By: Asia Business Outlook Team | Monday, 20 November 2023
Asia has always been a hotbed of opportunities for investors to park their money in; this week was no different. From the southeast to the middle east, opportunities are waiting to be capitalised all the time, irrespective of global turbulence. Here are a few notable investors who funded aspiring startups to make strides in innovation.
Fatima Gobi Ventures
JazzCash, a Pakistan-based FinTech platform, and Fatima Gobi Ventures (FGV), a Pakistan-based venture capital (VC) firm, have announced a strategic partnership that is expected to have a significant impact on the growth of startups and budding businesses in the country.
In a statement issued on Nov 17, the duo stated that this mutually beneficial partnership will see JazzCash catalyse FGV's existing and future portfolio companies by onboarding them onto its platform, which currently serves over 44 million users, 300,000 merchants, and 900 businesses through a nationwide network of 230,000 agents.
FGV portfolio companies will be able to tap into JazzCash's vast network for potential collaboration and expansion opportunities as a result of this.
Binance Labs Ventures
Binance Labs, Binance's venture capital and incubation arm, has invested in $ARKM, Arkham's native token. Arkham is an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered blockchain intelligence and data platform that provides granular information and visualisation tools for on-chain activity, according to a statement issued on November 15.
Its mission is to deanonymize blockchain transactions and empower self-regulation by allowing users to visualise anyone's blockchain transactions via Arkham's intelligence platform, which is powered by its proprietary AI engine, ULTRA, which algorithmically matches addresses with real-world entities and provides users with searchable and sortable transaction history on its entity and token pages, as well as network visualisations that map entity relationships.
Wize, a Dubai-based startup that provides sustainable last-mile delivery solutions, has raised $16 million in a pre-Seed funding round led by Mena-focused angel investors. It said in a statement on Nov 16 that the funds will be used to strengthen the company's presence in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) market, further product development, and explore new partnership opportunities in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) market.
"The UAE's Green Agenda 2030 actively encourages businesses to pursue more sustainable growth," according to the report.
"We are proud to offer an innovative full-service solution that enables retailers and delivery companies to progress towards net-zero emissions and significantly reduce their carbon footprint," said Wize Co-Founder and CEO Alexander Lemzakov.
OurCrowd, an Israeli digital investment platform, and RISE, a Thai corporate innovation powerhouse, announced the launch of the $50 million Rise OurCrowd Exponential (ROCX) Fund on Nov 16. The fund, according to the duo, will invest in early-stage deep technologies in cybersecurity, artificial intelligence (AI), health technology, semiconductors, quantum computing, ClimateTech, AgTech, FoodTech, and other areas.
The ROCX Fund, which will be anchored by a major Thai institution and managed by an experienced team of Thai and Israeli venture capital experts, will begin investing by the end of 2024.
The fund plans to deploy tens of millions of dollars over a two to three years period into 20 to 30 companies with a promising track record and the capacity to develop and deploy solutions with proven product-market fit, providing them with the capital to scale up their commercial growth with leading corporations across Southeast Asia.