A roundup of today’s top tech headlines from across the region.
24 Apr, 2018TECHINASIA.COM
Photo credit: tashka / 123RF
Here’s a wrap of the day’s news.
Google and SoftBank keep on truckin’ with US$1.9 billion investment in Manbang (China). The Japanese firm’s US$100 billion Vision Fund led the mega-funding round, with Google’s CapitalG, China Reform Fund, and Ward Ferry also participating. Truck-hailing service Manbang – the result of a November 2017 merger between “Uber for trucks” startups Huochebang and Yunmanman – said it would use the money to develop new business areas and markets. (Reuters)
International Finance Corporation considering US$4 million investment in PickMe (Sri Lanka). The World Bank’s private investment arm proposed the investment for the Sri Lankan ride-hailing app in support of the company’s nationwide expansion plans. PickMe has around 20,000 registered freelancer drivers providing services on a revenue-sharing basis. (DealStreetAsia)
** Capital Float raises US$22 million in funding from Amazon (India).** The online lending startup confirmed that Amazon’s investment came as part of its $45 million series C round from last year, bringing its total funding over the past 12 months to US$67 million. Bangalore-based Capital Float has a total customer base of 80,000 people in over 300 cities. With the recent funding, it has set an ambitious goal of adding 300,000 new customers and handing out over US$800 million in loans within the year. (Techcrunch)
** Online AI program in finance launches (Singapore/UK).** Singapore’s Ngee Ann Polytechnic and the London-based Centre for Finance, Technology and Entrepreneurship will jointly launch the online course “Artificial Intelligence in Finance” this June. Over 20 fintech thought leaders and insiders are expected to share insights and real-life case studies of how AI is changing the finance industry worldwide. (Ngee Ann Polytechnic)
Meituan-Dianping and Ele.me respond to data breach (China). The food-delivery giants have spoken out after it emerged that users’ personal data was being offered for sale for less than US$0.02 per person. Local media found thousands of names, contact numbers, and addresses available for purchase. Meituan-Dianping has reported the case to the police, while Ele.me said it is investigating the leak.(TechNode)
Shenzhen establishes US$79.2 billion blockchain venture capital fund (China). The southern Chinese city announced the VC fund during a recent blockchain expo. It is only the second major Chinese city to set up its own blockchain fund after Hangzhou, which had a US$1.6 billion government-backed vehicle to invest in innovative firms using the technology. (China Money Network)
Canva acquires Zeetings (Australia). The online design and publishing company announced its acquisition of fellow Sydney-based company Zeetings, a cloud-based presentation and content interaction platform. The deal follows Canva’s successful funding of US$40 million from investors’ Blackbird Ventures and Sequoia Capital at the start of the year. (Canva)
Video startup Oovvuu raises $3.8 million in funding (Australia). The latest round was co-led by Cygnet Capital and CapitalPitch. The Sydney-based AI video startup has more than 40 publishers and broadcasters on board, including the ABC, Al Jazeera, BBC, Endemol Shine, The Guardian, HBO, News Corp, SBS, and Seven West. (DealStreetAsia)
Sprout closes seed round to accelerate expansion (The Philippines). The HR-tech startup closed a USD$1.6 million seed round led by Kickstart Ventures and plans to use the capital for product development. The company is the developer of Sprout Insight, an AI and predictive analytics solution for human resources, and Sprout Recruit, a management system for clients’ hiring process. (Sprout Solutions)
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