Hepmil Media Group, a Singapore-based technology-driven media company, announced Thursday a $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 fund raise from institutional investors since its founding in 2015.

Hepmil said in a statement, 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 and 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, it said.

Hepmil Media Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder Karl Mak 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 fulfil their everyday needs.

He is 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,” he said.

According to the statement, the additional funding will be used to support the group’s strategic expansion plans including its joint venture with Bent Pixels in Asia Pacific, which will enable Hepmil Media 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.

The funding will also be used to expansion 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.

Hepmil Media also plans to use the funding to deepen 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.

It will also use the funding to grow the team to support expansion of operations in the region, and to create new roles to support further development in the digital media space.

Quest Ventures Partner Jeffrey Seah said, the 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, he said, 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,” he said.

Hepmil Media is a regional and technology-driven media company. Since 2015, it 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.

With a presence in four markets across Southeast Asia, Hepmil Media 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.

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.

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