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Investment  31, Dec 2013

Year-end Special: 19 funding, M&A milestones in Singapore 2013

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The funding, merger and acquisition landscape in Singapore looks better than ever. Let’s take a closer look in this year-end review

This year, the sunny island nation of Singapore saw quite a good number of funding, merger and acquisition (M&A) news. Here are 19 articles we picked out to list as milestones for the year.

JANUARY

Techinasia21. Tech in Asia (Jan 22) - Online publication Tech in Asia announced January 22 that it had secured its second round of funding, led by Russian venture capital firm Simile Venture. Tech in Asia was also said to be Simile Venture’s second investment in Asia, following its backing of local health portal DocDoc.

FEBRUARY

mogi2. Mobile Media Creations (Feb 20) – Mobile Media Creations, company behind mobile wallet application MOGi announced February 20 that it has received S$588,000 (US$463,649) from local TNF Ventures. The investment was said to be used for pushing user adoption numbers.

e27

3. e27 (Feb 13) – Just before Valentine’s Day, we announced raising US$615,000 with multiple investors, including Japan’s B Dash Ventures, Taiwan’s Pinehurst Advisors, Thailand’s Ardent Capital, and private investor Dan Neary. In addition, after the funding round, B Dash Ventures CEO, Hiroyuki Watanabe, was set to join e27‘s board.

MARCH

Chope4. Chope (Mar 16) – Restaurant reservation site, Chope, announced March 16 that it has concluded its second financing round of S$3.2 million (US$2.5 million) with local media conglomerate Singapore Press Holdings (SPH). The investment also sees SPH owning 28 percent of the startup, valuing it at US$5.2 million.

Nonstop-games5. Nonstop Games (Mar 19) – Singapore- and Finland-based independent game development studio Nonstop Games announced March 19 that it has raised US$2.9 million from music service Spotify and video game company Supercell. Located at Singapore’s startup hub Block 71, Nonstop Games will be using the funds to expand to San Francisco and launch its first title, Heroes of Honor.

CORRECTION: Nonstop Games had received US$2.9 million from backers of Spotify and Supercell, not the companies itself. We apologise for the error.

APRIL

SGcarmart

6. sgCarMart (Apr 2) – Announced just a day after April Fools’ Day (which boosts the article’s credibility), e27 reported that SPH acquired local online car portal sgCarMart for US$48 million. Interestingly, the deal was made in cash. In March 2012, sgCarMart reported an annual revenue of US$4 million with over 10,000 listings on its site.

MAY

Reebonz27. Reebonz (May 20) – Singapore’s other media giant MediaCorp has been eyeing its fair share of startups too. Local e-commerce platform Reebonz was reported on May 20 to have received a US$40 million investment from MediaCorp. This brings Reebonz’s valuation to over US$198 million.

JUNE

DoctorPage8. DocDoc (June 12) – In June, local e-health portal DocDoc announced its merger with counterpart DoctorPage to form a singular entity, DocDoc. The new company had about 30 staff back when the merger was announced.

JULY

travelmob

9. Travelmob (July 17) – Local marketplace for holiday rentals, Travelmob, announced that it has been acquired by US company HomeAway, which deals in the same space as the startup. Founded in 2004, HomeAway expects to incur about US$2 million to boost Travelmob’s presence in Asia Pacific for the remainder of fiscal 2013.

Techsailor10. Techsailor (Jul 23) – Digital marketing company Techsailor announced July 23 that it has been acquired by Indian firm TO THE NEW for an undisclosed amount. The deal will see TO THE NEW leveraging on Techsailor’s network and operational expertise to boost its presence in Southeast Asia.

YFind11. YFind (Jul 24) – Isn’t July quite the month for acquisitions? YFind, a company developing an indoor positioning system, announced in July that it has been acquired by Silicon Valley-based Ruckus Wireless, a supplier of wireless systems. With the acquisition in place, Ruckus will be combining its Smart Wi-Fi technology with YFind’s range of location-based services.

AUGUST

luxe-nomad12. The Luxe Nomad (Aug 16) – Luxury travel portal, TheLuxeNomad.com, announced in August that it has secured US$698,000 in a funding round led by Innosight Ventures, Zipan Enterprise Network and a silent partner. The report also noted that the company will be utilising the funds to expand its team and hotel inventory across the region, as well as to invest in new technologies.

