Digital entertainment startup Spout raises US$2.1M funding; acquires venture builder Zaany

Sainul Abudheen
Digital entertainment startup Spout raises US$2.1M funding; acquires venture builder Zaany

Spout will use the investment to expand into emerging markets like Myanmar and provide free education resources to the local community

Singapore-based startup Spout Entertainment Group announced today that it has closed a S$3 million (US$2.1 million) seed round of funding from Singapore-based business builder REAPRA Group.

The capital will be used to finance Spout’s expansion into emerging markets like Myanmar. Up to S$835,000 (US$600,000) will be committed to providing free education resources to the local community, said the release.

As part of the deal, REAPRA Founder and CEO Shuhei Morofuji, and CFO Takeo Matsuda, will join Spout’s advisory Board.

Spout Founder and CEO Daryl Teo, who will be joining REAPRA’s five-seat investment committee, said: “Southeast Asia is one of the world’s fast-growing regions, with a burgeoning young-middle class and a strong appetite for real-time on-demand content, particularly in the sphere of competitive gaming. Millennials in particular want to have their preferred content when they want it, where they want it. Spout is committed to meeting that need.”

Also Read: Meet the VC: Why REAPRA is bullish about Myanmar despite its underdeveloped market

Additionally, Spout has announced the acquisition of Zaany Technologies, a venture builder specialising in marketing campaigns, technology consulting and mobile apps. Its expertise in designing mobile apps allows Spout to build a live-streaming portal for e-sports influencers to better connect with their fan followings, and for brands to market their products via 10-second advertisements.

The Zaany acquisition adds to Spout’s asset portfolio which includes newly-added gaming stadium Spout Arena, which was formerly known as Alienware Arena, in Lucky Chinatown. The stadium, which takes up the whole Level 3 of the shopping mall, offers recreational and competitive gamers a convenient venue to play games, including League of Legends, Dota, FIFA and Overwatch.

Teo added: “All of Spout’s rungs are climbing to a very lucrative destination: owning viewership in Southeast Asia. Unlike the rest of the world, there were no shortcuts to this market, which meant Spout has to ladder its way up: first, by delivering an orthogonal product that appeals to an underserved market (think e-sports), and then leveraging that position into an array of products (education, entertainment) that will both expand the addressable market and increase Spout’s monetisation potential”.

Zaany will shortly be launching a year-long partnership with international consulting firm GAC (which specialises in R&D tax credit and innovation financing) to provide a one-stop service to all business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs to create their own mobile apps, websites and technology companies, using government grants.

The three-year-old Zaany’s clients include Grab, Singapore Tourism Board, Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and Accelerate Korea, a government startup incubator.

Also Read: Myanmar is changing, and Burmese Hearts makes sure education is the heart of it

Founded in 2017 by Singaporean entrepreneur Daryl Teo, Spout is an e-entertainment company in Southeast Asia. Its subsidiary companies include e-sports network, e-sports influencer agency Spout Agency, e-sports gaming stadium Spout Arena, and e-education company Cite.

Set up in Singapore in 2014 by Japanese entrepreneur Morofuji, REAPRA is a business builder whose mission to work with Southeast Asian startups to create new and prosperous industries using a disciplined approach of research and practice. REAPRA comes up with original ideas and seeks entrepreneurial CEOs to create new business models. The company has established 14 direct subsidiaries and invested in 40 startups in diversified industries including agriculture, healthcare, education, hospitality, digital media, travel, real estate and aerospace.

REAPRA’s businesses operate across Asia including Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines and Bangladesh.

Recently, REAPRA joined the US$1.7 million funding of Gnowbe — a Silicon Valley- and Singapore-headquartered edtech platform for ‘time-starved professionals who need relevant, new content accessible when they need it’.

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