Cashback News – Dec 22: VC roundup for ecommerce investments in Asia, Africa

Cashback News – Dec 22: VC roundup for ecommerce investments in Asia, Africa

- in Slider, VC, Mergers, Acquisitions

VCs invest in Asia PacificToday, we’re looking at cross-section of VC investment in key Asian markets to highlight where the smart money is going and who is got it in 2015. Let’s follow the money. First, Japanese telco SoftBank continued to invest widely across Asia, sometimes leading and sometimes partnering but always watched closely by other VCs. VCCEdge reported a record 1,283 deals and more than $19.7 billion invested in India. McKinsey highlighted the 15 largest startup funding rounds in SE Asia in 2015 – a very useful reference list. Nexus Venture Partners raised $450 million to bring its capital under management to $1 billion. Tech in Asia highlighted the growing on-demand economy in Asia and it’s new appeal to VCs.

Some deal watchers wondered if Tiger Global will reduce its investment pace in India. VentureBurn profiled the active investment in South African technology and e-commerce. Tech in Asia shared 20 startups that failed in 2015 – providing some valuable lessons for investors and startups. Alibaba launched two venture funds worth $450 million for entrepreneurs in Hong Kong and Taiwan. According to EY, the Asia-Pacific region dominated IPO activity raising $90 billion in 673 deals in 2015. Finally, by 2020, Philippines aims to have 500 startups with VC funding of US$200 million and valuations of US$2 billion. Ambitious. Just like the entire Asia-Pacific region.

SoftBank had a busy 2015. Here’s a look at its global startup investments this year

SoftbankJapanese telco SoftBank is one of the biggest investors both from Asia and in Asia these days. Founder and CEO Masayoshi Son largely handed the reins over to his India-born successor Nikesh Arora, who was named president back in May. Arora even put US$482 million of his own savings back into the SoftBank pot last summer.

SoftBank’s 2015 portfolio includes a variety of verticals spanning fintech, medtech, adtech, and more – but nascent ecommerce platforms featured prominently. With one of two billion-dollar investments going to South Korea’s Coupang, SoftBank is clearly hoping that lightning will strike twice after Son’s US$50 million bet on a young Alibaba became worth more than US$90 billion post-IPO.

Here are all of SoftBank’s disclosed investments from 2015, in reverse chronological order. This list excludes those made from collaborative investment funds like SB ISAT. Note that the figures below are the total investment amounts – not necessarily SoftBank’s individual contribution. Via

Recap 2015: PE, VC investment nears $20B in record year for deals Indian economy may be trotting its way to recovery but private equity and venture capital investments related to the country have galloped to a record high this year. PE and VC investors, spurred by a change in the political climate and hopeful of reforms, have struck more deals than ever before and pumped in $19.7 billion so far this year, according to provisional data from VCCEdge, the data research platform of VCCircle. Deal value last came close to this number in 2007 when it crossed $18 billion for the first time.

The number of deals spiked, led by VC transactions and angel investments. A record 1,283 deals were struck so far this year, a significant jump from the 891 deals registered last year. Via

Tech in Asia – Connecting Asia’s startup ecosystem

US dollarsHome to over 600 million people, Southeast Asia is among the 10 largest economies in the world and has the third-largest labor force, next to China and India, according to multinational management consulting firm McKinsey. Growth in the region has been rapid and relatively stable over the past decade, making it attractive for businesses and investors alike. All these factors are fueling Southeast Asia’s startup ecosystem.

This year, we’ve seen tons of money poured into the region. In terms of markets, Singapore and Indonesia have figured prominently on investors’ radars (what, with Singapore’s uber wealthy and Indonesia’s huge population, it’s no surprise). This now begs the question: who are the biggest winners when it comes to raising funds in 2015? We’ve looked into Tech in Asia’s database and here they are in reverse order.  Via Tech in Asia

Nexus Venture Partners raises $450M in new fund Venture Partners has raised $450 million (about Rs 3,000 crore) in a new fund, the venture capital firm said in a statement. The fund, Nexus Ventures IV, is the largest for the VC firm and takes the firm’s total capital under management to over $1 billion.

Most of the capital commitment for the fourth fund came from repeat investors, it said. Investors included endowments, foundations, and financial institutions across North America, Europe and Asia. Via

Tech in Asia: Asia’s rising on-demand economy

SE Asia marketThe US market has dominated the headlines with regards to this growing theme, but Asia is now poised to be the next hotbed of on-demand activities. Existing businesses that do deliveries, such as couriers and parcel services, need to adapt or else risk losing out.

