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How Philippine cloud kitchen industry is piggybacking on the country’s unique food culture, shifting customer behaviour

e27

The Philippine food delivery market is growing exponentially (~48 per cent y-o-y growth), the fastest in Southeast Asia, and is projected to hit US$8 billion by 2025. This growth is attributed mainly to the pandemic. With many of the country’s major cities still under lockdown and the resumption of dine-in services is uncertain, customers prefer ordering food online and have it home-delivered.

This is where cloud kitchens fit in. Also called ‘ghost kitchens’, ‘shared kitchens’, or ‘virtual kitchens’, cloud kitchens are commercial facilities purpose-built to produce food specifically for delivery.

The cloud kitchen industry is still in its early stages in the Philippines when compared with fast-growing markets such as the US, the Middle East, and India, and even neighbouring Singapore and Indonesia. It is not surpising as the food delivery ecosystem itself is relatively young in the Philippines, where the first delivery firm to enter the market was foodpanda in 2014 — just seven years ago.

“Cloud kitchen also became a strong avenue for both F&B and delivery companies alike to experiment with new F&B concepts. The pandemic accelerated this natural evolution and brought forward that timeline as extended lockdowns created new consumption habits in consumers for delivery-based orders — be it for F&B brands that they are already familiar with or to try out new food concepts to beat the boredom during lockdowns. In fact, many popular F&B brands today in Southeast Asia are born out of cloud kitchens and never ever saw a retail outlet identity,” says Yiping Goh, Partner at Quest Ventures.

“We are already in talks with several players in the Philippines and Thailand and feel that they are only one or two years behind Indonesia and Singapore. The trajectory shows that they will also grow rapidly as demand from both F&B brands and consumers are surging in these regions as well,” says Goh of Quest Ventures.

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How tech giants are spawning a generation of investors in SE Asia

DealStreetAsia

Executives in Southeast Asia are giving up the comfort of plush corporate jobs to become fund managers as the startup ecosystem in the region is throwing up significant investment opportunities.

James Tan, the co-founder and managing partner of Quest Ventures, is one such investor. Tan earlier co-founded and served as the COO at NASDAQ-listed e-commerce company 55tuan in China.

Under his leadership, the company grew from a five-person operation to one that had a headcount of 5,000 employees across China with a presence in over 200 cities.

55tuan then went on to become the first and the only group-buying startup to make a debut on NASDAQ in 2015. Its investors then included Goldman Sachs, Zero2IPO Capital, Sky Blessing Investment and CDH Investments.

That experience was significant, Tan said. It helped him understand the impact that private capital and technology can have on any sector that eventually led him to launch his own VC.

“Unless you are deep in the trenches with the startup, you can never have an understanding of what they are going through. What an investor has is at best an expansive yet in-depth theoretical perspective of the startup at a point in time, usually monthly, mostly quarterly,” he said.

“We get new ideas from meeting new founders every day. You don’t get this opportunity as a founder,” said Quest Ventures’ Tan.

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За что медицинский стартап Cerebra получил $1 млн от Тимура Турлова

Forbes

Владелец Freedom Holding Corp проинвестировал казахстанскую разработку — программное обеспечение для диагностики инсульта.

Столь крупное вложение не характерно для сферы венчурных инвестиций Казахстана, тем более когда речь идет о местном deep-tech-продукте, а не очередной е-commerce-площадке. Что такое Cerebra и как она создавалась? Чем эта система привлекла инвестора?

– Это узконаправленный искусственный интеллект для автоматизации диагностики инсульта. Говоря профессиональным языком, это постпроцессинговое программное обеспечение для врачей, вовлеченных в инсультную службу, используемое для обнаружения признаков острого нарушения мозгового кровообращения по радиологическим снимкам и клиническим данным, – объяснил CEO компании Cerebra.ai Ltd Досжан Жусупов. – Мы помогаем дифференцировать инсульт по его видам и определить локализацию пораженной зоны в объеме тканей мозга.

Cerebra.ai Ltd не впервые получает столь высокую оценку своих достижений. Первые свои инвестиции в размере $50 тыс. компания получила как финалист первого потока международной акселерационной программы Kazakhstan Digital Accelerator (KDA).

Акселератор, запущенный в рамках сотрудничества между АО «QazTech Ventures» (дочерняя организация АО «Казына Капитал Менеджмент») и ведущего сингапурского фонда Quest Ventures, в течение 3 месяцев обучал участников проекта у лучших международных менторов. По итогам программы было отобрано 10 проектов, которые и были «премированы» деньгами на развитие.

