Home / Tag Archives: asia

Tag Archives: asia

CEO of Blockchain Academy Asia Joins BitNicx Exchange as Advisor to…

Chief Executive Officer of Blockchain Academy Asia, Effendy Zulkifly, has joined peer-to-peer cryptocurrency exchange BitNicx Exchange to be part of their advisory team. (PRWeb January 25, 2019) Read the full story at https://www.prweb.com/releases/ceo_of_blockchain_academy_asia_joins_bitnicx_exchange_as_advisor_to_promote_cryptocurrency_and_blockchain_adoption_in_southeast_asia/prweb16054472.htm

Read More »

With $50M in fresh funding, Allbirds will open new stores in the US, UK and Asia

The quintessential venture capitalist’s uniform consists of a pair of designer jeans, a Patagonia fleece vest and $95 wool sneakers. The company behind the shoes, Allbirds , entered the unicorn club this morning with the announcement of a $50 million Series C from late-stage players T. Rowe Price, which led the round, Tiger Global and Fidelity Investments. The 3-year-old startup founded by Joey Zwillinger and Tim Brown has raised $75 million to date, including a $17.5 million Series B last year. Its backed by Leonardo DiCaprio, Scooter Braun, Maveron, Lerer Hippeau and Elephant, the venture capital firm led by Warby Parker founder Andrew Hunt. The Wall Street Journal is reporting the round values Allbirds at $1.4 billion. The company would not confirm that figure to TechCrunch. Like Warby Parker , San Francisco-based Allbirds began as a direct-to-consumer online retailer but has since expanded to brick-and-mortar, opening stores in San Francisco and New York. It currently ships to locations across the U.S., New Zealand, Australia and Canada. Next week, the company plans to open its first storefront in the U.K. in London’s Covent Garden neighborhood. It will begin shipping throughout the U.K. In 2019. Using its latest investment,  Allbirds will double down on its brick-and-mortar business. In addition to the U.K., the company says it will open even more locations in the U.S., as well as open doors in Asia in the coming months.  Tiger Global , which has backed Allbirds since its Series B, may be of help. The firm has offices in Hong Kong and Singapore, as well as partners across Asia

Read More »

Indonesian fintech startup Moka raises $24M led by Sequoia India

Indonesia’s Moka , a startup that helps SMEs and retailers manage payment and other business operations, has pulled in a $24 million Series B round for growth. The investment is led by Sequoia India and Southeast Asia — which recently announced a new $695 million fund — with participation from new backers SoftBank Ventures Korea, EDBI — the corporate investment arm of Singapore’s Economic Development Board — and EV Growth, the later stage fund from Moka seed investor East Ventures. Existing investors Mandiri Capital, Convergence and Fenox also put into the round. The deal takes Moka to $27.9 million raised to date, according to data from Crunchbase . Moka was started four years ago primarily as a point-of-sale (POS) terminal with some basic business functionality. Today, it claims to work with 12,500 retailers in Indonesia and its services include sales reports, inventory management, table management, loyalty programs, and more. Its primary areas of focus are retailers in the F&B, apparel and services industries. It charges upwards of IDR 249,000 ($17) per month for its basic service and claims to be close to $1 billion in annual transaction volume from its retail partners. That’s the company’s core offering, a mobile app that turns any Android or iOS device into a point-of-sale terminal, but CEO and co-founder Haryanto Tanjo — who started the firm with CTO Grady Laksmono — said it harbors larger goals. “Our vision is to be a platform, we want to be an ecosystem,” he told TechCrunch in an interview. That’s where much of this new capital will be invested. Tanjo said the company is opening its platform up to third-party providers, who can use it to reach merchants with services such as accounting, payroll, HR and more. The focus is initially on local services that cater to SMEs in Indonesia, but as Moka targets larger enterprises as clients, he said that it will integrate larger, global solutions, too. Moka offers services beyond point-of-sale, but the core offering is turning any smart device into a cash machine Moka itself is expanding its capabilities on the payment side.

