Brand & Business: Hepmil Media Group raises US$10 million in Series A Funding

The Group’s first fund raising exercise supported by institutional investors is aimed at supporting its Southeast Asia expansion plans to redefine the region’s content and entertainment industries

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SINGAPORE — Hepmil Media Group, Singapore’s leading technology-driven media company, announced a US$10 million Series A funding round led by Quest Ventures, Pavilion Capital, and Bent Pixels to support its expansion plans in the region. This is also the Group’s first fundraise from institutional investors since its founding in 2015.

The Group, which owns media companies SGAG, MGAG, PGAG, as well as digital creator agency Hepmil Creators’ Network, will leverage the fund to strengthen its leadership in the digital media space by growing its content & creators’ platform and capabilities, along with expansion of its esports and gaming network. There are also plans to grow more revenue streams, particularly in developing content capabilities to serve regional commerce players in their direct-to-consumer efforts, as well as plans to expand into Thailand and Vietnam in 2022.

Karl Mak, CEO & Co-Founder of Hepmil Media Group said: “The digital media space in Singapore and Southeast Asia has transformed rapidly over the last decade, and more people are spending their time online for entertainment, as well as to fulfill their everyday needs. We are also seeing more brands looking for an integrated digital media solution capable of reaching and engaging an exponentially growing audience in a compelling manner to drive conversion. Through expansion and investing in capabilities building to push new, innovative solutions for brands, we hope to be able to redefine Southeast Asia’s digital media and entertainment sector, and to remain the preferred platform for brands to work with.”

With a presence in four markets across Southeast Asia, Hepmil Media Group has witnessed a strong revenue performance in 2020 despite pandemic-driven challenges. The Group attributes the solid performance to rising demand for online content and advertising inventory, as brands pivot to a digital-first approach to reach an ever-growing online customer base.

Since 2015, Hepmil Media Group has evolved to become more than a digital media platform, with capabilities in technology and production, talent and cast management, as well as providing media inventory specific to the esports sector in Southeast Asia. The company has remained profitable since its inception, while growing its revenue streams from one to eight.

This includes its entry into Indonesia early this year via an exclusive partnership with EVOS Esports, which aims to address the expanding esports market in-market and across the region, and to give brands and talents an additional platform to connect with a highly engaged audience.

Jeffrey Seah, Partner, Quest Ventures said: “Digital content platforms have evolved into ecommerce marketplaces, community town squares, and credit access outlets as the digital economy overhauls social compact and personal habits. With an increasingly digitalised audience in Southeast Asia, consumers and organisations seek differentiated, alternative, and now-current avenues to communicate, converse and convert. We have been impressed by the Hepmil Media Group founders and leadership bench for a while, and we feel that it is well-positioned to achieve its vision to become a key player in South East Asia’s media scene through its commitment in growing its diaspora footprint and professional services capabilities.”

The additional funding will be used to support the Group’s strategic expansion plans in the coming months, including:

Creation of Bent Pixels Asia Private Limited, a joint venture between Hepmil Media Group and Bent Pixels in Asia Pacific. Headquartered in Singapore, Bent Pixels Asia will enable Hepmil Media Group to expand its influence and reach within the esports community in Southeast Asia, by being the preferred provider for YouTube reserved media in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore.

Mike Pusateri, Founder and CEO, Bent Pixels said: “We couldn’t have asked for a better partner to enter Asia Pacific than with Hepmil Media Group. Their track record in audience engagement and delivering effective results for brands in the consumer space is exactly the right expertise we need in cracking this highly challenging market, where there is no one-size-fits-all approach. We are looking forward to seeing how we can bring our partnerships to greater heights, and deliver greater value for brands and esports creators in Southeast Asia.”

Expansion of Hepmil Creators’ Network, which connects the region’s leading and up-and-coming comedy and entertainment creators to co-create content and to tap on reserve ad inventory to ensure targeted campaigns are engaging and effective. Currently, the Network features over 300 creators in Southeast Asia, contributing to more than three billion views monthly.

Deepening of capabilities in SGAG, MGAG, and PGAG to support new niche content areas, such as in social commerce. This will include a new incubation programme to empower creators to grow their social selling capabilities, and partnerships with regional ecommerce partners to drive their direct-to-consumers efforts.

Growing the team to support expansion of operations in the region, as well as creation of new roles to support further development in the digital media space.

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