GuavaPass raises $7 million in funding

Lifestyle and fitness platform GuavaPass has raised US$5 million (S$7 million) in a funding round led by Vickers Venture Partners. The money will be used to expand into new markets, accelerate product development, get more customers and ramp up community-building efforts.

The firm offers a subscription model which allows fitness buffs to sample a variety of exercise classes at different venues.

"We are looking to expand into markets like Abu Dhabi, Istanbul, Shenzhen and Tokyo," said GuavaPass co-founder and chief executive Jeffrey Liu.

"In the next 12 to 18 months, we plan to grow our global subscriber base substantially and make inroads into the corporate market segment," he added.

The company now operates in 10 cities: Bangkok, Beijing, Dubai, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Manila, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore and Taipei.

Senjo Group sets up global HQ in Singapore

Financial technology investor Senjo Group has leased the entire 56th floor of One Raffles Place as its global headquarters.

The company was set up last year as a holding company for a portfolio of payment and financial technology companies with operations spanning Asia, Europe, North America and Africa.

"Our strategy has always been to invest in profitable financial technology firms with high growth potential in Asia and around the world. Our goal is to build a world-class financial technology group, and to do that we need the right space," said commerce head Yoshio Tomiie.

"Singapore has established an enviable position as a leading Asian financial technology centre with an exciting innovation ecosystem, a great talent pool and fantastic infrastructure."

The firm, which invests in both start-ups and established companies, plans to increase its portfolio significantly over the coming years. It has a network of regional offices in Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Luxembourg and Britain.

Funding Societies expands to Malaysia

Peer-to-peer lending platform Funding Societies has been selected as one of the six registered operators in Malaysia to provide crowdlending services to small and medium-sized enterprises.

The Singapore-based company is incorporated as Modalku Ventures in Malaysia.

The firm has also received in-principle approval for a Capital Markets Services licence in Singapore, which will allow it to deal in securities for lending-based crowdfunding.

Fundnel receives capital markets licence

Crowdfunding start-up Fundnel has received a provisional Capital Markets Services licence from the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

The licence allows the company to market its equity crowdfunding platform and deal in securities.

Fundnel helps investors who are looking to fund growth as well as companies across the region that are at the pre-initial public offering stage.

There have been 15 deals closed over the Fundnel platform in the past 12 months, raising a total of US$44 million (S$61 million), said the firm.

Chia Yan Min

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 08, 2016, with the headline 'Start@SG'. Subscribe