Off to The Races – 2024 Tech in Global Markets

Editor’s Note

Welcome to the first edition of the Global Tech Brief in 2024 – a year with a new set of critical challenges and expectations for tech investors and founders globally. 

In 2023, fund restructurings, continuation funds, startup consolidations and team reorganizations made headlines across our markets, and it doesn’t look like 2024 is going to be any different.

As we kick off 2024, the spotlight remains on the evolving global investment thesis and the tradeoffs faced by founders between pursuing growth at all costs and sustainable profitability. 

AI continues to steal the limelight. Investors have deployed USD21.5b+ in AI-enabled companies across GPCA markets since 2021. Product launches, hype and the launch of AI subcultures have also been followed by some pushback – the latest stemming from developers launching an effort to fight back against Large Language Models (LLMs) and their ability to compete against human-made content.

Institutional investors looking at their venture portfolios are likely to double down on funds led by experienced partners who have worked together through multiple cycles with a differentiated investment strategy and a history of realized returns. It is unlikely that we will see an appetite from global institutional investors to increase allocations to emerging managers in 2024.

Founders will need to couple boldness with a clear path to profitability. Several companies backed during the last investment supercycle are expected to come up for air later this year, and CEOs will be faced with stark choices – raise new sources of capital in a potential downround, turn to venture debt or take a shot at a public listing in the midst of a continued downturn.

It remains clear from our conversations with GPCA investors that the ability of founders to execute and de-risk business models will continue to be one of the strongest signals for receiving a term sheet. Stories are taking a back seat to realized performance – at least for the time being. 

We’ll shed light on these topics and many more through our coverage. For now, stay tuned for our annual insights and fully verified VC figures in mid-February

Expect to hear from us on the last Thursday of every month.

The Big Tickets

  • CROSSBORDER | CYVN, an Abu Dhabi-based mobility solutions provider, acquired a 20% stake in Chinese EV manufacturer Nio for USD2.2b.
    • CYVN first invested USD1b in July 2023. 
    • Nio listed on the NYSE in 2018. 

  • FINTECH | SNB Capital and Sanabil Investments led a USD340m Series C at a reported USD1b valuation for Tamara, a Saudi Arabia-based BNPL platform, with participation from Pinnacle Capital and Impulse and follow-on from Shorooq Partners and 
    • DEBT | Tamara secured USD400m in debt from Goldman Sachs and Shorooq Partners in 2023.

  • UK bank M&G led a USD340m round for Udaan, an India-based B2B inventory access and working capital provider for SMEs, with follow-on from Lightspeed Venture Partners and DST Global. 

  • SEMICONDUCTORS | Silicon Box, a Singapore-based semiconductor packaging company specializing in chiplet integration, raised a USD200m Series B from BRV Capital, Event Horizon Capital, Maverick Capital, Praesidium Capital, Tata Electronics, TDK Ventures and others. 

  • ROBOTS | Anthelion Capital led a USD135m Series D for GreyOrange, an India-based robotic warehouse systems provider, with follow-on from Blume Ventures, 3State Ventures and Mithril. 

  • CLEANTECH | Legend Capital led a USD92.9m Series A for Sungrow Hydrogen, a China-based provider of green hydrogen production systems, with participation from GL Ventures, Eastern Bell Capital, China Merchants Venture Capital Management and others. 

  • FINTECH | KASZEK led a USD40m Series B for Pomelo, an Argentina-based payments infrastructure startup for fintech and embedded finance players, with participation from Endeavor Catalyst, and TQ Ventures, with follow-on from monashees, Index Ventures and S32.

  • EV | Qiming Venture Partners led a USD22m Series A for Swap Energy, an Indonesia-based battery swapping provider for electric motorcycles, with participation from GGV Capital Asia and Ondine Capital.
    • Swap Energy raised a USD7.2m pre-Series A in April 2023 led by Ondine Capital with participation from Kejora Capital and New Energy Nexus.


  • HEALTHTECH | Aramco Ventures’ Prosperity7 Ventures led a USD47.3m Series B for Full-Life Technologies, a China-based radiotherapeutics company, with participation from Sky9 Capital, Summer Capital and GuanghuaWutong Fund, and follow-on from Chengwei Capital, HongShan and Junson Capital.

  • BATTERIES | RTP Global led a USD35m pre-Series A for International Battery Company, an India-based lithium battery developer for EVs, with participation from Veda VC and Beenext.

  • Solva, a Kazakhstan-based microfinance startup offering digital lending products, raised a USD20m round from the Sawiris family of the Egyptian Orascom Group and Zoser Capital Partners.

