Indonesia-based investment app, MAKMUR, has secured a seven-digit seed funding round, led by BEENEXT, with participation from Kinesys Group, Trihill Capital, and notable angel investors including Yiping Goh (Quest Ventures’ partner), Edward Tirtanata (Kopi Kenangan’s CEO), Vidit Agrawal (GajiGesa’s CEO), and Andrew Lee (former unicorn executive). MAKMUR will use the capital to expand its features and product portfolio, as well as to hire new talented individuals and people development.
MAKMUR is a technology-based investment app that allows users to set their financial goals and reach them through long term investing. Similar to Betterment in the U.S., it has goal-based investing feature so users can easily invest towards multiple goals, such as emergency fund, retirement fund, and children’s education fund with the ease of using just one app.
The app also provides a Robo Advisory feature that adapts to users’ risk tolerance, as well as investment horizon, and prevailing economic conditions. This proprietary dynamic asset allocation technology helps users invest optimally regardless of whether the market is bullish or bearish.
Financial advisory are often available only for high-net worth investors. However, MAKMUR digitizes and democratizes such services to be completely accessible and affordable for all Indonesian citizens.
Sander Parawira, founder and CEO of MAKMUR, pointed out, “Many people think that investing in mutual funds is difficult, in which they have to go through a complicated account opening process and prepare a large amount of capital. Supported by OCR (Optical Character Recognition) and face recognition technology, we offer an exceptional account opening experience that is simple and swift. It only takes five minutes to complete the account opening process, with an initial capital starting from IDR 10,000 (USD 0.70) and no transaction fee.”
Faiz Rahman, BEENEXT’s partner, added “We are witnessing a new revolution in Indonesia where mass market come to realize the importance of investing. MAKMUR enables retail investors to do prudent long-term investing to build wealth sustainably. We are very excited about MAKMUR and we look forward to having a long-term partnership with MAKMUR as we believe in their mission to make investing easier, cheaper, and more sustainable for Indonesians.”
MAKMUR App to help build a robust inclusive financial ecosystem in Indonesia
MAKMUR app is the brainchild of Sander Parawira, a Stanford University’s graduate, formerly the Head of Quantitative Strategies of Wall Street’ leading quantitative trading firm, Virtu Financial. Prior to Virtu, Sander was a Software Engineer at Facebook.
Sander built the app with the aim to improve financial literacy and inclusions among Indonesian citizens. “Indonesia’s capital market investor has experienced a significant growth, however, the number of investors today in Indonesia is still fewer than 2% of the population. Following the seed funding round, we are hoping to bridge the financial inclusion gap while improving financial literacy across the country.”
Ever since the company obtained official license from Otoritas Jasa Keuangan (OJK) in February 2021, it has partnered with ten leading investment managers. They include Avrist Asset Management, Bahana TCW Investment Management, BNI Asset Management, Capital Asset Management, Eastspring Investment, FWD Asset Management, Principal Asset Management, RHB Asset Management, Syailendra Capital, and Trimegah Asset Management.
MAKMUR app is available on both Play Store and App Store for Android users and iOS users respectively. For further information, please visit https://www.makmur.id
MAKMUR is a start-up that provides technology-based investment app to help Indonesians plan their financial goals and invest for the long term easily, safely, and sustainably. All investment plans are designed by experienced investment professionals based on quantitative research and big data. MAKMUR is established by a former Head of Quantitative Strategies at Virtu Financial, a leading quantitative trading firm in Wall Street and an ex Facebook Software Engineer. The team has a cumulative 30 years experience in the investment and technology space in reputable companies such as IndoPremier, Traveloka, and IBM and are graduates from the best universities in the world such as Stanford University, UC Berkeley, Columbia University, and Purdue University.
