Issue 44
 

Sime Darby to buy Australian industrial equipment firm HMG for $41m


Malaysian conglomerate Sime Darby Bhd has, through its subsidiary Sime Darby Industrial Australia, proposed to acquire Brisbane-based industrial equipment firm Heavy Maintenance Group (HMG) for A$58-million ($41 million), it said in a statement on Tuesday. 

Sime Darby entered into a conditional share purchase agreement to acquire the entire issue share capital in HMG from private equity firm Pemba Capital and other minority stakeholders, cash- and debt-free, according to its stock filing. 

It added that HMG is 92.5 per cent owned by Pemba Capital Partners Fund I Partnership LP, while the remaining 7.5 per cent is owned by minority shareholders. The deal is expected to complete by the year-end. 

According to its website, Pemba Capital, founded in 1998, invests in small and mid-sized private businesses in Australia and New Zealand. It claims to have completed over 100 transactions. HMG, a specialist provider of equipment components, serves the mining, oil and gas and other heavy industries. 

Sime Darby Industrial Australia director Dean Mehment said, HMG would complement and add capacity to its Mackay-based cylinder refurbishment and chroming business. “The acquisition of HMG builds geographic coverage by combining our Mackay capability with those of the HMG facility in Brisbane,” he said.

 
  From – Deal Street Asia
 

Asia Digest: China’s Huawei, P&G step up investments in innovation centres


Huawei and US consumer product firm P&G have announced plans of stepping up investments in their innovation centres in Asian cities.

Huawei to invest $23m in OpenLab branches in India, Thailand 
China’s leading technology firm Huawei will be investing $23 million in its OpenLab innovation centres in India and Thailand over the next three years, according to Tech Observer. The plan is part of Huawei’s Global OpenLab Program launched last year with an aim to invest $200 million over the next three years. 

OpenLab Delhi is Huawei’s 12th facility globally and it plans to offer ICT training to over 400 people a year. “OpenLab Delhi marks a new step in our commitment and collaboration with India which began more than 18 years ago. 

It is going to pave the way for a more rapid development of a new “Smart Nation” offering various type services to its citizens,” said Jay Chen, CEO, Huawei India. The OpenLab Bangkok facility was launched a year ago with an investment of $15 million. 

OpenLab’s earliest innovation hubs are established in cities like Suzhou, Munich, Mexico City, Singapore and Dubai.

P&G to invest $30m more in Singapore digital innovation centre
U.S. consumer goods company Procter & Gamble Co (P&G) has made a follow-on investment of $30 million in its digital innovation center in Singapore, according to the Business Times. 

The additional investment was made a year after the company announced an injection of more than $100 million over five years to facilitate the setting up of the project. 
As the first such centre outside the US, the Singapore facility plans to look into digital innovation across supply chain management, e-analytics and e-business by partnering with local SMEs and startups. Part of the investment will be used to establish a digital omni-channel retail centre, i-Singapore digital omni-channel center where regional retailers will be working with P&G to develop the retail experience.
 
From – Deal Street Asia
 


Grab snags $200m funding from US travel firm Booking

Singapore-based ride-hailing major Grab has raised $200 million in fresh funding from Booking.com parent company, Booking Holdings, the startup announced on Monday. 

As part of the deal, NASDAQ-listed Booking Holdings will offer Grab’s on-demand transport services through its apps and allow users to pay via GrabPay. Similarly, Grab will offer Booking’s services through its app sometime next year. 

The investment is part of a $3-billion ongoing funding round that Grab is seeking to complete by the year-end. It has raised over $2 billion so far, from Toyota, OppenheimerFunds, Lightspeed Ventures Partners and Macquarie Capital. 

That funding came at a post-money valuation of $11 billion for the Singapore-headquartered firm. More recently, Grab had secured an undisclosed investment from Microsoft that industry sources peg at around $150 million. 

“Grab has scaled impressively across Southeast Asia over the last few years, establishing itself as a recognised leader in an increasingly competitive space, and we’re excited to partner with them to build even better travel experiences through technology,” said Booking Holdings senior vice president and corporate development head Todd Henrich. 

Grab said the partnership highlights the startup’s commitment to becoming the region’s leading super app, with its services spanning ride-hailing, food delivery, parcel delivery and digital payments. “The online travel market in Southeast Asia is set to nearly triple by 2025 and we see numerous synergies between travel and transportation that will allow us to capitalize on this huge opportunity. 

As a global travel leader, Booking’s investment into Grab is a vote of confidence in our continued ability to execute and expand into different O2O verticals, and roll them out across the 235 cities in which we operate,” said Grab president Ming Maa. Booking Holdings owns and operates popular travel booking sites including Bookings.com, Agoda.com, KAYAK and Priceline.com. 

The Grab deal is similar to Booking Holdings’ $500-million investment in one of Grab’s investor, Didi Chuxing, in July this year. As part of that deal, Booking will integrate Didi’s services into its apps. The strategic partnership with Booking Holdings follows Grab’s recently-announced Mastercard partnership, which will see the ride-hailing major issue prepaid cards to its users beginning 2019. 