  • AGTECH | Ocean 14 Capital led a USD6m round for AquaExchange, an India-based IoT-based aquaculture management and procurement platform, with follow-on from Accion Venture Labs and Endiya Partners.

  • WOMEN-LED | Arbonics, an Estonia-based forest carbon credit platform, raised a USD6m round from Tilia Impact Ventures, Plural Platform and NordicNinja VC.

  • DIGITAL SECURITY | Salv, an Estonia-based anti-money laundering platform for banks and fintechs, raised a USD4.3m round from Passion Capital, Giesecke+Devrient Ventures and ff Venture Capital to expand operations to the UK.

  • ENTERPRISE SOFTWARE | Tokwise, a Bulgaria-based renewable energy portfolio management platform, raised a USD3.2m round led by Encavis with participation from Vitosha Venture Partners, Innovation Capital and EIT InnoEnergy.

  • Global Ventures led a USD3m pre-Series A for Maalexi, a UAE-based procurement platform for cross-border agricultural trade, with participation from Ankurit Capital and Rockstart.

  • CRYPTO | Polychain Capital led a USD2.3m round for Canza Finance, a Nigeria-based decentralized finance startup focused on foreign exchange transactions, with participation from Stratified Capital, Protocol Labs, Blizzard Fund, 99 Capital and others.

  • AGTECH | Ascent Venture Group led a USD2.3m seed round for DayaTani, an Indonesia-based agtech platform to increase farming yields, with participation from Northstar Ventures, BRI Ventures and Gentree Fund.

  • LAST MILE | EDFI AgriFI and Seedstars Africa led a USD1.7m pre-Series A for Shamba Pride, a Kenya-based last-mile delivery startup for farm inputs.
    • DEBT | Shamba Pride also raised USD2m in debt.
    • Seedstars Africa and Gray Matters Capital first invested USD1.1m in October 2021.

  • AEROSPACE | Audacy Ventures led a USD1.6m pre-Series A for FlyOro, a Singapore-based sustainable aviation fuel startup, with participation from Investible.

  • HEALTHTECH | Middle East Venture Partners led a Series A for Clinicy, a Saudi Arabia-based hospital management platform, with follow-on from Kafou Group and Fadeed Investment.  

  • CLEANTECH | Renew Capital led an investment in Octavia Carbon, a Kenya-based startup deploying Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology to extract atmospheric CO2.


  • Lexington Partners reached a USD22.7b final close for Lexington Capital Partners X. The secondary fund surpassed its USD15b target.
    • Lexington Partners reached a USD14b final close its prior fund in January 2020.

  • Aramco allocated an additional USD4b to its global venture arm, Aramco Ventures, to invest in energy transition solutions, decarbonization and digital transformation initiatives.

  • Asia Partners reached a USD474m final close for its second fund focusing on tech investments in Southeast Asia.
    • Asia Partners raised USD384m for its debut fund in March 2021.

  • Africa50 reached a USD222.5m first close for its Infrastructure Acceleration Fund focusing on sustainable infrastructure sectors across Africa including energy, transportation and sanitation. First close investors include the African Development Bank and IFC.

  • AC Ventures reached a USD210m final close for its fifth fund focused on early-stage opportunities in Indonesia.
    • Recent investments include MAKA Motors and Koltiva.

  • Richen Capital reached a CNY1b (~USD141m) first close for its fifth flagship fund focusing on digital technology, smart manufacturing and other related applications in China. 

  • Northstar Group held a USD140m final close for Northstar Ventures I, its first early-stage fund to invest in fintech and enterprise software startups primarily based in Indonesia. 
    • Investments already include UTown, Gently, Maka Motors and

  • Ameba Capital, a China-based early-stage investor, has raised CNY500m (~USD70m) for its latest RMB-denominated fund to invest in artificial intelligence-generated content hardware and enterprise services.

  • Seedstars Africa Ventures secured a USD30m commitment from EIB Global for its debut pan-African venture fund investing in seed and Series A startups. The fund is targeting USD80-100m.

  • Dux Capital reached a first close for its second seed-stage fund aiming to bridge funding gaps for Latinx entrepreneurs. 

  • 500 Global launched 500 LatAm Seed IV, its fourth flagship seed fund to invest in startups in Latin America developing solutions in fintech, healthtech, edtech, agtech, SaaS and D2C. 
    • 500 Global’s latest investments in Latin America include Yana, Dapta, Avify, Apparta, AgroMatch, Aplicable, Conteller, Dora, Healf, Prelu

  • Thrive Capital is in talks to launch its ninth fund with a reported USD3.4b target in the coming months.
    • Thrive Capital’s investments in GPCA markets have included Nubank, Pipo Saúde, Loft and Pitzi (Latin America) and Practo Technologies (India). 

