Issue 9

Maxis and Huawei to accelerate 5G growth in Malaysia

Maxis is collaborating with Huawei to accelerate 5G in Malaysia: the telco signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Chinese tech giant at the 2019 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. 

The MoU states that both parties will work to speed up the rollout of 5G technology in the country, working on full-fledged trials with end-to-end systems and services. 

“Maxis has long started its 5G journey, and we are already focusing on live trials, investments and evolving our network infrastructure to be ready for a future where smart solutions will be part of everyday life,” Maxis CEO-designate Gokahn Ogut said in a statement. 

“We look forward to delivering the best 5G innovation for both consumers and businesses for the future,” he added. 

Huawei Malaysia CEO Michael Yuan added that the development of 5G requires the cooperation of its partners and the company is keen to help Maxis expand the boundaries of their business with their simplified 5G products. 

“We have signed over 30 commercial contracts as of now and shipped more than 40,000 5G base stations across Europe, Asia and the Middle East,” said Yuan.


From – The Star


Vynn Capital snags capital from MAVCAP, to close maiden fund by year-end

Kuala Lumpur-based venture capital firm Vynn Capital has secured an undisclosed sum from government-linked Malaysia Venture Capital Management Bhd (MAVCAP) for its debut fund. 

The development was first reported by TechCrunch. Founded early last year, Vynn Capital is currently raising a $40-million debut fund to invest across Southeast Asia. The firm’s co-founder Victor Chua told DEALSTREETASIA that he is targeting to close the fund by the end of this year. “We still have time [for fundraising] but we hope to close the fund by end of the year and then we can focus on portfolio management,” he said. 

To date, the early-stage fund has invested in Malaysia’s e-procurement platform Dropee, Indonesian travel platform Travelio and Malaysian used car platform Carsome. It typically invests in companies that are raising seed and Series A capital, with a maximum ticket size of $1 million. 

Chua is a former vice president of investments for China and Malaysia-based Gobi Partners. Interestingly, MAVCAP is also a major LP in Gobi’s’ regional fund – the $200-million Meranti ASEAN Growth Fund. “MAVCAP has always wanted to support VC funds that have a regional play and they would like to see a positive impact for the local ecosystem [in Malaysia] as well. For Gobi and ourselves, we cater to that particular need that MAVCAP is looking at. 

“For VCs, fundraising isn’t always easy. But to have an institutional LP to come on board of a debut fund, it means a lot to us,” added Chua. MAVCAP has not responded to queries from DEALSTREETASIA at the time of publishing. One of the oldest investments fund set up by the Malaysian government for the VC sector, MAVCAP, is likely to undergo reorganisation by the Ministry of Finance. 

In the country’s Budget 2019 tabled last November, finance minister Lim Guan Eng had said all state-linked VC funds – Malaysia Technology Development Corporation, Malaysia Debt Ventures Bhd, Malaysia Venture Capital Management Bhd (MAVCAP) and Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd – would be streamlined and made more efficient in delivering capital to companies in various stages of financing needs. 

However, Lim was coy about what the “streamlining” would entail. Last week, the Securities Commission Malaysia said targeted government interventions are needed to spur further growth in the local VC ecosystem where one of the proposed recommendations is to restructure existing public VCs to be more commercially-driven.

From – Deal Street Asia

GIC-backed Chinese biopharma firm CStone raises $285m in HK IPO

<CStone Pharmaceuticals, a Chinese biopharma firm backed by Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC, has raised HK$2.2 billion ($285 million) in its initial public offering (IPO) in Hong Kong after selling 186.4 million shares at HK$12 apiece. 

The capital raised was the same as the hard cap of the company’s target when it announced listing in Hong Kong early this month. The offering – which involved selling 18.6 million shares to Hong Kong investors and 167.8 million shares to the international community – values CStone at HK$11.8 billion ($1.5 billion). 

Cornerstone investors include existing investor GIC, Tetrad Ventures, Boyu Capital Opportunities Master Fund, Indus Asia Pacific Master Fund, Indus China Master Fund, Indus Select Master Fund, Cambridge University Endowment Fund, Vitruvius Sicav – Asian Equity, and Ishana Capital. These investors subscribed to a total of 62.12 million shares, or 6.31 per cent of the company’s issued share capital. 

