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Startups

Taiwanese startup Appier raises $80m to expand beyond Asia

SoftBank sits out while new Taiwan, Hong Kong investors join

Chih-Han Yu, Appier CEO and Co-founder (photo by Wataru Suzuki)

TOKYO -- Taiwan-born data analytics startup Appier on Tuesday said it raised $80 million from investors including Taiwan’s TGVest Capital and HOPU-Arm Innovation Fund to expand beyond Asia.

The deal marks seven year-old Appier’s fifth major round of funding and brings its total raised capital to $162 million. The company declined to comment on the valuation of this round. 

"The funding will allow us to expand our geographical reach," Appier CEO and co-founder Chih-Han Yu said in an interview. The company will also invest in R&D and consider more acquisitions, he added. It has already acquired two companies, Q Graph and Emotion Intelligence. 

TGVest Capital is a relatively new investor that includes former managers from UMC Capital, the venture capital arm of semiconductor foundry UMC. HOPU-Arm Innovation Fund was founded by Chinese private equity company HOPU Investments and SoftBank Group-owned UK chip designer Arm Holdings. It owns a slice of Arm’s China unit, which was spun off by SoftBank in 2018. 

Singapore-based Insignia Venture Partners also joined this round.

Appier offers digital marketing services that helps display ads across multiple devices or personalized coupons on e-commerce sites, for example. The company uses technology known as automated machine learning that enables clients to better target users without the hassle of hiring specialized AI engineers. 

Appier said it has more than 400 employees in 12 markets, and serves more than 1,000 enterprises. 

Big names that participated in Appier’s previous funding round in 2017, including SoftBank, Line, and Naver were notably absent from the list of investors. Meanwhile, the latest financing round included investors from an even earlier round: Pavilion Capital, a unit of Singapore sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings, Japan’s JAFCO Investment and UMC Capital. 

Yu said he had to turn down some institutional investors because the round was oversubscribed. "We enjoy the continued collaboration" with the likes of SoftBank and Line, he said. 

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