Founder Venkata Srinivas Meenavalli said, “Mr Amitabh Bachchan and his family have invested in Ziddu.com at a valuation of around $71 million.” Amitabh Bachchan has made prior business investments before, having acquired a 10 per cent stake in Just Dial in 2013 and maintaining a 3.4 percent equity stake in Stampede Capital, a financial technology firm specializing in cloud computing for financial markets.
NEW YORK: Hewlett-Packard (HP) has announced that it is selling a 51% stake in its China-based server business, creating a joint venture with Tsinghua Holdings that will be a sector leader in China. The US tech giant said it would sell the stake for $2.3 billion, creating a new business called H3C worth $4.5 billion that would be the leader in China in computer servers, storage and technology services. The deal brings together HP with the investment arm of China’s Tsinghua University in a company with some 8,000 employees and $3.1 billion in annual revenue.
Online content recommendation company Taboola has gained a strategic investment infusion from Chinese search engine company Baidu.com. The two parties plan to introduce Taboola’s content recommendation services into the Chinese market. Taboola just completed its series E financing of USD117 million in February 2015. The new investment from Baidu further proves the industry’s confidence in Taboola and the content discovery market. The exact amount of Baidu’s commitment was not readily available, but media are reporting it as a “multimillion dollar deal”.
MUMBAI: Indian e-commerce firms are offering funding help and tech support to woo small retailers, emulating a strategy used by Chinese online retail giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd to expand into the towns and villages home to the majority of consumers. India’s biggest e-tailers such as Flipkart, Snapdeal and the local arm of Amazon.com Inc are online marketplaces, with commission from sellers accounting for the bulk of their revenue.
BEIJING: China will spend more than US$182 billion to boost Internet speeds by the end of 2017, a top government body said, as Beijing moves towards a more service-driven economy to boost growth. The State Council said the government will invest more than 430 billion yuan (US$69.3 billion) this year on network construction, with at least another 700 billion yuan (US$112.8 billion) spent over the following two years. The goal is to accelerate the development of fibre optic broadband and high speed 4G mobile networks, the governing body said on its website.
Tencent reportedly invested USD60 million in the acquisition of a 20% stake in Pocket Gems, a start-up mobile game company in America. Tencent will gain one position on the board of directors at Pocket Gems, according to reports in foreign media. Founded in 2009, Pocket Gems is headquartered in San Francisco and the company is supported by Sequoia Capital. Its latest product is War Dragons, which was launched in April 2015. This mobile game uses Pocket Gems’ own 3D graphics technology, aiming to attract hardcore players who are willing to spend more time and money on games.
China-based venture capital firm SummitView Capital may switch its acquisition targets to Macronix International or Winbond Electronics as its attempt to buy US-based memory chip design house Integrated Silicon Solution (ISSI) may block by a tender offer from Cypress Semiconductor, according to a Chinese-language Economic Daily News (EDN) report.
China Mobile, China United Network Communications and China Telecom will invest CNY1.1 trillion (US$177 billion) to expand fixed-line and mobile telecom infrastructure in China during 2015-2017, according to China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). CNY430 billion will be invested in 2015 to add 80 million FTTx users and expand 4G networks to more than 1.3 million base stations in total to cover all cities of varying sizes, MIIT said.
JD.com , China’s second largest e-commerce site, has agreed to invest HK$1.3 billion ($171million) for a 10% stake in Kingdee International Software Group, as the e-commerce powerhouse forays into software businesses. JD.com purchased shares of Hong Kong-listed Kingdee at HK$ 4.60 each, an almost 10% discount to Kingdee’s closing price of HK$5.11 on Friday.
Hong Kong’s Hutchison Whampoa Limited, which just finished its acquisition of UK carrier O2 and integrated its UK telecom assets, announced that the company has entered into agreements with multiple investors who will acquire stakes totaling 33% in the combined businesses of Three and O2 UK for a total consideration of GBP3.1 billion. According to a report published by Hutchison Whampoa, the investors are Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, GIC of Singapore, Limpart Holdings Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, CDPQ of Quebec, Canada and BTG Pactual of Brazil.
