Start@SG

Tembusu Partners sells Ednovation stake for over $50 million

Tembusu Partners has divested its 36 per cent stake in home-grown education group Ednovation to private equity firm CDH Investments in a deal valued at more than $50 million.

Ednovation operates more than 60 pre-schools in Asia under the brands Cambridge, ChildFirst and Shaws. It is also a pioneer in pre-school education technology with its EdnoLand e-curriculum.

Ednovation founder Richard Yen said: "With artificial intelligence and robots displacing many jobs, Asia needs to evolve from being a manufacturing capital to becoming the creative capital of the world. Ednovation's vision is to develop creative minds to help power Asia's future."


East Ventures raises new $39 million fund

Singapore-based venture capital firm East Ventures has raised a new US$27.5 million (S$39.3 million) fund for early-stage technology start-ups in South-east Asia.

Raised from undisclosed "prominent families and entrepreneurs", this is the firm's fifth fund after six years of operation.

East Ventures said that assets under its management have increased tenfold, and that it expects to see more mergers and acquisitions of its portfolio companies this year.


$1 million fund for Insead alumni entrepreneurs

A $1 million fund has been set up to invest in start-ups founded by the alumni of graduate business school Insead.

The investment vehicle, InseadAlum Ventures, was started by two Insead alumni.

It has already made its first investment, participating in a £480,000 (S$826,210) seed round raised by British-based smart thermostat start-up Switchee.

InseadAlum Ventures will provide start-ups with seed funding of between $50,000 and $200,000, mentorship, as well as access to alumni, faculty and other investors.

The firm's investor base includes successful alumni entrepreneurs, including PropertyGuru co-founder Jani Rautiainen and Mr Aloke Bajpai, the founder of India's largest online travel search portal ixigo.com.


Infiniti and Nest launch Singapore start-up programme

Hong Kong-headquartered motor company Infiniti and venture capital firm Nest have launched a new start-up programme for entrepreneurs in Singapore.

The eight-week programme aims to give intensive training and mentoring to high-potential mobility and connectivity firms.

Up to eight start-ups will be selected for the programme. They will receive mentorship from Nest, automotive and connectivity experts from Infiniti and Nissan's Silicon Valley-based research team.

"Automobiles play an important role in future intelligent cities," said Mr Roland Krueger, the president of Infiniti Motor Company. "Technologies of connectivity will enable vehicles to communicate with each other and with city infrastructures. This will significantly enhance the driving experience, and Infiniti is committed to leading the development in this area."

Applications for the programme are open until Feb 12 at https://www.infiniti-singapore.com/infiniti-lab.html


Logistics start-up Lalamove raises $43m for Asian growth

Hong Kong-based logistics start-up Lalamove has raised US$30 million (S$42.87 million) to expand across more cities in China and South-east Asia.

The round was led by Xianghe Capital, a Beijing venture capital firm, with participation from Blackhole Capital and existing shareholders MindWorks Ventures and Crystal Stream.

Lalamove plans to launch in an additional 60 cities by the end of this year, it said in a statement. It now operates in 45 cities across China and South-east Asia.

Lalamove founder and chief executive Shing Chow said, "Our users have said they want faster and simpler ways to send things in their cities and we have proven that we can help them deliver anything in less than an hour."

The company has experienced "tremendous growth" since starting in Singapore two and a half years ago, said Ms Fion Tan, the co-founder and managing director of Singapore.

Chia Yan Min

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 17, 2017, with the headline 'Start@SG'. Print Edition | Subscribe