Credit: Geoff Greenwood on Unsplash

New territory

  • 500-backed financial settlement startup EMQ announced it has expanded into Thailand by adding PromptPay to its network of cross-border payment services.
  • “Southeast Asia is one of the fastest-growing business ecosystems in the world,” said Max Liu, co-founder, and CEO of EMQ. “Enterprises will require new levels of support and access to a high-performing network infrastructure like EMQ.”
  • The startup’s API-powered solutions enable customers to access its full suite of services through a single integration. Customers can manage cross-border transactions and compliance without the need to manage complex network infrastructure.
  • “Our continued expansion across Southeast Asia is an important…

Credit: Infokomputer

Growing together

  • In collaboration with investment management firm PT Ashmore Asset Management Indonesia, 500-backed e-commerce startup Bukalapak has launched BMoney, an investment app. BMoney targets 500,000 users in its first year.
  • The startup said that BMoney prioritizes online security, transaction safety, and accessibility. With a minimum subscription of just ~US$0.07, no transaction fee is charged, and portfolio management is available to users 24/7.
  • In addition, the app offers robo-advisory services and an ‘Insight’ feature that provides users with market-related information before making an investment decision.
  • A full range of investment products is available for experienced investors. …

It’s the 300th issue of Durians Daily — this means 300 days of updates from our portfolio companies! We hope our startup news has added value to your day, and we look forward to the next 300.

This week, alternative forms of mobility top the news. Aerodyne has expanded its drone services to Italy. Grab deepens its partnership with Hyundai Motor Group to ramp up the adoption of electric vehicles in Southeast Asia. A Neuron Mobility survey affirms that its e-scooters reduce congestion and air pollution in the UK.

Missed the last weekly roundup? Check it out here.

Photo credit: Mimi Thian on Unsplash

Credit: NewCampus

Learning at another level

  • 500-backed edtech startup NewCampus has closed a seed round of US$2.5 million led by Juvo Ventures’ Maia Sharpley.
  • NewCampus is an online, live learning platform that aims to train emerging managers in the underserved market of Southeast Asia. The startup’s courses focus on philosophical skills, like how to retain knowledge and how to create a safe environment for teams.
  • Co-founder Fei Yao shared that a lot of United States-based upskilling products don’t translate well for the rest of the world. …


Credit: Paul Tan

Going green

  • 500-backed Southeast Asia super app Grab announced a deeper partnership with Hyundai Motor Group to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) in the region.
  • The partnership will focus on lowering the barrier of entry for Grab driver and delivery-partners. The companies will work towards lowering the cost of ownership, leasing EVs with a battery-as-a-service model, and EV financing, among others. These pilot programs will start in 2021, beginning in Singapore, and expand to Indonesia and Vietnam.
  • Both companies will also develop a joint EV roadmap to accelerate adoption in Southeast Asia, including an EV feasibility study. …


Credit: Alessandro di Marco/EPA-EFE

Taking wing

  • 500-backed drone startup Aerodyne Group announced a collaboration with Dron-e to offer drone solutions in infrastructure maintenance and agriculture in the Italian market.
  • Founder and Group CEO of Aerodyne, Kamarul A. Muhamed said, “This strategic collaboration is synergistic and will allow both parties to service the US$17 billion works planned in the Italian and pan-European electricity grid segment for the next ten-year period.”
  • He estimated that the Italian infrastructure inspection market was worth about US$900 million in 2020. It is forecasted to grow annually by 3% in the next 5 years.
  • The startup claims that its AI-powered asset…

On this week’s stories, two 500-backed tech unicorns make the news, including Malaysia’s very first, Carsome. Meanwhile, startups in education and proptech raised over US$12 million in funding. And two more startups, Kredivo and eFishery, come together to increase financial access to underserved communities in Indonesia.

Missed the last weekly roundup? Check it out here.

Photo credit: Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Credit: Nas Daily

Empowering teachers

  • 500-backed Nas Academy has raised US$11 million to develop its digital learning platform in a funding round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners.
  • Founder Nuseir Yassin, the influencer behind Nas Daily, hopes to build a trustworthy brand for high-quality online courses.
  • Creators can build MasterClass-like on-demand or live courses on the platform. It aims to reach those looking to monetize their knowledge by giving them the tools to create their own classes and academies that fans can attend online.
  • There are courses already live on the platform. According to Nuseir, users can pay for a bundle of courses, and…

Credit: Carsome

In the highest gear

  • 500-backed used car trading platform Carsome has become Malaysia’s first technology unicorn, according to Bloomberg. As part of a share-swap deal, the startup is acquiring 19.9% of Australia-listed iCar Asia Ltd from Catcha Group.
  • In return, Catcha will become a shareholder of Carsome. This boosts the startup’s valuation to more than US$1 billion. Carsome has also put forth a proposal to buy the remaining 80.1% in iCar from existing shareholders in a transaction valued at more than US$200 million.
  • In a statement, the startup said, “Carsome and iCar Asia, combined, offers an integrated automotive ecosystem —…

Credit: Fintech Singapore

Insuring in the new normal

  • Singapore Management University (SMU) has launched an advanced full certificate program in insurtech to upskill working professionals and undergraduates, a first in the country.
  • Trainers come from Singapore’s fintech community and 500-backed insurtech startup PolicyPal. The course will be rolled out from July 2021.
  • Those interested can sign up for the 1-day introductory course or the full 12-day certificate program. Both are funded by SkillsFuture Singapore, a national upskilling initiative under the Ministry of Education, with up to 90% subsidy on course fees.
  • Val Yap, founder and CEO of PolicyPal, said, “The programme will be…

500 Durians

The 500 Durians family of funds invest in SEA and have backed over 200 companies across multiple sectors from internet to consumer to deep technology.

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