BEENEXT is a Venture Capital fund managed by serial entrepreneurs that focuses on assisting founders with its operational experience, network, trust, unique perspectives, and the capital. The team invests in early-stage tech start-ups that are focused on building the new digital platforms driven by the data network. BEENEXT aims to establish a platform of founders, by the founders and for the founders across the globe, primarily in South East Asia, India and Japan. Since its establishment in 2015, the team has invested in over 200 companies globally.
SOURCE PT Inovasi Finansial Teknologi (MAKMUR)
Tsubame BHB procures 5.3 billion yen through Series C
First participation by a foreign investor brings green ammonia production to the world
Tsubame BHB Co., Ltd. (Head Office: Yokohama, Kanagawa Pref.; Representative Director and CEO: Koji Nakamura), which strives for the social implementation and commercialization of small, distributed ammonia production plants, has announced that it has undertaken capital procurement on a total scale of approximately 5.3 billion yen in a Series C round of financing through third-party allocation of shares to both new and existing investors worldwide.
In the second round*1 of this Series C funding, capital procurement was undertaken with Heraeus Beteiligungsverwaltungsgesellschaft mbH (Head Office: Germany; “Heraeus”) as the first overseas investor receiving shares, and with Yokogawa Electric Corporation and Energy & Environment Investment, Inc. as new investors receiving shares in Japan. This round of funding resulted in a cumulative capital procurement amount of 7.6 billion yen for Tsubame BHB Co., Ltd.
*1 The first round of funding was procured through convertible equity (CE) subscription warrants in July 2022
Tsubame BHB was established in April 2017 to achieve the social implementation and commercialization of on-site ammonia production at small, distributed ammonia production plants capable of synthesizing ammonia at low temperatures and low pressures, using the world’s first electride catalyst method. The Heraeus Group, based in Hanau, Germany, is a major family-owned technology company with multifaceted global operations. It has approximately 17,200 employees in 40 countries around the world, and boasts a diverse business portfolio that includes fields such as metals and recycling, healthcare, semiconductors and electronics, and industrials. With Heraeus participating as the first overseas investor, Tsubame BHB will develop the ammonia business and strengthen supply chains with a particular focus on Europe.
The EU decided to introduce a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) for the first time in the world, requiring businesses to report on carbon emissions from October 2023. Actual taxation based on these emission volumes is scheduled to begin from 2026. On February 6 of this year, the European Commission announced that CO2 emissions in the EU should be cut to 90% compared to 1990 levels by 2040. Given the need for CO2 reductions and actions to combat climate change in the EU, there is a growing demand for green ammonia, particularly in the chemical, transportation, and agricultural industries.
The synthetic ammonia catalysts offered by Tsubame BHB, which are produced at low temperatures and low pressures using electride catalysts, can be manufactured at small ammonia production plants, and so can be produced and consumed locally. Transport and storage processes are reduced in comparison to current procurement methods involving high-volume production at petrochemical complexes, enabling a substantial reduction in CO2 emissions.
In collaboration with Heraeus, which has a history spanning close to 400 years, Tsubame BHB uses an electride catalyst technology developed in Japan to promote the localization of ammonia production at small, distributed on-site ammonia plants, and the manufacture of green ammonia and hydrogen ammonia using renewable energy.
- Current status of business/development
The first installation project in Japan, ordered in December 2022, is currently moving ahead steadily with plans for the start of production in August 2025. Detailed design and procurement are already complete. Receipt testing at the main device plant will begin from April 2024, and deliveries to the construction site are scheduled to begin in May.
Tsubame BHB has an R&D Center at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, where R&D targeting catalysts is conducted in collaboration with about 30 researchers. Verification tests of catalysts developed at a pilot plant in Ajinomoto Co., Inc.’s Kawasaki factory began in 2019, and over the course of four years, these tests confirmed that Tsubame BHB’s technologies had transcended the laboratory level, meeting requirements for commercialization. Catalysts suited to on-site ammonia plants are at the commercialization stage. Tests confirmed that formation and increased production on a scale of more than 100,000x could be achieved, and that after four years of uninterrupted catalyst performance operations, there was absolutely no decline in performance.
