This week, 500-backed South Asian startups make our mid-June roundup. Pakistan-based Dawaai raises US$8.5 million in funding, and Bangladesh’s super app Shohoz launches a new edtech platform called Shohoz Learn. Meanwhile, Thailand welcomes Haulio from Singapore and Aerodyne from Malaysia as these startups seek to expand their presence in Southeast Asia.

Missed the last weekly roundup? Check it out here.

Photo credit: Jay Kim Show / Tech in Asia

Credit: Caixin Global

The building blocks of brands

  • Kiren Tanna, co-founder and CEO of 500-backed Una Brands appeared on Biztech Asia to share why the startup decided to embark on the business model of acquiring brands and how it aims to scale the business quickly..
  • The former founder of Foodpanda and ZEN Rooms explained that many local sellers in the Asia Pacific region are running successful online businesses. However, unlike the US where it is common, these sellers lack the option of liquidity by selling their businesses.
  • In comes Una Brands, offering to buy up such businesses with a 100% cash offer. According…

Credit: 500 Startups

A boost up

  • 500 Startups has partnered with oil and gas company Petronas to launch the Petronas FutureTech 2.0 Accelerator, a 12-week online program for Malaysian deeptech startups.
  • This program is aimed at encouraging local innovations and scaling up homegrown tech startups. 20 will be selected to learn from industry experts and Petronas Business Unit leaders to reach their next level of growth.
  • The program includes masterclasses, workshops, and coaching from 500 Startups’ mentors and experts from Petronas, Telekom Malaysia, and Sime Darby Plantation.
  • Interested participants must be committed for the entire duration of the program, from 30 August 2021…

Credit: Container News

A major movement

  • 500-backed Singapore-based startup Haulio has announced a collaboration with shipping and logistics company CMA CGM to move containers in major Thailand inland corridors.
  • Through this partnership, the startup is projecting a 200% quarter-on-quarter growth increase in transactions. It also expects to expand its network in Thailand.
  • Haulio aims to scale up to over 1,000 hauliers and 20,000 trucks in the next one year to provide 100% coverage within the country.
  • A representative of CMA CGM Thailand shared that using Haulio’s digital solutions will streamline and optimize haulage trips for its shippers. …

Credit: Dawaai / YouTube

Healthcare for all

  • 500-backed e-pharmacy startup Dawaai has raised US$8.5 million in a round led by 500 Startups. It plans to use the investment to continue building the pharmaceutical supply chain infrastructure in Pakistan and further develop its technology.
  • Dawaai works directly with pharmaceutical companies and large distributors to sell authentic medicines to individuals and MSME pharmacies at what it says are the lowest possible prices.
  • The startup claims to have served 11 million people in the country in the last seven years. …

500-backed healthcare startups sweep the news this week. Alodokter and Naluri raised funding to expand their platforms, while Clinikk secured a partnership to make traveling in the pandemic safer. 500-backed founders also make the headlines, with mClinica’s CEO and COO being featured on Prestige’s 40 Under 40.

Missed the last weekly roundup? Check it out here.

Photo credit: PR Newswire / Generation T

Credit: Digital News Asia

A springboard for health

  • 500-backed digital health startup Naluri has closed a US$5 million funding round led by Singaporean VC firm Integra Partners. According to Digital News Asia (DNA), this is the first time the Malaysian government will match a private capital contribution, dollar-for-dollar, to spur the local startup ecosystem.
  • Naluri, which focuses on chronic health conditions and mental wellbeing, will use the funds to expand operations in Singapore and Indonesia and to launch in Thailand and the Philippines.
  • According to the article, the startup also plans to strengthen its tech and data science capabilities to enhance its product and…

Credit: CNBC

The recipe for a unicorn

  • Vishal Harnal, Managing Partner, 500 Startups (Southeast Asia) appeared on CNBC to discuss how more unicorn startups can emerge in Southeast Asia.
  • According to Vishal, tech giants in Southeast Asia have the opportunity to invest or acquire smaller start-ups, and many unicorn companies can be created through such buyouts.
  • He explained that large tech startups such as 500-backed Grab can invest in other companies from the wealth that has been generated. As a result, founders and staff who have liquidity can in turn invest in the ecosystem.
  • He added that many startup employees go on…

Credit: Gilmour Space Technologies

A boost for space

  • The Queensland government has approved for a small rocket launch pad to be built in the state. It will be built by 500-backed rocket startup Gilmour Space Technologies.
  • According to its co-founder and head of launch operations James Gilmour, the new launch site will fulfill requirements for low-earth orbit (LEO) launches.
  • The startup is launching its first Eris rocket next year with several Australian payloads onboard. They include a fire detection satellite by Fireball International.
  • Gilmour Space is also looking at another proposed launch site in South Australia.
  • Read the full article on ZDNet here.

The first week of June brings more funding and acquisition news, plus prestigious honors for Grab, PolicyPal, and Gnowbe. Anthony and Hooi Ling have been named Fortune’s World’s 50 Greatest Leaders, while PolicyPal’s Val Yap has been named top 15 women leaders in Asia’s fintech industry. Gnowbe, founded and helmed by So-Young Kang, was selected as one of the top 10 edtech startups in Singapore.

Missed the last weekly roundup? Check it out here.

Photo credit: Inc42

FarMart bags US$2.4M funding to grow its farmer network to 10 million strong.

More from Durians Daily #264:

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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