Mirae Asset Group is accelerating investment in Southeast Asian startups with great growth potential, following its investment in Grab, a ride-hailing service provider in Southeast Asia, last year.
Investment banking (IB) industry sources said on Jan. 16 that Mirae Asset Group invested 8.3 billion won (US$7.39 million), or 25 percent, in a US$30 million (33.68 billion won) fund created by Indian co-living startup Zolo. The investment includes 7 billion won (US$6.24 million) from Mirae Asset Capital Co. and 1.3 billion won (US$1.16 million) from Mirae Asset Venture Investment Co.
Co-living is a new business model created by high property prices in India. It provides residential facilities to typical migrant workers and students, who are seeking for a job or getting education, at low prices and offer brokerage and optional services. The Indian startup is said to be investing in student housing with the funds.
Founded in September 2015, Zolo runs business in six cities in India, including Mumbai and Bangalore. Analysts believe that Zolo’s housing information provision business model has great potential in India. The market of shared houses with a kitchen and a living room is estimated at US$120 million (134.70 billion won), according to Indian research firm RedSeer Consulting.
Earlier, Mirae Asset Daewoo Co. joined hands with Naver Corp. to make a US$150 million (168.38 billion won) investment in Grab, which is called “Uber in Southeast Asia,” last year.
Mirae Asset Group also announced on Jan. 16 that “Mirae Asset-Naver Asia Growth Fund,” jointly created with Naver, has decided to invest US$50 million (56.13 billion won) in Indonesian online marketplace firm Bukalapak. The Indonesian startup unicorn runs an open market-type business that connects sellers and buyers for various products, such as financial products and telecommunication fees, on the online platform. The company has more than 2 million transactions a day. It is growing rapidly, with its turnover in the fourth quarter of last year already exceeding the annual sales of 2017. The company’s major shareholders include Ant Financial Services Group and the Government of Singapore Investment Corp. (GIC).