Company Briefs: Vertex Venture Holdings

Vertex Venture Holdings

Vertex Venture Holdings, a unit of Singapore investment firm Temasek, has closed its fourth South-east Asia and India fund at a record US$305 million (S$420 million).

The amount raised was a record for an early-stage investment vehicle in the region, underscoring growing interest in its start-up scene. The new fund of Vertex Ventures South-east Asia and India - the first institution to back ride-hailing giant Grab - far exceeded its original target of US$230 million.

The first Vertex Ventures South-east Asia and India fund had returned 19.1 per cent as of March, the second fund returned 24.3 per cent and the third, 36.4 per cent, according to the firm.

Vertex Ventures South-east Asia and India has made 40 investments so far, including in InstaReM and Validus Capital. The company plans to continue investing in Series A-stage start-ups in enterprise technology, fintech and consumer Internet.

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Liquid Group

Singapore start-up Liquid Group has expanded its cross-border QR (Quick Response) payment acceptance partnerships to include financial institutions in seven new markets in Asia.

They are South Korea, China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and Cambodia - on top of its existing markets of Singapore, Hong Kong and Indonesia.

The 10 markets have a combined merchant base of six million across the region, Liquid Group said yesterday.

By adopting a common interoperability framework, banks and non-bank financial institutions that sign up or bring the merchants on board will be able to extend their accepted payment modes to multiple QR payment apps from overseas issuers.

It will also give participating QR payment apps access to a bigger pool of international merchants.

Travellers will be able to use their preferred domestic mobile payment e-wallets to make cross-border QR payments for their overseas purchases securely in real time. They can also get cost savings on their purchases via lower account charges or rewards and offers from the issuers where applicable, Liquid Group noted.

For merchants, it simplifies cashier workflows as well as standardises settlement and dispute management when accepting participating overseas QR payment apps.

Interoperability trials with six markets will commence in the fourth quarter of this year, with the remaining to follow next year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 20, 2019, with the headline 'Company Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe