Rising Giants Newsletter - March 2022 Edition
Welcome to Rising Giants - Cambodia’s #1 business & entrepreneurship podcast! 🇰🇭 Turn on 💡, Tune in 📻, Keep up 🚀
Welcome to the Rising Giant's Podcast Newsletter by Max Thornton and Dom Kalousek.
▶️ Rising Giants Recap
N.45 - Dr. Buntongyi Nit, Founder & CEO, MeetDoctor
In this month’s episodes of Rising Giants, we had the huge pleasure of speaking with Dr. Tong, a young Cambodian doctor and entrepreneur who has inspired many and created MeetDoctor with the vision and goal of making healthcare accessible to everyone in Cambodia, from urban areas to the most remote locations in Cambodia, while also improving the quality of treatment by connecting with doctors and hospitals from abroad.
MeetDoctor is Cambodia's first digital doctor consultation service, offering a telemedicine solution for patients who need primary care attention and navigation to their specific health needs. The company is also one of Cambodia's most recent tech startups to receive Pre-Seed investment from IG Group!
N.46 - Sochata Hong, Co-Founder, Missy Fit
Having grown up in Cambodia, as well as working and living abroad in the USA and Singapore, Chata returned to Cambodia in 2020, where she increasingly grew a passion for entrepreneurship. Chata co-founded Missy Fit in 2021, Cambodia's first women only gym, that aims to create a safe and enabling space for women to work on their fitness lifestyles under the slogan, 'At Missy we believe in progress not perfection, Work on you, For you'.
📝 Venture Capital Deal Flow Highlights in Southeast Asia
Med247, a health tech startup in Vietnam, has raised $4.5 million in an oversubscribed Series A funding round led by Altara Ventures. The company operates under an offline-to-online model - offering a mobile telehealth app where users can book clinic appointments, access remote tele-consultation with doctors, request electronic medical records, and order prescription medicines and tests for delivery. The funding will be used to put up more family clinics, growing its count to over 70 from just four by yearend. It also plans to set up a training academy for doctors and nurses and accelerate R&D efforts. (Link here.)
M Village, an accommodation startup in co-living spaces, has received $1.7 million of funding led by Singaporean venture fund Simple Tech Investment. Founded in October 2020, M Village operates five locations in Ho Chi Minh City with their occupancy rates exceeding 90 percent. The funding will be used for expanding the number of rooms the startup has in Ho Chi Minh City from the current 300 to 1,000 this year. (Link here.)
Staying on the Health Care train, Jio Health, a digital healthcare provider in Vietnam, secured $20 million in a Series B funding round led by health-focused investor Heritas Capital from Singapore. Jio Health model is also an online and offline health care service, providing telemedicine and e-prescriptions via its mobile app and on the physical side runs smart clinics and over 300 Jio-branded neighborhood pharmacies, as well as offers on-demand home care. The funds will be used to reach more consumers and employers and launch more smart clinics across Vietnam. (Link here.)
Bangladeshi ed-tech startup Shikho announced it has raised $4 million in new seed funding, led by Wavemaker Partners. With this influx of capital, Shikho has raised a total of $5.3 million, the largest seed funding a Bangladeshi startup has raised to date. The company launched in November 2020 and already has over 350,000 learners spread across all 64 districts of Bangladesh, with paid subscribers currently spending an average of 68 minutes on the app daily. The funds will be used to cover classes 6, 7, and 8, as well as add a more comprehensive and enhanced offering for vocational and language skill building. (Link here.)
Zantrik, a Bangladeshi automobile maintenance startup, has raised $1 million in seed funding led by Bangladesh Angels and Startup Bangladesh Limited. The new funding will be used to digitize 100 garages, to ensure better customer experience, transparency and value for money for vehicle owners (Link here.)
AgriAku, an Indonesian-based B2B marketplace for farmers, announced today it has raised a pre-Series A of $6 million. AgriAku’s marketplace launched in May 2021 and the company says it has seen average month-on-month growth of 200% in gross merchandise value over the past four months. The number of active users on AgriAku is now about 10,000 registered farmer stores. (Link here.)
GrowSari, a Manila-based platform for digitizing small businesses in the Philippines, announced it has raised a total of $77.5 million for its Series C round. Founded in 2016, GrowSari’s tools for small businesses now include inventory management, pricing tools, a logistics network and working capital loans. It also enables retailers to offer telco top-ups and bill payments. Its customers now include 100,000 stores in more than 220 municipalities in Luzon and the company is planning further expansion. The new funding will be used for expansion into new store formats, building a logistics and fulfillment network and hiring for GrowSari’s operations, technology and data science teams. (Link here.)
SariSuki, a Manila-based fast growing social commerce startup, is expanding into quick commerce with a vision to build an end-to-end eGrocery platform in the Philippines after a recent $7.1 million round led by Openspace VC. The company is now entering quick commerce on the back of 36x growth in the past 9 months. The business has served >60,000 consumers and grown the team to over 100 employees. SariSuki was launched in May 2021 and aims to provide affordable high quality products via efficient sourcing whilst providing additional livelihood to its community leaders/sellers. (Link here.)
📰 Start-Up and Venture Capital News in Southeast Asia
🇰🇭 How Cambodia’s Academy of Digital Technology is ready to support Cambodia’s push toward a digital society. (Written by Cambodia Investment Review).
🇮🇩 7 early-stage fintech startups from Indonesia to be on the lookout for in 2022.
🇹🇭 Thailand will waive taxes on gains from startup investments to promote new businesses in Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy.
📚 Knowledge Base: Entrepreneur and Investor Learning Resources
In this week’s resource, we want to share with you “Tech For Good” by Jesse Orndorff, who is the Founder and Director of Innovation at Glean, LLC - a digital experience agency based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Every 2 weeks, Jesse releases a Funding Friday article which highlights different opportunities for startups to apply for different grant, accelerator, and incubation programs to receive funding, as well as provides in-depth details about these specific initiative so you don’t have to do all of the research. To learn more, check out the link here!
Additional Resources To Check Out:
👨🏼💻 Frontier Market Job Opportunities
World Vision is hiring for a Regional Financial Analyst in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
The Heineken Company is hiring for a Sales Insights Manager in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
SOMA Group is hiring for a Business Analyst Executive in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Zillion United is hiring for an Investment Analyst in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Mekong Strategic Partners is hiring for a Senior Finance Specialist in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
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🧐 What is Rising Giants?
Rising Giants was created in 2021 by Max Thornton and Dominic Kalousek after realizing there were limited outlets for gaining insight into the startup and investment ecosystem in the Cambodian and Southeast Asia markets.
Rising Giants serves as an upbeat medium for entrepreneurs and investors to share their experience working and living in some of the most dynamic and positively evolving countries in Southeast Asia.
Our mission is to talk to entrepreneurs and investors to help understand what it takes to have bold ideas and build the business disruptors of tomorrow, in the most challenging, but highest potential markets of the region.
Through our personal exploration of these landscapes, we dive deep in our interviews with inspirational individuals learning about their career journeys, ideas, and insights into the markets of developing startup ecosystems, and expanding on why they see their business and the region as a "Rising Giant”.