Today’s Tech Headlines: Alibaba and SoftBank-backed Paytm has acquired TicketNew

All you need to know about what happened in the tech world.

Photo by Lee Ferrell on Unsplash

SEA

On Thursday, Indonesia’s Go-Jek announced it will invest USD 500 million to enter into four SE Asian markets, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines in the next few months, giving passengers in these four countries another alternative choice as well as stepping up its rivalry with Grab. (KrASIA)

Singapore’s Ezbuy has raised USD 17.6 million in a Pre-C round from investors including IDG Ventures, Ventech, Sky 9 Capital, Vision Knight Capital and China Growth Capital. The company claims it’s the largest global shopping platform in the city-state. (Deal Street Asia)

Welnvest, a Singapore-based robo-advisory firm, has raised USD 12.3 million in a Series A round from Schroders plc and other angel investors. (Deal Street Asia)

Singapore’s Tickled Media, a women-focused digital media firm, has raised USD 4.98 million in a round led by Global Grand Leisure with participation from Mountain Pine Capital and existing investors. The fresh capital increases the startup’s funding to over USD 8.18 million. (Deal Street Asia)

The Azalea Group, a unit of Temasek, looks to raise USD 500 million through PE bonds which target retail investors. (Deal Street Asia)

 

China

Didi Chuxing has started a trial operation in Australia’s Geelong with plans to expand in the country later this year. The Chinese ride-hailing giant has already expanded to Taiwan, Japan and Mexico. (SCMP)

The eWTP Ecosystem Fund unveiled its USD 600 million initial fund in Hong Kong. Alibaba and Ant Financial are anchor investors of the fund. (China Daily)

Pony Ma, Tencent founder and CEO, introduced his fresh vision for the Tencent Cloud platform. Ma thinks Tencent ecosystem needs to build up three nets: Internet of People, Internet of Things, Internet of Intelligence. (Technode)

Sinovation Ventures launched its new AI company Chuangxin Qizhi. The startup offers AI products and solutions to companies in retail, manufacturing, and insurance. It has already raised RMB 100 million in an angel round. (Technode)

Chinese startup VeChain teamed up with French wine producer Pierre Ferraud and Fils to verify the latter’s wine on its blockchain platform. (SCMP)

Tencent is working on a voice-controlled version of WeChat app that reads messages to drivers. (SCMP)

Social networking and gaming giant Tencent has decided to focus on education. The tech giant claimed its online education platform Tencent Class has 300 million registered users and over 100k courses. (Technode)

The Electronic World Trade Platform Ecosystem Fund, which counts Alibaba and Ant Financial as its anchor investors, was unveiled in Hong Kong on Wednesday. YU Yongfu, a member of Alibaba partnership, was appointed as the chairman of the fund. The initial fund is worth USD 600 million and aims to support projects and plans in Belt-and-Road countries. (China Daily)

US-listed Bilibili reports a revenue of USD 138.4 million in Q1 2018, up 105% compared with the same period of last year. Gaming, live streaming, advertisement, and value-added services have all seen growth. (36Kr)

 

Rest of Asia

Alibaba and SoftBank-backed Paytm has acquired TicketNew, a local online ticketing platform, for USD 40 million. The acquisition will help Paytm contend with the country’s major online ticketing companies including BookMyShow. (e27)

Sony plans to spend three more years to work on its next PlayStation, marking a slowdown to its six-to-seven-year update period for its console since 1994. It’s latest PlayStation 4 was launched in 2013. (WSJ)

 

World   

Uber’s revenue rose 70% in Q1 from last year to USD 2.59 billion. The San Francisco company is preparing for a potential IPO next year. (WSJ)

Uber ends its autonomous driving program in Arizona after its self-driving car killed a pedestrian. The ride-hailing company laid off almost 300 workers.(The Verge)

Lyft will make driverless ride-hailing services available to more passengers in the US this year. The Uber rival has formed autonomous driving partnerships with seven companies including Ford, Waymo and General Motors. (CNBC)

Apple has signed a deal with Volkswagen to make some of the latter’s vans into autonomous driving shuttles for Apple employees. The company has sought partnerships with automakers to develop driverless EVs, but its talks with automakers, including BMW and Mercedes-Benz, failed as it requires vehicle makers to hand over the control of data and design. (CNBC)

Jumia might emerge as the Africa Alibaba. The online retailer launched in 2012 in Nigeria has established its presence in 14 countries, and its gross sales last year reached USD 597 million. (WSJ)

Coinbase announced to acquire Paradex, a cryptocurrency trading platform, in a bid to stay ahead in the fierce competition in the crypto economy. Paradex will be integrated into Coinbase’s new product Coinbase Pro in the coming weeks. (CNBC)

 

Good News Bad News

In China, 2.85 million restaurants closed down in 2017 while 3.11 million new restaurants opened during the same period, according to a report by the world’s largest O2O platform Meituan-Dianping. On average, a restaurant can survive 508 days.  (TMTPost)