Chinese ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing to launch bike-sharing brand

Sainul Abudheen K, writing for e27;

Didi Chuxing, one of the largest ride-sharing companies in the world, today said it will launch a bike-sharing brand.

The company has already launched a bike-sharing feature within its app, which hosts its partner brands such as Ofo.

Didi is an investor in Ofo, which recently raised US$700 million in Series E funding round led by Alibaba.

The ride-hailing giant has also signed a partnership to host Bluegogo, another bike-sharing platform. As per some reports, Didi is also an investor in Bluegogo.

Hirna car-hailing app launched in Davao

Vaughn Chua, writing for Yugatech;

A portmanteau of “Here Now”, or Tag-lish slang “Here Na”, Hirna is a collaboration between Avis Global and Avis Philippines in partnership with Globe Telecommunactions Inc. and Metro Davao Taxi Operators Association (MDTOA).

Highlighted features of the app include the complete driver’s information, a rating feature, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board hotline, and the application’s own 24/7 hotline. There will also be a dedicated hotline for people who do not have the application nor a general customer service facility.

Indonesian ride-sharing service Go-Jek to expand in the Philippines this coming 2018

Looks like another ride-sharing service wants to take a shot at solving, or at least lessening the traffic in the Philippines, as news of Indonesian ride-sharing service Go-Jek to expand in the Philippines next year.

In an article on GMA News, Ajey Gore, Go-Jek’s Group CTO said in an interview that “almost all Southeast Asian countries are on the radar over the next three, six to 12 months. The Philippines will be the first one just to figure out how things work.”

Go-Jek is a ride-sharing service that started in Indonesia last 2010 with a call centre and fleet of 20 riders. Today, it has more than 400,000 drivers and includes motorcycles, cars and trucks, and available in 50 cities in Indonesia.

Once operational in the Philippines, they will go head-to-head with Uber and Grab, not to mention LTFRB.

ZAP

ZAP is a cash back service that leverages terminals and phone numbers to help people get their rewards. So for companies within the ZAP network, it uses a points system rather than cash. These points can then be turned-in to buy items.

ZAP caters to more than 300,000 members and is working with close to a thousand partner establishments within Metro Manila in the Philippines.

Sogou files for US$600M US IPO

TechNode, contributing for e27;

Sogou, the search engine subsidiary of Sohu, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to raise up to US$600 million via an IPO on the NYSE on Friday night Beijing time. Shares in Sohu closed up that day on the news. Its stock code will be SOGO.

VCs-backed Indian foodtech startup Yumist shuts down as it failed to raise follow-on funding

Sainul Abudheen K, writing for e27;

Yumist, a VCs-backed foodtech startup that offered home-style meals to Indian customers, has wounded up operations, as it failed to raise follow-on funding and also due to “a bunch of internal and external factors”.

The development indicates that the turbulent period, which saw many leading startups including foodpanda and TinyOwl either scale down or shut down business in 2015-16, is not over yet.

It’s sad to see a startup to shutdown, they have a great concept but the execution is a bit clunky and just like what they said on their blog post, they were not able to recover fast enough.

Here’s the full text of their farewell blogpost;

It’s been a fabulous journey, but…

When we gave birth to Yumist in 2014, we had a singular vision in mind – to make honest, homely food available conveniently at affordable prices. We wanted to build the go-to food brand for the daily meals market in India, a fragmented market serviced largely by unorganised players offering sub-standard food.

From the very beginning, we knew that our biggest challenge will be finding a business model that’s profitably scalable. We tried multiple iterations across our supply chain to achieve this. There was a time in early 2015 when our bikers had hot meals with them basis a demand prediction algorithm and orders were delivered within 15 mins. We delivered one such order in 2 mins and the customer’s expression was priceless, but our P&L had a different sort of expression.

The one thing going in our favour was we learnt and recovered from our mistakes quickly. By March 2017, we had hit the sweet spot. We were making Rs 65 in margins per order at an average order value of Rs 190 (an avg order for us would serve 2 people), our delivery outlets were breaking even at just 70 orders a day, we were acquiring new customers at Rs 180 and recovering back this money within 45 days. Owing to our product quality and customer experience, we enjoyed good word of mouth (with 50% of our new customers coming through referrals), 70% of our monthly orders were from repeat customers and from March until September we tripled our revenues and gross margins. With these trends, Yumist would have become a profitable company by June 2018.

Yet, we are shutting shop today. We failed to raise the kind of capital that this business required while staying true to the customer problem. In hindsight, there’s a bunch of internal and external factors that led us to this dead end.

From launching in a second city prematurely, or committing to a high growth, high burn model just because prospective investors wanted to see that back in 2015, or taking a tad bit too long to find the right business model, we made our mistakes. We learnt from these mistakes and recovered fast, but maybe not too fast.

Also, every company has a context in which it operates – the economic climate, investor sentiment, the sector one operates in. Essentially, there are external factors which one can’t really control. 2016 onwards, food tech (in the manner the term is loosely used) had amassed a notoriety with investors and media and became almost a dirty word. We failed in all our attempts to fundraise since then, as investors wanted to wait it out.

At this juncture, some questions haunt us. Had we built Yumist in a different time, would the outcome be different? Would we then have raised enough capital allowing us to build this same business profitably across the Country? Maybe yes, maybe no. We will never know.

What we do know is this. Cloud Kitchens are here to stay. It’s probably the case that the first one through the door gets shot. The problem we were trying to solve is a big one and we are certain someone will pick up from where we left. Our wishes and support are with them.

