Kr-ASIA Weekly Roundup

36Kr secured US$45 million investment, poised for an IPO.

Photo by Shea Rouda on Unsplash.

Editor’s note:

During the past week, the competition in the digital payment industry intensified in Southeast Asia. Go-Jek and Grab both seek to expand their presence, seeing the former acquiring three Fintech startups and the latter obtaining regulatory approval from Malaysia Central Bank.

Kr-ASIA Weekly Roundup highlights tech & startup news of the past week, with a focus on Southeast Asia and China. We also pick up the best features from Kr-Asia and the web that worth your time. Also, there is always something cool for the weekend.

News of the week:

36Kr, a comprehensive service provider aiming at serving innovative entrepreneurs, has secured US$45 million investment, marking the largest investment in a Chinese new media startup to date. The company now is poised for an IPO. (36Kr)

Indonesia: Go-Jek has acquired three local Fintech companies to consolidate its presence in the digital payment industry. The three acquired companies are offline payments processing company Kartuku, online payment gateway Midtrans, and saving and lending network Mapan. (DealStreetAsia)

Malaysia: Grab has obtained regulatory approval from Malaysia’s central bank to offer GrabPay e-money services across the country. The service will enable users to pay for rides, food, drinks, buy gadgets and make transfers. (e27)

SE Asia: After sighing a US$474 million joint venture deal with ComfortDelGro, Uber’s move to team up with local players continues, as it brings a fleet of 4,000 Howa taxis available for hire through Uber’s app. The move comes as the ride-hailing giant seeks to flex its muscles in the region. (Bloomberg)

Alibaba is to buy over a third of BigBasket, an online grocer in India for about $300 million. The deal comes as the Chinese e-commerce giant plans to build in India which is one of the most dynamic markets for e-commerce. (EconomicTimes)

China’s consumer lender Qudian is under investigation, concerning whether the company has engaged in security fraud and false statement to shareholders. Investors alleged that the company has failed to inform them about two important facts, inability to deal with overdue loans and system flaw that result in data leak. (NetEase)

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) started trading bitcoin as futures and led to a massive price spike.Bitcoin’s debut on the CBOE was viewed as a legitimization of the cryptocurrency. Its price has surged to $17,000. (Reuters)

Singapore: Uber is to sell 51 percent stake in its car rental unit in Singapore to ComfortDelGro, city-state’s largest taxi operator at the price of $218 million. Following the deal, ComfortDelGro’s taxi drivers will be able to receive ride requests from Uber users. (DealStreetAsia)

Best of Kr-Asia Features:

How to become a perfect manger? Pony Ma said you should probably start with avoiding these flaws.

Will the fierce bike-sharing competition in China lead to a merger between the top two players Mobike and ofo?

Blog posts that worth your time:

The job of the founder/CEO is about looking at where you’re spending your time, then put someone better in the position.

6 steps to secure fundraising: tactic advice form the NYC Legend who raised $750 million.

What does it feel like to be in the center of the bitcoin frenzy? An introduction to Coinbase, one of the most popular bitcoin exchange platform in the U.S.

Cool thing of the week:

Avatars have alien plants to romanticize their nights out. Now scientists at MIT have found a way to make it happen on earth, with their recent research that can potentially replace street lights or nightlight by cells-powered plants.