Mercantile Bank eyes VC opportunities

Mercantile Bank, a private bank of Bangladesh, has declared that it has applied to Bangladesh Security and Exchange Commission for alternative investment approval. It will be named as MBL Asset Management Company. Lanka Bangla Finance and IDLC Finance were the first players to move forward in VC opportunities. IDLC Finance has already made investments in Chaldal.
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Online tutoring platform Vedantu raises $11m led by Omidyar Network

Vedantu, an online tutoring platform, has raised $11 million in a Series B funding round led by Omidyar Network, the company’s co-founder, Vamsi Krishna, said in an interview. The funds will be used for technology expansion and deeper penetration in tier 2 and 3 cities. Accel Partners, an existing investor, also participated in the round. Vedantu, which means ‘knowledge network,’ is
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Malaysian travel platform LokaLocal raises fund from S Korea’s BonAngels

South Korean venture capital firm BonAngels Venture Partners has led an undisclosed investment in Malaysia-based travel startup LokaLocal. With this investment, LokaLocal becomes BonAngels’ first Malaysian portfolio company. The venture capital firm has previously invested in around 140 companies in Korea, Japan, the US and Southeast Asia. LokaLocal said it will use the proceeds to accelerate its growth through its integrated
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travel startups

Travel startups on attention grabbing feat

The second wave of internet-era travel companies has captured the attention of venture capitalists. In the last five years, travel companies have raised more than $1 billion in venture capital funding. That includes short-term rental startups, travel and tourism apps, marketplaces for “experiences” and other travel or hospitality tech platforms. Airbnb, a $38 billion company and an anomaly in the category, has
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SG-based crypto platform KuCoin secures $20M funding from IDG, Matrix Partners

Singapore-based cryptocurrency platform KuCoin on Wednesday announced that it has secured $20 million in equity funding from IDG Capital, Matrix Partners and Neo Global Capital. The financing will help KuCoin expand its global presence, bolster its research capabilities and train staff.
“The combined forces of IDG Capital, Matrix Partners, and Neo Global Capital will help KuCoin grow substantially, expand understanding and
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health tech

Indian health-tech startups bag all-time high funding of $510m in 2018

Venture capital investment in home-grown Indian health-tech startups in 2018 is at an all-time high with continuing investor interest, data from Tracxn Technologies shows. So far, $510 million has been invested across 80 health-tech startups, led by medicine ordering website PharmEasy, which raised $115 million across three rounds this year. Other significant funding rounds include fitness startup Curefit raising $100 million
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MassMutual Ventures launches US$50M Southeast Asia focused fund

Boston-based venture capital fund MassMutual Ventures today announced the establishment of its US$50 million Southeast Asia-focused fund MassMutual Ventures Southeast Asia (SEA).
“We made the decision just about a year ago to evaluate expanding into SEA and establishing a dedicated fund here. The primary rationale is just the tremendous opportunity that we see in the last several years, of entrepreneurs forming businesses and
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singtel innov8

Singtel Innov8 invests $26M in US-Based Shape Security

Singtel Innov8, the venture capital arm of Singaporean telecom firm Singtel, has backed the $26-million funding in Shape Security, US-based startup that provides security technologies for web and mobile applications. The growth capital round brings Shape Security’s total funds raised to $132 million, with the latest round led by Norwest Venture Partners and joined by JetBlue Technology Ventures. Existing investors Kleiner
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Vietnam’s Cooky raises $500k

Vietnam’s local food recipe portal, Cooky, is said to raise $500,000 investments in round led by existing investor ESP Capital. The round was also participated by Founders Capital and angel investors, the company added.
“The latest investment will be used to enhance our offers, enlarge the user base and expand our operations,” said Vuong Nguyen, founder of Cooky.
The company said it
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India dry powder

Private deal making is becoming more competitive in India with $40 billion cash pile

Consulting firm Ernst and Young has reported that there is $40 billion worth of dry powder targeted towards India. Dry powder, in the field of asset management, refers to the collective pile of investible capital available with private investors.  The estimate considers capital available with India-based private equity and venture capital funds, global and Asia-focused funds with an India allocation,
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Stellaris Venture Partners Completed Its First Close Of $100M Venture Capital Fund

Stellaris Venture Partners, an early-stage technology-focused venture fund, announced that it has completed the first close of its $100 million maiden fund. Fund I has secured capital commitments from financial-institutions, corporates, entrepreneurs, and family-offices in the United States, Europe, and Asia. The Series A oriented fund will invest in technology-businesses solving India-specific problems, as well as global-software products from India.
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Over taxation bleeds the venture capital firms in Bangladesh

Experts concerned on Monday said that over taxation puts a bar in creating a venture capital (VC) eco-system which thus has stalled the growth of IT startups in Bangladesh. During a seminar titled ‘Creating a Venture Capital Eco-system: Government’s role’, organized by the ICT division at the Software Technology Park in Karwanbazar, they said that at present the VC firm needs
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