The year 2020 has been so far a grim year in terms of both people and the economy. The COVID-19 outbreak has done colossal damage to economies across the globe. Almost all industries are experiencing disruptions because of the pandemic, and some sectors have even come to a complete halt. It seems that funding will go only to industries that still have a chance to thrive. The worst-hit sectors like travel & tourism and hospitality are likely to struggle. However, amidst this chaos, startups in more promising sectors such as logistics, remote working solutions, e-commerce, healthcare, and productivity have received lucrative deals. Here is our list of top 5 startup deals in Asia in 2020.
The Startup Ecosystem In Asia
The startup scene in Asia is thriving, and the region accounts for the second-highest number of unicorns worldwide. Many Asian startups have formed global brands and are at the forefront of innovation. Using technologies such as data analysis and artificial intelligence, they are developing tailored solutions for corporations.
The steady economic growth and rapid digitalization in the Asian continent have attracted many investors from across the globe, which has helped inflate startup valuations. Although much of the focus on innovation in Asia has been on India and China, the whole APAC region has become a hub for intriguing startups.
Funding For Startups Amidst The Pandemic
The venture capitalists who plan to invest in startups in the present scenario seem will have more demands and concerns. They would look for proof that the startup has what it takes to grow especially in unprecedented times. Here, we have listed the top 5 startup deals in Asia in 2020 that have happened amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
Byju’s an Indian education startup had raised $200 million in early February 2020 from its existing investor General Atlantic, and in January 2020, it secured funding worth US$200 million from Tiger Global. The company has seen a surge in the popularity of online education platforms in recent months due to the coronavirus outbreak. According to reports, in June 2020, the company has reached a valuation of US$10 billion, making it the second-most valued startup in India. The company has secured fresh funding in June 2020 from US investor Bond Capital. However, the funding amount has not been disclosed, but speculation is that it is amounting to US$100 million. It is being said that the company is likely to raise more capital in the coming months.
The Zhejiang-based software startup has closed a US$58 million funding round led by CTC Capital in April 2020. The other investors in this funding round were Foxconn, Alibaba, and MediaTek. AISpeech specializes in voice interaction solutions and has over 80,000 clients, including Xiaomi, SF, and Alibaba.
The Indian craft-beer startup has raised $30 million from Sequoia India and Sofina, a Belgium-based investment firm in April. The company plans to use this amount for business expansion in India and also focus on increasing its market share in the premium beer segment. Bira91 is a specialty beer brand by B9 Beverages, founded in 2015.
This Indian tech-enabled logistics aggregator for D2C sellers has raised a funding of $13 million in May. The funding round was led by a Silicon Valley-based investment firm, Tribe Capital, Innoven Capital, and Bertelsmann India Investments as the existing investor. The company’s latest investment will help in its aggressive product development roadmap that will include new initiatives, international expansion, and hiring talent across engineering and data science domains.
Ula, an Indonesian marketplace app, has raised a seed funding amount of $10.5 million in June 2020. The funding round was led by Sequoia India and Lightspeed India. The other participants in the funding round included Quona Capital, SMDV, Saison Capital, and Alter Global. Ula uses technology to modernize distribution and credit in traditional retail. The startup brings in the best of selection prices and payment credit to medium and small size retailers in businesses like staples, FMCG, apparels, and more.