e27 — cloud computing arm of Chinese internet giant Alibaba, Alibaba Cloud has announced it has signed a a Memorandum of Intent (MOI) with government-backed VC Infocomm Investments Pte Ltd (IIPL) to ramp up innovation in Singapore’s tech ecosystem.
Tech in Asia — Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s financial affiliate is planning to purchase a 20 percent stake in Thailand’s Ascend Money in a bid to become a key financial services player in Southeast Asia. An investment into Ascend Money, parent of True Money and Ascend Nano, would help Ant Financial expand its online payments and small loans business in Southeast Asia.
Tech in Asia — The Singapore government will be calling for a projected US$2 billion in information and communications technology bids in 2016, it announced in a press release. The majority these contracts will go towards IT infrastructure, IT security, and building systems for government agencies.
Tech in Asia —- Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin has closed US$143 million in funding for his venture capital firm B Capital, according to US regulatory filings. It’s targeting a fund size of US$250 million. What’s unique about this fund though is its global focus, especially on Asia. B Capital founder Raj Ganguly explained the opportunities in Asia, and further said that the continent faces a funding gap:
Tech in Asia — Singapore has entered the top ten of the AT Kearney Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Confidence Index in 2016, jumping up five places since last year to reach tenth, and narrowly failing to reclaim the number 9 spot it held in 2014. The FDI Index is a barometer of how a country’s political and financial developments will impact foreign direct investment going into it – that is, how likely companies from one country are to invest in companies based in another.
Nikkei — HONG KONG — China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding is set to provide venture capital for GoGoVan, an online logistics platform based in Hong Kong. Through its Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund, a not-for-profit initiative launched last year, Alibaba joins private equity firm New Horizon Capital, venture capitalist Hotung Investment Holdings, and media heavyweight Singapore Press Holdings, along with existing investors, in GoGoVan’s third injection of investment capital, also known as “Series C”, completed on Thursday.
Tech in Asia —- Yahoo Japan, home to Japan’s most popular web portal, and East Ventures, a pan-Asian venture capital firm, are teaming up to create a new accelerator in Tokyo. Code Republic launched today and is the brainchild of Ryu Hirayama, managing director of YJ Capital, and Batara Eto, co-founder of East Ventures.
Tech in Asia — Japanese recruiting startup BizReach today announced a Series A round of funding from 10 companies totaling US$32.8 million. The investors in the round are YJ Capital, Japan Co-Invest Fund, Salesforce Ventures, Dentsu Digital Holdings, Gree, Rakuten, Link and Motivation, EFU Investment Limited, IMJ Investment Partners Japan Fund 1, and East Ventures (Disclosure: Tech in Asia is also backed by East Ventures).
Malaysia Venture Capital Management Bhd., the country’s largest venture firm with $300 million in assets under management, announced the SuperSeed Fund with Gobi on Thursday last week. They will seek to invest in 25 to 35 early-stage startups across Southeast Asia over the next three years.
Tech in Asia — To many, watching other people play video games sounds like a special rung of hell. But Twitch.tv has proven that the younger generations are into it, and that they’re willing to spend quite a bit of money following their favorite streamers. In China, Douyu TV is doing the same thing. And it just finalized a US$100 million investment to help further its expansion.
Enterprise Innovation — Global investment into venture capital (VC)-backed fintech startups hit a record high in 2015, with China accounting for almost one-fifth of the total value, finds a recent KPMG report. According to the report, fintech companies attracted a total investment of USD19.1 billion in 2015, with USD13.8 billion invested into VC-backed fintech companies, a 106 percent jump compared to 2014.
Deal Street Asia — QingCloud, a China-based startup with a cloud computing platform, has raised a $100-million Series C round led byBlueRun Ventures. Two other RMB funds, their names undisclosed, also participated in the round. QingCloud reportedly plans to use the capital for R&D and to build new cloud infrastructure, as well as to improve its software offerings.
The Bridge — Astroscale, a Singapore- / Tokyo-based startup developing satellites to remove space debris from Earth’s orbit, announced today that it has fundraised up to $35 million from Japanese government-backed investment fund Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ) and Jafco in a series B round. INCJ will undertake an investment worth up to $30 million while Jafco will invest $5 million from their fund raised from other several investors.
Tech in Asia — Time to update our list of Japanese unicorns. Mercari, an app for selling second-hand goods, has just raised US$74 million in its series D at a valuation of over US$1 billion. Since starting in 2013, the company has raised US$110 million. The current round features a who’s-who of Japan’s investment community with Mitsui & Co., Development Bank of Japan, Japan Co-Invest, Globis Capital Partners, World Innovation Lab, and Global Brain all on board.
