KrAsia Daily: Uber Launches Express Pool to Offer Cheaper Fares

Plus, Bukalapak is exploring pros and cons in IPO and fundraising. Xiaomi has opened its first authorized store in the Philippines. 

Photo:Shutterstock.com

Editor’s note:

With the newly launched Uber Express Pool, riders will be asked to walk a few blocks to their pickup location and are likely to share rides with other riders who ideally share the same direction. At the end of the trip, passengers will also have to walk a few blocks to the final destination.

The fares are up to 50 percent cheaper than UberPool and 75 percent than UberX, according to The Verge.

KrASIA Daily is a five-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.

Southeast Asia:

Image credit to Bukalapak.

Indonesia: Amid repeated calls by the government and the IDX urging Indonesia’s unicorns to go the IPO route, marketplace platform Bukalapak, the country’s newest unicorn, says it is in two minds about becoming a publicly listed company.  (Deal Street Aisa)

Singapore: City-State-based Insignia Ventures Partners, founded by former Sequoia Capital venture partner Yinglan Tan, has closed its maiden fund at $120 million. (Deal Street Aisa)

Singapore: US-based third-party data centre hardware maintenance firm Park Place Technologies has completed its acquisition of Axentel Technologies‘ businesses in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and the Philippines for an undisclosed amount, according to a company announcement. (Deal Street Asia)

Indonesia: Indonesian on-demand warehousing company Waresix announced that it has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from East Ventures. (Deal Street Aisa)

Indinesia: Indonesia’s solar panel producer Sky Energy will be looking to raise up to Rp 91.5 billion ($6.8 million) through an initial public offering on the Indonesian Stock Exchange (IDX), after the company disclosed that it will offer 203,256 or equivalent to around 20 per cent of its deposited capital. (Deal Street Asia)

Malaysia: Malaysia will require overseas insurance firms to jettison at least 30 percent of their domestic businesses via strategic stake sales or local initial public offerings by the end of June in order to comply with new foreign ownership rules. Companies from AIA Group Ltd. to Prudential Plc and Japan’s Tokio Marine Holdings Inc. are beginning to feel the heat. (Deal Street Asia)

China:

Image credit to 123rf.com.cn.

LEI Jun, Xiaomi founder, has announced in a post on his Weibo account that the company has opened its first authorized store in the Philippines. The company has been on an expansion spree and has currently over 300 Xiaomi Stores in China. (TechWeb)

500 Startups, the Silicon Valley startup accelerator, announced that it is partnering with cryptocurrency exchange Huobi’s incubator wing, Huobi Labs, to help support Blockchain projects and potentially initial coin offerings (ICOs). (China Money Network)

Fullerton Investment Management Shanghai (Fullerton Shanghai), the wholly foreign-owned enterprise (WFOE) of Fullerton Fund Management, has launched its first private fund in China, five months after receiving approval from the Asset Management Association of China. (Deal Street Asia)

Taiwan Liposome Company (TLC), a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company engaged in commercialization of lipid-based pharmaceutical products, has filed a proposal for a Nasdaq IPO. (Deal Street Asia)

The FinTech Association of Hong Kong (FTAHK) and FinTech Australia have signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen the ties between each other’s FinTech industries and lift support for businesses seeking investment, partnerships and expansion into each other’s markets. (Fintech Hong Kong)

World:

Image credit to 123rf.com.cn

Uber launches Express Pool, which gives cheaper fares to those willing to walk to shared rides, in SF, DC, LA, Miami, Philadelphia, San Diego, Denver, Boston. (Techmeme)

Apple is in talks to buy long-term supplies of cobalt directly from miners for the first time, according to people familiar with the matter, seeking to ensure it will have enough of the key battery ingredient amid industry fears of a shortage driven by the electric vehicle boom. (Bloomberg)

YouTube was criticized after promoting a video with a title that suggested a teenage survivor of last week’s Florida school shooting was a paid actor, the latest sign of the internet industry’s ongoing struggle to suppress conspiracy theories, fake news and bots. (Bloomberg)

Vox Media the owner of news and lifestyle websites like SB Nation and Eater, is laying off about 50 employees, a sign that Facebook’s recent algorithm changes are forcing publishers to shift strategies. (Bloomberg)

Broadcom lowered its hostile bid for Qualcomm after the target forged ahead with its own acquisition, further complicating shareholders’ decision on which management team should operate the world’s biggest maker of mobile phone chips. (Bloomberg)

Priceline Group is changing its name to Booking Holdings, more in line with its global presence and a recognition that the vast majority of the company’s revenue comes from Amsterdam-based unit Booking.com.  (Bloomberg)

Sources: Telegram contacts investors for second pre-ICO sale, amount still being determined but estimated to bring total raised to $1.6B+ before public ICO. (Techmeme)

Facebook has signed a deal with ICE Services — a licensing group and copyright database of some 31 million works that represents PRS in the UK, STIM in Sweden and GEMA in Germany — to provide music licensing and royalty collection for works and artists represented by the group, when their music is used on Facebook, Instagram, Oculus and Messenger. (Tech Crunch)