Trading platform Funderbeam raises US$4.5M Series A funding [Press Release]

Funding and trading platform for private companies Funderbeam announced that it has raised a US$4.5 million Series A funding to further support its secondary market development and expansion across Asia.

The funding was led by UK-based Accelerated Digital Ventures (ADV) and also participated by new investors such as GK-Plug and Play Indonesia, Pandan Ventures, along with existing investors including Draper Associates, Draper Venture Partners, IQ Capital, and Mistletoe.

Recently launched in the UK and Scandinavian countries, Funderbeam seeks to connect venture and SME capital markets through access and liquidity to growth investments.

Founded in 2013, Funderbeam hosts startups and SME and makes them available for cross-border investment and trading. It helps founders to choose who can invest and therefore retain control of their cap table, and for investors, it provides access to a community of growth-stage companies and the option to trade their investments at any time, facilitated by blockchain technology.

Amadeus Ventures signs agreement with travel tech startup Volantio to integrate airlines solution [Press Release]

Amadeus Ventures and Volantio announce a new partnership to help airlines optimise capacity and increase revenues by integrating Volatio’s solution in identifying flexible passengers on full flights and providing them with an incentive (such as frequent flyer miles, travel vouchers, or upgrades) to voluntarily move to lower demand flights. Yana, the name of Volantio’s platform that allows bumping down the flexible passengers, will automatically rebook passengers who accept and fulfill the selected incentive through its machine learning system.

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This announcement comes just after Volantio won the Amadeus Accenture Alliance Air Pitch at the Skift Global Forum in September 2018. Volantio also won top startup pitch at Amadeus’ T3CH event in March.

Volantio already works with seven airlines including Qantas, Iberia, Alaska Airlines, Volaris, IndiGo, and others. So far, the company said, partner airlines have seen an average of 3 to 5 times returns on their investment.

Cloud-based platform Deskera partners P2P financing platform Funding Societies to support SMEs [Press Release]

Deskera, a cloud-based platform, and Funding Societies, Southeast Asia’s P2P financing platform, has entered into a partnership to support underserved SMEs to apply to the provided funds minus the paperwork. Deskera’s platform will incorporate Funding Societies’ Invoice Financing feature, whereby B2B SMEs will be able to pledge their invoices and release funding in advance, rescinding their cash flow constraints.

For SMEs, cash flow is a constant concern, especially for SMEs in the B2B sector with payment terms between 30 and 90 days with additional delays beyond that. According to the 2018 SME Development Survey conducted by DP Information Group (now known as Experian), 34 per cent of SMEs were facing external finance-related challenges with 84 per cent of them quoted delayed payments from customers as the key finance-related issue.

Through this partnership, both companies hope that they can provide a fast and effective financial solution that many SMEs are seeking as a way for their businesses to strive.

APAC Realty plans to invest in AI-based proptech UrbanZoom [Press Release]

APAC Realty Limited announced a collaboration with UrbanZoom, a startup that applies big data and artificial intelligence (AI) to the real estate sector. This is part of the company’s investment program Digital Lab initiative.

As part of the collaboration, APAC Realty has entered into an agreement to invest S$1 million (US$ 732,820) in 3-year interest-free convertible notes issued by Dots Connected Pte. Ltd.

UrbanZoom was founded in 2018 by a team of real estate professionals and data scientists utilising a proprietary artificial intelligence algorithm to analyse millions of data points derived from regulatory, industry and other public sources to predict the value of a residential unit.

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Going forward, ERA looks to partner with UrbanAgents in providing business leads to its agents while developing agents-facing productivity tools with UrbanZoom.

CONSENTIUM joins forces with BLUCON to launch crypto-based debit card [Press Release]

Singapore-based crypto wallet-integrated messaging app CONSENTIUM has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with payment platform BLUCON earlier last month. The partnership will see the launch of a CONSENTIUM branded Debit Card in mid-July 2019 and the collaboration of the two companies in launching a CONSENTIUM branded transport card.

The CONSENTIUM Card is expected to work across many card-accepting retailers in Asia and will also allow for cash withdrawals of the local currency at supported ATMs through the use of BLUCON’s technology.

“The partnership with BLUCON is in-line with our goals of achieving organic growth. By catering to the needs of our CSM token holders, who in turn can enjoy greater liquidity, we will also increase the value and utility of the BLUCON cards,” said Wayne Huang, Marketing Head of CONSENTIUM.

Similar to traditional Debit Cards, the CONSENTIUM branded BLUCON Debit Cards facilitate payment by connecting the users’ local banks to their exchanges through the BLU EXO-Platform. BLUCON uses existing financial networks.

The CONSENTIUM team expects to test the cards in June 2019 and will launch the cards for public use by mid-July 2019.