Sycamore Media, the parent company of entrepreneur media platform, Inc., has raised US$1.2 million from REAPRA, a Singapore-based VC led by Shuhei Morofuji.
Sycamore will use the newly-raised capital to increase Inc.’s editorial and sales staff and launch its print edition of the Inc. Southeast Asia magazine in May 2017. Some of the funding will also be channelled towards launching events in Southeast Asia.
In an email correspondence with e27, Neel Chowdhury, CEO of Sycamore and Editor-In- Chief of Inc. Southeast Asia, said that Inc. Southeast Asia was first incorporated in mid-2014, but the site was not launched until November 2015.
“We’ve been working very hard since then on expanding our digital team and preparing for the print and events launches,” he said. Currently, the company employs about 20 staff.
Chowdhury said that the overarching goal is to grow Inc. Southeast Asia across all platforms including digital, print & events; and across all Southeast Asian markets including Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand.
“The powerful global brand of Inc., the world’s leading media brand for entrepreneurs and SMEs, gives us a key advantage in Southeast Asia. In short, we don’t have to introduce Inc. as a brand. Most entrepreneurs, particularly those in the startup ecosystem in Southeast Asia, know of Inc. already,” said Chowdhury.
Chowdhury described Inc.com as a brand that devotes most of its editorial coverage to helping entrepreneurs with day-to-day process of starting or running a company.
While Inc.com has a strong brand name, the deluge of startup events in the region, such as Echelon and Slush, will make its entry into the market difficult.
“I agree that there are a lot of startup events in Asia. Perhaps, too many. We do events selectively, and plan to do no more than 3 to 4 in 2017 in our key Southeast Asian markets. We see events as a way to celebrate the achievements of the companies we write about and a way for our advertisers and sponsors to meet these exciting companies,” said Chowdhury.
“The Inc. 40 Philippines Forum is an example. It is built on a list we and our data service partner Tracxn have put together of the 40 most exciting startups in the Philippines. The event in Manila on April 24 will bring those companies together for the first time to network, learn and also meet key advertisers who are interested to work with these exciting companies in the future,” he added.
Besides revenue from the aforementioned avenues, Inc. Southeast Asia will also be launching other digital media products in the startup community over the course of the next two years. It will also launch similar startup events in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia.
Image Credit: Inc.Southeast Asia
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