#Asia 10 biggest Asian funding rounds of 2015


Hint: The deal sizes will make last year’s US$100 million investment into Tokopedia look commonplace


Those that keep an eye on funding news can remember dropping jaw last year when Indonesian C2C marketplace Tokopedia raised a US$100 million round from SoftBank and Sequoia.

But after this year’s barrage of massive deal announcements, that US$100 million almost seems fairly commonplace. Why are funding amounts on the rise and who are the culprits? Perhaps we can borrow from US market insights.

Entrepreneur, angel investor and prominent blogger Mark Suster recently wrote on this topic in an article for Inc.com. He attributes this trend to “new entrants to the market” who are a series of “non VCs” which encompasses corporate investors, hedge funds, mutual funds and crowdsourcing.

Also Read: Dave McClure talks investment strategy and unicorn hype

In fact, 78 per cent of investment deals into the 80 unicorn companies (in the US) were led by non-VCs. Price drivers, according to Suster, is strongly correlated with outsiders.

Take Japanese telco SoftBank pitching into the Tokopedia round or the batch of private equity funds co-investing into Xiaomi’s monster round. Suster believes that it’s these non-VC investors that are less valuation sensitive, which accounts for deals getting bigger and bigger.

To see whether the same thing is happening in Asia, we’ve compiled a list of the ten biggest funding rounds announced in 2015 including their investors (VC and non-VC) and plausible reasons behind the investment.

1. Didi Kuaidi – US$2 billion

Investment from: Alibaba (e-commerce company), Tencent (Internet service portal), Temasek Holdings (Asian investment company), Coatue Management (investment manager), Capital International (private equity fund), Ping An Ventures (investment arm of Chinese life insurer), D.E Shaw Group (global investment firm).

Why they probably invested: Didi Kuaidi is reportedly China’s second-most valuable tech startup after Xiaomi and reported to clock 10 million daily requests (at the time of the funding).
Read the story here.

2. Ola – US$500 million

Investment from: Baillie Gifford (UK manager), Falcon Edge Capital (VC/Investment manager), Tiger Global (hedge fund), SoftBank Group (Japanese telco), DST Global (investment firm), Didi Kuaidi (Chinese taxi-hailing company).

Why they probably invested: India’s Ola claims to have grown 30 times in the past year and clocks over a million booking requests per day.
Read the story here.

3. GrabTaxi – US$400 million

Investment from: China Investment Corporation (Chinese sovereign wealth fund).

Why they probably invested: Entered six markets in Asia under three years, GrabTaxi is Southeast Asia’s only homegrown unicorn and Uber’s arch-rival in the region.
Read the story here.

Note: GrabTaxi has raised several large rounds this year, but the US$400 million was the largest one.

4. Guahao – US$394 million

Investment from: Hillhouse Capital (investment management firm), Goldman Sachs (investment banking firm), Bosun International (Taiwanese manufacturer), Tencent (Internet service portal), China Development Bank Capital (investment arm of CDB)

Why they probably invested: China’s Guahao has 1,600 listed hospitals on their portal with 190,000 specialists and 100 million registered users.
Read the story here.

5. Quikr – US$150 million

Investment from: Tiger Global (hedge fund), AB Kinnevik (Swedish VC fund), Steadview Capital (Hong Kong asset manager)

Why they probably invested: Has over 30 million customers, present in 1,000 Indian cities.
Read the story here.

6. PropertyGuru – US$129 million

Investment from: TPG (Australian telco), Emtek Group (Indonesia’s largest media group), Square Peg Capital (APAC VC firm)

Why they probably invested: Singapore-based PropertyGuru gets 11 million monthly visits, 104 million page views and the value of real estate transactions going through the platform is estimated to be worth US$10.3 billion per year.
Read the story here.

7. Grofers – US$120 million

Investment from: SoftBank Corp (Japanese telco), Tiger Global (hedge fund), Sequoia Capital (VC firm) and Apoletto Managers (fund managed by DST Global)

Why they probably invested: Grofers supports over 10,000 local merchants with a presence in 26 Indian cities.
Read the story here.

8. Saavn – US$100 million

Investment from: Tiger Global (hedge fund), Bertelsmann India Investments (Venture arm of Indian media company), Steadview Capital (Hong Kong asset manager), Liberty Media (American mass media company) and Mousse Partners (NYC family office specialising in venture capital and private equity).

Why they probably invested: Indian startup Saavn is accessed in 150 countries and has big name partnerships like Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Twitter and Shazam.
Read the story here.

9. Appier — US$23 million

Investment from: UOB Venture Management (VC arm of Singaporean bank), Sequoia India (Indian VC firm), JAFCO Asia (Private equity and VC firm), TransLink Capital (VC firm) and MediaTek Ventures (VC arm of Taiwan semiconductor company)

Why they probably invested: Based in Taiwan, Appier has grown over 300 per cent in the past 12 months, 600 per cent since June 2014.
Read the story here.

10. Bhinneka — US$22 million

Investment from: Ideosource (Jakarta-based VC firm)

Why they probably invested: The 15-year-old Bhinneka is a pioneer of the Indonesian e-commerce space and is also a profitable company with over 600 employees. The site picks up 180,000 hits a day and reports 61 per cent growth this year.
Read the story here.

If we have missed out on any major funding, do write to us!

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