Applying government subsidies, commercialization of next-generation catalysts is expected to be achieved in a short time, with further cost reductions scheduled for the future.
- Tsubame BHB receives orders for basic design in Japan and overseas
In December 2023, Tsubame BHB received its first order for the basic design of an overseas unit in Southeast Asia. Production of green ammonia is expected to begin from FY2026. A project order was also received for basic design on a second unit in Japan, with ammonia production similarly scheduled to begin during FY2026.
In December 2023, a letter of intent (LOI) was signed between Agri Laos Co., Ltd. (“Agri Laos“), a business partner in Laos, and the Laotian State Enterprise for Agriculture Service (“SAS”) regarding an offtake agreement for low-carbon fertilizers. Tsubame BHB and Agri Laos have formed a special purpose company (SPC) to promote the development of projects involving the manufacture of green hydrogen and ammonia and low carbon fertilizers using renewable energy and hydroelectric power in Laos. SAS plans to purchase the low-carbon fertilizers produced on this project for sales in Laos and other countries.
Tsubame BHB has received an increasing number of inquiries from overseas companies, and has initiated projects targeting the on-site production of ammonia at small-scale plants in collaboration with companies in various countries in North and South America, Southeast Asia, and Africa.
- Future developments
The capital procured through this round of financing will go toward R&D targeting further cost reductions at small, distributed ammonia plants and the commercialization of medium-scale plants, as well as technical development costs for next-generation catalysts with a view toward large-scale plants and recruiting/labor costs, which are particularly important in the context of business operations. In this way, Tsubame BHB will contribute to the commercialization of small-scale ammonia production plants originating in Japan.
- Investors in this round
Along with Tsubame BHB’s first overseas investor, Heraeus Beteiligungsverwaltungsgesellschaft mbH, investors participating in this round of financing will include the following companies:
List of participating investors (no specific order):
New investors: Heraeus Beteiligungsverwaltungsgesellschaft mbH, Yokogawa Electric Corporation, and Energy & Environment Investment, Inc.
- Comments from investors participating in this round
Heraeus Beteiligungsverwaltungsgesellschaft mbH
“Heraeus has long established itself as a leader in innovation in the field of precious metal-based technologies. The Tsubame BHB technology fits perfectly with the Heraeus scouting criteria supports our efforts to lead the development of cutting-edge sustainable technologies,” said Dr. Philipp Walter, Executive Vice President Business Line Hydrogen Systems at Heraeus. “The technology complements our already broad range of sustainable solutions and helps to strengthen our position in a market that is increasingly focused on energy efficiency and decarbonization.”
“Japan is a market where innovation is born – especially in the area of advanced materials. As a globally leading material technology company, Heraeus sees great potential in a stronger collaboration with Japanese companies, universities, and research institutes. Our investment in Tsubame BHB is a great example how Japanese and German companies can profit and grow together in future markets.” added Hideto Yamauchi, Representative Director, President of Heraeus K.K. in Japan.
Yokogawa Electric Corporation
“Various efforts are being made around the world to realize a decarbonized society, and Yokogawa is paying attention to these new energy trends. Like our customers, we believe that there will be a rising need for ammonia as a hydrogen transport medium and fuel. Yokogawa considers that Tsubame BHB’s innovative technology for the production of ammonia at a low temperature and pressure will play a key role in the attainment of a decarbonized society. By utilizing our company’s measurement, control, and information technologies, we will work together with Tsubame BHB to sustain the creation of value and address social issues,” commented Koji Nakaoka, a senior vice president and head of the company’s Energy & Sustainability Business Headquarters and Global Sales Headquarters
Energy & Environment Investment, Inc.
