500 Southeast Asia
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500 Southeast Asia

Durians Daily #304: Carsome’s first investment in SEA to broaden diversity for dealers & suppliers; Horangi joins program to boost SME cybersecurity; abillion report on plant-based seafood identifies market opportunities

Credit: AIM Group

A regional milestone

  • 500-backed used car trading startup Carsome has acquired a stake in PT Universal Collection (PT UC), a Jakarta-based offline car and motorcycle auction company. This marks its first investment in Southeast Asia.
  • According to Carsome, the investment will allow it to double its automotive transaction volumes in Indonesia. This is in line with the startup’s vision of building a regional, end-to-end integrated online used car ecosystem.
  • As part of the investment, Delly Nugraha, country head of Carsome Indonesia, has been appointed as president director of PT UC.
  • “Through PT UC’s access to used car supplies, Carsome’s dealer partners will enjoy more inventory diversity and broader options. PT UC’s suppliers, on the other hand, will be opened to a wider demand pool, broadening their accessibility in the used car market,” he said.
  • Read the full article on Digital News Asia here.
Credit: Horangi

A priority on security

  • 500-backed cybersecurity startup Horangi has been selected to be part of the Accreditation@SG Digital Programme by Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA).
  • The program seeks to recognize promising and innovative Singapore-based high-growth companies. It also aims to improve the quality of Singapore’s SME (small to medium enterprise) cybersecurity solutions.
  • The Director of Innovation & Tech Ecosystem of IMDA said “We view the Warden cloud security platform, which has the capability to aggregate, detect, and fix emerging threats in multi-cloud environments being extremely useful for enterprise users in managing cloud security.”
  • “With the rapid cloud adoption in Singapore, the need for robust cloud security solutions is more evident than ever, and this will help government agencies and enterprises to protect their cloud infrastructure,” he added.
  • Read the full announcement on Horangi here.
Credit: Financial Times

Swimming in data

  • 500-backed food review startup abillion released a report on alternative seafood, including insights on consumer demand and market opportunities.
  • The report revealed that reviews for ocean-friendly alternatives grew 9.4x since the start of 2020. While COVID-19 lockdown restrictions dampened demand momentarily, the startup is witnessing a rebound and expects growth to accelerate again.
  • In Singapore, the startup notes that 87% of plant-based fish consumption is via restaurant dining, making it the top market for fish-free dishes. On the other hand, Singapore ranked 6th when it comes to reviews for fish-free products.
  • According to abillion, this could be a reflection of a finding from a previous report showing that existing alternative meat options generally cater more towards Western palettes. The startup concludes that there is a viable opportunity for plant-based fish to play a significant role in Singapore and other Asian markets.
  • Read the full report on abillion for more insights.

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500 Startups is a venture capital firm on a mission to discover and back the world’s most talented entrepreneurs, help them create successful companies at scale, and build thriving global ecosystems. In Southeast Asia, 500 Startups invests through the pioneering 500 Durians family of funds. The 500 Durians funds have backed over 200 companies across multiple sectors from internet to consumer to deep technology. It continues to connect founders with capital, expertise and powerful regional and global networks to help them succeed.

This post is intended solely for general informational or educational purposes only. 500 Startups Management Company, L.L.C. and its affiliates (collectively “500 Startups”) makes no representation as to the accuracy or information in this post and while reasonable steps have been taken to ensure that the information herein is accurate and up-to-date, no liability can be accepted for any error or omissions. All third party links in this post have not been independently verified by 500 Startups and the inclusion of such links should not be interpreted as an endorsement or confirmation of the content within. Information about portfolio companies’ markets, competitors, performance, and fundraising has been provided by those companies’ founders and has not been independently verified. Under no circumstances should any content in this post be construed as investment, legal, tax or accounting advice by 500 Startups, or an offer to provide any investment advisory service with regard to securities by 500 Startups. No content or information in this post should be construed as an offer to sell or solicitation of interest to purchase any securities advised by 500 Startups. Prospective investors considering an investment into any 500 Startups fund should not consider or construe this content as fund marketing material. The views expressed herein are as at the date of this post and are subject to change without notice. One or more 500 Startups fund may have a financial interest in one or more of the companies discussed.

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500 Southeast Asia

500 Southeast Asia

500 Southeast Asia is an early-stage VC firm; The company has backed over 250 companies across multiple sectors from internet to consumer to deep technology.