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)
$22.5M Seed Funding Announced by Web3 Infrastructure Firm Fortress Blockchain Technologies
Led by Ayon Capital, the Funding Enables Fortress to Build and Scale Its Financial, Regulatory and Technology Infrastructure for Web3 Innovators.
Fortress Blockchain Technologies today announced it has raised Seed funding of $22.5M led by Ayon Capital. The round also included Soaring Investment Management, Fortress’ founder Scott Purcell, and a few select super-angel investors. The capital supports Fortress’ team as it creates transformative B2B infrastructure for the Web3 industry.
With a team of 84 full-time product managers and software engineers, a key focus of this B2B FinTech/BlockTech infrastructure firm is the ongoing development of the Fortress technology initiatives for API-embeddable, user-friendly NFT and crypto wallets, API-driven and white-label minting engines for fungible and non-fungible tokens, and its proprietary core-system for financial and trust services.
In addition to engineering, Fortress has invested heavily in its regulatory initiatives. This has included hiring Albert Forkner, formerly the Banking Commissioner (WY) and Chairman of the Conference of State Bank Supervisors as the CEO of the firms wholly-owned subsidiary, Fortress Trust, and his successfully guiding the firm to achieving trust charter and building a complete financial services stack including asset custody, payments, compliance, trustee, crypto liquidity and other utilities needed by Web3 innovators.
Now hitting the “go to market” phase of the startup lifecycle, the funding is being deployed to build a world class sales team. Ryan Miller, previously head of sales at the multi-billion-dollar FinTech MX Technologies, has joined Fortress as its Chief Revenue Officer and is now building a team of enterprise sales veterans across a variety of industry verticals.
“The tokenization of information and assets via fungible and non-fungible tokens will transform the world” noted Scott Purcell, founder and CEO of Fortress, “and we look forward to helping Web3 innovators of all types, from Fortune 500 brands to FinTechs to next-generation startups with the financial, regulatory and technology infrastructure they need to build incredible businesses.”
“With our extensive investments in the crypto ecosystem we see first-hand the transformative effect that the blockchain is having, and will continue to have on every facet of society” said Rahul Pagidipati of Ayon Capital “and as a fund, our singular thesis is to only back world-class founders who have the vision and ability to execute, we are excited to back Scott, Kevin, George and their team on this venture.”
“Technological and societal paradigm shifts are ushering in Web3. Fortress is one of the critical building blocks for this next wave of the web,” said Soaring Investment Management director, Frank Zhang. “Fortress is positioning itself as the infrastructure partner of choice for celebrities, corporate brands, crypto exchanges, NFT marketplaces, real estate professionals, neo-banks, FinTechs, healthcare firms and others entering the space with their Web3 initiatives.”
The funding will enable Fortress to continue to write software, begin to extend its regulatory services globally, and build the sales and operational teams to support a wide variety of B2B customers across numerous industries.
Fortress Blockchain Technologies is purpose-built to deliver financial, regulatory and technology infrastructure to the rapidly emerging Web3 space. The firm offers financial services including compliance, payments, custody, trustee-of-assets, escrow, crypto liquidity and other services, as well as a minting engine for fungible and non-fungible tokens along with an NFT and crypto wallet that is secure, user-friendly and can be embedded into third-party mobile and web applications. Fortress Trust Company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fortress Blockchain Technologies and is a full-retail Nevada-chartered financial institution.
State-of-the-art Edge AI platform to accelerate UK's AI adoption
UK deep tech AI company, T-DAB.AI, has closed their funding round of £495,000 to accelerate the development of their Edge AI platform.
Funding has been sourced from private angel investors including Growceanu, and non-equity funding from Innovate UK as part of an industry collaboration with Domin and University of Bath.
The funds will bring forward more advanced Federated Learning capabilities, automated Edge ML-Ops, and accelerated deployment mechanisms. In addition, funds will support the evolution of the sales and marketing functions of T-DAB.AI.
T-DAB.AI’s state-of-the-art Edge AI platform will revolutionise AI for IoT applications.
Designed by data scientists, T-DAB.AI’s platform enables teams to build or buy machine learning solutions, trained at the Edge, and push models into production and deploy them faster, more privately, and cost efficiently than ever before.
It will enable Edge AI to be implemented across IoT infrastructure without the need to move vast volumes of data to the cloud. Hence increasing security and privacy, reducing expensive data and compute costs, and reducing the need for continuous network connectivity for connected device intelligence.
At the core of the platform is a new paradigm known as Federated Learning. T-DAB.AI’s vision is to serve seamless and massively scalable Federated Learning to the full spectrum of Edge compute, all the way down to the chip.
T-DAB.AI is a technology company on a mission to revolutionise the building and transformation of IoT powered industrial businesses through decentralised AI.
Founded in 2016, T-DAB.AI has enjoyed year-on-year growth, winning large global clients across the industrial IOT sector as well as significant funding from Innovate UK.
