Tokyo-based VC firm Cool Japan Fund has led a $40 million Series C round in Taiwanese big data and advertising solutions firm Vpon.
South Korean PE firm STIC Investments, Tokyo-based e-commerce incubator Beenos, and Hong Kong-headquartered travel investor Triplabs also participated in the round. The latest investement round will be used to expand Vpon’s Asia Pacific data business and its R&D unit.
Taipei-based Vpon, established in 2008, uses proprietary technology for big data processing, analysis, and insights into mobile brand marketing. The firm supports more than 1,500 brands, including McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, American Express, and Citibank. It has a presence in over 750 cities across Asia including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong.
The firm had raised $17 million funding in two previous rounds. In 2014, it bagged $10 million in a Series B round from investors including Goldman Sachs, and in 2011 it secured $7 million in a Series A round from undisclosed investors.
Lead investor Cool Japan Fund was founded in 2013 and established as a public-private fund to support and promote the development of Japanese products and services overseas by providing funds in the media content, food, fashion and domestic tourism industries.
Cool Japan Fund is also an investor in Indonesia’s Gojek. The firm invested around $50 million in October 2019 in Gojek’s Series F round. The firm also invested in travel e-commerce platform KKday, Houston-based anime firm Sentai Holdings, and food video platform Tastemade.
Seoul-based PE firm STIC is reportedly planning to invest in Gojek’s rival, Singapore-based Grab, for $200 million. STIC is one of South Korea’s leading PE firms, with about $4.5 billion in assets under management, according to its website.