TECHCRUNCH: Two months after making its first investment in Israel, Alibaba is digging deeper into the country’s startup ecosystem. Venture capital firm JVP (Jerusalem Venture Partners) announced yesterday that it will partner with the e-commerce giant to give financial support to promising startups. The amount of money both companies will invest together was not disclosed. (more…)
TECHCRUNCH: It’s no surprise that Vietnam is being talked about as an alternative, amid rising costs and attrition rates in popular offshoring destinations like China and India. The General Statistics Office of Vietnam reports growth of almost 6 percent in GDP during 2014. Tech giants like Samsung, Microsoft, LG and Intel have invested in large operations in Vietnam, and a growing number of technology startups have secured investment. The entrepreneurial spirit on the streets of Ho Chi Minh City is palpable.
E27.CO: With the rising trend of co-working, remote work, and “workation” retreats, entrepreneurial Millennials from around the world are quickly adopting the location-independent entrepreneurship lifestyle because of the prospect of reduced living costs, exciting new environments, and access to a network of other motivated and interesting creatives and entrepreneurs. (more…)
E27.CO: It’s a great time to be an entrepreneur in Singapore. Never in the history of our little red dot has there been more buzz, more excitement, more life and more resources channeled towards technological innovation. Singapore has become a hub in this region and a real player on a world stage once dominated by the great industrial economies of the world like Japan and America.
E27.CO: Indian online marketplace Snapdeal has announced its foray into financial services with the acquisition of a majority stake in RupeePower, a digital financial products distribution platform, for an undisclosed amount. The e-commerce player will now offer consumers a financial services marketplace by integrating RupeePower onto the Snapdeal platform. It aims to enable US$1 billion consumer loans disbursal over the next two years.
FORBES.COM: Lee Kuan Yew, the first prime minister of Singapore, died last week at age 91. Almost every obituary has remarked on the radical transition his leadership heralded. As John Fund wrote at National Review: “By embracing free trade, capital formation, vigorous meritocratic education, low taxes, and a reliable judicial system, Lee raised the per capita income of his country from $500 a year to some $52,000 a year today. That’s 50 percent higher than that of Britain, the colonial power that ruled Singapore for 150 years. Its average annual growth rate has averaged 7 percent since the 1970s”.
TECHINASIA: Venture capital firms have entered Singapore in droves, which means internet startups here can look forward to a wider variety of funding options. Here is a list of venture capital firms with a presence in Singapore that are actively investing in startups in the series A rounds and above. It includes funds that are supported by the Singapore government through the NRF TIS scheme and the ESVF initiative. (more…)
FINOVATE: Advanced Merchant Payments (AMP), a company that provides banks technology to offer loans to their small business customers, pulled in an undisclosed amount of funding today from Route 66 Ventures. The new installment is a follow-on round to the $5 million Series A round received in November 2014 from SBT Venture Capital. (more…)
TECHINASIA: Facebook woke up the internet industry when it announced that its popular Messenger app, one of the world’s largest chat apps with 600 million active users, will open up to third-party developers. The move emulates the recipe that brought Asian chat apps Line and WeChat into prominence as platform businesses. Announced on the same day (though overshadowed) was the news about Businesses on Messenger, an upcoming feature on the app that allows users to chat with businesses on customer support matters. Singapore startup Zopim, acquired last year by customer support software company Zendesk for US$30 million, will power the feature. (more…)
E27.CO: Bangalore-based Artoo IT Solutions, a startup that offers customer relationship management solution to banks and financial institutions, has secured US$500,000 in funding from seed-stage investor Accion Venture Labs and Rianta Capital Zurich’s impact investment unit Artha Initiative. The startup will use the capital to enhance its product functionality, build team and scale operations globally. (more…)
FORBES: How a Russian investor Yuri Milner established his “gold-mining machine” (firm DST) and why he believes that the future belongs to Asia. China lifted Milner up from ranked 35 to 20 in the Forbes ranking of the best investors. Investments in Alibaba and smartphone vendor Xiaomi opened Yuri Milner’s way to the Forbes’ top 20 investors. In the past year the entrepreneur preferred China to the US.
TECHCRUNCH: The rise of companies like Flipkart, Snapdeal and Ola have put a spotlight on the e-commerce opportunity in India, where the growth of catchy businesses is being fuelled by consumer demand, improving Internet connectivity and generous VC funding. Now, a new startup called Razorpay — part of the current Y Combinator class — is hoping to ride that trend, by giving more startups and larger tech companies in the country the ability to make it easier to integrate payments into their services. (more…)
DEALSTREETASIA: Russia’s economic slump is set to boost the fledgling financial services technology (Fintech) startup ecosystem in Singapore and South East Asia. Moscow-based venture capital firm Life.SREDA, that focuses exclusively on investments in Fintech mobile and internet projects, is pivoting to Asia, and moving its corporate headquarters to Singapore, executives aware of the developments told DEALSTREETASIA. (more…)
DEALSTREETASIA: Asia joined the world’s most funded regions for the fintech industry in 2014, with startups in this space raising total of $797 million, a report said. This growth was triggered mainly by fintech investments in China, and on a global level, fintech startups have raised about $6.8 billion during this period, according to data compiled by Life.SREDA, a venture capital firm headed in Russia.
E27.CO: Global online ticketing platform Peatix has raised US$5 million in Series B funding led by DG Incubation, the investment subsidiary of Digital Garage. SPH Media Fund, the corporate venture fund of Singapore Press Holdings and Japanese media company Sunny Side Up also invested in this round. Existing investors from the Series A round Fidelity Growth Partners Japan and Draper Nexus also participated in the round. (more…)
TECHCRUNCH: Rakuten, Japan’s largest online retail firm, has announced that it will soon accept bitcoin across its global marketplaces. The company is putting its investment in Bitnet — a startup that raised $14.5 million last October — to work with this development. Bitnet, which was founded by ex-Visa execs and is rivaled by Coinbase and Bitpay, will initially be integrated into Rakuten’s U.S. marketplace to allow customers to pay in BTC.