Today’s Tech Headlines: Toyota to invest $1b in Grab; Luckin just became a unicorn after completing a Series A round

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Today’s Tech Headlines: Toyota to invest $1b in Grab; Luckin just became a unicorn after completing a Series A round

SEA

Toyota will inject USD 1 billion into Grab and both companies look forward to furthering collaborations to drive new mobility solutions across Southeast Asia. The deal also marks the largest-ever investment by an automotive manufacturer in the global ride-hailing sector. (KrASIA)

NYSE-listed gaming and e-commerce firm SEA announced a plan to offer convertible notes which are worth USD400 million to fuel business expansion and support general corporate operations. The company’s largest shareholder Tencent will buy up to USD50 million worth of the notes. In Q1 2018, SEA’s net loss tripled to USD 215.6 million compared with USD73.1 million a year earlier, despite a 65% YOY growth of the company’s total revenue. (KrASIA)

SPi Global, the Philippines-based technology and data science firm, has acquired knowledge process outsourcing firm India’s Scope e-Knowledge Center from India’s PE-backed Quatrro Group. (Deal Street Asia)

 

China

China’s most hyped coffee startup Luckin just joined the echelons of global unicorns after completing a Series A between US$ 200m and 300m, valuing the company at north of $ 1 billon, according to people familiar with the matter told 36Kr/KrASIA. (KrASIA)

In China, Duoyin’s DAU has crossed 150 million while its MAU has topped 300 million. An eye-popping increase came during the Chinese Spring Festival when Douyin’s DAU soared to almost 70 million from less than 40 million. A change in Douyin’s demographics comes together with the increase in users. Now, over 40% of Douyin users are aged from 24 to 30, while previously the app’s largest user group are aged from 18 to 24. (KrASIA)

Following earlier rumors of an impending IPO, Chinese unicorn, Meituan-Dianping has recently completed a whole week of pre-A1 marketing, as it prepares for the submission of its prospectus to the Hong Kong Exchange on the 22nd of June, according to local media reports citing people familiar with the matter. (KrASIA)

Didi is set to relaunch part of its night-time carpooling service Hitch on June 15. Drivers will only be able to pick up same-sex passengers. (Technode)

Chinese hook-up app Momo’s valuation has reached US$10 billion, marking another beneficiary of the so-called Social+ business model of combining social networking in the world’s largest internet market. (SCMP)

ZTE claimed that trading in its shares would resume on Wednesday, after a two-month suspension. The Chinese company agreed to pay up to $1.4 billion in penalties to the U.S. government and replace its management. (Reuters)

SCHOTT AG, a German specialty glassmaker, introduced a glass wafer that allows more AR applications to the Chinese market on Tuesday. (Technode)

AcFun, China’s anime-streaming platform which is recently acquired by Tencent-backed Kuaishou, revealed hackers had stolen data of tens of thousands of its users. The platform asked users to change their passwords and apologized for insufficient precautions. (Technode)

 

Rest of Asia

Paytm Mall has raised about ₹1,500 crore from SoftBank and Alibaba, as part of the ₹3,000 crore funding commitment announced in April. (Deal Street Asia)

India’s DailyNinja, a mobile app that delivers daily needs on a subscription model, said it has raised $3 million from Saama Capital and existing investor Sequoia Capital. The startup raised US$1.5-million in October 2017 from Sequoia Capital. (Deal Street Asia)

Uber is launching the ride-hailing app Uber Lite in India. The app takes up to just 5 megabytes which could work on the old phones and slow networks. (TechCrunch)

Toshiba announced plans for a US$6.95 billion share buyback “at the earliest possible time”. The company improved its finances by selling its memory chip unit earlier this month and foreign investors started demanding buybacks as reward for their contribution to the company’s turnaround. (Nikkei)

 

World

Qualcomm will continue creating processors for data centers, according to the company’s president, who oversees the chip division. (Reuters)

In a bid to contend against Just Eat, Deliveroo will allow restaurants to use their own riders for orders placed through its food delivery app, as the move will boost the number of available outlets by 50 percent. (Reuters)

Nintendo is bringing the popular game Fortnite to the Switch to boost sales of its videogame console. (WSJ)

 

Gadgets

Smartphone maker Vivo launched a ‘notch-free’ device Nex, employing a selfie camera that pops out from the top edge when required. (SCMP)

 

Good News Bad News

Tesla announced it will cut about 9% of its workforce to improve its finances. The layoffs of about 3.5k employees is part of the company’s plan to make the management structure flatter and ramp up production of Model 3 compact sedan, according to Elon Musk. (WSJ)