Cocoon Capital, the leading early-stage venture firm in Southeast Asia today announced the successful raise of its second fund at USD 22m (SGD 30m) targeting enterprise tech startups around the region. The fund also announced its initiative of hosting public mentoring hours regularly across Singapore, Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi, Manila, Bangkok, Jakarta and Yangon to help grow the local entrepreneurial ecosystems. The support will be provided in partnership with local accelerators and co-working spaces.
Cocoon Capital was founded in 2016 by two of the most seasoned early-stage investors in Asia, Michael Blakey and Will Klippgen. The duo has done more than 60 seed tech investments since 2000 and seen over 15 exits across Europe and Asia. Having funded Asian success stories like PropertyGuru, Tickled Media and iXiGO.com, the partners have proven that early-stage investing can bring record-breaking returns through the right mix of capital and hands-on mentoring.
The tech market in Southeast Asia is accelerating faster than predicted. Google and Temasek reported that the 2018 “e-conomy” was at $72b with the B2C ecommerce volume doubling from the year before. The internet economy is on track to reach as much as $240b by 2025. Southeast Asia sees businesses moving online and adopt technology to increase sales, productivity as well as governance. In a survey by Econsultancy.com Ltd 68% of respondents in Southeast Asia said they have an omnichannel strategy that incorporates B2B ecommerce.
In spite of the above, only 7% of venture capital has been channeled to B2B startups in the region. Cocoon Capital’s second fund is targeting the enterprise tech market and has singled out startups within medtech, fintech, insurtech and general “deep” tech as primary targets.
“Over the last 3 years, we at Cocoon Capital have seen a radical improvement in deal quality, in particular from the Southeast Asia countries outside Singapore,” said Michael Blakey, Managing Partner at Cocoon Capital. “The region has gigantic challenges that need to be solved by technology, and we believe we can help founders build and scale their companies faster.”
“There is a continuing gap in the region when it comes to hands-on mentoring, in particular at the early stages of a company’s formation, and Cocoon Capital has fine-tuned its operation to provide a tailored and comprehensive support package to our founders,” added Will Klippgen, Managing Partner at Cocoon Capital. “Many founders in the region lack a support network similar to those in Silicon Valley, London or Shanghai, and we are here to change that,” he added.
In line with Cocoon’s new tagline – Dare to Change, Cocoon Capital’s second fund is supported by investors who have pushed the boundaries and excelled in their fields. They include Michelle Yong (Director of Singapore’s Aurum Investments), Jani Rautiainen (Co-founder of PropertyGuru), Parag Khanna (The author of “The Future is Asian”), Pierre Lorinet (Director at Trafigura Group), Matthew Chapman (Founder of ChapmanCG), Stein Jakob Øie (Former President at Lazada), hedge fund manager Steve Diggle’s Vulpes Innovative Technologies Investment Company, Martin Hauge(Partner in Creandum – streaming giant Spotify’s first financial investor), Martin Roll (Global strategy consultant) and Oliver Tonby (Chairman of McKinsey’s offices in Asia excluding Greater China).
Cocoon Capital’s portfolio is already showing emerging success stories including cleantech company SensorFlow which is soon saving energy across 20,000 hotel rooms. Medtech company See-Mode has already deployed software predicting future strokes to hospitals in Singapore and is under way to do a global roll-out. Ticketing company Hapz has seen tremendous growth so far this year and was recently selected as the official ticketing partner for the Singapore National Day Parade 2019. The Filippino e-merchant Poundit sources high-end electronics and enables safe shopping at competitive prices with high-end customer service. Hiip, a Vietnam-based adtech company, has seen strong and consistent revenue growth providing an automated influencer matching platform using social media data and AI. Hiip recently expanded to Thailand and Indonesia.
The newly raised fund has already invested in Kargo Myanmar, Myanmar’s leading logistics platform. The company is expanding rapidly by not only enhancing supply chain management for its customers but also improving the productivity and well-being of its drivers.