In May 2018, CStone secured a $260-million financing led by GIC, in what was said to be the largest Series B funding in China’s biopharmaceutical industry. In its filing with the Hong Kong Exchange, CStone said it will use the IPO capital to continue developing its core product candidate, other clinical and IND stage candidates, and to fund the R&D of five of the remaining drug candidates in the pipeline as well as new drug candidates. 

A clinical-stage biopharma company focused on developing and commercializing immuno-oncology and molecularly targeted drugs, CStone has built an oncology-focused pipeline with 14 assets, including three immune-oncology backbone drug candidates at the clinical stage. About 30 per cent of the IPO proceeds will be used to finance the development of CS1001, one of three immuno-oncology programs in its 14 program oncology pipeline. 

The firm earlier sealed two agreements with WuXi Biologics regarding drug discovery and pre-clinical development services for 13 biologic drug candidates, and distribution of its core product CS1001 in the ex-China territory. CStone is the sixth company to list on the Hong Kong exchange after it relaxed rules in March 2018 allowing pre-revenue biotech companies to list.

From – Deal Street Asia

PH ticketing startup Ticket2Me raises $350K from SG’s Citystate Group

Philippines-based blockchain-enabled ticketing startup Ticket2Me has announced raising $350,000 in seed funding from Singapore-based Citystate Group, which operates companies that offer corporate ticketing, among others. 

Ticket2Me, launched in May 2018, claims to be Southeast Asia’s first blockchain-enabled ticketing platform. Since its inception, the startup claims to have hosted over 1,300 live events and sold more than 29,000 tickets. The startup said it will use the fresh funds to implement its expansion plan in major cities outside of Metro Manila and Metro Cebu. 

It also seeks to establish operations in Malaysia and Hong Kong after establishing a regional office in Singapore last year. It also announced plans for a public sale of blockchain-based tokens that ticket buyers and event organizers can use on the platform this year. 

The startup has more than 9,000 payment outlets in the country. Ticket2Me founder and CEO Darwin Mariano said Citystate Group’s investment is a “continuing challenge” for the company to keep delivering for both event organisers and ticket buyers in the Philippines and, soon, in Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong. “We are absolutely convinced that event organisers and ticket buyers in the region are both hungry and ready for event ticketing innovation,” Mariano said. 

The investor in the seed round, Citystate, has over 30 years’ expertise in business and lifestyle travel, food and beverage, restaurant management, property development and management, education, and general insurance underwriting and brokering. The group currently consists of 55 subsidiaries and operates in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, China, India, and with the Ticket2Me investment, will operate in the Philippines, as well.

From – Deal Street Asia

Indian payment gateway BillDesk raises $85m from Visa, Temasek

Indian payment gateway BillDesk, operated by Ltd, has raised around Rs 602 crore ($85 million) from global payments processor Visa Inc and Singapore’s Temasek. 

According to regulatory filings sourced by data platform, Visa invested Rs 537 crore ($75.6 million) to pick up 246,000 equity shares, while Temasek put in Rs 65.4 crore ($9.2 million). This latest round, which was closed earlier this month, is estimated to give BillDesk a post-money valuation of $1.53 billion, propelling it to the elite unicorn club. The latest disclosures come three months after Visa Inc announced that it was taking a minority stake in the Mumbai-based financial technology firm. 

It was earlier reported that Visa was looking to invest $250 million in BillDesk, valuing the company at around $1.5-2 billion. Founded in 2000 by accounting firm Arthur Andersen’s employees Srinivasu, Kaushal and Karthik Ganapathy, Mumbai-based BillDesk claims to process digital payments worth over $60 billion a year. It provides customers with payment options, including credit cards and online wallets, to carry out purchases. 

BillDesk’s other investors include General Atlantic, TA Associates and Clearstone Venture Partners. In 2016, General Atlantic had picked up a 20 per cent stake in BillDesk from its existing investors, valuing the company at around $800 million. Visa’s investment will give Billdesk a strong foothold in the online merchant acquisition side of the business. 

Its competitors in this space include Naspers-backed PayU, CCAvenue, and younger startups like RazorPay. In 2017, Citrus Pay, a smaller rival of BillDesk, was bought for $120 million by PayU Global, the financial services arm of South Africa’s Naspers. 

Last year, another rival of BillDesk, digital retail payments platform Pine Labs, raised $125 million from Temasek and PayPal. It is now said to be in talks to close another $75-million round.

From – Deal Street Asia
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