having processed $383 million in gross merchandise value (GMV) in the previous fiscal year.
They have stated that it has worked hard to improve its technological capabilities in order to provide real value to customers. It has built an automated shopping assistant over the last 12 months, utilising a Robotic Process Automation (RPA) model to increase its order processing capacity.
Natco Pharma Limited and Rainmatter Health led a $3 million Series B funding round for Pee Safe, a hygiene and wellness brand. Nithin and Nikhil Kamath and an existing investor, Alkemi Growth Capital, also participated in the round.
Pee Safe began as a personal hygiene and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) brand in 2013 with just one product, a toilet seat sanitizer created by Vikas Bagaria and Srijana Bagaria (husband-wife duo). In the last six years, the company's product line has expanded to include personal hygiene categories, addressing the needs of girls from puberty to menopause. Intimate hygiene products such as reusable pads, tampons, menstrual cups, and more are included in the portfolio.
Rithish Kumar, one of the company's early founding members, was named co-founder earlier this year. The newly acquired funds will be used to expand retail presence in India, expand overseas with an omni-channel approach, and allocate additional resources to marketing and awareness initiatives.
Tin Men Capital, a Singapore-based venture capital firm focused on Southeast Asian B2B tech startups, has invested $3 million in Manuva, an Indonesian managed marketplace that assists consumer brands and other trade buyers procure packaging from SME manufacturers with greater efficiency, scale, and quality control.
According to a statement issued on September 11, Manuva also provides modern digitisation tools that enable ecosystem players to dramatically improve their logistics, procurement, inventory, and sales processes.
As a result, in addition to capital investment, Tin Men Capital has been collaborating with Manuva to provide strategic advice and to create opportunities to support Manuva's growth and expansion.
“We are honoured and proud to have the opportunity to have Tin Men Capital on our team as we strive to develop more B2B solutions for the packaging manufacturing supply chain and grow the company further.” commented Anggara Pranaspati, Founder of Manuva.