Recent News

Vietnam’s video and livestream startup Uiza secures funding from ESP Capital, Japan’s Framgia


21/8/2018 – Uiza, a provider of video and livestream cloud API platform based in Vietnam has secured an undisclosed pre-seed funding from homegrown venture capital firm ESP Capital and Japanese IT Corporation Framgia Inc.

The investment capital secured will be used to recruit more engineers to improve its core video technology, and build an industry as big as Alibaba or Tencent.

Founded by Nguyen Duc Anh, a Troy University graduate and former Senior Director of Topica Educational Technology, Uiza claims to be the first startup in Southeast Asia to provide a video and livestream cloud API platform.

But aside from being a livestreaming platform for audiences, Uiza also uses data science to optimize the viewing experience. This is done by collecting billions of data hubs in real-time through connections between thousands of ISPs, billions of video views, and hundreds of transmission locations.

Uiza then applies these data to artificial intelligence and machine technology to optimize the viewing experience as well as livestream in the best way for audiences.

According to Uiza’s CEO Kevin Ng, internet video and livestreaming are one of the fastest growing markets, especially in Asia, which sees more than 30 percent year-on-year.

He believes that video and livestream will be a huge playground for technology and great potential for long-term growth.

“There are many companies in Vietnam as well as Asia in the consumer and B2C sectors, but we are currently quite lacking of tech enablers. Uiza has a huge potential in the Internet Video market, with an estimated value of nearly US$70 billion over the next five years,” he said.

Uiza is also currently working on its Series A round which is targeted to close later in November or December. Fundings from the Series A will be used to fuel the expenses of its growth plans in major markets such as Singapore and Japan.

Commenting on the investment, General Partner of ESP Capital Vy Le said, “They are quite a good fit with ESP Capital. We want to support and develop startups that have potential to grow into a unicorn, which is why ESP chose to invest in Uiza.”

Headquartered in Singapore and Ho Chi Minh City, ESP Capital Fund is investing in startups in the seed technology sector. The investment firm targets potential startups in hopes of building the first unicorn in the country.

So far, ESP Capital Fund has backed 9 startups to date using about US$1.4 million from its US$20 million funds which debuted last year.

Uiza is the ninth recipient of ESP’s investment after Canavi, Jamja, Homedy, Luxstay, Cooky, WeFit and two other companies in the field of Medtech.

On the other hand, Framgia Inc which is established in 2012, specializes in designing and developing applications, games, social networking platform, among others.

“Framgia Inc is both an investor and one of the first customers to use Uiza,” said Taihei Kobayashi, the CEO of Framgia Inc. “They have helped us save dozens of developers and months for developing a similar platform. With our strengths and experience in technology, Framgia believes we can support Uiza in expanding to the Asian market.”

Moving forward, Uiza aims to expand its customers livestream videos to reach over 2 billion global viewers over the next five years.

Singapore Hyperscale Data Centre Startup AirTrunk secures US$621 million for Australia, APAC expansion



20/8/2018 – AirTrunk, a Singapore-founded provider of hyperscale data centres, has secured an A$850 million (about US$621 million) financing that will fund the expansion of its two Australian data centres and a move into Asia Pacific to take advantage of the growing cloud computing market.

The funding comprises of new senior secured debt facilities, as well as capital reserves from AirTrunk’s Founder and CEO Robin Khuda, and existing investors Goldman Sachs and TSSP. Deutsche Bank was the lead arranger, underwriter, and bookrunner for the financing process which is said to be the largest by a data centre company in Australia.

This latest financing also comes on top of an A$150 million (about US$110 million) six-year term loan from ING Groep NV and Natixis SA secured in February 2017, in addition to a US$400 million funding round co-led by Goldman Sachs and TPG Capital in the same year.

Established in 2014 as a hyperscale data centre provider, AirTrunk develops and operate large-scale wholesale data centres that provides a platform for cloud, content, and large enterprise customers across the Asia Pacific region.

It takes advantage of a surge in cloud computing as companies that once ran in-house servers are gradually shifting storage and processing off-site. To meet their demand, AirTrunk provides its clients with the physical space, internet connections, power and cooling for their own servers.

The startup maximizes energy efficiency and cost-effectiveness by implementing a single computer architecture that can be rapidly scaled by bringing more machines online as and when they are needed.

According to research firm IDC, it is estimated that public cloud demand in the Asia Pacific region excluding Japan will hit US$47 billion by 2020.

So far, AirTrunk had opened two Australian data centres last year – AirTrunk Sydney in September and AirTrunk Melbourne in November – which will be upgraded and expanded using majority of the capital raised from this investment.

AirTrunk said these two facilities are set to be the largest data centres in the Asia Pacific region when completed at 90 megawatts and 84 megawatts respectively.

“Together with the new capital recently contributed by our shareholders, the new funds put us in a strong position to meet the growing demand from large cloud, content, and enterprise customers in the Asia-Pacific region,” said former CFO at NextDC, Khuda.

AirTrunk which measures inventory in terms of power capacity, will have 174 megawatts within 12 months, of which 100 megawatts will be built up and ready for customers. The rest is made up of land that can be upgraded as needed.

Meanwhile, the remainder of the money raised will go toward expanding into Asia with Singapore, Tokyo, and Hong Kong key priorities. Facilities in the region are expected to be online by end-2020.

“AirTrunk continues to pursue its ambition to be the leader in hyperscale data centers for the region. The expansion in Australia will establish as the largest data centre operator in Australia by deployed capacity, and we continue to pursue aggressive growth opportunities across the Asia Pacific region,” Khuda added.