Google to buy part of HTC smartphone team – namely the Pixel team — for US$1.1B

Yon Heong Tung, writing for e27;

Google has announced it will spend US$1.1 billion to acquire part of HTC’s smartphone division. This will include many employees who are currently developing Google’s Pixel line of smartphones.

As part of the agreement, Google will get a non-exclusive license to HTC’s intellectual property.

Unlike with the Motorola deal, where Google is more interested in Motorola’s patent portfolio, this appears to more of an “acqui-hire”, for the search giant to get designers and hardware engineers for their own smartphones.

It’s a step closer for Google to be more like Apple, where they control both the hardware and software of their smartphones.

Sterling Paper buys Openovate, Galleon.ph

Carl Lamiel, writing for Yugatech;

Sterling has bought a total of 85% combined stake from the companies according to Openovate’s former CEO and now Chief Technology officer Christan Blanquera.

Sterling known for its papers and school supplies, and to keep with times the company ventured into other industries such as retail and leasing, BPO, and agriculture. This acquisition of Openovate could be one of the many that the company have in the pipeline.

Notable products/project of Openovate are;

  • Galleon – ecommerce site for products not available in the Philippines
  • Iris Text – a mobile app that can turn your phone into a customer support Tool.
  • Salaaap – a buy and sell site with a price comparison and product search community.
  • Aces Call Center Jobs – Job board for call centers.

Sony to acquire majority Stake in Funimation

Sony;

Sony Pictures Television Networks has reached an agreement to acquire a substantial majority stake in Japanese anime distributor Funimation Productions, Ltd., (“Funimation”), subject to regulatory approvals and certain other closing conditions, valuing the company at approximately $150 million. Gen Fukunaga, CEO of Funimation, will retain a minority stake in the business and remain CEO.

If you’re an avid anime watcher, you’re probably saw FunMation in one of the anime that you’re watching. Here are some of the anime that are in Funmation’s catalog;

  • Dragon Ball Z
  • Cowboy Bebop
  • One Piece
  • My Hero Academia
  • Attack on Titan

Grab inks Kudo acquisition agreement, appoints new head of cashless payments solution

Anisa Menur A. Maulani, reporting for E27;

Rumours have been circulating around Indonesian startup communities since February 2017 that Southeast Asian ride-hailing giant Grab has acquired Indonesian O2O e-commerce platform Kudo.

After a period of silence, today Grab finally confirmed that it has signed an agreement to acquire Kudo.

This acquisition will surely help Grab Pay gain more ground.

Intel buys autonomous vehicle technology firm MobilEye

Daniel Morial, writing for Yugatech;

For $15.3B, Intel agreed to but Israeli autonomous vehicle technology firm MobilEye on Monday to develop driverless systems for automakers. MobilEye is one of the largest players in autonomous vehicle tech and it recently teamed with Intel on BMW’s iNext self-driving platform.

Another major technology company pouring tons of money in autonomous vehicle technology.

Myanmar’s MyPay in serious talks to acquire Singapore’s Fastacash; Co-founder rejoins board after absence

Kevin McSpadden, writing for E27;

Two Southeast Asian payment companies that specialise in using social media to facilitate money transfers are in serious acquisition talks and expect the deal to be done in the coming months.

The Singaporean online payment company fastacash has been approached with an acquisition offer from Myanmar’s MyPay and are moving forward with the deal, fastacash General Manager Mark Carter told e27.

The deal has been approved by Fastacash shareholders and is expected to be completed in the next 60-90 days.

Mozilla pockets Pocket in first acquisition

Devin Coldewey, reporting for TechCrunch;

Mozilla bought content time-shifting app Pocket for an undisclosed amount, the companies announced simultaneously on their blogs. What started as a handy Firefox plug-in for saving articles you didn’t have time for became more and more closely integrated with the browser, and today they’re making it official.

Pocket officially announcing the acquisition.

Ayala buys 49% of Zalora PH

Doris Dumlao-Abadilla, reporting for the Philippine Daily Inquirer;

The Ayala group has entered the e-commerce business with a deal to acquire a 49 percent stake in BF Jade E-Service Philippines, which owns and operates Zalora Philippines.

Zalora Philippines is currently the country’s largest online fashion platform offering a wide range of fashion and lifestyle products.

51% of Zalora Ph is still owned by German startup factory Rocket Internet.

Ant Financial buys US-based money-transfer company for US$880 million

Kevin McSpadden, reporting for E27;

Ant Financial, the Jack Ma-owned fintech company, has acquired the US-based money transfer service Moneygram in a deal worth about US$880 million.

The acquisition marks a significant step into the Western market for Ant, which has never acquired a US-listed company. Ant was spun off from Alibaba ahead of the e-commerce giant’s IPO in 2014 and has grown into the most dominant fintech company in Asia.

Casual dating app Down acquired by Paktor

Katie Roof, reporting for TechCrunch;

Remember “Bang With Friends?” The controversial app, which later rebranded as Down, was acquired by Singapore-based dating startup Paktor (they’re, um… hooking up).

The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but we’re told it was several million. After raising just $1 million, it was a “positive outcome” for investors like Tim Draper. Paktor has pulled in more than $50 million from investors, including a recent $32.5 million round in October — it is focused on Asia but also has services in Latin America, the U.S. and Europe.

Marissa Mayer resigning from Yahoo board as remaining company renames itself Altaba

Kate Conger, reporting for TechCrunch;

Despite hiccups, Yahoo’s planned sale to Verizon appears to be moving forward — but some portions of the company will be left behind and renamed Altaba Inc.

Yahoo is hanging on to its 15 percent stake in Alibaba and its 35.5 percent stake in Yahoo Japan, and those assets will survive as an investment company under the new name Altaba Inc., as the rest of Yahoo integrates with Verizon. The assets had previously been nicknamed Remain Co.

Alibaba is currently valued at $233.14 billion, a good reason why Yahoo! Altaba Inc. will still be holding on to it.

It’s sad to see an Internet icon to go out like this.

Freshdesk acquires Pipemonk to help it move data across multiple cloud apps

Sainul Abudheen K, reporting for e27;

Freshdesk, a leading SaaS help desk company, has announced the acquisition of Pipemonk, a data integration platform that allows companies to synchronise and move data amongst multiple cloud apps quickly and easily.

This acquisition is part of the overall strategy to create an ecosystem of interlinked Freshdesk and third-party products for businesses.