Singapore-based 7.5 Degree (7点5度), a Chinese-language economic media company, announced that it has secured an undisclosed amount of seed funding from East Ventures, an early-stage venture fund in Southeast Asia.
The company notes that the investment will be used to accelerate 7.5 Degree’s mission to be the go-to platform for exploring information about the new economy in the region and bring in more local journalists on board – especially from Indonesia, Vietnam, and Singapore.
The company wants to target people in China who are interested in the region but find themsleves hindered by language differences. Thus, the information they can access about Southeast Asia’s internet economy becomes limited.
The founders, Li Yufu and Lin Xibang, founded the company because of Southeast Asia markets filled with more entrepreneurs and China’s rising wave of “Go Overseas”. This means more investors and entrepreneurs from China are entering the market, so 7.5 Degree becomes timely.
7.5 Degree was founded straight after both founders graduated from Nanyang Technological University and debuted in Singapore on September 2017. Its main service as Chinese-language media made the company brand itself as “the Southeast Asia New Economy Information and Service Platform”.
The name 7.5 Degree was inspired by the story of the achievements by Zheng He, a Chinese mariner, explorer, diplomat, and fleet admiral who commanded expeditionary voyages in Southeast Asia, South Asia, Western Asia, and East Africa in the early 15th century, Yufu explained. It’s been said that the minimum calibration on the compass which guided Admiral Zheng’s navigation was 7.5 degree.
So far, the company has served both Chinese and Southeast Asian tech-players with over 350 Chinese language articles, covering all about the internet economy in Southeast Asia, in-depth coverage of fintech and logistics sectors in Indonesia, as well as the e-commerce sector in Thai and Vietnamese markets.
The articles are distributed via multiple channels like WeChat.
The company also aims to bridge the two regions by serving more than just news and market insights.
Just in December 2018, 7.5 Degree launched Invmall, a new service intended to promote the bilateral interactions between Southeast Asian and Chinese tech-players. The platform provides “Link-up” service by putting startups in Southeast Asia in touch with investors in China (and vice versa) via email or WhatsApp.
“There are very few service providers catering to the fundraising needs of local early-stage startups. If we can help the entrepreneurs to secure early funding from institutional investors, either from China or from Southeast Asia, it will allow them a greater chance to grow and thrive,” said Yufu.
To further promote collaboration and communication between China and Southeast Asia among investors and entrepreneurs, the company regularly organized “SEA-Commerce Summits” in places such as Singapore, Beijing, Ho Chi Minh, Bangkok, and Jakarta.
The next event will take place in Jakarta on 17 May 2019.