Read More »

Alibaba’s Ant Financial denies stealing from Equifax

Ant Financial has denied claims that it covertly raided Equifax — the U.S. credit firm that was hit by a hack last year — to grab information, including code, confidential data and documents to help recruit staff for its own credit scoring service. The Alibaba affiliate, which is valued at over $100 billion , launched Sesame Credit in China in 2015, and a report this week from The Wall Street Journal suggests that it leaned heavily on Equifax to do so. Ant Financial hired China-born Canadian David Zou from Equifax and the Journal claims that Zou looked up employee information to gauge potential hires and squirreled away confidential documents via his personal email account. Ant was said to have offered Chinese staff at Equifax lucrative raises — reportedly tripling their salaries — with a focus on those who “provided instructions on specific Equifax information… if they jumped ship.” Apparently, however, only Zou did. Zou, for this part, denies the claims. He said he looked up Equifax team members to help with work on his project in Canada, and forward information to his email account in order to continue his work when he went home. Ant Financial went a step further with its own denial — from the firm’s statement : Ant Financial did not use Equifax intellectual property or trade secrets, including code, algorithms or methodology in the development of our credit rating product. Ant Financial has found absolutely no evidence of Equifax software, data or code having been transferred to our systems. We did not directly or indirectly encourage potential job applicants to obtain Equifax intellectual property or trade secrets. This would be a violation of Ant Financial’s Code of Business Conduct and we would take immediate action against any employee found engaging in this behavior. Further, we have specific agreements with our third-party recruiters that prohibit them from violating intellectual property rights of any parties. If any recruiter is found to have conducted such activities, we will stop accepting candidate referrals from them and may take legal action against them. Ant said the Journal’s report is “full of innuendo based on disjointed facts and coincidence in timing.” Beyond Ant, the report claims Equifax firm was also concerned when an unnamed Chinese firm swapped members of its delegation in the run-up to a meeting, a tactic that is apparently common among potential cases of espionage

Read More »

Japanese fintech startup Paidy lands strategic investment from Visa

A month after announcing its $55 million Series C , Japanese fintech startup Paidy has snagged a strategic investment from payment giant Visa. Paidy didn’t disclose how much Visa put into its business, which has raised over $80 million to date, but it did say that it will work with the credit card giant to develop “new digital payment experiences” in Japan. For those in need of a refresher, the Paidy service is aimed at making it easier to shop online in Japan, where credit card penetration is high but many consumers still opt for cash on delivery. The startup asserts that cash accounts for some 40 percent of the country’s 16.5 trillion yen ($150 billion) annual e-commerce spend because credit card payments are cumbersome and cash is just more simple. It’s certainly true that whipping out your card and keying in digits is a pain, while Japanese systems layer on other security checks that make the process more tedious. Paidy’s answer is an account tied to a customer’s phone number or email address that sits as a payment option at e-commerce checkouts. Payment itself requires entry of a confirmation code, and that’s it. Added to the simplicity, Paidy also offers various payback options to effectively give users the features of a credit card. The company claims there are 1.5 million active Paidy accounts and it is aiming to grow that figure to 11 million by 2020. The main rocket for reaching that ambitious target is onboarding large retailers who integrate the service into their online sales process. That’s a tactic that has worked well for Paidy so far, but it’s also clearly an area where Visa’s network can be massively beneficial, especially if they are joint products on offer. With Paidy operating like a virtual credit card system that rivals plastic cards, Visa has seen enough to warrant coming on board the project, according to Chris Clark, Visa’s Asia Pacific regional president. “We have been following Paidy’s progress and the enhanced shopping experience they provide at the time of purchase

Read More »

Alibaba confirms it raised $3B for its newly consolidated local services business

Alibaba has confirmed that it has raised $3 billion for its new-look local services business after it united its Koubei local services business with Ele.me, the on-demand delivery business it recently acquired. The company said it put the capital into the business alongside SoftBank, according to a note within its financial results that were released today . TechCrunch understands that the actual amount raised may increase as existing Koubei investors have an option to be a part of the new round, while new backers may also be added.  Bloomberg previously reported the consolidation and investment. From the filing : We have established a company to hold Ele.me and Koubei as our combined flagship local services vehicle, which we plan to separately capitalize with investments from Alibaba, Ant Financial and third-party investors. As of the time of this announcement, we have received over US$3 billion in new investment commitments, including from Alibaba and SoftBank. As a result of this reorganization, subject to closing conditions, we will consolidate Koubei, which would result in a material one-off revaluation gain when the transaction closes. Koubei, the company’s local services platform, got a $1.1 billion injection in early 2017 and is predominantly focused on enabling local commerce. Other investors besides Alibaba include Silver Lake, CDH Investments, Yunfeng Capital and Primavera Capital. Ele.me, meanwhile, first landed an investment from Alibaba two years ago. The e-commerce giant bought it out in April in a deal that valued Ele.me at $9.5 billion. Ele.me is a key piece of Alibaba’s recent partnership with Starbucks — the on-demand service will be used to deliver coffee to Starbucks customers across China as the U.S. coffee giant seeks out new growth opportunities and competes with rival services.

Read More »