Nikkei — CHIBA, Japan — For Peter Vesterbacka, the startup convention he helped to create is not just a place to network and pitch ideas. “It’s more like a movement,” he said, dressed in a red hoodie emblazoned with the face of a large and decidedly displeased bird.
Tech in Asia — On-demand logistics startup GogoVan raised a series C funding round, it announced today. The funding amount is undisclosed, but is described as “a decent amount for future business expansion.” The round was led by private equity firm New Horizon Capital and was joined by Singapore Press Holdings, Hotung Investment Holdings, and existing investors. Alibaba’s new US$130 million Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund also participated.
in Asia — India’s IT honchos made their billions from the IT services and outsourcing boom of the nineties and naughties. Now they’re investing in the new generation of entrepreneurs. The latest is a new fund for early stage startups called Ideaspring.
Enterprise Innovation — Alibaba Cloud has launched its 2016 global start-up program dubbed “Create@Alibaba Cloud,” aimed at championing start-ups and maximizing their potential through Alibaba’s support network and suite of cloud infrastructure services. “Through our program, we hope to make our sophisticated networking solutions and big-data intelligence also available to start-ups and small enterprises to accelerate their business growth,” Yu Sicheng, VP of Alibaba Cloud.
Tech in Asia — India is known as a global leader in IT services. Now there’s a new wave of software-as-a-service (SaaS) from India. The latest Google-Accel India study counted over 500 SaaS startups in India. More are sprouting fast, nourished by manpower and cost advantages as well as the shift to mobile and cloud-based computing. Here’s a drill down into five factors fueling the rise of Indian SaaS.
Tech in Asia — Chinese tech giant Alibaba has sure been busy of late. The ink is barely dry on its US$1 billion deal with Lazada, and now we’ve got confirmation that it has also invested US$1.25 billion in Chinese food delivery startup Ele.me. Last week, we wrote that the investment had almost definitely happened because Alibaba’s Joe Tsai had joined Ele.me’s board, but neither side had officially confirmed the news or revealed the details of the transaction. Today, Ele.me finally spilled the beans.
Tech on Asia — Bitmex, a financial trading platform that aims to let anyone bet on anything, has claimed the top prize at the Arena startup pitch battle at Tech in Asia Singapore 2016. The startup has clinched US$10,000 in cash. It also earlier won the Fintech Pitch Battle powered by DBS. Here’s our in-depth profile of Bitmex.
MIS Asia — Alibaba Cloud — the cloud computing arm of Alibaba Group — has launched its first global startup programme called Create@Alibaba Cloud. The programme — which is an expansion from Alibaba Cloud’s previous initiatives in Hong Kong and China — is aimed at enabling startups to maximise their potential through Alibaba’s support network and suite of cloud infrastructure services.
Nikkei — JAKARTA: State-run telecommunications group Telekomunikasi Indonesia will next week send to Silicon Valley the first group of local startups it is backing through an incubation program being run in collaboration with U.S. tech company Plug n Play. Telkom, as the company is also known, is setting aside at least $25 million to supply capital to about a dozen new startups this year.
WSJ — HANOI—In 1988, a team of Vietnamese technicians secured their first deal to make computers for Russia’s Academy of Sciences. One of their early machines is still on display here in Hanoi, surrounded by Hollywood-style imprints of the build team’s hands, buttocks and other body parts.
Tech in Asia — Mobile utility apps have flooded India over the past couple of years, in tandem with the boom in smartphone usage. These are mostly from Chinese firms like APUS and Cheetah. There’s also the caller ID app Truecaller made in Sweden but hugely popular in India. Now there’s an app made in India in the mix – True Balance, which today announced series A investment from SoftBank Ventures Korea.
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.
Times of India — SHANGHAI/SINGAPORE: Alibaba-backed YTO Express plans to go public via a 17.5 billion yuan ($2.7 billion) merger with a listed clothing maker, becoming the latest courier seeking capital market funds to stay competitive during China’se-commerce boom.
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.
Tech Crunch — In a case of one news-reader app helping another, Japan’s Gunosy has invested $5 million in Indonesia-based Kurio. Gunosy went public in Tokyo last year; this year it has embarked on a series of investments, which included the acquisition of game strategy site Game8. Now it is turning to Southeast Asia by stumping up the cash for Kurio’s Series B round, which values the Indonesian startup at around $12 million, according to a filing.
Nikkei — MUMBAI: Wipro, India’s third-largest outsourcing company, has invested an undisclosed amount in U.S. startup Emailage that helps firms identify e-mail fraud, as Indian software exporters rush to partner with startups across the globe for access to new technologies and ideas.
Tech in Asia — Indonesian virtual assistant service YesBoss announced today that it has acquired HeyKuya, a Philippines-based startup, for an undisclosed amount. With this move, YesBoss has started regional expansion. HeyKuya is also a virtual personal assistant. Started in October last year, out of the Philippine company builder Machine Ventures. it’s run by a team of ten.
Bloomberg — Not happy with your nose and want to check out the nearest plastic surgery center? There’s an app for that in China and it lets you share before and after photos with other users. SoYoung Technology (Beijing) Co., the developer of the application, has attracted Tencent Holdings Ltd. in a financing round of $50 million, according to a statement from the company on Monday.
Tech in Asia — The fitness tech industry has come up with plenty of ways to monitor your health and your training regime. Your garden-variety Fitbit or Xiaomi Mi Band can give you information on your heart rate, the distances you run, how often you train, and more. So that takes care of the corpore sano but what about the mens sana part?
Times of India — NEW DELHI: A clutch of startups on Friday asked Uber’s global chief technical officer Thuan Pham how over-hiring could be avoided when building a company. “Ask what problem your company has to solve and find a person with the right skill-sets,” said Pham, who was addressing entrepreneurs as part of the company’s mentorship session ‘UberEXCHANGE’, at IIT Delhi.
Enterprise Innovation — The Silicon Valley venture capital firm 500 Startups has announced a $10 million fund for Vietnam. It said the goal is to make 100 to 150 investments into Vietnamese startups that address local market needs as well as those tackling overseas markets. In addition to financing, startups will also get access to the company’s international network of mentors and partners to help scale up their business.
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.
Tech in Asia — The Union Budget of India, which is the country’s annual financial statement, will be presented in parliament on Monday. As a precursor to that, the Indian finance minister, Arun Jaitley, today released the annual economic survey. The good news is that the country’s GDP is on track to grow by 7.6 percent in the financial year 2015-16, which makes it the fastest growing economy in the world. Earlier, the World Bank had projected a growth rate of 7.3 percent.
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.
Tech in Asia — I’m a card-carrying near-sighted person. I rely quite a lot on my prescription glasses and contact lenses for all my eyesight-related interactions with the world around me (otherwise known as “seeing stuff”). But getting new contact lenses can be a hassle. For one, it’s illegal to sell contact lenses in Singapore without a prescription by an optometrist.
New India Nexpress — BENGALURU: An Indian startup, which has a survival rate of less than 10 per cent, could face more challenges while working on a Software as a Service (SaaS) model, that too when it’s targeting the small and medium businesses (SMBs). But, the chances of survival of such startups are higher as they crack the $1 million revenue mark.