A roundup of the region’s top tech headlines from today and the weekend.
23 Apr, 2018TECHINASIA.COM
Nykaa founder and CEO Falguni Nayar / Photo credit: Nykaa
Here’s what happened in tech today and this weekend.
Nykaa scores US$11.3 million, claims US$453 million valuation (India). The online beauty retailer secured the investment from a number of family offices and high-net-worth individuals. Nykaa – which is said to hold 33 percent of India’s online market in beauty products and services – claims it is “EBITDA-breakeven” and is aiming to be profitable by FY2019. The startup said it would use these latest funds to enhance retail distribution to boost its private label offering, which currently comprises less than 10 percent of its revenue. (The Economic Times)
Soft Space raises series B funding from Sumitomo Mitsui (Malaysia). The Malaysian fintech startup reported the closing of a series B investment with Sumitomo Mitsui Card Company – a subsidiary of Japanese financial services group Sumitomo Mitsui – paving the way for its entry into the Japanese market. The investment is seen as positively spurring Soft Space’s business growth opportunities in Japan and the wider region. (Soft Space)
Electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer Nio establishing US$500 million venture fund (China). The Shanghai-based EV maker’s VC arm, Nio Capital, is building the offshore fund to invest in new automotive technologies worldwide. Also known as NextEV, Nio – which has itself raised funding from Baidu, Lenovo, and Tencent, among others – was one of the first companies to be awarded a license to test autonomous vehicles in China, and is said to be planning a US$2 billion US IPO for later this year. (Bloomberg)
Mobike claims shift from “rapid to responsible” growth strategy (China). In one of its first public announcements since being taken over by Meituan-Dianping in a US$3.4 billion deal earlier this month, Mobike said on Earth Day it would stop distributing new bicycles in areas considered to be oversaturated with dockless hire bikes. The bike-sharing firm also said it would share data with the Chinese government to help improve urban planning processes, and committed US$15.9 million to improving its user credit scoring system, which punishes or rewards cyclists according to their conduct while using its service. (TechNode)
Medical records startup Doxper secures US$1.1 million funding (India). The startup, which helps doctors manage out-patient records, said it will use the capital to expand to Southeast Asia, the UK, the Middle East, Brazil, and South Africa by early next year. It’s already piloting operations overseas in Bangladesh and Nigeria. Vidal Healthcare led the pre-series A round, having earlier joined Doxper’s August 2017 seed round alongside Capier Investments, Globevestor, and a number of angel investors. (Inc42)
Revolution Precrafted lands US$300 million Caribbean deal (The Philippines). Prefab home maker Revolution Precrafted has expanded into the Caribbean market with an exclusive dealership deal with Trinidad and Tobago-based real estate company NOVO Development. The partnership is the first part of a multi-phase plan to develop up to $1 billion of property in the region’s growing housing sector. (Revolution Precrafted)
“Fake news” is a problem for WeChat too (China/US). A study by the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism has found that WeChat-focused news providers in the US tend to favor emotive topics such as immigration and race relations over more mainstream issues like employment and healthcare. Researchers also found that news published on WeChat was rife with sensationalism and misinformation when compared to both English-language and Chinese-language mainstream media. The report said that, echoing similar controversies involving Facebook and Twitter, the “low barrier to entry on WeChat has generated a profusion of content publishers native to the platform and intense competition for attention […] the abundance of revenue-driven content published, coupled with partisan forces, makes WeChat especially vulnerable to political misinformation.” (TechNode)
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