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Bytedance seeking to raise billions; Swiggy in funding talks with Tencent

S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a roundup of recent investment deals and updates in the Asia-Pacific technology, media and communications sector.

TOP NEWS

* Beijing Byte Dance Telecommunications Co. Ltd., owner of Chinese news aggregation app Toutiao, is in talks with Japan's SoftBank Group Corp. and private equity firm KKR & Co. to raise around US$3 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported Sept. 28, citing people familiar with the matter. The company is reportedly raising the funds at a valuation of US$75 billion, making Bytedance one of the world's most valuable private technology companies.

* Indian online food delivery startup Swiggy is in talks to raise as much as US$700 million from investors such as Tencent Holdings Ltd., Deal Street Asia reported Sept. 21. Swiggy plans to use the funds to enter new businesses and areas. Swiggy has raised US$465 million till date.

* In other SoftBank news, the conglomerate invested US$400 million in San Francisco-based online real estate marketplace Opendoor through its venture capital fund, SoftBank Vision Fund. The Vision Fund also led a US$400 million series F financing round in real estate technology company Compass, along with Qatar Investment Authority.

STARTUP FUNDING

* SoftBank Group Corp. unit SoftBank Group International led a US$35 million funding round in HEED, an AI startup that captures and delivers key moments in sporting events to mobile devices, HEED said Oct. 2.

* South Korean Naver Corp.'s venture capital arm Spring Camp invested in local AI startup COOLJAMM Co., ZDNet Korea reported Oct. 2. The startup is a developer of mobile music creation app HumOn, which allows users to create music based on humming.

* SoftBank Group Corp.'s investment arm SoftBank Vision Fund is in talks to invest about US$500 million in Chinese education technology startup Zuoyebang, Bloomberg News reported Oct. 1, citing people familiar with the matter.

CAPITAL INVESTMENTS

* SK hynix Inc. plans to invest 20 trillion won in M15, its newly opened chip manufacturing plant, Korea JoongAng Daily reported Oct. 5. The new plant will concentrate on manufacturing NAND flash, a non-volatile storage chip that does not require power to retain data.

* Thai media conglomerate Mono Technology PCL will invest 1.2 billion baht for content development this year, Prachachat reported Oct. 3.

* LINE Corp. will invest 247.55 billion won in LINE Financial Corp. through subscribing for 2.5 million new common shares. The transaction will take place Oct. 10 and will raise LINE Financial's share count to 4.5 million, according to a Sept. 28 filing.

OTHER FUNDING

* Tencent entered into a share purchase agreement with Bilibili Inc., whereby Tencent will invest nearly US$317.6 million in the online entertainment platform. The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close "in the near future," according to an Oct. 3 news release.

* Australia-based Gilmour Space Technologies Pty Ltd. secured A$19 million to scale up and launch its first commercial hybrid rocket to space in 2020, the company said Sept. 28 The company's series B funding round was led by Australian venture capital firms Main Sequence Ventures and Blackbird Ventures.

* Kakao Page Corp. invested nearly 40 billion won in comics publishers, Haksan Publishing Co. Ltd., Daewon C.I. Inc. and Seoul Media Comics Inc., ZDNet Korea reported Sept. 27. The company aims to secure more intellectual property for global expansion.

* ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd.'s Ola, a ride-sharing company, is in funding talks with Singapore's Temasek Holdings (Pte.) Ltd., South African Naspers Ltd. and two other funds, Mint reported Sept. 24, citing people familiar with the development.

* Amazon.com Inc. is planning to invest around 14 trillion rupiah in the technology sector in Indonesia, Tribunnews reported Sept. 21. The Indonesian Minister of Finance, Sri Mulyani Indrawati, said that the investment will be spread over a 10-year period.

* Tencent and Meituan Dianping led a US$200 million investment in Yijiupi, a business-to-business platform selling liquor and beverage, 36Kr reported Sept. 20.

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