The biggest financiers of Southeast Asia's AI Startups
The biggest financiers of Southeast Asia’s AI startups
Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, the anime adaptation of the famous (or infamous) Cyberpunk 2077 video game, recently dropped on Netflix, and it’s safe to say that it’s already one of my favorite shows – anime or otherwise – to date.
Animated by Studio Trigger, known for over-the-top direction and visuals, the series follows the story of David Martinez, a school dropout who finds a new lease of life with a group of mercenary gangsters, known as edgerunners.
I had very low expectations going into this series not because of anything about the show itself, but because adaptations of video games have traditionally been terrible. Within the first three minutes, however, I was completely blown away. That’s when I knew this show wasn’t just going to be good, it was going to be great.
It was heartwarming, violent, zany, colorful, and tied together by ridiculously good animation and an incredible soundtrack. It reminded me that even in a futuristic world, the impact of the human experience can never be underestimated.
And so, even as all the funding for AI startups paints a hyperadvanced, science-fiction-like future, it’s important that we never forget our underlying humanity.
Today we look at:
- The organizations backing Southeast Asia’s AI startups
- A new entry to the unicorn club in Thailand
- Other newsy highlights such as Interpol issuing a Red Notice for Do Kwon and Binace’s possible reentry into the Japanese market.
Also, if you’re an entrepreneur looking for funding, fill out this form to get your company featured on our list of fundraising startups.
Whenever AI is brought up, it reminds me of a short story called I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream by Harlan Ellison. It’s a great piece of philosophical writing that still retains a very visceral element of horror that’s hard to describe. I won’t spoil too much, so let’s get down to the real topic of discussion: the investors putting their money where their mouth is when it comes to AI startups.
- Planting early seeds: Topping our list is Seeds Capital, the investment arm of Enterprise Singapore. In the last 24 months, the firm has invested in five AI companies, namely 6Estates, X0PA, Sentient.io, impress.ai, and ProfilePrint. Wavemaker Partners has also made the same number of deals, investing in Silent Eight, Wiz.ai, QoreNext, and Portcast.
- Grab ’em by the antlers: Sitting in third place is Antler, a Singaporean early-stage VC. Over the last 24 months, it has made four investments in AI startups: Slab & Co, Bver, Speechx, and StoryBrain.
- Slow and steady: We’ve got a long list of 20 investors, but most of them are still on the lower end in terms of how many deals they’ve closed. Of them, 14 investors have made two investments each over the last 24 months, while another three have made three each. The remaining three investors, Antler, Wavemaker Partners, and Seeds Capital, have closed more than three deals each.
This article first appeared in Tech in Asia.