Singapore startup raises $143 million, and becomes second in a week to set sights on Aussie market


Near co-founders Anil Mathews or Shobhit Shukla. Source: Supplied.

Singapore data startup Near has raised $143 million in Series D funding, and become the second global scaleup in a week to use a significant funding round to bolster its Aussie business.

Founded in 2012, Near uses artificial intelligence to make data on people and places actionable for its clients through Software-as-a-Service platforms.

It’s backed by the likes of Sequoia Capital, JP Morgan Private Equity Group and Cisco Investments, as well as Telstra Ventures, which first invested in the startup in 2014.

This latest $US100 million ($143 million), however, comes from UK private equity firm Greater Pacific Capital.

Now, Near analyses data from some 1.6 billion users across 44 countries, allowing its clients to run campaigns targeted to their specific audience.

Its Allspark product allows for end-to-end automation, while the CARBON product, launched earlier this year, allows publishers to provide a more personalised service offering.

Headquartered in Singapore, Near also has offices in Sydney, as well as in Tokyo, Bangalore, New York and London.

This funding round will be used for R&D and go towards launching new products, but it’s also pegged for helping the startup launch into new markets, with Australia as a key focus.

Near is the second global startup within a week to announce it will use a hefty funding round to expand its presence Down Under.

Last week, German SaaS startup Signavio secured $US177 million ($254 million), in a round led by APAX Digital.

Co-founder and chief Gero Decker said in a statement at the time the startup is looking to further support its “forward-looking” Aussie clients as it expands further into the APAC region.

Australia is currently Signavio’s fourth-largest market, in terms of revenue, he said.

“The success we have had in Australia, and the use cases we can bring, will be used to help shape our strong push into the region.”

Near is also already working with partners in Australia.

The new funding will “help strengthen our position in existing markets such as Australia and the US”, founder and chief Anil Mathews said in a statement.

Near is “the number one source of intelligence on human mobility in the Asia Pacific”, Mathews said.

“No other player has invested as much into the Australian market as we have over the past five years, so we have a lot of legacy data here, making our data science models work more effectively,” he added.

“Australia is one of our core markets and we’ll be investing heavily in expanding our partnerships here.”

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