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Monday, April 15, 2024

Deals in brief: Staple and Aliena secure funding, Toyota earmarks USD 300 million for climate and “frontier” tech investments, Carro eyes pre-IPO financing, and more

Wavemaker Partners leads USD 4 million investment in Staple

Staple ↗, a Singapore-headquartered company specializing in artificial intelligence-driven document processing solutions, has snagged USD 4 million in a pre-Series A funding round led by Wavemaker Partners.

According to a statement by Staple, the company will utilize the newly raised capital to expedite its global market expansion, refine its technology, and broaden its suite of document processing solutions.

“Companies manually process 1,000–100,000 documents in varied formats monthly. Manual processing is needed because most of the data is unstructured. Unfortunately, manual processing is prone to errors and on average, it costs about USD 50 to correct each error, potentially translating to millions in unnecessary expenses each year,” said Paul Santos, managing partner at Wavemaker Partners.

“Staple makes it so much easier for companies to manage their data. [Its] unified approach enables them to extract, interpret, and reconcile data from structured, semi-structured, and unstructured sources. [Its] intelligent document processing solution can handle different formats, languages, and layouts, eliminating multi-vendor complexities and ensuring consistent results,” Santos added.

Photo of Benjamin Stein (left) and Joshua Kettlewell, co-founders of Staple. Photo and header photo courtesy of Staple.

Aliena raises USD 5.6 million in Series A round

Aliena ↗, a Singapore-based space tech company, has raised USD 5.6 million in a Series A funding round led by Wavemaker Partners, with participation from institutional investors like Seeds Capital, Cap Vista, Paspalis, and NTUitive.

Mark Lim, co-founder and CEO of Aliena, told Tech in Asia that the company intends to use half of the proceeds to enhance and relocate its facility for jet propulsion testing.

Toyota Ventures earmarks USD 300 million for early-stage investments in climate and “frontier” technologies

Toyota Ventures, the early-stage venture capital arm of Toyota, has established two USD 150 million funds to expand its investments in startups developing “disruptive technologies and business models at the forefront of innovation,” bringing its total assets under management to over USD 800 million.

The two funds are:

  • Toyota Ventures Frontier Fund II (TVFF II), which will focus on deeptech startups specializing in areas like artificial intelligence, robotics, mobility, cloud, and quantum computing, among others.
  • Toyota Ventures Climate Fund II (TVCF II), which will seek out startups developing smart, scalable solutions that can combat climate change and promote environmental sustainability.

BECIS secures USD 50 million financing facility from BII and FMO

BECIS ↗, an energy-as-a-service provider in Southeast Asia, has secured a USD 50 million loan commitment jointly financed by British International Investment, the UK’s development finance institution (DFI) and impact investor, and the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank FMO.

This financing facility will enable BECIS to expand its reach and offer its solutions across the region, including in countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, and India.

“The commitment to commercial and industrial renewables reflects the evolving landscape of energy production, where DFIs can play a key role by providing climate finance to support the region’s low-carbon transition. Collaborations with trusted partners like BECIS and FMO underscore the collective effort to mitigate climate change by reducing reliance on traditional on-grid electricity sources,” said Srini Nagarajan, managing director and head of Asia at BII.

Carro seeks USD 100 million in pre-IPO financing

Carro, an online marketplace for used cars, is in the process of raising around USD 100 million as it prepares for an IPO. Aaron Tan, CEO of Carro, told The Straits Times that the company is currently in discussions with investors to secure the funds at a valuation exceeding USD 1.5 billion.

Based in Singapore, Carro has approximately 4,500 employees and counts SoftBank Group, GIC, and Temasek among its backers, alongside other investors.

In addition to navigating the cooling investor interest in recent months, Carro finds itself in a fiercely competitive market. The company is banking on innovation to distinguish itself and plans to expand its operations in Japan and Hong Kong later this year.

Recent deals completed in China:

  • Windrose Technology, a developer of electric heavy-duty trucks, has announced the completion of the second phase of its Series B funding round. This milestone raises its total funding for this round to USD 110 million, attracting investments from HSBC, Hite Hedge Asset Management, Goodman Group, and executives from global brands and logistics companies. Windrose will use the proceeds to expedite the testing and deployment of its long-haul trucks globally, set up a new supply chain center and production facility, and implement fast-charging infrastructure.
  • Truth Instruments, a Beijing-based instrument-related solutions provider for companies developing spintronic devices, magnetic materials, and nanotechnology, has secured an eight-figure RMB sum in an angel funding round. The round was led by Hangyuan Fund and saw participation from Hefei Innovation Scitech Venture Capital. The company will utilize the funds for R&D, market expansion, and talent acquisition. 36Kr
  • Voyager Technology, an intelligent driving solutions provider, has completed a Series B+ funding round, securing over RMB 100 million (USD 13.8 million). BOCOM Capital and Royalsea Capital jointly led this round with the support of Huitongda and Xincheng Capital. The funds will be allocated toward R&D and overseas market expansion, catering to global demand for intelligent driving solutions. 36Kr
  • Caye Technology, a developer of commercial automatic coffee machines, has banked an eight-figure RMB sum in a Series A funding round led by Suzhou Capital Group, with follow-on investments from existing shareholder Leader and several individual investors. Glacier Capital China served as the exclusive financial advisor. The company will use the capital for market expansion and service network development. 36Kr
  • CAS Space, a commercial space launch services provider, has completed a Series C+ funding round, with China Galaxy Investment (CGI) as the investor, raising RMB 60 million (USD 8.2 million). 36Kr
  • RealAI, a Beijing-based artificial intelligence solutions provider, has announced the completion of a new round of financing. The Beijing Artificial Intelligence Industry Investment Fund and other investors participated in this round, with Lighthouse Capital serving as the exclusive financial advisor. 36Kr

Latest funding deals in India:

  • ClaimBuddy, a support platform for health insurance claims, has secured USD 5 million in a Series A funding round led by Bharat Innovation Fund. Participating investors include CAC Capital as well as existing investors Chiratae Ventures and Rebright Partners. —Entrackr
  • 5C Network, a medical diagnostics platform, has raised INR 255 million (USD 3 million) in a new funding round led by Redwood India Healthcare Fund. —Entrackr
  • EyeMyEye, an online eyewear retailer, has raised INR 208 million (USD 2.4 million) in a new tranche as part of its pre-Series A funding round. The investors include RBA Finance & Investments, Ashish Ramesh Kacholia, and Sachin Shah. —Entrackr
  • FincFriends, a non-banking financial company (NBFC) under RupeeRedee, has raised USD 7.8 million in a round comprising debt and equity financing. InCred Finance and Grow Money Capital jointly led the round with USD 3 million in equity funding, while the remaining amount was raised through equity (USD 2 million) and debt (USD 2.8 million) from existing investor APV Management. —Inc42

9Basil Group, Cashalo, Taiwania Capital, and more led last Friday’s headlines:

  • 9Basil Group, a Thailand-based alternative investments firm, has acquired AlteriQ Global, a private credit financier based in Singapore, for an undisclosed sum.
  • Cashalo, a Philippine-based consumer credit and lending company, has been acquired by Empower Finance, a San Francisco-based fintech company. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
  • Taiwania Capital, a venture capital firm in Taiwan, has invested USD 10 million in TransferGo, an online money transfer platform.

If there are any news or updates you’d like us to feature, get in touch with us at: [email protected].

BFIA Admin
BFIA Admin
The big boss.

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