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News  21, May 2014

[Updated] YOYO Holdings secures US$1.3M from 3 Japanese venture capital firms

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The Echelon Philippines Satellite 2014 winner will use the funds to develop and market its rewards platform Candy to more people in developing countries

Singaporean company YOYO Holdings has today announced receiving US$1.3 million from three well-known Japanese venture capital firms: CyberAgent Ventures, GREE Ventures and Incubate Fund.

UPDATE: The round was led by GREE Ventures.

The Echelon Philippines Satellite 2014 winner will be using the funds to boost development and marketing efforts for its flagship reward platform Candy. The product allows users to get access to the internet after engaging with advertisements sent through SMS.

For the record, the startup is also the creator of Candy Survey and Candy Promotion. The former allows mobile users to conduct polls and short surveys, while the latter facilitates the process of sending advertisements through SMS to the consumer.

Yosuke Fukada, Co-founder and CEO, YOYO Holdings said that the new investment will be used to help it become the top reward platform in Southeast Asia. With presence in Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand, the platform has a user base of 200,000 consumers.

“Our main target is the rapidly growing population of prepaid mobile phone users in these markets,” said Fukada.

Strategic partnerships
The three venture capital firms involved in this round have been active in Southeast Asia’s startup scene. For example, GREE Ventures announced late last week that it has raised US$50 million for the startups in the region and Japan. Its portfolio includes Singapore-based Luxola, and Indonesia’s BerryBenka and PriceArea.

“They (YOYO) caught our attention from the (Echelon) Philippines Satellite,” said Kuan Hsu, Principal, GREE Ventures Asia.

CyberAgent Ventures has been more than bullish about the region as well. Its entrance into Thailand with an investment in Priceza was well-received, and it has long been energetic about other Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam.

Also Read: Internet Penetration: Singapore scores 73, Thailand 26, Indonesia 15

Incubate Fund, on the other hand, might not have shown results yet, but its goals are just as lofty. According to The Bridge, the venture firm has established a US$21.4 million fund for 100 startups in the next three years.

Fukada added, “… the reasons for the partnership are not only financial, but also for strategic assistance towards our business’s growth.”

In the meantime, he is looking to start operations in other developing nations, where prepaid plans are still considered dominant.

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.

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