“Amid an urgent demand for decarbonization in various fields, ammonia is expected to be used not only as a hydrogen carrier, but also as a clean fuel in its own right, with applications for single fuel ammonia combustion in large-scale transportation (e.g., ships and aircraft) as well as thermal power generation. It has the potential to be a key driver in decarbonization, but in order to achieve this goal, renewable energy must be used in the manufacturing process as well “said by Member of the Board and Partner: Kenyu Hosoya. “Using Tsubame BHB’s technologies, ammonia can be manufactured at low temperatures and low pressures, enabling small, distributed manufacturing facilities. In this way, in addition to supporting the worldwide use of green ammonia manufactured using renewable energy, these technologies are expected to contribute to decarbonization as well.”
- Outline of investors participating in this round
Heraeus Beteiligungsverwaltungsgesellschaft mbH
The Heraeus Group, based in Hanau, Germany, is a global company with about 17,200 employees, operating in 40 countries around the world, and boasting cutting-edge technologies. Founded in 1660, Heraeus has a diverse business portfolio, with activities in fields such as metals and recycling, healthcare, semiconductors and electronics, and industrials.
Yokogawa Electric Corporation
Yokogawa Electric, a major electrical equipment company, is one of Japan’s top manufacturers specializing in industrial instruments and process control systems. Using measurement, control, and information technologies, it contributes to resolving social issues through business in the control, measurement, communications, and life science fields.
Energy & Environment Investment, Inc.
Energy & Environment Investment was established in 2006 as a venture capital company specializing in the energy and environmental fields. It invests in and supports the growth of startup companies with innovative business models and technologies that contribute to the realization of a sustainable society, with a particular focus on decarbonization.
- About Tsubame BHB
Tsubame BHB’s corporate philosophy is to “resolve issues faced by mankind in the context of environmental and food related issues through the use of original technologies, in order to achieve a sustainable society.” We are a deep tech company that strives for practical applications of on-site ammonia production at small, distributed plants using technologies that dramatically reduce the extraction of CO2 in comparison to conventional methods, by producing ammonia at low temperatures and low pressures. Founded in 2017, we utilize electride catalyst technologies developed by Honorary Professor Hideo Hosono of the Tokyo Institute of Technology, and we are currently strengthening the rollout of overseas business with a focus on regions including North and South America, Australia, and Africa. Last year, we were invited by the Japanese government to attend the 28th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28), where we had an exhibit booth.
Altilium secures USD 9.43 million in funding
SQM Lithium Ventures announced its follow-on investment of USD 9.43 million in Altilium, a UK-based clean technology group focused on supporting the energy transition to net zero, bringing its total investment to USD 12 million.
The investment completes Altilium’s Series A funding round and marks the largest investment to date for SQM Lithium Ventures, the corporate venture arm of the lithium business of Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile (SQM), one of the world’s leading producers of battery-grade lithium.
The additional funding follows a year of strong progress in the scaling up of Altilium’s proprietary battery recycling technology and underscores both companies’ commitment to developing a circular economy for sustainable and low carbon battery materials.
SQM Lithium Ventures made an initial investment of USD 2.57 million in Altilium last year. Since then the company has hit a number of key development milestones, including the expansion of its UK recycling facilities, enhancement of its proprietary EcoCathode™ hydrometallurgical process and strengthening of its senior management team.
Going forward, the additional funding will accelerate the scale-up of Altilium’s UK and European activities, paving the way for the roll-out of the company’s full battery circularity customer offering, encompassing zero-carbon EV battery collection, black mass recycling and chemical refining direct to cathode active material (CAM).
Key developments for 2024 will include:
Construction of Small-Commercial Plant: The 18,000-square-foot facility in Plymouth, Devon is scheduled to begin operations mid 2024, processing significant volumes of battery precursors and cathode active materials for qualification with automakers and cell manufacturers.
Battery Recycling Stations (BRS): The raised capital will be instrumental in building the first Battery Recycling Station to efficiently transform discarded EV batteries into high-quality black mass, a crucial feedstock for Altilium’s chemical refineries.
Commencement of European Hydrometallurgical Refining: Altilium are progressing with the retrofit of an existing plant in Eastern Europe, with plans to process 8,000 metric tons of black mass to EV battery intermediates later in 2024.