SHANGHAI: Bharti Airtel has said it has received financing commitments of up to $2.5 billion from China Development Bank and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, with an average maturity of about nine years. The company signed the term sheets for the financing options in the presence of PM Narendra Modi, who is currently on an official visit to China. Airtel said the funds will help the company further diversify its global financing pool and invest in growth of data networks.
Optus parent SingTel will boost its investment in the telco to S$1.9 billion (A$1.8 billion) over the coming year to improve Optus’s mobile network and increase its share in the fixed-line market in the face of competition from a merged TPG-iiNet. Optus today reported its full-year results for FY14, revealing stable net profit – up one percent to $841 million – and a five percent jump in EBITDA $2.6 billion.
MUMBAI: Alibaba Group Holding is in talks with India’s Micromax Informatics to buy an about 20% stake in the smartphone maker, helping the Chinese e-commerce giant expand in one of the world’s fastest growing markets for the devices, several people with direct knowledge of the matter said. The deal, if completed, would see Alibaba investing as much as US$1.2bil (RM4.31bil) in Micromax, the second-largest smartphone brand in India by sales, and would value the company at up to US$6bil (RM21.58bil), two of the people said.
BENGALURU: Infosys has proposed a significant expansion of its operations in Bengaluru, adding about 21,500 seats at the Electronics City software hub by spending about Rs 2,000 crore. If the plan fructifies, it will make Karnataka’s capital the biggest centre for the company, surpassing Pune. The company, which ended March 2015 with revenue of Rs 53,319 crore ($ 8.7 billion), has submitted a proposal to the government seeking clearances. Information technology minister SR Patil told ET that the software company is keen to pursue its investment plans in Bengaluru and create new jobs.
American fintech startup MX today announced US$30 million in series A funding, led by USAA and joined by Digital Garage. Digital Garage, a Tokyo-based incubator and venture capital firm, will also assist MX with expansion into Japan and other Asian markets. MX specializes in digital money management and omnichannel banking through a suite of apps and services for both financial institutions and their clients. The startup already works with more than 500 banks and credit unions in the US to provide streamlined online and mobile banking.
A former executive at Chinese smartphone and telecom equipment provider Huawei unveiled his new ecommerce venture at Beijing’s annual Global Mobile Internet Conference yesterday. Liu Jiangfeng, who spent 19 years at Huawei and rose to become the president of the company’s Glory smartphone division, says he has already secured US$100 million in angel funding, according to Sina Tech. If true, that could make it the largest angel round ever in China.
RATAN Tata, chairman emeritus of the holding company of India’s Tata conglomerate, has acquired a stake in Xiaomi Technology, a deal that is likely to bolster the Chinese phone maker’s presence in the world’s third-largest smartphone market. Financial details of the unspecified stake bought by Tata in Xiaomi, the first by an Indian, were not disclosed by the Chinese company yesterday. Xiaomi, the No. 3 global smartphone maker, was valued at US$45 billion in December.
As we have documented before, GMO Internet is perhaps the biggest Japanese tech company largely unknown outside of its home country. Today, in its first quarter earnings report, the firm revealed a growing interest in expanding its overseas business, in part by establishing a new JPY 2.1 billion (US$18 million) startup fund. The fund, to be operated by GMO Venture Partners, a subsidiary of GMO Internet, is the fourth such fund created by the company.
The startup that runs Chinese messaging app WeChat’s movie ticket sales service has announced the completion of a US$105 million series B round of funding, according to QQ Tech. Investors include WeChat maker Tencent, real estate giant Wanda Group, Chinese film investment fund Wenzi Huasha, Shandong Luxin Investment Holdings Group, Shanghai Gangtai Group, and ECapital.
ChatWork, an enterprise social network, today announced that it has raised JPY 300 million (US$2.5 million) from GMO Venture Partners (GMO VP). It marks the first investment in the startup, which is based in Japan and California. (Update: a press release provided to Tech in Asia inaccurately stated the funding amount in dollars. The investment was actually JPY 300 million, or just over US$2.5 million at the current exchange rate. The text and headline have been updated accordingly.)