– Cerebra — это проект – выпускник первого потока Kazakhstan Digital Accelerator и первый в истории deep tech, привлекающий инвестиции по всей классике венчурного финансирования, – с гордостью говорит инвестиционный директор Quest Ventures в Казахстане Руслан Ракымбай. – Мы видим, что мировой рынок услуг, на котором реализуется проект Cerebra, очень большой и места для подобных решений хватит для многих, однако необходимо углублять R&D и выходить на новые рынки как можно скорее. У команды Сerebra есть все шансы стать первым deep-tech-стартапом, который может быть куплен стратегическими игроками.

Quest Ventures — фонд, который инвестирует на ранней стадии и помогает вырастить из таких проектов, как Сerebra, крупную компанию, добавил Руслан Ракымбай.

– Наша задача ещё не выполнена, и мы дальше будем помогать команде Сerebra выходить на зарубежные рынки и привлекать новые раунды инвестиции для масштабирования, – пообещал он.

В свою очередь и.о. председателя правления АО «QazTech Ventures» Диас Бексолтан отметил, что «наличие конкурентной среды безусловно положительный фактор для проекта, так как показывает его актуальность в этой сфере, а также сподвигает на дальнейшее его совершенствование, поэтому я считаю, что у Cerebra большой потенциал развития, и в скором времени мы обязательно услышим о них в разрезе международного рынка».

Для QazTech Ventures, как для института развития венчурного рынка в Казахстане, успех Cerebra был очень значимым.

– Перед нами стояла задача дать толчок венчурной индустрии Казахстана и запустить механизм, позволяющий стартапам повысить свою экспертизу для дальнейшего масштабирования, и благодаря программе KDA мы видим достаточно хорошую динамику в этом направлении – добавил Бексолтан.

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Delivery group that serves south-east Asia’s remote villages weighs IPO

The Financial Times

Ninja Van, a logistics group that has used motorcycles, boats and even water buffaloes to deliver 1.7m parcels every day across south-east Asia, is considering an initial public offering as early as next year after being valued at $1bn.

Backed by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s B Capital, Ninja Van’s growth in revenue and orders has surged thanks to an ecommerce boom fuelled by south-east Asia’s 400m internet users.

Armed with 34,000 employees and 1,800 sorting stations, the seven-year-old company specialises in delivering to the thousands of smaller cities and remote villages across south-east Asia that international couriers struggle to serve. Despite coronavirus pandemic-enforced lockdowns, daily shipments have grown from 1m in May 2020 to 1.7m in July.

But Jeffrey Seah, a partner at Singapore-based venture capital firm Quest Ventures, pointed to price competition as a significant challenge for upstart delivery groups.

“Generally, logistics is a price-war game. It’s an expensive battle for market share, perhaps even a winner-take-all battle,” Seah said.

“Some of the ecommerce companies are also starting their own logistics services, partly aimed at stopping incumbent players from raising prices.”

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Influencer marketing firm Partipost bags US$5m additional funding, plans Vietnam entry

Marketing Interactive

The recent extended and oversubscribed round is led by Quest Ventures with participation by existing investor SPH Ventures, and new investors iGlobe Partners and XA Network. Earlier this year, the company also secured an investment of US$3.5 million in a Series A round funding to expand its business into Malaysia, Vietnam, and the Philippines.

With the legal completion of this fundraising round, partner of Quest Ventures Jeffrey Seah will join Partipost’s board as director. He was previously board observer from Quest Ventures’ earlier investment in Partipost in July last year.

“Since our initial investment, Partipost has demonstrated its business acumen and operating verve across the three markets it originally operates in. Partipost has balanced the need to recruit brand-safe nano influencers that resonate with commercial partners, and simultaneously pitch to and onboard business partners looking for authentic direct-to-customer relationships as social commerce notches increasing contribution to sales. We look forward to the leaders expanding their formula to new markets and filling up the management bench strength for further growth,” said Seah.

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Influencer marketing platform Partipost gets US$5m in extended Series A round

The Business Times

PARTIPOST, a crowd influencer marketing and commerce platform, has secured an extended Series A funding round of US$5 million led by Quest Ventures. Existing investor SPH Ventures and new investors iGlobe Partners and XA Network, an angel investor network, also participated in the round.

The funds raised will be used to develop Partipost’s tech platform and accelerate business expansion into Vietnam, as well as strengthen current operations in Singapore, Indonesia, Taiwan, Malaysia and the Philippines.

Quest Ventures partner Jeffrey Seah will join Partipost’s board as a director. He was previously a board observer from an earlier investment by Quest.