Finalisation of plans for the UK’s largest EV battery recycling facility: The planned Teesside plant will have capacity to process battery waste from 150,000 electric vehicles. This facility aims to meet 20% of the UK’s Cathode Active Materials (CAM) requirement by 2030.
Altilium President & COO, Dr Christian Marston, commented:
“We are delighted to continue our relationship with SQM and excited about the journey ahead as we build a UK and European leader in battery recycling. We are immensely grateful for their belief in our business and our shared vision for achieving the lowest carbon footprint in battery raw materials.”
Altilium CEO, Kamran Mahdavi, commented:
“This round of funding with SQM Lithium Venture has been a pivotal achievement for Altilium and reflects the significant strides the business has made over the past 12 months. We look forward to building on these achievements with the support of our partners and our dedicated team.”
Carlos Díaz, CEO of the Lithium-Potasium Division of SQM, commented:
“The investment in Altilium gives SQM the chance to participate in the creation of a new industry: the recovery of critical minerals such as lithium, nickel, and cobalt from recycled batteries. This will allow us to add value to the new battery supply chain, while at the same time maintaining sustainable levels of resource consumption, water use and carbon footprint. SQM’s top priorities include attracting technical talent to the company and associating ourselves with the world’s most innovative startups, allowing us to maximize our impact in the industry.”
David Rousselle, Engineering Manager at SQM and member of Altilium’s board of directors, added:
“Lithium batteries have become an essential component of modern society, as they’re used in electric vehicles and electronic devices. Despite the importance of the circular economy, most lithium-ion batteries are still not recycled. In the US and EU, less than 1% of lithium-ion batteries are recycled, compared to 99% of lead-acid batteries. Given the growth in the electromobility market, lithium-ion battery recycling will be essential in the coming years. The investment in Altilium allows SQM to get ahead of the global recycling curve, doubling down on the company’s commitment to developing solutions for human progress and working toward economic, social, and environmental sustainability.”
In addition to providing capital investment, SQM Lithium Ventures also brings considerable experience in large-scale project delivery and a commitment to innovation and sustainability.
With substantial backing from UK Government Innovation grants, Altilium is leading the charge in the UK’s journey towards establishing a national champion for EV battery recycling. Altilium’s proprietary EcoCathode™ process converts old EV batteries and manufacturing scrap into domestic, sustainable, battery precursors, cathode active materials (CAM) and cathode precursor (p-CAM) for direct reuse in new batteries.
Recovering over 95% of crucial metals from old EV batteries will contribute to a UK domestic and sustainable supply of battery raw materials, reducing carbon emissions by over 50% and reducing the cost of cathode active material by more than 20% compared to conventional virgin mining practices.
Altilium is a UK-based clean tech group that will reshape the UK and European automotive supply chain by offering high volume, low carbon domestic sources of cathode and anode materials from recycling waste streams already in circulation, such as lithium scrap.
The company’s proprietary EcoCathode™ process converts end-of-life EV batteries and manufacturing scrap into domestic, sustainable, battery precursors, cathode active materials (CAM) and cathode precursor (pCAM) for direct reuse in new batteries.
Altilium’s first mini-commercial plant is currently under construction in Plymouth while its planned Teesside plant will be one of the largest EV battery recycling facilities in Europe. The plant will have the capacity to process scrap from over 150,000 EVs per year, producing 30,000 MT of CAM, enough to meet around 20% of the UK’s expected needs by 2030.
About SQM Lithium Ventures
SQM Lithium Ventures, launched in December 2022, seeks to invest in growing companies solving challenges related to lithium, water, and electromobility. The up-to USD 40 million fund invests tickets averaging USD 3 million, plus follow-on investments, in companies across the globe, and also operates an acceleration program based in Antofagasta, Chile, for earlier-stage startups within the same three verticals. Parent company SQM is one of the world’s largest producers of lithium for use in electric vehicle batteries.
