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Funding roundup July 5 – July 9: Recapping a busy week for startups

It’s been a busy week, with everything from curfews in four major cities — Brisbane, Perth, Darwin, and Sydney — to an increase in retail sales in Australia, to uneasiness within the employment sector due to the COVID-19 related restrictions. 

This week, we expanded our reach in two key emerging markets: Singapore and Indonesia. With a slew of unicorns and soon-to-be unicorns, both countries’ businesses have been raising funds and expanding into new markets. 

In addition, both of these countries are market leaders among ASEAN nations in terms of startup ecosystem maturity. The following are the key startup fundraising rounds from this week:

FL0 – $3.8 million

Australia-based acceleration startup FL0 raised $5.1 million in a seed round led by Blackbird Ventures. 

Other investors in the round included: Scott Farquhar, co-founder of Atlassian, Kim Jackson’s Skip Capital, Jelix Ventures, Culture Amp co-founder Doug English, and engineering leaders Zak Islam and Seb Ruiz, Director of Engineering at Canva.

Founded by Dale Brett (CEO) and Rani Adam (CTO), FL0 offers Dev acceleration or Dev acceleration as a service (DAAS). The company helps in reducing repetitive and boilerplate coding challenges faced by developers. 

FL0 also provides a complete hosted solution and a drag-and-drop interface enabling customers to create entirely new products or add-on capabilities to original systems. 

Furthermore, the platform offers an app store marketplace that provides developers with a suite of third-party tools to integrate into their tech stack. 

OneVentures backs HIVERY 

OneVentures, an Australian venture capital firm with over $500 million in funds under management, announced Surry Hills-based retail technology firm HIVERY as the tenth investment of its Venture Credit Fund.

HIVERy, founded in 2015 by ex-Coca Cola employees Jason Hosking, CEO, and Franki Chamaki, Head of Marketing and data scientists Dr Menkes van Den Briel and Dr Matt Robards, employs AI to optimise category management and merchandise for retailers.

Along with HIVERY, the 1V Venture Credit Fund invested $8 million in Eucalyptus, a health-tech platform. 

The Venture Credit Fund offers high-growth startups and scale-ups with less dilutive financing than equity. Over half of the $80 million raised by the fund has been committed since the organisation’s launch in April 2019.

SourseAI – $1.5 million 

Australia-based AI and machine learning platform, SourseAI secured $1.5 million in funding. SourceAI is a tool that can generate the source code for any programming language. 

The capital raise was led by Aligned Equity, and Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) is an early investor. SCA will use the Sourse platform to discover audience behavioural insights, listener mood states.

Its CEO, Matt Jones said that the funds would be used to accelerate the development and scale of Sourse – the patented Augmented Intelligence Platform that applies industry-specific machine learning models to the key decisions executives make every day. 

Wimp 2 Warrior – $7.5 million 

Wimp 2 Warrior, a mixed martial arts (MMA) program, raised $7.5 million to go digital.  The News Corp Scaleup Media Fund, Mark Bouris, the Smorgon family’s Sandbar Investments, Altor Capital, Shaw & Partners, and Lucerne Investment Partners contributed to the round.

The venture last raised $2 million two years ago from former Foxtel boss Richard Freudenstein, Village Roadshow’s Graham Burke, and Origin Energy CEO Frank Calabria.

Locad – US$4.9 million

Singapore-based Locad, a cloud logistics network that fulfils e-commerce orders for entrepreneurs and enterprises, raised US$4.9 million in a seed round.

The funding was led by Sequoia Capital India’s Surge, with participation from firms like Antler, Febe Ventures, Foxmont, GFC and Hustle Fund. 

The round also included angel investors Alessandro Duri, Alexander Friedhoff, Christian Weiss, Henry Ko, Huey Lin, Markus Bruderer, Dr. Markus Erken, Max Moldenhauer, Oliver Mickler, Paulo Campos, Stefan Mader, Thibaud Lecuyer, Tim Marbach and Tim Seithe.

Locad was founded in Singapore and Manila by Constantin Robertz, former Zalora director of operations Jannis Dargel and Shrey Jain, previously Grab’s lead product manager of maps. 

Founded in October 2020, Locad operates in the logistics industry and has offices in Australia, Hong Kong, India, the Philippines and Singapore and has been used by more than 30 brands and processed almost 600,000 items. 

The startup aims to close the gap between first-mile and last-mile delivery services, enabling e-commerce companies to offer lower shipping rates and faster deliveries while freeing up more time for other parts of their operations, such as marketing and sales conversions. 

Its clients range from startups to international brands and include Mango, Vans, Payless Shoes, Toshiba and Landmark, a department store chain.

Gredu – US$4 million

Indonesian edtech startup Gredu raises US$4 million series A led by Intudo Ventures, an Indonesia-focused venture capital firm, with participation from returning investor Vertex Ventures.  

OsakaKuma – US$6 million 

OsakaKuma, a Singapore-based online beauty store that sells Japanese cosmetics received US$6 million in pre-Series A funding from unnamed investors.

The round brings the startup’s total funds raised to date to US$8 million and follows a US$2 million funding in 2020.

With the fresh funds, the company is set to open three new outlets across Singapore by July-end and open more outlets in the years to come. 

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Yajush Gupta

Yajush Gupta

Yajush is a journalist at Dynamic Business. He previously worked with Reuters as a business correspondent and holds a postgrad degree in print journalism.

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