  • ADM Capital launched ADM Asia Secured Lending Fund III with a USD300m target to invest in the development of smart cities across emerging Asia.

  • Rural Ventures launched a BRL60m (~USD12m) fund to invest in agribusiness and agtech startups in Brazil. 
    • Rural Ventures’ latest investments include Agroboard and Arara Seed.

IPOs, M&As and Exits

  •, a Kazakhstan-based marketplace and payments platform raised USD1b through an IPO on the Nasdaq. 
    • was valued at USD17.5b when its shares debuted.
    • This is also the third-biggest company that has IPO-ed since 2020, following Arm (semiconductors) and Kenvue (healthtech).
    • Baring Vostok first invested in 2006; Kaspi is led by former Baring Vostok Partner Mikheil Lomtadze.

  • WOMEN-LED | Visa received regulatory approval to acquire Pismo, a Brazil-based payment processing and banking platform for USD1b in an all-cash deal. The transaction was first announced in June 2023. 
    • Pismo raised a USD108m Series B in October 2021 from SoftBank Group, Redpoint eventures, PruVen Capital, Headline, Accel Partners, Amazon, B3 and Falabella Ventures.
    • Pismo was co-founded by Daniela Binatti

  • RoboSense, a China-based developer of robotic perception technology integrated with lidar hardware for autonomous vehicles, raised HKD985m (~USD126m) in a listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
    • RoboSense last raised a CNY1.2b (~USD165m) Series G from Cainiao, Shenzhen Costone Venture Capital, Yuexiu Industrial Investment Fund and Zhongyi Equity Fund Management in July 2023.

  • Stellaris Venture Partners partially exited Mamaearth, an India-based e-commerce marketplace specializing in beauty products, via a bulk deal on the NSE for INR1.4b (~USD16.9m).

  • Egypt-based MaxAB and Kenya-based Wasoko are in merger talks.
    • MaxAB, a B2B food and grocery e-commerce platform, last raised a USD40m pre-Series B from Flourish Ventures, DisruptAD, BII, Silver Lake and others. 
    • Wasoko, a B2B e-commerce logistics platform, last raised a USD125m Series B led by Tiger Global and Avenir, with participation from Quona Capital, JAM Fund, 4DX Ventures and others.


  • FT reviewed Alibaba’s latest challenges as it intends to keep up with rising competition and an ongoing business restructuring
    • Alibaba announced its intention to split into six independent businesses last March but has yet to execute its plan. The company has also paused the spin-off of its cloud business and the listing of its supermarket vertical.
      “Many people do not know what has and has not split.”

  • The Reserve Bank of India increased the risk weight of capital from 100% to 125% for the origination of unsecured loans, consumer durable loans and personal loans in December.
    • Startups have felt the impact of the decision; for instance, shares of Paytm have fallen and digital lending platform ZestMoney shut down in December. 

  • TikTok is investing up to USD1.5b for a 75% stake in Indonesian e-commerce startup Tokopedia.

  • Google CEO Sundar Pichai confirmed additional global team restructurings happening later this year. 
    • Last year’s reductions impacted 12k employees at the company. 
      “These role eliminations are not at the scale of last year’s reductions, and will not touch every team.”


  • Blume Ventures released the Omega Files, a detailed performance and strategy breakdown of their first flagship fund. This includes dealflow sourcing, anti-portfolio analysis and return profiles for select investments. 
    • Blume raised Fund I in 2011. 
      “Fund I has already realized ~5x of the invested capital so far, and is projected to close at ~6x gross by full exit by early 2024.”

  • Global Ventures reviews key trends shaping fintech in Africa and the Middle East in its 2023 report including deep dives into payments, lending, next-gen banking and virtual assets. Global Venture’s latest fintech investments include Hakbah, Democrance, Klasha, Paymob, Abhi, Khazna and Lucky App.

  • Nigel Morris of QED Investors comments on the likelihood of startup consolidation in 2024 in Why 2024 could be the year of Musical Chairs M&A

    “…many consumer fintechs, scale players worth hundreds of millions of dollars, are down to less than 12 months of runway left with no funding lifeboat on the horizon. As boards watch the burn continue, the speed of the music will only accelerate. At some point, it will be a sprint for the few remaining chairs. 2024 could very well be the year of M&A, the start of that sprint.”

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