In hindsight, we have no complaints and, in fact, are proud entrepreneurs today. Building Yumist gave us the opportunity to work with great minds, work at the cutting edge of food science and technology in all its facets, and create frameworks and supply chains we believe will become industry standards in the near future. The thrill and meaningfulness of the journey supersede any destination we might have hoped to reach.

PS. If you have a Wallet balance with us, you will receive an email shortly with the refund process. You can reach us at support@yumist.com anytime.

Taobao

Founded by Alibaba Group on May 10, 2003, Taobao Marketplace facilitates consumer-to-consumer (C2C) retail by providing a platform for small businesses and individual entrepreneurs to open online stores that mainly cater to consumers in Chinese-speaking regions (Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) and also abroad. At the end of 2010, the number of registered members on Taobao had reached over 370 million, around 80% of the Chinese online shopping market.

Source: Wikipedia

Tokopedia

Tokopedia, an internet company that allows individuals and business owners in Indonesia to open and manage their own online stores easily and for free. Tokopedia provides a better online selling experience to the sellers, so that the sellers can provide a better online shopping experience to their customers.

MiCab

MiCab, a Cebu-based ride-sharing startup that, unlike Uber or Grab, “exclusively partner with taxi fleet companies who take pride in their service, putting the value of their vehicles and drivers top of the priority.”

MiCab is currently available in Visayas; Cebu City and Iloilo City, with plans to launch the service in Metro Manila and Davao City.

MiCab is one of the 20 Startup Finalist of IdeaSpace’s 2013 Startup Competition.

Wikitribune

Wikitribune;

Wikitribune is a news platform that brings journalists and a community 
of volunteers together.

We want to make sure that you read fact-based articles that have a real impact in both local and global events. And that stories can be easily verified and improved.

In short, Wikitribune is the Wikipedia equivalent of news or journalism.

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.

iflix raises over US$90M to be the Netflix of Asia, Middle East and Africa

Yon Heong Tung, reporting for E27;

Kuala Lumpur-based Internet TV service iflix has raised over US$90 million from Liberty Global, an international TV and broadband company; Zain, a Middle Eastern and Africa telco; and a private consumer business investment management firm in Africa.

iflix had partnered with Zain last month to launch ‘iflix Arabia’ in the MENA region.

iflix appears to be expanding to market where Netflix has little or no presence at all.

Fave Group

Fave is a marketplace for discounted offers on things to eat, do, see and experience in your city. Users can get up to 70% discount from restaurants, cafes, spas, salons, gyms, etc. There are currently more than hundreds of deals in listed in the service.

Fave is also available to all iOS and Android users. The Fave group was spun off from Malaysian fitness subscription service KFit.

The group formerly known as KFit has bought Groupon Singapore

Michael Tegos, reporting for Tech in Asia;

After nabbing Groupon Indonesia and Groupon Malaysia, the Fave group has come for the Singapore version of the daily deals site. Fave, which has a similar mandate, announced today it has acquired Groupon Singapore.

Details about the deal have not been disclosed.

The Fave group evolved out of Malaysian fitness subscription service KFit. While KFit is still available as a separate service and app, it’s now part of Fave along with Groupon Indonesia. Groupon Malaysia has been completely integrated into Fave, and Groupon Indonesia and Singapore will follow in 2017.

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.

Delivereat

Delivereat, a Malaysian food delivery service founded in 2012 by Penangites who wants to bring conviences to customers while also providing varierty. Our mission is to provide reliable food delivery to our customers and at the same time assist restaurants in managing delivery manpower management in an affordable and convenient way.

Penang’s own Delivereat raises US$450K to deliver food beyond the city

Anisa Menur A. Maulani, reporting for E27;

Malaysian food delivery startup Delivereat today announced that it has raised an RM2 million (US$450,000) pre-series A funding round led by Gobi MAVCAP’s ASEAN Superseed Fund.

Another food delivery service, as if Asia needs more of these service. Let’s see how long Delivereat can keep up with the established food delivery service.

Add your Startup

Since rebooting the site last month, majority of the content that you see on the site are aggregated and/or curated content from top tech blog and news website from the Philippines and the region. I also started curating details on Asian startups most notably those based in Southeast Asia.

Since I cannot cover all the startups that are being founded and launch in the region, I decided to just create a submission form for startups. The form will allow founders or just any individual to add their favorite startup to the site and be included in the Startup list. You can access the form here.

In order for me to add or publish the details of the startup that you submitted, you must follow at least keep in mind these 8 simple rules;

  1. All submission are subjected for verification.
  2. Not all submitted startup will be published because well see rule no. 1.
  3. I have and will edit the content if needed.
  4. I prefer that the submitter’s email address should be using the startup’s domain name but it’s not required.
  5. No porn, casino and all those tings that destroys our youth.
  6. This is not for guest post submission. I will be setting up a system on guest post submission, so please be patient.
  7. Startups based in Asia will be prioritized!
  8. This is not the place to contact me. You can go here if you want to get in touch with me.
  9. Logo or screenshot should at least have a 500 x 500 px resolution.

You may ask, why the hell do I need to create a startup list?

GOOD question and I have GOOD answer, well it sounds GOOD to me at least. Since I mainly cover tech and startup news, if your startup is mentioned in the article then I can link the name of the startup to the startup bio that I have on the site. So that readers can look up the details of your company and hopefully visit your site. There’s also the SEO-goodness, since I’ll be linking the article to your startup’s website. Win-Win right?!

Also, I’m just a lazy SOB, so I’m letting startups themselves add their startup on the site. Hopefully they’ll do better than what I did on the startups that I already have.

Cheers!