Thai consumer products firm Neo Corp secures US$6.73 million investment from Finansa Fund

Neo Corporate, a Thai manufacturer and distributor of house brand consumer and cosmetic products has raised an investment from Finansa Fund Management, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Finansa Pcl which is worth 237 million baht (about US$6.73 million).

As per details of the agreement, the investment is conducted in the form of an exchangeable five-year loan, which will be later converted into of Neo Corporate’s common shares.

Formerly known as BIO Consumer, Neo Corporate is a private company that was established back in 1989 by the Thakolsri family. The enterprise is one of the global suppliers and market leader in household and consumer products.

Its portfolio of products includes the popular Fineline, BeNice, Eversense, Genie, Tros, D-Nee, and Vivite among some.

With the capital, the company will construct a new manufacturing facility in the province of Pathum Thani in order to increase its production capacity and meet the rising demand in the domestic market as well as neighboring countries.

According to Suttidej Thakolsri, the CEO of Neo Corporate, the company would invest around 2.5 billion baht (about US$71 million) to realise its facilities in Pathum Thani, marking the company’s highest investment over the past 27 years.

With this investment, the company expects to increase its annual sales revenue from 6 billion baht (about US$170 million) at present to 10 billion baht (about US$285 million) in the next five years.

Targeting companies from the consumer, logistics, technology, food production and distribution sector, Finansa also said that it anticipates further private equity investments in the future, aiming to complete one transaction per year.

At the same time, Finansa Fund Management plans to get Neo Corporate to be listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand within the next three years.

By Vivian Foo, Unicorn Media

Japanese Enechange raises US$4.4 million from Opt Ventures, IMJ for marketing and overseas projects

Tokyo-based energy price comparison service Enechange has closed a funding round estimated at 500 million yen (about US$4.4 million) from Opt Ventures and IMJ Investment Partners.

This round follows a 400 million yen (about US$3.5 million) investment from Energy & Environment Investment and TSE-listed Hitachi in February last year. With this funding, the collective capital raised by the firm has reached US$7.9 million.

Launched in April 2015, Enechange offers a power supplier switch service for enterprises and SIM card comparison site for companies and consumers. The startup also provides consulting services for electric companies in Japan, having partnered with UK-based SMAP Energy.

Its platform (https://enechange.jp/) is an energy price comparison site under the same name which was released in September 2015.

Since the deregulation of energy supply that occurred in April 2016, the Japanese electricity industry has seen the entry of major corporates like Softbank and Rakuten establishing subsidiaries to tap into this market.

With this, Japan’s market for electricity retail to small-scale users which was previously dominated by 10 major power companies that monopolised their respective regions has seen deregulation which led to more than 300 new entrants to the power retail market from various non-electricity sectors, including companies like SoftBank and Tokyo Gas.

However, with most customers of the new suppliers concentrated in the greater Tokyo area and the Kansai region, this limited number of market entrants may serve to limit the growth prospect of Enechange.

With the latest funding round, Enechange plans to expand its businesses overseas, deploying its businesses in countries like UK and Dubai among some.

Additionally, the capital will also be used to strengthen its marketing via the production and release of mass advertisement centered on TV commercials. The commercials will begin in the Kansai area starting January 25

By Vivian Foo, Unicorn Media