SOURCE Cocoon Capital
MEDSiS Announces the Launch of “Maxwell” Stablecoin in Brazil, Making it the Second Country and Currency Added to Their Global Ecosystem Within Two Weeks
In the same week that MEDSiS announced the official advancement of their Maxwell stablecoin in Argentina with their partner WTIA, a second country now officially comes on board toward their global strategy. With current contracts in Brazil that include more than 10 million individuals immediately, and with plans to incorporate Maxwell as the backing of future contracts into South America’s largest country, Maxwell now adds a second currency to its portfolio and secures itself as one of the largest cryptocurrencies ever launched. In addition, MEDSiS has plans to announce a US partnership, as well as three more countries in Central and South America.
“We’ve been fortunate to have a team and partnerships in Brazil that have weathered the storm and the delays that it’s taken us to get to this point. Our partners in CLASP have been amazing, and it’s finally time that we’ll be able to fully honor the commitments that have been long standing.”
– Dax Cabrera, CEO of MEDSiS
Though Brazil has not fully endorsed cryptocurrency as an investment mechanism, what Maxwell is bringing to its customers is quite different than the conventional “cryptocurrency”. Using a stablecoin model, Maxwell will be an added value to the Brazilian customers in which they will automatically be able to participate and take part in a regulated and secured portal to the global economy.
MEDSiS’ Brazil contracts are based on large-scale payment programs, tied to pre-paid payment cards branded by Visa or Mastercard for benefits and other types of government or individual spending. The inclusion of Maxwell provides stability and one issued coin to every customer that registers and begins using the payments platform. The integration with the multi-currency payments platform, provided by Rijndlepay, is the engine to which the payments can be processed, and the fiat and blockchain based currencies create a regulated ecosystem which will provide consumers with trust and additional incentives to use the program.
“Rijndlpay’s vision is to enable real-time transactions and settlement between all the stakeholders of any payment ecosystem with any currency, be it fiat or crypto or cross border remittances. The platform can scale to about 15,000 transactions per second. We have developed on hybrid technology that can scale to any model that customers and compliance demands of each country.”
– States Mitish Chitnavis, architect and CEO of Rijndlepay
As one of the newest Unicorn companies in the FinTech space, MEDSiS’ investments will bring their current contracts to date and be able to provide new jobs, new sources of revenue, and stability in the payments platform.
“The MEDSiS platform will usher in a new era of business management and intelligence for our largest Brazilian customer, CLASP,” says MEDSiS co-founder and chairman of the board, Patrick Mulcahy. “Our platform paves a technological highway to access the most advanced business intelligence and security available today and in the future. And by building it into the financial platform framework of our contracts, we expect our ecosystem will set a new standard for the payments industry.”
In a time of economic uncertainty, MEDSiS and the Maxwell stablecoin currency are stepping up in at least two major markets to be the first wide-scale blockchain currency applied to both public and private contracts. MEDSiS is currently partnered with CiaGroup in Brazil for card issuance, and is expanding their partnerships to include and absorb other licensed financial entities, setting a new, highly regulated and secure model for the rest of the Americas.
SOURCE MEDSiS International
Blox Survey Indicates Few Crypto Investors Accurately Disclose Assets to Tax Authorities
Blox.io, an industry-leading platform for crypto accounting, management and tracking, has released new research on the challenges faced by crypto holders and CPAs when accurately reporting to regulators. The report, titled “The Crypto CPA Insights Report,” is one of the first in-depth looks at the nascent crypto accounting industry, compiling insights from CPAs on the current hurdles that both individuals and businesses face when tracking and managing digital assets. As the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) begins to crack down, the Blox report suggests that only 5% of CPAs believe their clients – both businesses and individuals – are able to accurately or completely disclose assets and transactions for tax reporting.
