India’s homegrown ecommerce leader Flipkart just announced another whopping funding round. This time, it raised US$700 million investment from new investors Baillie Gifford, Greenoaks Capital, Steadview Capital, T. Rowe Price Associates, and Qatar Investment Authority, along with existing investors DST Global, GIC, ICONIQ Capital, and Tiger Global.
MoneyForward, an online accounting startup servicing both individuals and companies, announced today that it raised a series B round of JPY 1.5 billion (US$12.6 million). Credit Saison, software publisher Sourcenext, Jafco, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Venture Capital, GMO Venture Partners, and Dentsu all participated in the round, with Jafco being a repeat investor.
While it may have been overshadowed in the global press by Baidu’s high-profile investment in Uber, make no mistake: Qihoo’s US$400 million partnership with Coolpad earlier this week is a big deal. Qihoo CEO Zhou Hongyi has been interested in getting into the mobile market for years. Qihoo experimented with mobile partnerships repeatedly in 2012, releasing three separate phones with manufacturing partners including Haier and Huawei, but none did particularly well. This week’s investment is a much stronger push, though:
Quoine, a pan-Asian bitcoin exchange, announced it closed a US$2 million angel round of funding from a number of investors and private funds, according to Coindesk. The young exchange opened shop in June and, while it is officially incorporated in Singapore, does most of its business in Japan. It also recently launched an Indonesian-language site.
WiWide, a Chinese startup that provides public wifi networks to stores and restaurants, has received an RMB 300 million (US$49 million) series C funding round from Tencent and Dianping, according to TechNode. Over 500 domestic and international franchises use WiWide in China, including Starbucks, Burger King, and several airports. Its advertising clients include Jaguar, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Nokia, Lenovo, and HTC, whose ads get pushed to customers once they connect. Altogether, the company runs over 30,000 hotspots.
The FinTech Innovation Lab Asia Pacific today (4 December 2014) hosted an Investor Day at Cyberport, Hong Kong, which saw eight start-ups presenting their business case to 100 venture capitalists and bankers. The eight start-ups were finalists chosen from a pool of about 100 applicants from 20 countries that participated in a 12-week accelerator programme, according to Accenture, the sponsor of the programme.
BEIJING: Intel Corp will invest US$1.6bil (RM5.51bil) to upgrade its factory in the city of Chengdu in western China, the latest sign of how the chipmaker is deepening ties in a market that is proving increasingly troublesome for some US technology peers. As part of the upgrade, Intel said in a statement it would bring its most advanced chip-testing technology to China. In exchange it will receive local and regional government support for construction.
SoftBank Internet and Media, Inc. (“SIMI”) and GrabTaxi Holdings Pte Ltd (“GrabTaxi”) today announced a definitive agreement under which SoftBank Corp. will invest US$250 million in GrabTaxi, making it the largest investor in GrabTaxi. Launched in 2012, GrabTaxi has grown to become the largest and most widely used mobile taxi booking application provider in Southeast Asia.
Tech in Asia learned today that freelance platform service Lancers secured US$8.5 million in funding from telco KDDI, human resource firm Intelligence, gaming company Colopl, and venture capital firms Gree Ventures, Globis Capital, and GMO Venture Partners. The funding is a long-awaited counterpoint to the regular stream of positive PR coming from rival Crowdworks. Crowdworks is a more visible company in Tokyo’s startup community and is not shy about promoting itself. Since June, Crowdworks has sent out 26 press releases to Lancer’s 18.
Chinese B2C e-commerce website JD.com signed a letter of intent with the government of Mayong in Dongguan for JD Group to invest CNY2 billion to build a modern service industrial park in Mayong. By locating itself in Mayong, JD will make Dongguan its important business support point in the South China region and about 50% of the company’s business in this region will be covered by this new industrial park.
