Nikkei acquires minority stake in Singapore AI startup DC Frontiers

Tue Oct 8, 2019 - 7:49am GMT+0000

Handshakes by DC Frontier 1

08/10/2019 – Nikkei announced on Monday the acquisition of a minority stake of 14.9 percent in Singapore artificial intelligence (AI) startup DC Frontiers. Following the transaction, the startup will be supporting the product development of scoutAsia.

DC Frontiers has also raised US$5M from Nikkei.

scoutAsia is a joint project launched by Nikkei and the Financial Times last year that provides data and news service. The joint project is a part of Nikkei’s strategic diversification of its business lines. Nikkei acquired Financial Times in a US1.3b deal in 2015.

The startup will be using its technology to work on improving the accuracy and efficiency of scoutAsia’s news monitoring and corporate information search functions on top of developing new features that will be available starting October.

With the injection of fresh funds, DC Frontiers will be establishing offshore research centers in an effort to expand its AI and other technological capabilities. The startup will also be installing overseas sales offices to boost sales growth.

Founded in 2011, DC Frontier operates a due diligence portal called Handshakes that focus on automated information gathering, corporate monitoring and research using AI. The platform also boasts a mapping capability, backed by AI, that’s able to relate between companies and people in the corporate ecosystem.

Handshakes’ clients include both financial and non-financial corporations, and government institutions in the Asian region. While its database includes companies listen in Singapore, Malaysia, China, and Vietnam, with real-time coverage available for more than 90 million businesses in the region.

The biggest shareholder in the startup is Daryl Neo, co-founder of DC Frontiers, followed by Singapore Press Holdings (SPH).