Asian startups in state of tension amid coronavirus pandemic: Tech in Asia survey

Asian startups are becoming increasingly worried as the Covid-19 outbreak starts to negatively affect their businesses, according to a recent Tech in Asia survey of over 140 industry professionals and founders.

Edtech firm Byju’s keeps India focus as revenue growth triples

Amid the slow deflation of the global startup bubble, a little-known edtech company seems to be defying all odds on its way to decacorn status.

Paktor cuts jobs as two key markets slump; sees bright spot in voice dating app

Paktor, a Singapore-headquartered startup running a slew of dating apps and an offline dating agency, has conducted multiple layoffs since 2018, three sources familiar with the company tell Tech in Asia. They also said that the startup has made more cuts this year.

A low-key $300m company plans to disrupt Indonesia’s supply chain ‘mafia’

Bizzy Group has had a busy few years behind the scenes. The Jakarta-based startup was established in 2015 as an e-procurement platform.

Why did Grab buy a robo-advisor few people know about?

Taken at face value, Grab’s acquisition of Bento Invest last month made plenty of sense. By bringing the robo-advisor into the fold, the super app could further its ambition of padding out its financial services offering – not only to bring affordable wealth management products to it users, but also to support its bid for a digital banking license in Singapore.

Pay-later startup Hoolah banks 8-figure investment from Genting Ventures, others

Hoolah, a buy-now-pay-later startup based in Singapore, has raised an “eight-figure” sum in its series A funding round led by investment firm Allectus Capital.

Commentary: A Grab-Gojek merger makes sense but isn’t the smartest play

Many would agree that merging ride-hailing giants Grab and Gojek would make business sense. But that’s easier said than done and probably not the smartest move for both.

CXA Group lays off dozens of Singapore staff in cost-cutting effort

CXA Group, the Singapore-based corporate healthcare insurance startup backed by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, has laid off dozens of employees, former and current staff tell Tech in Asia.

With fresh funding, Snapask expands tech-driven learning across Asia

Snapask, an educational technology startup that has just raised a US$35 million funding round, started out with – and is mostly known for – its namesake feature, which lets students upload a photo of their homework and get help from tutors.

Co-living operator Hmlet sees big changes with layoffs and a pivot

Hmlet, a Singapore-based startup that leases spaces and sublets them to long-term tenants, is undergoing its biggest overhaul yet.

Ride-hailing app earlier funded by Sea targets $7m in Octava-led round

Singapore ride-hailing app Ryde is looking to raise S$10 million (US$7.16 million) in an ongoing funding round.

Edtech startups defy funding blues

Education-focused startups are on a tear across Asia, bucking the broader investment decline in the startup industry.

New digital payments rules: a win for consumers, or the death of choice?

Prior to January 28 this year, financial technology companies in Singapore could operate with relative freedom.

Rising startups: edtech and fintech firms continue to raise money

Which are the startups that are on the path to becoming the next big thing? In this regular post, we give you an overview of the companies that have raised money in the past week, as well as those that we think investors should look at.

Why some medtech products fail to take off, despite rising healthcare spending

There’s a chance you’ve never heard of Mirxes (pronounced Mi-rex-sis) before the Singapore-based medical technology startup started making test kits for Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Indonesia’s questionable unicorn

JD.id’s recent declaration that it’s become a unicorn has been met with doubts from Southeast Asia’s industry insiders. “The concept of paper valuation has reached new heights,” says a senior executive from a rival firm.

Nium turns global amid tighter regulations in home market

The evolution of firms into financial service providers has been a boon for fintech enablers. These days, “everybody wants to be a fintech,” Prajit Nanu, co-founder and CEO of open money platform Nium (formerly Instarem), says.

Is there a future for incubator and accelerator programs in Indonesia?

Over the past decade, the startup ecosystem in Indonesia has continued to expand, as shown by the growing number of stakeholders involved. However, while new startups are coming up and attracting more investors to Southeast Asia’s most populous country, supporting programs such as incubators and accelerators are still finding their feet.

The Honestbee ex-chairman’s lonely fight to keep his dream alive

As embattled startup Honestbee was running out of money, ex-CEO Joel Sng was publicly flogged for its failures.

‘Information wants to be free.’ It’s time we bury the phrase forever

“Information wants to be free.” The phrase has become the rallying cry of the internet industry. It’s also overstayed its welcome and needs to die.

Honestbee may shut supermarket for good as funding talks stall

Embattled startup Honestbee is weighing the permanent closure of its supermarket, Habitat, according to a court document seen by Tech in Asia. The company previously said it would shut down the venue temporarily.

Commentary: SoftBank-backed Oyo risks seeing its valuation slashed – just like WeWork

Oyo Hotels & Homes reported this week that its losses have jumped sixfold in the year ended March 2019, adding to the worrying signs that another company backed by Masayoshi Son’s SoftBank Group is looking vulnerable – just like WeWork, the US office-sharing firm that ran into financial trouble last year.

Asian tech deals slow as novel coronavirus epidemic spreads

When China sneezes, the world catches the cold. The ill effects of Covid-19 – the disease caused by the novel coronavirus identified last year in Wuhan, China – is spreading like wildfire across industries. So far, it has triggered a slump in the travel sector and disrupted the manufacturing supply chain, causing gadget makers such as Apple to downgrade earnings outlooks.

Indonesian online lender UangTeman raises $10m in series B round

Indonesian online lender UangTeman said it has closed the second part of its series B round. ACA Investments, an affiliate of Japanese financial institution Daiwa Securities Group Inc, is anchoring the round with participation from Pegasus Tech Ventures and Japan’s Spiral Ventures.

What’s driving the revival of Southeast Asia’s B2B ecommerce

In Southeast Asia, Rocket Internet will forever be associated with online shopping sites Lazada and Zalora.

Why Jay-Z’s venture fund is rapping on Southeast Asia’s door

When Jay-Z rhymed about having an Empire State of Mind, perhaps he wasn’t just making a paean to his home city of New York. The music mogul also has an “empire” state of mind when it comes to business.

Indian edtech startup helps students get jobs at Amazon, Facebook or Google

Indian job-preparation startup InterviewBit is planning to expand to Singapore and Southeast Asia, co-founder Abhimanyu Saxena tells Tech in Asia.

Rising startups: a bumper crop of edtech ventures

Which are the startups that are on the path to becoming the next big thing? In this regular post, we give you an overview of the companies that have raised money in the past week, as well as those that we think investors should look at.

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