“We invested in T-DAB because it is a company made up of an excellent team, with people very well trained in business, technology and sales. They have also developed a solid set of innovative products and services in a technical field applicable in many industries, including production, energy, automotive, HVAC and Smart Building. The solution is already validated, the current sales are excellent and have a very high traction.”
Ciprian Man, Investor/Founder, Growceanu.
“This is great news for T-DAB and for manufacturing more generally, to be able to utilise AI at the edge without the need for huge amounts of data collection and analysis is game changing.”
Luxury Skincare brand U Beauty announces strategic investment from Sandbridge Capital
Leading science-driven luxury skincare brand U Beauty announces a strategic investment from Sandbridge Capital, a consumer focused private investment firm that partners with leading high growth global brands. Since its founding, U Beauty’s proprietary offering of high performance, science-backed skincare solutions has seen exponential growth. Sandbridge represents U Beauty’s first institutional capital; the funds will be used to accelerate the brand’s already impressive multi-channel, cross-category global growth.
Singularly blending science and sustainability, U Beauty embodies the future of luxury skincare. Featuring a tightly edited suite of award-winning products made in Italy, U Beauty’s groundbreaking formulas are as multitasking as they are effective. Driven by the brand’s double-patent-pending SIREN Capsule Technology, they feature a revolutionary system that delivers low-level actives with breakthrough efficacy. Inspired by precision medicine, U Beauty approaches skincare differently from others in the industry. Other brands distribute active ingredients all over the skin unnecessarily, while U Beauty’s proprietary technology targets areas with high levels of damage, causing free radicals to neutralize only those areas while simultaneously preserving healthy skin. The result is visible improvement for both short and long-term skin health.
Tina Craig, U Beauty’s Founder and Chief Creative Officer, expressed her excitement about the partnership: “For a founder, finding the right growth partner is a grueling process. There’s typically some aspect of the conversation that makes you feel particularly protective of your brand. But, from our very first conversation with Ken and his team, there was a natural affinity –personal, professional, and strategic – between U Beauty and Sandbridge that made our partnership feel like an inevitability. Of course, their stellar track record and roster of blue-chip advisors appealed to us. Both companies also share a fundamental perspective that there are no shortcuts to skillful long-term brand-building – and Sandbridge possesses the expertise, wherewithal, and vision to help propel U Beauty to a bigger, brighter future.”
Katie Borghese, U Beauty’s Founder and Chief Marketing Officer, delivered an equally enthusiastic sentiment: “Not only does Sandbridge have reverence for brand equity and value the individuals driving the company, we are intrinsically aligned on U Beauty’s vision, mission, and strategy. With unyielding discipline, we maintain a focus on exceptional products, launching only when the formula is just right, and the product offers real value innovation. We want to break through existing conventions within the skincare industry and create substantial change, and with this new partnership, our goals will undoubtedly be realized.”
Ken Suslow, Sandbridge Founder and Managing Partner, added: “U Beauty is compellingly positioned at the intersection of where luxury beauty meets science-driven efficacy in support of its elevated skincare solutions. We are super enthused to partner with Tina, Katie, and their highly impressive team as the company redefines performance skincare with their continued breakthrough product innovation. U Beauty is one of those rare mission driven brands that we have had the good fortune to partner with over the years, with its authentically modern clean beauty approach and importantly differentiated brand positioning. We are excited to contribute our experience in helping to build enduringly successful global brands in support of U Beauty’s demonstrably strong foundation.”
U Beauty takes a modern approach to distribution, seamlessly merging direct-to-consumer, brick-and-mortar, and digital commerce, and is currently available through over 100 doors in 16 countries, including prominent retailers such as Violet Grey, Net-a-Porter, Nordstrom, Bergdorf Goodman, and Saks Fifth Avenue.
Validated by rigorous clinical testing and recognized by the industry as a trailblazing leader in innovation (and with 23 awards from leading beauty authorities in the last 24 months), U Beauty is heralding a streamlined shift in skincare by eliminating the need for a myriad of ancillary products to maximize results while minimizing irritation, time, and waste.
The brand is also certified with the Butterfly Mark by Positive Luxury, an industry-leading certification for luxury brands making a positive impact on the world, as U Beauty embraces transparency and environmental advertency. In addition to using recycled packaging and non-toxic ingredients, its manufacturing facilities use 100% green energy. U Beauty also has an ongoing partnership with One Tree Planted, a nonprofit dedicated to reforestation, to plant a tree for every U Beauty product sold.
Sandbridge Capital is a private investment firm with offices in Los Angeles and New York that invests exclusively in high growth global consumer brands, including Youth to the People, ILIA, Peach & Lily, Thom Browne, Hydrow, Rossignol and Farfetch. Since its founding with the backing of an iconic group of consumer industry operators and advisors, Sandbridge has been strategically partnering with brands in the beauty, luxury, health and wellness, and disruptive consumer-based technology segments.
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