Vpon , a Taipei-based startup focusing on big data analytics, announced it has raised a $40 million Series C, one of the largest venture funding rounds of the year so far in Taiwan.
The round is led by Cool Japan Fund, a government-sponsored investment firm that aims to promote cultural exports. Other investors include STIC Investments, a South Korean private equity fund that famously backed Big Hit Entertainment, the company behind K-pop sensation BTS; TripLabs, a Hong Kong-based venture capital firm focusing on the travel and hospitality industry; and Beenos, a Japanese cross-border e-commerce platform listed on Tokyo Stock Exchange.
Founded in 2008, Vpon operates in Taipei, Tokyo, Osaka, Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai, and Bangkok, and helps more than 1,500 clients in both the public and private sectors make marketing decisions based on customer data.
With its proprietary technology in big data analytics and AI, Vpon is widely recognized in Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan and has secured long-term partnerships with Japan National Tourism Organization, East and West Japan Railway Companies, Citibank, and Hong Kong Broadband Network, said Victor Wu, Vpon’s founder and CEO.
The Series C brings Vpon’s total funding raised so far to $60 million. The company raised a $7 million Series A and $10 million Series B in 2011 and 2014, respectively.
With the new capital, Vpon plans to ramp up R&D efforts and scale up its business in the APAC region, from Taiwan to Japan and South Korea.
While Vpon has been operating in Japan since 2014, Cool Japan Fund is helping the company grow in the Japanese market and “create value in travel and cross-border e-commerce industries,” said Yuji Kato, COO and CIO at the fund, which has around $953 million (¥101 billion) under management.
In 2019, Cool Japan Fund has also pumped $10 million into KKday, a travel booking startup based in Taiwan, to help it expand in Japan.
STIC Investments, another strategic investor in the funding round, will help Vpon expand into South Korea and strengthen its competitive advantage in cross-border e-commerce over other data analytics firms in Asia, said Chang An-Li, managing partner at the PE firm.
In the long term, in addition to becoming a market leader, Vpon also hopes to bolster Taiwan’s position as a global hub for data analytics.
〔Original :Meet Startup @ TW〕