Indian student housing startup Stanza Living raises US$4.4M funding

OSS Inversiones, the investment firm that acquired oBike last year, has reportedly offered to acquire 100 per cent of the international operations of Chinese bike-sharing firm Meituan Bike (formerly known as Mobike), which are Singapore Mobike and Mobike BV, the holding company of Mobike's international subsidiaries,

The investment firm reportedly has allied with Singapore bike-sharing startup Anywheel, which will see the latter manage the Singapore unit of Mobike while OSS will oversee international operations outside of China once an agreement is reached.

OSS reportedly submitted its offer for Mobike to Meituan-Dianping last Monday. However, both OSS and Anywheel would consider putting more weight behind the offer, as American e-scooter company Lime is also said to be interested in Mobike's Singapore and Japan units.

Singapore's Land Transport Authority (LTA) has recently confirmed Mobike's application to terminate its bike-sharing licence in Singapore, which left Anywheel in charge of a sandbox licence to operate up to 1,000 bikes, joined by SG Bike and Qiqi Zhixiang.

Singaporean VC Rajah Blue Media invests in Australian Adgile Media

VC firm from Singapore, Rajah Blue Media Holdings, reportedly has made an investment in Adgile Media, an Australian digital marketing startup, for an undisclosed amount of Series A round.

The is said to be used for Adgile Media's global expansion and distribution of its proprietary technology in Singapore, Canada, Ireland, South Africa, US, UK, Indonesia, Hong Kong, and Japan. The technology is claimed to be able to deliver real-time insights on TV advertising's effectiveness.

“Adgile's technology has managed to produce robust, granular quality of their data, strong analytics suite, and real-time functionality of the technology,” said Rajah Blue Media principal Mark Radford.

Cambodian government to create US$5M-worth of annual fund for tech startup

To support country's blossoming digital economy, Prime Minister Hun Sen said that the government of Cambodia plans to create a US$5-million annual fund to strengthen the tech startup scene, as reported by Khmer Times.

The fund was announced during the opening of the 2019 Cambodia Outlook Conference, held at Phnom Penh's Great Duke Hotel with focus on digital transformation to achieve Industry 4.0.

“An entrepreneurship fund will be established with US$5 million dollars a year to support startups in terms of financing, technical expertise, marketing, production, and training,” the prime minister said, highlighting the country's dramatic economic transformation from an agriculture-based economy to manufacturing and services-reliant.

Supreme National Economic Council (SNEC) is to establish a working group that will focus on three areas: Building infrastructure and developing e-payment systems and the logistics network; developing the digital ecosystem; and promoting the digitalisation of the government while strengthening entrepreneurship, improving digital literacy, and developing open data.

Aun Pornmoniroth, the Minister of Economy and Finance, said it will take the country at least 10 years to complete the transition into a full-fledged digital economy. “Cambodia may need to spend the next five years building the pillars of a digital economy, and will probably spend another five to ten years growing that digital economy and aiming for a technology-driven market,” he said.

“Our vision is to create a robust digital environment that allows both small and large firms in the country to connect to global value chains,” he added.

e-Commerce solution Shopmatic merges with retail management solutions Octopus, eyeing APAC region

Singapore-based e-commerce solution aimed to help small business and individual entrepreneurs Shopmatic, announced its merger with Octopus, a fellow Singaporean company providing retail management solutions focussing on omni-channel sales and customer engagement.

With this partnership, both companies will focus on bridging the existing gap in retail businesses that hinders them to go online as well as have strong offline touch points. This collaboration will also see both firms expand into newer markets and leverage on each other's geographical presence.

“Our merger with Octopus will enhance the offline-online synergy. Their strength and experience in Point of Sales (POS) suite of solutions will be of immense value to merchants across the Asia Pacific region. We see great synergies in the two companies and will be one of the few entities to offer a comprehensive omnichannel offering for SMEs & aspiring entrepreneurs,” said Anurag Avula, Co-Founder & CEO, Shopmatic.

The combined entity will see online businesses enhancing their e-commerce technology with Shopmatic's solutions while tapping into the physical retail opportunity with Octopus' POS solution. Offline businesses can also power their stores with Octopus' suite of retail management solutions and at the same time have Shopmatic's support to navigate the burgeoning world of online commerce.

The combined entity is said to acquire 500,000 customers, generate more than U$1.5 billion in GMV and achieve US$7.4 billion in revenue in 2019.

Student housing startup Stanza Living secures US$4.4M funding from Alteria Capital

India's housing operator Stanza Living announced that it has raised INR 30 crores (US$4.4 million) fresh venture debt from Alteria Capital, bringing a total funding of INR 115 crores (USD16.7 million) over the last 15 months. Earlier, the company raised funding from investors like Sequoia Capital, Matrix, and Accel Partners.

“The student housing segment in India is largely unorganized, suffering from several infrastructure and service quality gaps. We offer a student living experience that mirrors international standards,” said Anindya Dutta, Managing Director and Co-Founder, Stanza Living.

Dutta said that the funding will be used to unlock an inventory of one lakh beds by 2021 and bring Stanza Living brand experience to students across India. The company will also be working on developing financing and funding structures relevant to the business.

Stanza Living offers a new-student living models encompassing a service-led housing solution, proprietary community-building personal and professional development programmes and a high-quality ecosystem catering to diverse student requirements. The company said it has scaled the business by unlocking an inventory of 15,000 beds across Delhi NCR, Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai, Indore, Vadodra, and Dehradun in 2019.

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