China Tech News — China’s Kingsoft says its cloud computing subsidiary has completed a third round of financing of USD60 million and its investors included IDG and AMC. During the financing, Kingsoft invested USD31.1 million in the subscription of 53,016,833 Kingsoft Cloud shares; AMC invested USD26.31 million in the subscription of 44,851,680 shares; and IDG invested USD2.59 million in the subscription of 4,423,784 shares.
Tech in Asia — Indonesia’s capital Jakarta, the archipelago’s startup hub, has a new accelerator. The program calls itself GnB. It is a joint venture between US-based venture capital firm Fenox and the Japanese IT company Infocom. Like similar programs, GnB will groom early-stage startups through mentorship and access to facilities and funding opportunities. Headed by Infocom’s Kentaro Hashimoto, GnB says it will accept entrepreneurs in a variety of verticals, such as mobile, consumer Internet, or health IT.
Deal Street Asia — Entry from Philippines, fintech startup PawnHero, has bagged the gold prize at the Hack Osaka International Pitch Contest 2016 conducted by the Osaka Innovation Hub on Wednesday, beating nine other teams from Europe and Asia. It was a back-to-back top grand prize win for the Philippines, which also claimed the top slot in February 2015. Last year, startup mClinica, now an established mobile platform and online pharmacy network, bagged the award.
Times of India — TOKYO: A Japanese state fund is making a final effort to secure a takeover of Sharp as the ailing electronics maker considers a higher $5.8 billion offer from Taiwan’s Foxconn, criticising the composition of the company’s board, sources said. Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ) officials are taking issue with two of Sharp’s board members who they believe have a conflict of interest as they represent a fund that holds preferred shares in the electronics company, according to the sources familiar with the fund’s complaint.
Tech in Asia — Paytm has had a unique approach to ecommerce in India. Originally launched as a site for mobile phone top-ups in 2010, the name is an abbreviation for “pay through mobile”. It soon pivoted to become an online wallet and, four years later, it launched an ecommerce site. In August 2015, it was one of eleven companies to receive permission to act as a “payment bank.
Tech in Asia — Rakuten Ventures, the venture capital and investment arm of Japan’s Rakuten group, today announced the launch of the Rakuten Ventures Japan Fund, worth JPY 10 billion (US$85 million). The capital commitment has been approved by Rakuten Ventures parent company, Rakuten Inc.
Bloomberg — “Frankly, we invited so many of you because we didn’t expect all of you to come,” John Zai, the chief executive of Cocoon Networks Ventures. joked as he surveyed the hundred or so guests gathered on the top floor of accounting firm Ernst & Young’s London offices last Friday. Zai shouldn’t have been surprised: after all, it’s not every day that a new venture capital fund rocks up in town with 500 million pounds ($720 million) in its purse and an ambitious plan to help British startups in fields from hardware to biotechnology.
Nikkei — TOKYO: SoftBank has partnered with an American startup that performs big-data analysis on city traffic, aiming to provide efficient traffic systems to Japanese bus, taxi and transportation companies. Urban Engines, founded by Google researchers and a Stanford University professor, counts the search engine giant as an investor. Its strength is creating software and systems to analyze masses of traffic-related data.
Tech in Asia — Business cards aren’t dead, they’re just evolving. That’s the premise behind Sansan, a startup that digitizes the woodpulpy rectangles we can’t quite seem to get rid of, and creates contact databases in the cloud for corporate users. Sansan has just received a strong validation for its business, announcing today it has raised a series C round worth S$24.2 million (US$16.8 million).
Business Times — SANSAN, a cloud startup that digitises business cards for collaborative use within companies, has raised S$24.2 million in Series C funding – S$4.2 million of which will be invested in Singapore to help more businesses here use the cloud to boost productivity.
Tech in Asia — As the year draws to a close and 2016 beckons, we take a moment to reflect on the massive, massive sums of money that were invested in China’s tech startup scene this year. Who took home most of the booty? Here’s the top ten list, according toTech in Asia data. Can you guess who’s number one before scrolling down?
Times of India — BENGALURU: Mobile gaming firm Mech Mocha has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from e-commerce major Flipkart and seed-stage investor Blume Ventures. Flipkart has been active in the mobile gaming space after having backed offline gaming startup MadRat Games last year in November.
Tech in Asia — When Alibaba invests, it invests big. None of this softball million-dollar crap. If the sums aren’t in the hundreds of millions – or even billions – of dollars, it’s barely worth Jack Ma getting out of bed. Alibaba has been investing left and right in 2015. Even limiting our scope to disclosed investments that broke the US$100 million dollar mark, we’re not left with a short list. But these deals were certainly worth Jack not hitting snooze on his alarm.
Digi Times — Foxconn Electronics will inject an additional capital of US$120 million into its subsidiary Icreate Investment in the Cayman Islands, according to a release from Taiwan’s Investment Commission. Icreate is an investment arm of the Foxconn Group for overseas investment projects. Foxconn did not specify the purpose of its new investment plans.