Techinasia213. Tech in Asia (Aug 27) – Online publication Tech in Asia announced August 27 that it has added Fenox Venture Capital as an investor in its Series B round. Fenox will also be looking into expanding its portfolio, and investing in startups in the region.

SEPTEMBER

Viki14. Viki (Sep 2) – Online TV site Viki was acquired by e-commerce giant Rakuten for US$200 million. While it is based in Singapore, it has offices in San Francisco and Seoul as well.

SGE

15. SGEntreprenuers (Sep 6) – With new funds from Fenox, it seems Tech in Asia’s first step to utilising the money was to acquire SGEntrepreneurs, an independent local online publication. The acquisition also saw a migration of content and staff including editor Terence Lee and co-founder Gwendolyn Regina Tan.

tradehero16. TradeHero (Sep 27) – Company behind popular mobile simulation game app TradeHero, MyHero Limited, announced September 27 that it has received US$10 million in funding from KPCB China and IPV Capital. At the moment, the firm will look into utilising the funds to expand the team, launch in China and release an Android version of the app.

OCTOBER

BeMyGuest17. BeMyGuest (Oct 17) – Online marketplace for tours, BeMyGuest, announced in October that it has secured US$402,000 from undisclosed angel investors. More than a year old, the startup will be using the funds to strengthen the team, technology and marketing sectors, and build a stronger brand.

NOVEMBER

carousell18. Carousell (Nov 13) – Peer to peer mobile marketplace Carousell received US$790,000 (S$1 million) in seed funding, led by Rakuten Ventures and other investors, which include Golden Gate Ventures, 500 Startups, Danny Oei Wirianto and Darius Cheung. The valuation amount is undisclosed, and the company has started operations in Malaysia and Indonesia.

DECEMBER

magzter 19. Magzter (Dec 11) – Digital magazine store Magzter secured US$10 million from SPH and Kalaari Capital as part of its Series B round. With over 16 million users from more than 200 countries, the platform carries top-notch titles like Newsweek, Hearst, and Bloomberg. While the company is not based in Singapore, we do think SPH’s investment in the platform will shake up the local publishing and distribution space.

Read also: Year-end Special: 24 ‘Made in Asia’ apps to check out before 2013 ends

Elaine Huang

Elaine Huang

Elaine is a fervent believer that if there ever is a zombie apocalypse, we will all be snapping away at them with our phones and posting them onto Instagram. A Mass Communication graduate of Ngee Ann Polytechnic's School of Film and Media Studies, she enjoys writing about technology and entrepreneurs. When not hashtagging her way through all sorts of trouble, Elaine is probably contemplating how to write in the third person.

  • techie

    TO THE NEW also acquired ThoughtBuzz in Aug

  • http://e27.co/ e27

    Hi techie, you’re right. We published that story here as well: http://e27.co/to-the-new-acquires-social-media-analytics-firm-thoughtbuzz/

    - brian.

  • MG

    You missed Taggo raising funding from Jungle Ventures and Spring Seeds, you covered it back in August.

  • MG

    Oops, here’s another one you missed: Eco Consumer Services raising SG$589K via Get2Volume and NRF-TIS, which you covered in September. Was this supposed to be a comprehensive list?

  • Elaine Huang

    It’s supposed to be a list of milestones.

  • MG

    Ahh, okay. What defines the milestones? That’s not explained, and seems to be very subjective. I looked at this article and thought “great, a good article on the investment/M&A action in SG in 2013, that’s really useful and exactly what e27 should be reporting on”, and expected some of the milestones to be based on volumes of activity with key highlights, but if it is only selected deals based on undefined “milestone” status then it’s not nearly as useful. Some measurable benchmarks such as “Biggest deal of the year” (= $200M Viki deal), Total number of funding deals $1.0M (=??) etc etc would be really good. Without being too pointed, what made the e27 deal in Feb. a milestone, except perhaps for a milestone in self-promotion? A quick search across e27, TechInAsia, TechCrunch, TNW and NRF incubator’s own sites suggests there were at least 20+ NRF-TIS deals announced in 2013, which itself would be a good milestone to report on, but you appear to have done the blogger thing, not the journalist thing and just grabbed what was quick and neat. Sorry for being negative, just some feedback for your editorial director to consider…

  • Elaine Huang

    Hey MG,

    Thanks for the comment. You’re absolutely right – it was not very well-explained and I apologise for that. Agreed on the suggestion. Indeed, Viki should have been labelled ‘Biggest deal of the year’, and there should have been more details with regard to the NRF-TIS deals.

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