Data Vantage | Prep, Oobit, Rize, Staple and Atera Water in focus

4 min readApr 25, 2024

Edition #367, 25 April 2024

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Dear Reader,

Vietnam-based edtech startup Prep issued shares worth [redacted] million to investors, including Cercano Management, Northstar Ventures and East Ventures, last week.

The share allotment follows the close of a Series A round co-led by Cercano, formerly known as Vulcan Capital, and Northstar Ventures. The company has also issued shares to investors, including Touchstone Partners, in lieu of funding raised via convertible securities in 2023, according to its regulatory filings.

Prep’s regulatory filings further show that it is buying back shares worth [redacted] million from [redacted].

The startup, which helps students prepare for standardised language tests such as IELTS, had announced raising $1 million from East Ventures and Cercano Management in April last year and $1 million from Touchstone Partners in 2022.

Funding for SE Asian startups hits 5-year low in Q1

Private funding raised by Southeast Asian startups plummeted to its lowest level in over five years in the first quarter of this year, according to a new report from DealStreetAsia — DATA VANTAGE.

The Q1 proceeds of $1 billion represent a 49% year-on-year drop and are less than half the $2.2 billion raised in the fourth quarter of 2023, per SE Asia Deal Review: Q1 2024.

There was a modest increase in deal volume in the first quarter, per the report. Homegrown startups inked 180 equity deals during the January-March period, an improvement from the 164 deals recorded in the previous quarter. However, the Q1 deal count still lagged behind the 193 rounds secured in the same period last year.

Equity versus debt funding raised by SE Asia’s startups per quarter

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Other updates from DATA VANTAGE

Mobile payment app firm Oobit received $5 million from investors, including Hong Kong-based venture capital firm CMCC Global’s Titan Fund and the investment arm of crypto firm Tether, this week. The Singapore-based company had announced raising $25 million from these investors in February.

Agritech startup Rize, a joint venture by Wavemaker Impact, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, GenZero and Temasek, received [redacted] million from its parent companies this week. The startup platform seeks to identify and implement strategies and economic incentives to encourage the adoption of environmentally friendly rice farming techniques.

Singapore-headquartered document processing solutions provider Staple received [redacted] million from VC firm Wavemaker Partners this week. The funding is part of a $4 million pre-Series A round announced earlier this month.

The holding company behind Bangladesh-based online travel agency ShareTrip has secured [redacted] million in funding from a Tokyo-based investor.

Singapore-based based Atera Water, which focuses on water purification technologies, bagged a little over $395k from investors, including investment holding company Inheritance Enterprises, this week.

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