Halcyon raises US$5 mn funds for digital marketplace

Halcyon raises US$5 mn funds for digital marketplace

Singapore-headquartered supplier of natural rubber Halcyon Agri Corporation says that its 49.9%-owned associate, HeveaConnect Pte, has completed its fourth fundraising of US$5.5 million, led by Provident Capital Partners, DeClout Ventures and HeveaConnect management. Halcyon Agri founded HC in 2018 to develop HeveaConnect platform, a digital marketplace for physical natural rubber, in line with the group’s growth strategy towards digitalisation and sustainable natural rubber production.

The proceeds from the fundraising will be used for working capital purposes, technology developments and other business development activities. This allows HeveaConnect to expand its service offerings and enhance the resilience of the platform’s technology. The latest fundraising round values HeveaConnect at US$19.4 million pre-money.

HC’s seed investors included DBS, Itochu, and also SGX Group who joined in March 2021. Since HC’s establishment, more than 600,000 tonnes of physical natural rubber have been traded through the HeveaConnect platform, with its customers counting from the world’s top tyre makers, leading natural rubber producers and natural rubber traders.

In this round of fundraising, HC will receive proceeds of US$5.5 million via issuance of new shares to Provident, DeClout Ventures and HC management. Concurrently, Halcyon Agri will reduce its stake to 32.4% following the fundraising by HC and share sale by Halcyon Agri to Provident for a cash consideration of US$1.6 million. This round of fundraising values HC at pre-money valuation of US$19.4 million, a 17.5% increase from US$16.5 million since SGX Group’s investment in 2021.

Ng Eng Kiat, Managing Director of Halcyon Agri’s global tyre major platform said, “We have incubated HC as a corporate venture together with our other founding shareholders and supported it through its infancy stage. The initial phase was challenging for HC as it faced resistance to change. However, since the pandemic, there has been an increase in technology adoption and HC’s sustainability suite of tools have gained traction with key customers within the industry. We are happy to see the traction that the HeveaConnect platform has gained as it has always been our vision to leverage digital technology efficiencies by creating an industry platform to improve our trading process of physical natural rubber. HeveaConnect is now poised to excel in its next phase of growth.”

“We welcome Provident and DeClout Ventures into HC as shareholders. Both Provident and DeClout Ventures have extensive experience in technology investments, innovation and strong commitment to ESG. We strongly believe that ESG and technology are key success factors to future-proof a business. We look forward to greater engagement and higher adoption rate on HeveaConnect platform from our fellow natural rubber industry players.”

Provident is a private equity firm with investments across various industries, including telecommunications infrastructure, mining, real estate and biofuels. It has decades of experience, attracting blue-chip international institutional investors and high-quality banks.

DeClout Ventures is the corporate venture arm of DeClout, a builder of next-generation ICT companies that invests in, incubates and scales companies to become global or regional market leaders. DeClout’s portfolio companies currently comprise of: GUUD – a fast-growing trade technology firm; Aeqon – an ICT solutions provider; ARCO and Procurri – both green technology service providers; dhost – a neutral hosting solutions provider; and Ascent Solutions – an Internet[1]of-Things solutions provider. DeClout is a subsidiary of Tokyo Stock Exchange-listed Exeo Group, Inc.

Halycon has 37 processing factories in most major rubber producing origins with production capacity of 1.6 million tonnes/year, and is one of the largest owners of commercially operated rubber plantation globally.