“(The founders) have balanced the need to recruit brand-safe nano influencers who resonate with commercial partners, while pitching to and onboarding business partners looking for authentic direct-to-customer relationships as social commerce notches increasing contribution to sales,” Mr Seah said.

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SG influencer marketing startup Partipost raises $5m in Quest Ventures-led round

DealStreetAsia

Partipost, a Singapore-based crowd influencer marketing and commerce platform, has secured $5 million in an oversubscribed extended round led by Singapore-based venture capital firm Quest Ventures, according to an announcement.

Other investors in the funding round include including existing investor SPH Ventures and new investors iGlobe Partners and XA Network.

With the legal completion of this fundraising round, Jeffrey Seah, partner of Quest Ventures, will join Partipost’s Board as Director. He was previously Board Observer from Quest Ventures’ earlier investment in Partipost.

Partipost drives authentic word-of- mouth marketing by matching brands to influencers with the highest brand affinity. With data insights collected through its in-app polls and user behaviours, Partipost’s data-centric framework crowdsources influencers with follower sizes ranging from a few hundred to millions of followers.

Last year, SPH Ventures led a $3.5 million funding round in influencer marketing startup Partipost. Quest Ventures also joined in this round.

SPH Ventures is the corporate venture capital fund of Singapore Press Holdings Ltd, Asia’s leading media organisation listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange. The fund size totals S$100 million.

Quest Ventures has a portfolio of 90+ venture-backed companies operate in more than 150 cities across Asia. Most recently, it has joined a $4.6 million investment in Vietnam-based food-tech startup KAMEREO.

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Nano-influencer platform to use $5 mln funding to strengthen operations in SEA, including PHL

BusinessWorld

Partipost, a nano-influencer marketing and commerce platform, received extended funding on their series A round, with investments totaling $5 million. The funds will be used to accelerate product and market expansion in Southeast Asia, including the Philippines, where its app launched this month.

The Singapore-based startup’s oversubscribed round was led by venture capital firm Quest Ventures, with participation from existing investor SPH Ventures, and new investors iGlobe Partners and XA Network.

Jeffrey Seah, a partner from Quest Ventures, will join Partipost’s board as director. He was previously a board observer from Quest Ventures’ earlier investment in the platform.

“They [Partipost’s founders] have balanced the need to recruit brand-safe nano influencers that resonate with commercial partners, and simultaneously pitch to and onboard business partners looking for authentic direct-to-customer relationships… increasing contribution to sales,” Mr. Seah said in a press statement.

Partipost saw a threefold increase year-on-year in the total number of influencers during the pandemic, as the crisis highlighted the need for businesses to build a strong presence online. In the Philippines, where its app was launched at the beginning of July, the platform has garnered more than 4,000 Partiposters.

“In terms of notable Filipino influencers, our niche is in nano influencers, the everyday people, so I wouldn’t say there’s a specific notable influencer,” Ms. Tam added.

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Singapore influencer marketing platform raises additional $1.5m for series A round

Tech in Asia

Partipost, a Singapore-based crowd influencer marketing platform, announced it has secured an additional US$1.5 million in funding on its series A round. The extended funding round was led by Quest Ventures, with participation from SPH Ventures, iGlobe Partners, and XA Network.

Last year, the company raised US$3.5 million in its earlier series A tranche from Quest Ventures and SPH ventures.

With the funding, Quest Ventures’ partner Jeffrey Seah will join Partipost’s board of directors. Last year, after the completion of the funding round’s first close, SPH Ventures’ chief executive Chua Boon Ping also joined the company’s board.

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Partipost bags US$5M in oversubscribed Series A round to boost presence in 6 markets

e27

Pandemic winner Partipost, Asia-based crowd influencer marketing and commerce platform, announced today it has secured extended funding of US$5 million in their Series A round led by Quest Ventures.

Other participants in this round are existing investor SPH Ventures, and new investors iGlobe Partners and XA Network.

Partipost raised US$3.5 million last year in a round led by SPH Ventures and Quest Ventures and other investors.

The extended fundraising round this year of US$5 million will enable Partipost to continue to improve its technology, execute market expansion into Vietnam, and double down on its current operations in existing markets, including Singapore, Indonesia, Taiwan, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

When the legal procedure completes, Jeffrey Seah, Partner at Quest Ventures will be the Director of Partipost’s Board, following his current position as Board Observer since the previous funding.

“Since our initial investment, Jon, Ben and Tony [Partipost’s founders] have demonstrated their business acumen and operating verve across the three markets they originally operate in,” said Seah.

“They have balanced the need to recruit brand-safe nano influencers that resonate with commercial partners,“ added Seah.

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