The self-evidence of this shift can be seen in the amazing amount of investment that is occurring in on-demand startups all over Asia. Recently, the British startup Deliveroo announced a $100 million funding round, which was going to be used to expand into Asian countries. Deliveroo is not the first, and most certainly not the last, on-demand startup to penetrate Asia. In fact, hundreds of millions of dollars are being invested in these types of startups, and India seems to be one of the fastest growing markets for them. Via

Is Tiger Global Pulling Back From Asia?, The Economic Times of India reported that Lee Fixel of Tiger Global let it be known that the fund was cooling its activity in India.

“He (Fixel) is not supporting companies which have a high burn rate and are not going anywhere,” said another venture capital manager who has co-investments with Tiger Global. “He will consolidate his portfolio.” This comes just two quarters after Tiger had its most active quarter ever in India on a new investment basis, investing in 11 total deals in Q1’15 of which 8 were new companies.

However as Asian VC investment activity reached all-time highs in Q2’15 and Q3’15, Tiger slightly pulled back, investing in just 5 new companies in Q2’15, and 4 in Q3’15. The current quarter has seen two new investments, which at its current level would be the second-lowest total since Q3’14, the quarter before Tiger Global raised a $2.5B global private investment fund. Via

The rise of African startups is a business opportunity, not a threat article is the most comprehensive guide for anyone who wants to get involved with, or have a better understanding of, the country’s fast-growing startup space. It is a part of a series of articles we will pilot, which will also include the West African and East African startup space.

We have scoured South Africa’s entrepreneurial landscape and hand-picked some of the top players to get you started, looking at all sectors from education, investment (angel, venture capital, private equity), government, accelerators and incubators to media players (print and online). Via

20 failed startups in Asia in 2015 and lessons learned

20 Failed Asian startups2015 was a hot year for some startups in Asia. Venture capital flowed into China, India and South Korea in previously unheard of amounts. Southeast Asia saw a record exit with iProperty Group’s US $534 million acquisition. Yet raising gargantuan rounds of financing is no guarantee for future success, and it’s in the risky nature of entrepreneurship that some companies emerge as winners while others bite the dust.

Here are 20 startups from Asia that were forced to shut down this year. We clustered them by country and in no particular order. These 20 are by no means the only ones to cease operations in 2015. We picked them because we learned something from their story. Via

Alibaba to invest nearly $450m in two new VC funds e-commerce giant Alibaba has launched two venture funds for entrepreneurs in Hong Kong and Taiwan, to help entrepreneurs realize their dreams and visions, the company said. Its HK fund – called Entrepreneurs Fund for Hong Kong, has a corpus of HK$1 billion (US$130 million), and is aimed at supporting selected entrepreneurial ventures who can then leverage the resources offered by Alibaba’s ecosystem. The Taiwan Entrepreneurs Fund launched with an initial corpus of 10 billion New Taiwan Dollars ($316 million).

Venture capital firm Gobi Partners has been appointed as the investment manager for the Kong Kong fund, while CDB Capital will manage the Taiwan fund. They will be responsible for sourcing and evaluating business proposals and managing the investment program, while the directors of the fund oversee its strategic direction and policy. Via

Asia-Pacific region dominates IPO activity raising $90b through 673 deals in 2015: EY the closure of exchanges in mainland China to new listings for part of 2015, the Asia Pacific region dominated 2015 IPO activity – both in volume and the capital raised. It was the only global region that improved on its 2014 performance, according to an EY report. The region saw 673 deals raising $90.2 billion. The region accounted for 55 per cent of global deal volume and 46 per cent of capital raised, pushing it to leading position in IPO activity.

Based on the data from EY, seven of the world’s busiest bourses by number of IPOs in 2015 were located in the APAC region. Meanwhile, four of the world’s busiest exchanges by IPO proceeds were also the same region, with it accounting for 50 per cent of top 10 global deals in 2015. Chinese exchanges re-opened to new listings in December 2015 with a strong pipeline of around 690 companies ready to go public. Concurrently, Japan also saw a consistent level of deal activity across all four quarters in 2015, with 98 IPOs – the highest number since 2007 – raising $15.6 billion, the report disclosed. Via

Here are the Philippine startups that raised funding in 2015

gorgeous The Philippines flag painted on a wood plank texture

The Philippines has an ambitious target for its startup ecosystem. By 2020, the country aims to have 500 startups that have raised total funding of US$200 million from investors and raked in a valuation of US$2 billion. It’s got a long way to go, but it’s making good progress.

This year, we’ve listed at least 16 Philippine startups that earned investors’ vote of confidence. They include Paynamics, Salarium, ZipMatch, Cogito, Medix, Pouch, TaskUs and more.  Via

That’s a breathtaking amount of investment and investor activity throughout the Asia-Pacific region. According to market watchers, the appetite for further investment in the region shows no signs of waning. Cashback Industry News will continue to deliver global news, insight and business intelligence you can use. Join us. Subscriptions are free.

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