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Tuesday May 21st, 2024

Singapore’s Zilingo acquires Sri Lanka’s nCinga for US$15.5mn

Zilingo’s production software. Source: Zilingo Photo.

ECONOMYNEXT- Zilingo, a Singapore-based fashion platform, said it has acquired Sri Lankan startup nCinga Innovations for 15.5 million US dollars in cash and stock

“What excited us about the nCinga product was their ability to dramatically improve efficiency and drive insights by digitising the shop floor,” Zilingo Co-Founder and Chief Executive Ankiti Bose said in a statement.

“We have partnered with them for a long time and their work has been crucial to our mission of creating a transparent, sustainable, economically viable and socially responsible apparel supply chain,” she said.

Zilingo said the acquisition will drive the adoption of nCinga’s nFactory software across its global network of 6,000 factories and 75,000 businesses.

nFactory uses internet of things technolocies, real-time event capturing and processing, predictive analytics and mobility devices for ‘smart factory’ transformations.

The software automates operations on the factory floor by enabling access to real-time data on the go.

nFactory has been deployed across factories in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam.

Zilingo plans to leverage its global manufacturer network to increase distribution of the software – specifically for core fashion manufacturing markets such as Bangladesh, India, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and Turkey among others.

It added that the acquisition will bring more features to the company’s customers in the United States, Europe and Australia, where brands traditionally lack transparency over the supply chain and manufacturing processes.

The acquisition marks one of the largest tech-buyouts in Sri Lanka.

nCinga, founded in 2014, was backed by Sri Lanka and Singapore-based BOV Capital.

The firm’s Chief Executive Imal Kalutotage said the Sri Lankan startup’s vision aligns with Zilingo.

“Both the teams align on shared values and a global ambition to make the fashion and apparel industry fair, transparent and efficient, we hope
to do great things together,” he said.

Founded in 2015, Zilingo raised 226 million US dollars earlier in 2019 through Sequoia Capital, Burda Principal Investments and Sofina, as well as new investors Temasek Holdings and EDBI.

Analysts believe Zilingo to be valued at close to 1 billion US dollars.

In October, Zilingo announced plans to invest 100 million US dollars to expand into the US as part of an accelerated growth strategy into new markets, including Australia, Europe, and the Middle East. (Colombo/Dec17/2019)

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Sri Lanka declares May 21 as National Mourning day over Iranian President’s death

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka declared a national mourning day on Tuesday, May 21 in view of expressing its solidarity with Iran after sudden death of Iran President Ebrahim Raisi following a helicopter crash.

President Raisi and eight others including Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian were killed in the crash when the helicopter had a “hard landing” reportedly due to adverse weather conditions with heavy fog. However, President’s two convoy helicopters reached the destination safely.

“The Sri Lankan government has declared a national mourning day on tomorrow (May 21) on behalf of the sudden death of Iranian president Mr. Ebrahim Raisi,” the Department of Government Information said in a statement.

It also urged all the state institutions have to hoist the national flag half mast.

Raisi was in Sri Lanka on April 24 to launch the Uma Oya dam on a one-day official visit amid tight security. His helicopter crashed when he was returning to Iran after launching a dam in the Azerbaijan border.

President Raisi is seen as a hardliner and a potential successor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Earlier this month, Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Ali Sabry said the island nation will deal with Iran for investments and trade without being caught into the United States-led sanctions.

Sri Lanka was unable to receive $450 million from Iran for a recently opened Uma Oya multipurpose project started before the sanctions.

Sri Lanka now exports tea to Iran for no dollar payment. Instead, Sri Lanka tea producers are paid by the state-owned Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) in rupees for the pending crude oil import payments for Iran.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe expressed his condolences on the tragic incident.

“Sri Lanka is deeply shocked and saddened by the tragic death of President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Amir Abdollahian and other senior Irani official,” he said in his official X-platform.

“I express my deepest sympathies and sincere condolences to the bereaved families, the government and the people of Iran.”

Raisi, a Muslim jurist, served as the eighth president of Iran from 2021 until his death. (Colombo/May 20/2024)

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Sri Lanka helps launch Global Blended Finance Alliance

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has joined a group of nations led by Indonesia which aims to mobilise capital to achieve carbon neutrality, Minister of Water Supply and Estate Infrastructure Jeevan Thondaman said.

The Global Blended Finance Alliance mooted by Indonesia in 2018, was formally launched at the World Water Forum in Bali today.

Among the other founding members are Fiji, France, UAE, Kenya, Luxembourg and Canada.

“Through our collective efforts, the Global Blended Finance Alliance aims to mobilise both public and private capital to help nations achieve carbon neutrality and the SDGs,” Thondaman said on social media platform X (twitter).

“The world has a USD 2.5 trillion funding gap to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030,” he said.

Blended finance is the strategic use of development finance, such as public and/or philanthropic funds, for the mobilisation of additional commercial finance towards sustainable development in developing countries. (Colombo/May20/2024)

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Sri Lanka rupee closes slightly stronger at 299.60/75 to US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee appreciated slightly to close at 299.60/75 to the US dollar on Friday, from 299.70/80 the previous week, dealers said. Bond yields were up.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2026 closed up at 10.15/35 percent from 10.05/15 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2027 closed up at 10.45/55 percent from 10.25/40 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2028 closed at 10.80/90 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.01.2030 closed at 11.70/80 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.10.2032 closed up at 11.90/12.05 percent from 11.85/12.00 percent. (Colombo/May20/2024)

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