Foodie startup Chope feasts on $13m funding

Michael Tegos, writing for Tech in Asia;

Singapore-based restaurant discovery and booking startup Chope announced today it’s raised a fresh round of funding worth US$13 million.

The round is led by Asia-Pacific investment firm Square Peg Capital and joined by C31 Ventures and Moelis Australia. Existing investors NSI Ventures, Susquehanna International Group, DSG Consumer Partners, and SPH Ventures also came in for a top-up.

Taizo Son’s Mistletoe leads US$3.5M funding in venture investment platform Hatcher+

Sainul Abudheen K, writing for e27;

Hatcher+, a Singapore-based data-driven venture investment platform, has raised US$3.5 million in funding, led by Taizo Son’s (brother of SoftBank Chairman Masayoshi Son) Mistletoe group, ahead of the upcoming launch of its US$125 million data-driven VC fund.

The funds raised will be used to expand Hatcher+’s research and development (R&D) efforts, and further develop its global co-investment network.

India’s Ola Raises $2 Billion From SoftBank, Tencent

Saritha Rai, writing for Bloomberg;

Ola scored $2 billion in new funding from a group of investors including SoftBank Group Corp. and Tencent Holdings Ltd., a person familiar with the matter said, helping bankroll Uber Technologies Inc.’s fiercest rival in India.

Other backers in the ride-hailing startup’s latest financing round included a venture capital fund jointly run by Indian industrialist Ratan Tata and the University of California’s investment arm, as well as several U.S. institutional investors, people familiar with the deal said, asking not to be identified talking about a private deal. The company’s valuation after the financing wasn’t immediately clear.

Money fund their way against Uber!

Creative Ventures launches US$50M fund to bring deep tech to Southeast Asia

Yon Heong Tung, writing for e27;

Silicon Valley-based VC Creative Ventures has announced the launch of its second fund — a US$50 million fund that will focus on deep tech companies in the US.

This will be my first time encountering the term “Deep Tech”.

According to Swati Chaturvedi;

We define deep technology as companies founded on a scientific discovery or meaningful engineering innovation. This is where you’re asking, “Aren’t all technology companies founded on these principles?” Partly yes, but mostly no. Most technology companies these days are built on business model innovation or offline to online business model transition using existing technology. Take Uber for example – Uber is built on the concept of a “sharing economy” – a business model innovation enabling individuals to share existing resources.

Deep technology companies on the other hand, are built on tangible scientific discoveries or engineering innovations. They are trying to solve big issues that really affect the world around them. For example, a new medical device or technique fighting cancer, data analytics to help farmers grow more food, or a clean energy solution trying to lessen the human impact on climate change. Continuing the Uber reference, deep-technology companies in the transportation business would include autonomous vehicles, flying cars or other similar transformative technologies.

Interesting!!

AdAsia gets an extra $2.5m to take its AI tools beyond adtech

Jack Ellis, writing for Tech in Asia;

Singapore-based adtech startup AdAsia has completed its series A funding round, hauling in an extra US$2.5 million to add to the US$12 million it raised back in April.

The “series A-plus” money comes from angel investor Hisanori Watanabe – founder of WebCrew – and Japanese news app Gunosy. Along with the first tranche of funds from Singaporean VC firm JAFCO, AdAsia’s total series A raise now stands at US$14.5 million.

If read the whole article, the keyword phrase here is;

… use artificial intelligence-driven matching technology, which it uses to link advertisers with publishers and brand owners with social media influencers.

ASUS teams up with Fenox VC to launch US$50M fund, aiming for technologically strong startups

Anisa Menur A. Maulani, writing for e27;

Taiwanese computer hardware and mobile phone giant ASUS today announced a partnership with Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm Fenox Venture Capital (Fenox VC) to launch a US$50 million fund for tech companies.

The partnership will serve as a gateway for ASUS to access startups through the VC’s network. In turn, ASUS will collaborate with the startups and provide them with access to the greater Asian and global markets.

The fund will focus on startups in the areas of artificial intelligence (AI), internet-of-things (IoT), big data, cloud, and AR/VR.

IntelleGrow launching US$31M venture debt fund to invest in social enterprises

Sainul Abudheen K, writing for e27;

Mumbai-based IntelleGrow — a non-banking financial company (NBFC) which provides debt for working capital needs of early-stage, high-risk SMEs, typically, in the social impact sector — is launching a new fund to the tune of INR 200 crore (approximately US$31 million), its CEO Akbar Khan told e27.

The new fund, expected to go live sometime next year, aims to invest in IntelleGrow’s existing portfolios, as well as new companies.

IntelleGrow has already backed 180 companies across agriculture, clean energy, education, financial inclusion, affordable healthcare, and water and sanitation.

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.