Maa had earlier noted that there will be more partnerships in the months to come, as part of the unicorn’s effort to deepen and widen its areas of expertise. Grab’s rival, Indonesia-based Go-Jek, is gearing up on its international expansion plans. 

Following the launch of its operations in Vietnam last month, Go-Jek has announced the launch of a portal in Singapore through which drivers can pre-register to use its platform. The startup is reportedly in talks to raise at least $2 billion to boost its international foray. 


From – Deal Street Asia
 


SE Asian fintech firm Akulaku raises $70m Series
C led by Fanpujinke Group

Southeast Asian fintech startup Akulaku has secured a $70 million Series C funding round led by Chinese financial technology company Fanpujinke Group to explore other financial services and also strengthen its grip on existing markets.

According to a press release by Huaxing Capital, which acted as the exclusive financial advisor for the round, the funding round was joined by other institutions including Sequoia India, BlueSky Venture Capital, Qiming Venture Capital. 

The participation by BlueSky appears to be confirmation of a report by DEALSTREETASIA in May on the Australian company’s plan of investing in Akulaku. 

Established in 2016, Akulaku is an online consumer finance platform focusing on Indonesia and Southeast Asia. It is one of the first Chinese financial technology companies to go to Southeast Asia. 

The company started with a virtual credit card, and then began to build its own e-commerce platform, focusing on “retaining users with scenes”. Its platform is mainly 3C products, with self-operated mobile phones, as well as home appliances, clothing, toys, beauty products In addition, Akulaku has expanded from 3C products to virtual payment scenarios, and claims to be Indonesia’s largest online consumer financial services provider, while maintaining rapid business growth in Vietnam and the Philippines. 

According to Akulaku founder Li Wenbo, the company currently boasts almost 20 million app downloads, over 13 million registered users and oversees monthly transactions of close to $100 million. 

“After this round of financing, more consumer scenarios will be explored online such as small payments for catering and convenience stores, and loan services for high-quality small and medium-sized merchants. 

At the same time, the market in Southeast Asia will further deepen the market in Vietnam and the Philippines.” Li Wenbo said. Akulaku secured its Series A round of funding in early 2016, raising $5 million led by DCM, and followed by China Growth Capital and IDG. 

The following year, it reportedly raised $30 million from Qiming Venture Capital, and followed by Legend Capital, Shunwei Capital, and previous shareholders, including IDG, Arbor Ventures, DCM, Arbor Venture Fund, and Wecapital. 

In Indonesia, Akulaku’s biggest competitor is arguably Kredivo, which also operates a virtual credit card business. The company raised $30 million in a Series B funding round led by Square Peg Capital, and joined by MDI Ventures and Atami Capital, Jungle Ventures, Openspace Ventures, GMO Ventures, Alpha JWC and 500 Startups.

 
From –Deal Street Asia


Indonesia Digest: WeChat, Alipay making inroads; Bukalapak launches new feature

In the latest in the Indonesian payments space, Chinese mobile payment apps WeChat and Alipay are reportedly set to enter Indonesia through a collaboration with a local lender, while Bukalapak teams up with fintech firm Akulaku to offer installment feature for customers.

China mobile payment duo to enter Indonesia 
Chinese mobile payment apps WeChat and Alipay are slated to enter the Indonesian market through a partnership with state-owned lender Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI), according to a report by Kumparan. 

The collaboration will see BNI act as the local party that acquires and settles inbound transactions carried out by users of Alipay and WeChat Pay. 
Furthermore, the two apps will be integrated with Indonesian QR Code called Quick Response Indonesia Standard (QRIS) Code, allowing customers of BNI’s merchants to simply scan the given QR Code to carry out transactions. 

The partnership with the two Chinese giants, which has been given the go-ahead by the Indonesia’s central bank, is close to being completed with the finalization of the legal requirements. The arrival of WeChat and Alipay, which together cover over 90 per cent of the digital transactions in China, will challenge a host of existing mobile payment players in Indonesia including Go-Jek’s Go-Pay and Grab’s OVO.

Bukalapak offers instalment option 
Indonesian e-commerce company Bukalapak has launched a payment installment feature called BukaCicil as part of its latest offering in the  payments space. 

In a press release, the company said the new feature, which is launched in collaboration with fintech company Akulaku, will allow customers to pay in installments for the purchases they make on Bukalapak. 

The credit limit varies from Rp 3 million ($168) to Rp 25 million ($1,647) and purchase can be done without down payments. Customers are also able to choose an installment period of either six or 12 months. Late last month, Bukalapak launched an e-wallet feature in partnership with digital wallet form DANA. 

The company, which counts Alibaba subsidiary Ant Financial as a minority investor, has in the last few years launched a number of different online financial services including financial products like loans, credit and insurance, as well as mutual fund and gold investments.

From – Deal Street Asia
 
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