BEIJING — 21Vianet Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:VNET) (“21Vianet” or the “Company”), a leading carrier-neutral internet data center services provider in China, announced today that affiliates of Kingsoft Corporation Limited (HK:3888) (“Kingsoft”), a leading internet based software developer, distributor and service provider, Xiaomi Corporation (“Xiaomi”), a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of mobile devices and other electronic equipment and a provider of internet services, and Temasek, a Singapore based investment company, have entered into definitive share purchase agreements with 21Vianet. All shares to be issued in these transactions are newly issued shares of 21Vianet.
NEW DELHI: Computer maker Dell is planning to expand its manufacturing facility in the country. Top officials of Dell today called on Telecom and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and expressed keen interest in expanding their Chennai plant. Speaking to reporters after his meeting with Dell team led by company’s Asia Pacific and Japan Region President Amit Midha, Prasad said, “Dell is very interested in electronic manufacturing. They have a facility here which they want to expand.
CIOs in the Asia Pacific region are now seeing IT as a driver of business transformation, revealed a Microsoft study. This is evident from 62 percent of the respondents claiming that they plan to increase their IT investment on new technologies next year. Titled “Microsoft Asia Pacific CIO Survey”, the study polled 291 IT leaders from medium to large enterprises across 10 markets in Asia Pacific in October 2014.
BENGALURU: Scrollback, which brings in Whatsapp-like chat features to online communities, has raised Rs 3 crore in a round led by Singapore-based Jungle Ventures. The company plans to use the funds to reach out to a greater number of forums. “We are quite excited about the disruptive potential of Scrollback. Forums are probably the last frontier to get a Web 3.0 makeover and Scrollback has the right design and social elements to be a winner in the space,” said Amit Anand, managing partner at Jungle Ventures, which has backed niche marketing companies such as Zipdial, and Mobikon Technologies.
BANGALORE: India’s rural innovators have proved that ordinary people are indeed capable of extraordinary inventions. Despite many constraints like lack of education and severe cash crunch most of them have succeeded in using technology cost-effectively to build ingenious products. Innovations from creative minds took India by storm; the innovations were pragmatic, sensible and can find wide prevalence in India and across the globe. Though these innovations were just in “idea” form, Indians are hopeful of striving to bring them to existence, may be in the future.
As Indonesia’s startup scene becomes more vibrant, new venture capital funds are popping up in Jakarta. Convergence Accel, the archipelago’s latest homegrown fund for early-stage startups, made its debut yesterday when it contributed to a US$1 million investment in Female Daily Network; a round led by local venture investor Ideosource.
Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi announced that the company plans to invest USD10 million to purchase shares of Youku-Tudou from the secondary market, which will enable the playing of Youku-Tudou contents on Xiaomi devices. Xiaomi will also buy Youku-Tudou shares from the open market. The two parties will make a joint investment of an unknown sum to develop Internet application technologies for Youku-Tudou’s self-produced contents, joint production, distribution, and film and television program production.
BENGALURU: Nearly three months after Cisco Chairman & CEO John Chambers said he will “bet big on India”, the world’s biggest computer networking company outlined its plans to invest around $1.7 billion in a year, becoming the first multinational to make such a commitment since the Narendra Modi government took over in May. After a few hiccups — spate of exits of top officials, fears over business growth in the country —Cisco is ready to partner India on the Centre’s digital drive.
Jane Poynter, co-founder and chief executive officer of World View Enterprises, revealed that the company recently gained a new round of investments and its investors included the Chinese Internet technology giant Tencent. Focusing on the research and development of space travel business, World View operates high-altitude balloons that offer an accessible and affordable way to access near space. The company plans to launch a near space travel service in 2016.
Korean mobile game designer 4:33 Creative Lab has attracted fresh investment from Tencent and Line Corp, according to BeSUCCESS. The dollar amount was undisclosed, but BeSUCCESS puts the figure north of US$100 million. Tencent, Line, and Korea Investment Partners jointly set up a consortium in which Tencent contributed about US$110 million, according to Business Korea. After the investment made through the consortium, Tencent’s stake in 4:33 Creative Lab comes out to 25 percent. 4:33 Creative Labs says it will disclose more details about the consortium later this year.