However, this lack of disclosure may or may not be wilful, as 98% of the CPAs surveyed stated that missing or inaccurate data was the number one crypto accounting mistake. In addition, almost all stated that a lack of understanding of crypto tax rules was a key challenge, and that more government regulation and guidance was needed to direct prudent clients trying to do the right thing.
Sharon Yip, Founder of Crypto Tax Advisors, said: “If a business created 1,000 transactions per day, to 100 different wallet addresses, for 30 different departments, organizing and searching for those transactions is a needle in a haystack scenario. Relying on exchanges is also a dangerous game. Some only track a few months of transactions, while some shut down completely, leaving investors with no historical records of their transactions. This makes calculating profit and loss almost impossible, and could even lead to legal repercussions.”
CPA respondents also pointed to the lack of access to automated crypto accounting software and limited knowledge about the available crypto software solutions as a key challenge when helping their clients (89%).
Alon Muroch, CEO of Blox, said: “This is an entirely new industry and most investors and CPAs are still learning the ropes. One of the biggest problems is the lack of infrastructure. The more mainstream crypto transactions become, the more smart tracking and management tools become imperative. Human error can have serious implications. It comes as no surprise that most CPAs identified technology as a key component for the future of crypto accounting.”
The report shows 93% of crypto CPAs believe there will be smarter solutions and software in the not-too-distant future, while 81% specifically pointed to the need for increased automation for accurate record keeping and to establish best practices.
Education and policy were also revealed as two key areas for future growth, with 96% of respondents believing that more official rules and guidelines are around the corner, and 72% identifying the need for further education on crypto accounting, best practices, and technological solutions.
Content public chain Contentos (COS) listed on Binance, announcing an alliance with global ecological partners to promise long-term value
The content public chain project Contentos (COS) invested by Binance Labs has been launched on the Binance main station and opened COS / USDT, COS / BNB, COS / BTC trading pair recently. Cheetah Mobile, Ontology, LD Capital, Blockshine, Node Capital and LiveMe all expressed their congratulations and support of COS in its long–term value. They believe that blockchain technology will empower the content ecosystem and become a new engine for the evolution of the content industry.
The Contentos (COS) main network will be launched next month (expected 9/25) and now it has reached an eco-cooperation agreement with more than 20 top public chains and Dapp R&D teams around the world such as TomoChain, NEM, Harmony and MixMarvel.
With many years of experience in app product development and operation, Contentos Co-founder and CEO Mick Tsaiand his team reached an eco-strategic cooperation agreement with the photo social platform PhotoGrid, the world-renowned live broadcast platform LiveMe, and the short video Cheez in the early stage of the project. These three platforms have nearly 60 million monthly active users globally, serving as an important traffic foundation for Contentos to build a decentralized content ecosystem.
The photo social platform PhotoGrid will test the COS creation reward mechanism in the Brazilian market in late July. In just 10 days, the number of user-generated photo creations has increased more than 457%, and the number of creators with 500 COS eco-rewards has exceeded 50.
LiveMe cooperates with Yahoo TV and Contentos (COS) to hold a blockchain quiz show together, reaching 15 million global broadcast and attracted imitation from South Korea and Hong Kong market. LiveMe is one of the most popular live broadcast platforms in the US and the Middle East. It has been on the top of the bestsellers’ list for a long time. Its shareholders include Cheetah Mobile and ByteDance (TikTok & toutiao developers).
COS and its strategic partner “Cheetah Mobile” will also cooperate in a variety of product lines. Cheetah Mobile has nearly 600 million worldwide monthly active users. The high-profile and the ratio of light games’ market basis have the potential for development, which is consistent with the long term goal of COS content public chain development.
Mick will continue to accept AMAs in the global community to express his gratitude to users’ support recently. He said: “Launching on Binance is an important milestone for Contentos. It is an affirmation of our efforts, and it also opens a new journey for COS. Markets including Vietnam, South Korea, Brazil, and Russia will all have more exciting and anticipating plans to announce.”
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