The fund has a global presence, with team members in North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. After evaluating more than 500 companies and completing four investment committees to date, the fund is advancing rapidly in conversations with several of the most innovative companies in its verticals.
The selection process consisted of several months of diligence and meetings with the Altilium team, culminating with an investment committee with participation of SQM’s CEO, largest shareholders, and key company leaders. SQM plans to add value with its global presence and vast expertise in lithium value chains, as well as a role in the company’s board of directors.
'The Cloud' Secures $12 Million in Series B Funding, Acquires Leading UK Food Tech Startup KBOX, Aiming for Expansion in Europe
- Part of Abu Dhabi’s Hub71, The Cloud secures $12 million in Series B funding, with MENA Moonshots among the new investors, reflecting broad market confidence
- Strategic acquisition of KBOX adds 200 locations in the UK to The Cloud’s global portfolio, purchased for an undisclosed amount, signaling a strategic move into the European market with expansion planned in the UK, Lithuania, Belgium, and the Netherlands
- Founder & Chairman Georges Karam, alongside strategic investors, positions The Cloud as a disruptor in the food tech sector, aiming for a dual listing in Abu Dhabi and Riyadh by 2027 with a target of 8,000 locations
The Cloud, a Hub71 food tech startup, has announced the successful first close of its $12 million Series B funding round out of a total $30 million it is raising. The funding round saw participation from a new investor, MENA Moonshots, showcasing confidence in The Cloud’s ambitions to innovate and expand.
This milestone, coupled with debt financing from Aluna Partners, and the strategic acquisition of the UK-based food tech startup KBOX, marks a significant stride for The Cloud, founded by Georges Karam, towards redefining the virtual dining landscape in the GCC and Europe.
With a vision deeply rooted in leveraging in-house technology to disrupt the food industry, The Cloud’s acquisition of KBOX strategically expands its global footprint by 200 locations in the UK. This move underlines the company’s commitment to driving innovation and asserting leadership in the food tech sector, setting the stage for rapid expansion across the UK and other strategic European markets such as Lithuania, Belgium, and Netherlands.
The Series B funding, a balanced mix of equity and debt, is a testament to The Cloud’s business model and its vision. Having initially raised $10 million in the Series A funding, this round brings The Cloud’s total funds raised to $22 million, which highlights the company’s capacity to attract strategic partners like MENA Moonshots. The investments extend beyond capital, providing invaluable expertise and access to networks as The Cloud ambitiously eyes new markets and innovative dining solutions.
Georges Karam, Founder & Chairman of The Cloud, shared his enthusiasm for the new developments, stating: “Our Series B funding and the acquisition of KBOX cement our role as disruptors in the global food tech sector. With a cumulative $22 million raised to date, we’re not only eyeing new markets but are set on increasing our market share in existing territories. Our in-house developed technology and strategy for further acquisitions underscore our belief in the industry’s consolidation and our commitment to scaling strong homegrown brands internationally. Looking forward, we continue to actively eye more strategic acquisitions while also seeking to raise further capital.”
Stefano Sciacca, Managing Director at Aluna Partners, said, “The online food delivery market is a mega trend that is here to stay. We believe that The Cloud will gain significant market share in the UK market through the acquisition of KBOX. Having looked at many food tech business models, we believe The Cloud is emerging as a global market leader and are excited to support such a fast-growing venture.”
The additional capital from the Series B funding will be instrumental in accelerating growth, with a significant portion earmarked for international expansion, enhancing operational capabilities, and further developing The Cloud’s proprietary technology platform.
With a presence in 7 countries and 91 cities, and ambitions to reach 8,000 locations by the end of 2027, The Cloud is on track for a dual listing in Abu Dhabi and Riyadh, marking a new era of growth for the virtual chain in the EMEA region. As the company advances on this growth trajectory, it remains committed to its mission of transforming the global dining experience, empowering restaurateurs, and setting new benchmarks for quality and innovation in the food tech industry.
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