The funds will help it keep up with existing operations in India and SEA, start operations in Hong Kong and China, and launch a deal analytics and data portal
Christmas has come early for Singapore-based online finance media company DealStreetAsia, as the firm received an undisclosed sum in seed funding from Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Founder and CEO of Indian m-commerce giant Paytm.
The round also saw participations from Singapore Angel Network, an angel investment arm of Thakral Group of Companies, and Indian media giant Hindustan Times.
The firm is planning to raise a “larger Series A round of venture funding” in the next quarter.
The latest funding will help the one-and-a-half year old company to keep up with existing operations in India and Southeast Asia, start operations in Hong Kong and China, and “work towards” launching a deal analytics and data portal, according to a press release.
As of today, the company has 16 staff across India, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines and Myanmar. It plans to hire another 10 employees, possibly to cover new markets such as Hong Kong and China.
The online publication tracks various verticals within the financial sector such as private equity, venture capital, real estate, telecommunications, acquisitions and others.
“The ASEAN region is becoming the world’s foremost financial hub,” said Rajiv Verma, CEO, of HT Media, the company behind The Hindustan Times, which also owns business daily Mint.
DealStreetAsia has a strategic relationship with Mint, which gives the former the ability to republish selected stories from Mint and vice versa.
According to the announcement, DealStreetAsia publishes more than 40 news and analysis articles per day, and has published over 4,000 stories to date.
“We have made significant progress during the last 12 months, with editorial presence in ASEAN countries and larger teams in India and Singapore,” said Joji Thomas Philip, Founder and Editor-in-Chief, DealStreetAsia.
Philip told e27: “The biggest challenge in building a media platform for deals across Asia is that you need investors who are in it for the long-term, as building such a venture takes time and is both capital- and people-intensive.”
He continued, “Second, the business case for online media is general is still evolving, and so far, we still don’t see many success stories of companies that have got this model right. From a subscription model to building a data and analytic platform, online and offline touch points, it is therefore not easy to make projections for this business.”
He also faces challenges in making sure that the team members, who are based across different markets, are able to work well together in building a multi-device product, giving users the best mobile user experience, and competing with other “generic media”.
“The limits of the ad-based revenue model are starting to show, and going forward, this will be a challenge too,” he added.
In the past, DealStreetAsia also received funding from Puthen & Cole, a venture capital firm in Singapore which remains an investor in the company.
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