Today’s Tech Headlines: Grab launches Grab Ventures; Alibaba invests in Babytree

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

By

Today’s Tech Headlines: Grab launches Grab Ventures; Alibaba invests in Babytree

SEA  

Grab took another step towards its vision of being an everyday app for consumers. The ride-hailing company announced Tuesday the launch of Grab Ventures, its innovation arm, in an aim to find and support future technologies leaders across the region. (KrASIA)

EV Hive, Indonesia’s co-working startup, has raised US$20 million in a Series A round led by SoftBank Ventures Korea. The startup claims its latest round of financing is the largest Series A round in Indonesia to date. (Deal Street Asia)

SGInnovate has invested in Singapore’s AI startup AIDA Technologies which specializes in predictive analytics and intelligent systems. The startup has developed AI engines to improve efficiencies in the healthcare industry. (Deal Street Asia)

Singapore has built a mini town in a race to deploy the driverless technology. The 2-hectare town is built with intersections, traffic lights, bus stops, pedestrian crossings, mini hill, etc, just like the public roads in the city-state. (Deal Street Asia)

Singapore’s broadband provider MyRepublic has raised US$60 million to expand its service offerings in the region. The company is planning an IPO in HK which could happen in 24-39 months. (e27)

Carousell is now valued at around US$500 million. The startup operates in seven markets including HK, Singapore, and Australia. (Deal Street Asia)

SolarHome, a Singapore-based solar energy startup, is raising US$2 million via its second convertible offering this year. In February, the startup raised US$1.2 million in its first convertible offering. SolarHome plans to expand to Cambodia, Indonesia, and the Philippines by the end of 2018. (Deal Street Asia)

Thailand’s Krungsri Finnovate, an affiliate of Bank of Ayudhya, will invest US$15.6 million in four startups, either international or local ones, during the rest of 2018. (Deal Street Asia)

 

China 

Kuaishou, China’s most popular short video and live streaming app, has fully acquired the beleaguered anime streaming site AcFun. The acquisition comes as part of Kuaishou’s plan to solidify its market position amid the increasingly fierce competition with Toutiao’s addictive short video streaming app Douyin, whose daily active users have topped 150 million in May. (KrASIA)

Alibaba has made a strategic investment in Babytree, which claims to be China’s largest and most popular parenting portal. Babytree was valued at over RMB 14 billion (approx. US$2.2 billion) after the round. (KrASIA)

Alibaba’s Ant Financial shifts its focus from payments and consumer finance to technology services as Beijing deepens its crackdown on financial risks. (Reuters)

Chinese fintech firm PINTEC is raising US$103 million in a round led by Mandra Capital and SINA Corp, with participation from STI Financial Group, Shunwei Capital Partners, and ZHONG Capital Holding Group, among others. (Deal Street Asia)

Caogen Touzi, a Chinese fintech platform, has raised US$357.8 million in a Series D round led by Geo-Jade Petroleum. The startup plans to focus on expanding into the rural finance market. (36Kr)

Rokid, a Chinese AI and robotics startup, will launch and mass-produce its voice-first AI chip. Founded in 2014, Rokid’s products include a smart speaker, an AI assistant and AR glass. (Technode)

China’s imToken is moving its global headquarters to Singapore. The startup claims to be the world’s largest Ethereum wallet. It recently raised a US$10 million series A round. (SCMP)

China is investigating foreign chip makers, Micron Technology, Samsung Electronics, and SK Hynix. (WSJ)

BYD, a Chinese EV giant, eyes to establish a battery production in Europe. Last year, European Commission kicked off an alliance of local companies to build 10-20 huge battery factories. (Reuters)

Zailouxia, China’s self-service convenience store, has raised over US$10 million in a Series A+ round led by IDG Capital and co-led by Sinnovation Ventures, with participation from Vision Capital. (36Kr)

 

Rest of Asia  

Sharp is in talks to buy Toshiba’s PC business for about US$45.7 million in a bid to re-enter the PC market. The deal is expected to be reached in as early as this week. (Reuters)

India’s all-women last mile logistics company Hey Deedee has raised US$500,000 in a pre-seed round from Metaform Ventures. The startup plans to expand to more cities, gain bandwidth and build technology. (e27)

 

World 

Washington state’s attorney general is suing Google and Facebook, alleging that the two companies failed to provide records on election advertisements. (CNBC)

Chipmaker Qualcomm has asked the EU court to remove a US$1.2 billion ban imposed by European Union antitrust regulators. Qualcomm was penalized for paying Apple to use only its chips. (Reuters)

 

Gadgets 

Apple announced a series of new tools built into its new iOS 12. The tools aim to help users manage screen time and will be available later this month as part of the public beta of iOS 12. (Apple)

At Apples WWDC keynote, the company introduced the next version of watchOS which will automatically detect users’ workout. Watch users will also be able to challenge friends in a 7-day competition, as Apple Watch will track you and your friends’ progress. (TechCrunch)

 

Good News Bad News

Indonesia’s Commodity Futures Trading Regulatory Agency announced that cryptocurrency is a commodity subject which could be traded on the commodity futures exchange. The country will set up regulations regarding exchanges, wallet, and mining. (e27)