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All posts by Tech In Asia

Tech In Asia
Tech in Asia is an online technology news startup based in Asia, with team members all across the region. As a crew of journalists and bloggers with a passion for new ways of delivering the news, we’ve bonded together under one goal – to create a great Asia-focused tech news site to tell the world about the wonderful things that are happening here. Subscribe to our daily newsletter.
  • Uber starts testing first-ever cash payments in India

    Ride-hailing company Uber this week announced it will offer cash payments for Indian customers looking to hail a car, as part of a pilot program in Hyderabad. The move marks a global first for the company. Prior to the Hyderabad pilot, Uber has steadfastly avoided accepting cash for its car services. While riders could pay for trips using bank notes on UberAuto, the company’s India-only auto-rickshaw service, it ceased to accept cash for any of its car-oriented tiers -- both in Asia and elsewhere. Uber’s distaste for cash likely stems from two reasons. First, Uber can’t easily enforce percentage-based commissions on...

  • Y Combinator’s Kevin Hale: what toilets can teach us about user experience

    There’s this joke about a super drunk guy at a bar called Larry. He realizes he has to poop. The bartender tells him where the washroom is, and off he goes. Larry lets out a scream from behind closed doors. Seconds later, he lets another one out. The bartender rushes into the toilet, bangs on the door, and asks what’s going on. “You’re scaring customers,” he says. “I don’t know. Every time I flush, something comes up and squeezes my nuts,” says Larry, grimacing. The bartender comes in, and realises Larry is sh****ng into the mop bucket. Kevin Hale told this story...

  • Uber continues to adapt, launches rickshaw on-demand feature in India

    Uber has just announced another India-first: UberAuto. Uber app users in Delhi, India’s capital city, can now hail auto rickshaws within the app and pay for the ride in cash. For now, UberAuto is a cash-only-service, and this too is an India-first – in no other country does Uber enable cash payments. Uber has thus come a long way since its arrival in India with luxury sedans, UberBlack. Compact cars followed with UberX, and then hatchbacks with UberGo. Now we have three-wheelers in UberAuto, as the US-based company adapts to India’s value-conscious mass market. Uber’s homegrown rival Ola, which just raised...

  • Here’s why fintech startups are paving the way to gold

    Fintech is on fire. Better, it’s white hot. According to an oft-cited study released by Accenture, global investment in financial technology ventures tripled from US$928-million to US$2.97-billion between 2008 and 2013. This figure is expected to snowball to a whopping US$6 to 8 billion by 2018. To put this within the context of the wider investment landscape, in the three years leading up to 2013, global investment in fintech grew more than four times faster than venture capital investment overall. Here’s a quick lowdown on fintech or “financial technology” for those of us newer to the scene: broadly speaking, it describes...

  • 10 exciting startups from Israel you should watch out for 2015

    Of the thousands of Israeli startups vying to become global businesses, only a small percentage of them will make it to the big leagues. Everyone wants to bet big on the next Waze, Wix, or Outbrain. So which ones are on the verge of greatness? Here are some up-and-coming Israeli startups that I believe you should watch closely in 2015. StoreDot Storedot is developing quantum dot-utilizing fast-charging smartphone battery technology, among other things. A few months ago they revealed a prototype device that fully charged the phone within 30 seconds. The startup recently raised a monster US$42 million series B funding round. PlayBuzz Playbuzz...

  • India’s ecommerce market said to rocket to $6-billion in 2015

    Ecommerce might be young in India but it’s growing super fast. India’s ecommerce market will reach US$6-billion in consumer spending in 2015, leaping from US$3.5-billion in 2014, according to the latest data from Gartner. This makes it one of the fastest-growing ecommerce markets in Asia/Pacific. The potential for a 70% growth rate to be maintained or even accelerated can be seen from the low base from which it is emerging. Ecommerce in India still represents less than four percent of the total retail market. And less than five percent of total digital commerce happens through mobile. But as the number of smartphone adopters...

  • Where’s the line between inspiration and startup overhype?

    A piece that my colleague Ali Mese wrote recently went viral instantly. My Facebook timeline became a mish-mash of people -- entrepreneurs or not -- sharing it and applauding his bravery in leaving his corporate job, and leaving comments on how it made them want to drop all they were doing and dive into the deep end of entrepreneurship. You know, the usual viral reaction. But not everyone loved it. Some were critical of how, they claimed, Mese’s story failed to provide any ‘real entrepreneurship advice’, how it omitted any details on what his startup actually does, how it became a...

  • Redefining bootstrapping: it’s all about developing a sustainable plan

    Given the current global startup environment, I believe a re-definition of the term bootstrapping is in order. I believe bootstrapping is more than just an adverb and should be viewed as a comprehensive strategy for tech startups. What is bootstrapping? Historically, bootstrapping has been a term used to describe the efforts made by individuals to overcome a nearly impossible obstacle or to improve oneself through self-sustaining efforts requiring no assistance from others. The saying, “to pull oneself up by one’s bootstraps” has been a common Western expression during the previous two centuries. In modern business language, bootstrapping has primarily meant founding/starting a...

  • A case for bootstrapping: building and selling a startup with zero funding

    It is easy to get taken in by the allure of entrepreneurship. People gravitate towards visions of eight-digit seed funding sums, several additional rounds of investments, and finally that glorious payout in the form of a billion dollar exit. They peruse tech blogs like ours and gaze wistfully at the gargantuan sums of capital being moved around between investors and startups. But if you dig deeper, you’ll see the other side of the coin. Being an entrepreneur is far from sexy -- it’s blood, sweat, and tears shed constantly in the hope of the great exit. Juggling both investor expectations...

  • This startup lets you buy your friends a beer through WeChat

    There’s now a way to send a gift to someone inside WeChat – and it’s really easy to do. The newly-launched service is created by a Chinese startup called Giftpass that wants to remove all the usual hurdles, hassles, and barriers involved in online gifting. Giftpass co-founder Vincent Mah – a Canadian who’s ethnically Chinese – says the idea was formulated when he wanted to get a gift for a friend on the birth of her baby. But there are few online vouchers or gifting options in China, and even when he found one it was all centered around...