Startup Pawnhero to represent PH in Echelon Asia Summit 2015

DEALSTREETASIA: Startup company Pawnhero will be representing the Philippines in the upcoming Echelon Asia Summit 2015, after winning the main award in the first-ever Echelon Top 100 Philippines Qualifiers. (more…)

Fintech news, InspirAsia, news, Philippines

March 27, 2015


A List of Venture Capital Firms in Singapore

TECHINASIAVenture 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…)

Fintech news, InspirAsia, news, Singapore

March 26, 2015


Advanced Merchant Payments Pulls in Undisclosed Amount of Funding

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…)

Deals, Fintech news, Hong Kong, InspirAsia, news

March 26, 2015


1337 Ventures teams up with Maybank in regional FinTech drive

E27.CO:  The initiative will start with a roadshow spanning four cities in April and culminate in a three-day idea validation bootcamp in Kuala Lumpur in June. (more…)

Fintech news, InspirAsia, Malaysia, news

March 26, 2015


Singapore’s Zopim to power Facebook Messenger’s Business app

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…)

Fintech news, InspirAsia, news, Singapore

March 26, 2015


Indian fin-tech startup Artoo gets US$500K funding

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…)

Deals, Fintech news, India, InspirAsia, news

March 26, 2015


Budget Reinforces Hong Kong’s Long-term Economic Development

InvestHK Bimonthly Newsletter: The regular InvestHK’s newsletter covers Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary John Tsang’s budget speech, as well as the expansion of the government fund Stratmeup HK to India. (more…)

Global trends, Government activities, Hong Kong, InspirAsia

March 25, 2015


Yuri Milner’s Unparalleled Global Tech Gold-Mining Machine

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.


Analytics, China, Fintech news, Global trends, InspirAsia, news

March 25, 2015


Entering the Post-LKY Era

The Independent: Lee Kuan Yew has passed away. He is the man who established Singapore, as we know it. The man of outstanding commitment and vision. Rest in peace (more…)

InspirAsia, Singapore

March 23, 2015


Golden Gate Ventures to raise $50m in second fund

DEALSTREETASIA: Early-stage fund Golden Gate Ventures (GGV) has upped its game in the venture capital space – raising around $50 million for its second fund. (more…)

Fintech news, Hong Kong, InspirAsia, news, Singapore

March 23, 2015


Addressing last mile e-commerce logistics, payment issues in Indonesia

E27.CO: Echelon Indonesia to discuss measures needed to boost e-commerce in the island nation. Here’s what existing players are doing to build the ecosystem  (more…)

Fintech news, Indonesia, InspirAsia, news

March 23, 2015

Lee Kuan Yew’s Singapore: An Astonishing Record

The Economist: An amazing infographics from the Economist: how Singapore has become the most developed country in the world in the Lee Kuan Yew years


Analytics, Global trends, InspirAsia, news, Singapore

March 22, 2015


Razorpay Offers Stripe-Style Payments Focused Squarely On Indian E-Commerce Plays

TECHCRUNCH: The rise of companies like FlipkartSnapdeal 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…)

Fintech news, India, InspirAsia, Mobile payments/banking, news

March 22, 2015


Exclusive: Russian VC Life.SREDA moving HQ to Singapore, targets $100m second fund

DEALSTREETASIARussia’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…)

Fintech news, Hotnews, InspirAsia, news, Singapore

March 20, 2015


Chinese FinTech startup iMaibo is raising up to US$10M Series A

E27.CO: China’s iMaibo, a stock market app, has grown from 10,000 to 100,000 active daily users within nine months, brought on a new CEO and is looking to raise a Series A round of US$5-10 million (more…)

China, Fintech news, InspirAsia, news

March 20, 2015


Asia among Top Five Most Funded Regions in Fintech: Life.SREDA

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.


Analytics, Global trends, Hotnews, InspirAsia

March 19, 2015


WeChat Now Has 500 Million Monthly Active Users

TECHINASIA: Messaging app WeChat now has 500 million monthly active users (MAUs), parent company Tencent revealed today. The new figure for Q4 2014 is up from 468 million in Q3 last year, and up from 355 million at the end of 2013. (more…)

China, Fintech news, InspirAsia, news, p2p-payments

March 18, 2015


Ticketing Platform Peatix Bags US$5M In Series B Funding

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…)

Deals, Fintech news, InspirAsia, Japan, news

March 17, 2015


Rakuten To Put Its Bitnet Investment To Work And Accept Bitcoin Worldwide

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.


