Singapore, 8 May 2019 —7.5 Degree (7点5度), Southeast Asia’s New Economy Information and Service Platform, announced earlier today that it has secured an undisclosed amount of seed funding from East Ventures, the leading early-stage venture fund in Southeast Asia. The investment will accelerate 7.5 Degree’s mission to be the most accurate compass for new economy explorers in the region and bringing in more local journalists on board – especially from Indonesia, Vietnam, and Singapore.
“Go Overseas” has become a catchword among China’s investors and entrepreneurs for ages. As the region is now drawn to Southeast Asia, they are, however, often still obstructed with limited information about Southeast Asia internet economy due to the language difference. The founders, Li Yufu and Lin Xibang, saw the needs to bridge between the two regions. Especially looking at how Southeast Asia markets booming with more entrepreneurs and the rising wave of “Go Overseas” from Chinese investors and entrepreneurs to the market.
The two founders start by founding 7.5 Degree straight after they graduate from Nanyang Technological University. With their main service as Chinese-language media, the company positioned itself as the Southeast Asia New Economy Information and Service Platform.
Li Yufu, the CEO of 7.5 Degree, explained the story behind their company’s name, “it is alluding to the glorious achievements by Zheng He, a great Chinese mariner, explorer, diplomat and fleet admiral who commanded expeditionary voyages to Southeast Asia, South Asia, Western Asia and East Africa in the early 15th century. They said the minimum calibration on the compass which guided Admiral Zheng’s navigation was 7.5 degree”
All-around Services for Chinese Tongue Players
7.5 Degree media made debut in Singapore on September 2017. Since then, the company has served both Chinese and SEA’s tech-players with over 350 Chinese language articles, covering all about the Internet economy in Southeast Asia, in-depth coverage of Fintech and logistics sectors in Indonesia, as well the e-commerce sector in Thai and Vietnamese markets. The company distribute their articles via multiple channels like WeChat and has become one of the major news resources for giant Chinese media.
The company also aim to bridge the two regions by serving more than just news and market insights. In December 2018, 7.5 Degree launched Invmall, a new service intended to promote the bilateral interactions between the Southeast Asian and Chinese tech-players. The platform provides “Link-up” service by putting startups in Southeast Asia in touch with investors in China (and vice versa) via email or WhatsApp. It also allows users to find all key information about their potential partners.
“There are very few service providers catering to the fundraising needs of local early-stage startups. If we can help the entrepreneurs to secure early funding from institutional investors, either from China or from Southeast Asia, it will allow them a greater chance to grow and thrive”, says Li Yufu, Co-founder and CEO of 7.5 Degree.
To further promote collaboration and communication between China and Southeast Asia among investors and entrepreneurs, the company regularly organized “SEA-Commerce Summits” in the local centers of the Internet economy of Asia such as Singapore, Beijing, Ho Chi Minh, Bangkok, and Jakarta. The next event will take place in Jakarta on 17 May 2019, inviting more than 200 players from the both region to hear a panel discussion from investors, including Partner of East Ventures, Melisa Irene.
According to e-Conomy SEA 2018 jointly published by Google and Temasek, the market size of the Southeast Asian internet economy is on track to exceed $240B by 2025. The e-commerce, ride-hailing, Fintech, and logistics sectors are evolving every second. Investment firms from Japan, China, and the Middle East are actively looking for next unicorns. 7.5 Degree will tailor its services to better meet the demands of both investors and entrepreneurs via its Media, Tech Venture Community and acceleration service.
Willson Cuaca, Managing Partner of East Ventures, says, “We haven’t seen a dedicated SEA/China news site like 7.5 Degree before. They bridge the two markets and bring the best news of this region to China. They will be the tool for the Chinese to navigate SEA as how Admiral Zheng He used the 48 directions compass to navigate the ocean and sailed to SEA. We feel privileged to support them and looking forward to showcasing the best of SEA”
About 7.5 Degree (7点5度)
Established in Singapore, 7.5 Degree is positioned as the Southeast-Asia’s New Economy Information and Service provider, including Media, Tech Venture Community and Think Tank services, with the vision “To be the most accurate compass for SEA explorers”.
About East Ventures
East Ventures is an early stage venture fund focused on Southeast Asia and Japan. Over several years, East Ventures has invested in Indonesia, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam. The majority of East Ventures’ portfolio firms have been able to raise follow-on financing rounds.
East Ventures has a strong track record in developing pan-Asia tech-ecosystems and backing startups in their early days. To date, it has invested in over 400 startups, four of which have grown into unicorn companies such as Tokopedia and Traveloka. Other success cases include Mercari, Warung Pintar, Fore Coffee, Disdus (acquired by Groupon), Kudo (acquired by Grab), Loket (acquired by Gojek), Tech in Asia, Omise, IDN Media, Ruangguru, MokaPOS, ShopBack, and CoHive. https://east.vc