In its push to compete in Southeast Asia, WeWork is pouring $500 million into the region

Connie Loizos, writing for TechCrunch;

Less than two weeks ago, WeWork took the wraps off a new massive round of funding — $500 million from the Chinese private equity firm Hony Capital, the Japanese internet giant SoftBank, Greenland Holdings, and China Oceanwide.

Now, the company is announcing that it’s pouring that exact amount — $500 million — into expanding into Southeast Asia and Korea.

WeWork currently have more than 40,000 members in 23 cities worldwide. In Asia, they have 7 offices in 4 countries, namely China (including Hong Kong), India, Japan and S. Korea.

Didi and Softbank to invest $2b in Grab; round may reach $2.5b

Judith Balea, reporting for Tech in Asia;

Southeast Asia’s leading transportation app Grab has new ammunition to battle rivals Uber and Go-Jek. The Singapore-headquartered company announced today that its two largest shareholders – China’s Didi Chuxing and Masayoshi Son-led Softbank – are investing up to US$2 billion to lead its current funding round.

Grab expects to raise an additional US$500 million from existing and new investors, bringing the round’s total to US$2.5 billion. Jack Ma’s Alibaba was supposedly eyeing to join in.

That’s one massive funding. This could threaten Uber’s growth in the region.

Whatfix raises US$3.7M Series A to allow businesses to create interactive help guides on websites

Sainul Abudheen K, reporting for E27;

Whatfix, a SaaS startup that allows enterprises to create interactive help guides on their websites, has raised INR 24 crore (US$3.7 million) in Series A round of funding, led by Indian VC firm Stellaris Venture Partners, with participation from existing investors Helion Venture Partners and Powerhouse Ventures.

Marquee angels, including Gokul Rajaram (Product Engineering Lead at Square), Girish Mathrubootham (Freshdesk CEO), Aneesh Reddy (Capillary Technologies CEO) and US-based investor Vispi Daver, have also joined the round.

Payments company Ayopop raises $1m seed funding

Nadine Freischlad, reporting for Tech in Asia;

Indonesia’s Ayopop specializes in bill payments, which means it wants users to pay for things like their phone bills, electricity, and internet services through its app.

Ayopop launched about a year ago and has been angel funded so far, with some investment from venture capital firm Gree Ventures.

UAE’s Zain Group makes strategic investment in MyTaxiIndia

Sainul Abudheen K, reporting for E27;

Gurgaon-based MyTaxiIndia (MTI), an online platform to book outstation taxi and cab rental services in India, has raised strategic investment from UAE-based investment and holding company Zain Group of Companies.

The startup was founded in 2013 by Anshuman Mihir (CEO). MTI is an outstation taxi and cabs service provider, focussed on servicing both one-way taxi and package-based outstation taxi service segments. Its services are available in more than 120 cities across India with 10,000-plus routes, including Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Agra, Chandigarh, Pune, Manali, and Shimla.

Ola gets $330m from SoftBank, but valuation plummets to $3.5b

DurbaDurba Ghosh, writing for Tech in Asia;

India’s Uber arch-rival Ola has once again won backing from Japan’s SoftBank, with fresh funding of US$330 million, a person familiar with the details of the deal told Tech in Asia.

However, the fresh funding comes at a cost. Ola’s valuation has dropped by more than 30 percent to US$3.5 billion, Business Standard reported today. Ola’s valuation drop is indicative of declining investor confidence in India.

It’s high time for Ola to expand to other markets and not just their home country.

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.

Malaysia’s Dah Makan raises $1.3M for an organized approach to food delivery

Jon Russell, reporting for TechCrunch;

Dah Makan has become the first food delivery startup to raise significant capital in Southeast Asia this year, bringing some fire back to what has been a popular niche for local investors.

The company has closed a $1.3 million seed funding round from backers that include NFQ Capital, East Ventures, Asia Venture Group and Grupara. A former CEO of Nestlé is among the angel investors to have participated.

Eduardo Saverin in $25m funding for insurance and wellness marketplace

Judith Balea, reporting for Tech in Asia;

CXA today announced it has become a US$100 million company following a US$25 million series B investment, co-led by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s B Capital Group and Singapore-based EDBI. Global life and health reinsurance company RGA, Philips Healthcare, maker of data-driven medical devices and disease management programs, and existing investors NSI Ventures and Bioveda Capital also put in some cash.

Indonesia’s Sociolla bags series B from Japanese fashion portal, East Ventures

Nadine Freischlad, reporting for Tech in Asia;

Sociolla, an ecommerce site for all kinds of cosmetics and beauty products just freshened up with a new round of financing.

The startup’s series B comes from Istyle, a Tokyo stock exchange-listed fashion company that operates, among other things, popular beauty website @cosme in Japan. East Ventures also participated in the round. The terms weren’t disclosed.

Zeotap gets $13 million to unlock treasure chests of telco user data for mobile ads

Malavika Velayanikal, reporting for Tech in Asia;

Whether it is artificial intelligence or targeted advertising, it’s the quality of data that determines how smart the results will be. Berlin-based Zeotap, which also has a joint venture in Bangalore, zeroed in on this aspect from the very outset of its adtech business in late 2014. It started tying up with telecom companies across Europe and Asia to use their customer data for targeting mobile ads.