Cryptocurrencies, Fintech news, InspirAsia, Japan, news

March 17, 2015


Xiaomi To Offer Financial Services Direct Through Its Smartphones

Channel NewsAsia: Xiaomi has added a function that allows users to buy money market fund offered by mutual fund manager Efund. The service competes directly with similar products offered by Alibaba and Tencent. (more…)

China, Fintech news, InspirAsia, news

March 17, 2015


Watch Alibaba’s Jack Ma Demonstrate Face Recognition-Enabled Payments

TECHINASIA: Yesterday at Cebit in Hanover, Alibaba founder Jack Ma took the stage to wax philosophical on entrepreneurship and the future of technology. While he oozed charisma on stage, the real treat came at the end of his address. After noting how online payments can sometimes be troublesome, the founder took out his smartphone and paid for a set of stamps on Alibaba using face-recognition technology (more…)

China, Fintech news, InspirAsia, news, p2p-payments

March 16, 2015


Secure Messaging App Wiper Adds Bitcoin Support, Gets Yanked In China

TECHCRUNCH: Wiper, a chat application designed to provide users with control over their sent and received messages, recently rolled out support for bitcoin transactions between its users. The tool is simple, allowing individuals to send cryptocurrency to others inside the app’s main chat interface. But CEO Manlio Carrelli told TechCrunch that Wiper was “removed from the iOS App Store in China due to violating that app store’s policies,” and that “Apple [had] explained to [the company] by phone that this violation was related to Wiper enabling bitcoin payments.” (more…)

China, Cryptocurrencies, Fintech news, InspirAsia, news, p2p-payments

March 15, 2015


BeamAndGo Is A Remittance Service For Filipinos That Guards Against Misspent Funds

TECHINASIA: Cash remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) have proven to be a crucial lifeline for their families back home. Yet BeamAndGo founder Mariliese Tan believes there’s a better way to support these families other than cash: digital gift certificates.


Fintech news, InspirAsia, news, p2p-payments, Philippines, Remittances

March 13, 2015


Series C crunch will leave hundreds of Chinese startups without funding in 2015, says local VC

TECHINASIA: The lack of venture capital against the background of increased demand for it may lead to a shortage of money for growth-stage (Series C) startups in China

Analytics, China, Global trends, InspirAsia, news

March 13, 2015


Indian Business Baron Ratan Tata Invests In Paytm

E27.CO: Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons Ratan Tata has made an undisclosed amount of investment in mobile payments and commerce company Paytm. With this investment, Tata will pick up a small stake in One97 Communications, the company that owns and operates Paytm. He will also take on the role of an advisor at the company.


Deals, Fintech news, India, InspirAsia, news, p2p-payments

March 13, 2015


India’s Top Mobile Wallet App Adds Support For Payments To Bank Accounts

TECHCRUNCH: Paytm, a India-based mobile payments service operated by (now) Alibaba-backed One97, has introduced a big new feature that lets 25 million users transfer money to bank accounts. Mobile wallets, like that of Paytm, have grown in popular in India, where credit card adoption is low and many services, including online retailers, process a lot of cash-based transactions. (Its billion-plus population is estimated to have just 450 million bank accounts, with many unused.) Wallets are at the intersection of that, providing greater reliability than cash, but without requiring users to get bank accounts.


eWallets, Fintech news, India, InspirAsia

March 13, 2015


12 International VC Firms That Have Invested in South Asian Startups

TECHINASIA: As smartphone usage booms across Asia and web services become more commonplace, private equity firms and venture capitalists are exploring the lucrative potential of the region. There are a number of global VC firms, especially in Silicon Valley that are keeping an eye on startups on the other side of the planet. Below we’ve identified some big-name VCs who have backed South Asian startups.


Analytics, Global trends, InspirAsia

March 12, 2015


Insights Into Singapore’s Startup Scene: DBS’s CIO Neal Cross

E27.CO: DBS Chief Innovation Officer Neal Cross tells it like it is in an exclusive interview with e27 and gives startups some valuable advice


InspirAsia, Singapore

March 12, 2015


Snapchat Is Raising Money From Alibaba at a $15 Billion Valuation

BLOOMBERG: Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. plans to invest in Snapchat Inc., the mobile application for sending disappearing photos, at a valuation of $15 billion, people familiar with the situation said. China’s biggest e-commerce company intends to invest $200 million, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private.


China, Deals

March 12, 2015


Alibaba, Prince Alwaleed Go In On Snapchat’s $500M Round

TECHCRUNCH: Snapchat, one of the ten most popular instant messengers in the world, has raised $200M from Alibaba Group and Saudi Arabian investor Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal at the valuation of $19B. Alibaba’s only weakness against its traditional rival – Chinese Tencent – is the lack of a strong position in the messaging market. With this investment (as well as the investment of $215M in Tango messenger last year) Alibaba is trying to strengthen its position in the market by diversifying assets and insuring itself against the negative effects of the growing popularity of instant messengers as a means for communication, shopping, financial transactions, etc.


China, Deals, Fintech news, InspirAsia

March 11, 2015