Alibaba’s financial affiliate Ant Financial forayed into the Pakistani market in March, investing $184.5 million for a 45% stake in Telenor Microfinance Bank to help develop the latter’s mobile payment and digital financial services.
KrASIA Daily is a three-minute read to brief you everything you need to know to start your day. We only choose the latest tech & startup news that is worth your time, with a focus on Southeast Asia and China.
Singapore: Singapore’s Monk’s Hill Ventures is raising a $120-million second fund to continue investing in early stage and Series A and B funding rounds, and also support companies from other parts of the world that want to expand into Asia, according to two people familiar with the matter. (Deal Street Asia)
Singapore: ShopBack said today it has picked up Seedly, a fellow Singaporean startup that offers a personal finance service, in an undisclosed deal. The entire team will move over and Seedly will continue as a business under ShopBack’s management. (TechCrunch)
Indonesia: Indonesian media company PT MNC Studios International plans to raise up to 1 trillion rupiah ($71.25 million) in an initial public offering (IPO) scheduled in June, the company said in a prospectus on Tuesday. (Deal Street Asia)
The Philippines: Edukasyon, an online platform that helps students in the Philippines to discover the right course and scholarships, explore career options and apply to their favourite school/college, has secured an undisclosed amount in pre-Series A funding from Asian and European investors, including KSR Ventures and French Partners. (e27)
Indonesia: Indonesian accommodation-sharing platform Travelio today announced that it has raised a US$4 million Series A funding round led by Vynn Capital, a venture capital firm founded by former Gobi Partners Vice President Victor Chua. (e27)
Alibaba Group has bought the entire share capital of Rocket Internet’s South Asian e-commerce platform Daraz Group, Rocket Internet said on Tuesday. (Reuters)
JD.com reported its slowest quarterly revenue growth since listing, indicating China’s second-largest e-commerce company is feeling the heat from mounting competition in an increasingly saturated domestic market. (SCMP)
Toutiao’s short-video streaming app Tik Tok, available in over 150 countries, is taking off, becoming one of the world’s most downloaded non-game app in iOS App Store in Q1 2018, outperforming Facebook, YouTube, and WeChat, according to app analytics service Sensor Tower. (KrASIA)
Pony Ma, founder and CEO of tech giant Tencent, was in Shenzhen on Tuesday, the city where his social networking and gaming conglomerate is headquartered, to promote Tencent’s WeChat mini program dedicated to payment for subway. (KrASIA)
CapitaLand, Singapore’s largest commercial developer, has joined the increasingly crowded fray in China’s booming co-working market, now being driven predominantly by rising demand from technology firms looking for flexibility in the workplace. (SCMP)
DJI is partnering with Microsoft to build a new drone SDK for Windows 10 that will enable full flight control and data transfer to Windows 10 PCs, which allows it to directly connect DJI’s drones with Windows computers. (The Verge)
The cause of the fatal crash of an Uber self-driving car appears to have been at the software level, specifically a function that determines which objects to ignore and which to attend to, The Information reported. (TechCrunch)
Egypt’s parliament passed a law on Monday regulating ride-sharing apps Uber and Careem, potentially ending a lawsuit that could shut them down in one of their biggest markets but imposing new fees and data sharing requirements. (Reuters)
Drive.ai, the self-driving car startup with roots in Stanford’s Artificial Intelligence Lab, has partnered with Frisco, Texas and the Hall Group to deploy the first autonomous ride-hailing platform in the state of Texas. (TechCrunch)