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All posts by Tech In Asia

  • Fintech startup Momo raises $28m from Standard Chartered’s VC arm, Goldman Sachs

    Vietnam-based fintech startup Momo today announced it obtained US$28 million in series B funding from Standard Chartered Private Equity and global investment bank Goldman Sachs, which is an existing backer. Launched in 2014, Momo is an ewallet and payments app that allows users to pay online and transfer money to each other digitally. At selected stores, the app can be used for cashless payments. The company also has a physical network of over 4,000 over-the-counter agents where people can remit money and avail of other financial services through Momo. Momo claims to process millions of transactions daily for its over 2.5 million...

  • 500 Startups launches $10m fund for Vietnam

    When 500 Startups founding partner Dave McClure excitably tweeted this week that he was on a flight to Vietnam, we knew something was up. Today, the Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm announced it set up a US$10 million microfund for Vietnam, a country it’s very bullish about. The move wasn’t a surprise though; talks about it surfaced last year. The microfund will aim to make 100 to 150 investments in Vietnamese startups, 500 Startups says on its site. “We believe there are many interesting near-term investment opportunities in B2B and enterprise SaaS, fintech, and ecommerce, but ultimately we are ‘vertical agnostic, returns religious,’” the...

  • Japan, you have a unicorn. Mercari’s valuation rises over $1b

    Time to update our list of Japanese unicorns. Mercari, an app for selling second-hand goods, has just raised US$74 million in its series D at a valuation of over US$1 billion. (Hat-tip toTechCrunch.) Since starting in 2013, the company has raised US$110 million. The current round features a whos who of Japan’s investment community with Mitsui & Co., Development Bank of Japan, Japan Co-Invest, Globis Capital Partners, World Innovation Lab, and Global Brain all on board. In just three short years, the app has seen meteoric success. The company’s latest press release notes that it fulfills US$88 million worth of orders...

  • Singapore-based ecommerce marketing startup raises $1m to enter Indonesia

    Email and digital marketing startup Ematic Solutions has raised a pre-series A round of close to US$1 million, it announced today. The funding comes from MDI Ventures, a venture capital fund backed by Telkom Indonesia, the country’s major telco. The pre-series A round comes just two months after Ematic raised its seed round, worth US$1.07 million, led by Wavemaker Partners and joined by 500 Startups and Convergence Ventures. The funding will be used to intensify the Singapore-based startup’s quest for regional expansion. Indonesia was already a priority destination for the company, and it expects MDI’s support to help it further along....

  • 8 Indian startups that love being bootstrapped

    Indian startups are often accused of chasing hype instead of profitability. Part of that means they go after famous investors with deep pockets – be it Housing or TinyOwl or even a unicorn like Flipkart. But away from the spotlight, some have managed to survive for years without any external money. They have made profits, ploughed the money back into the business, thought of creative ways to solve a crisis, and expanded at their own pace – all the while cherishing their freedom. It’s a freedom that the founders of many VC-funded companies trade for scaling up fast – only...

  • This Indian edtech startup is diving deep into China, US, Philippines. Here’s how

    After almost exactly 8 years of helping Indians find jobs, Aspiring Minds has decided to take its services wordwide. India has several startups trying their hands at the job searching industry, but this edtech startup for the unemployed is expanding across continents. China, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Tanzania are all on its list, and that’s just for now, co-founder and CEO Himanshu Aggarwal tells Tech in Asia. The expansion has been in the works for a while and resulted partially from popular demand and partially due to the realization that job-matching services are needed in countries outside India...

  • Two brothers are going the Rovio way with their gaming startup

    Indonesia’s video game industry is just waking up. Local game companies have been around since the late 90s, but most of them limited themselves to publishing international online games in Indonesia. Others were essentially outsourcing studios, taking on jobs from bigger foreign games studios without getting much credit for their work. About seven years ago, a shift occurred. Indonesian developers started creating their own intellectual property, mostly for Flash-based titles. The rise of Flash games made it easier for smaller studios to publish and distribute games. This new attitude of creating things locally was passed on to the next generation...

  • India’s Xiaomi backer bets on a startup that tracks other startups

    Ratan Tata remains a respected name in India, where several business tycoons are tarnished with the brush of crony capitalism. He retired at the end of 2012 after helming the Tata Group of companies which collectively had over US$100 billion in revenues. He’s credited with turning the Tatas from a family-run business to a professionally managed global entity after taking the reins in 1991, when India embarked on economic liberalization. The benefits of that experience and reputation have been flowing to startups over the past couple of years, as Ratan Tata has taken to investing in entrepreneurs since his retirement....

  • 11 big startup acquisitions in India and what they mean for entrepreneurs

    Observers of an emerging startup ecosystem look for exits as a sign of maturity. That is because exits in the form of mergers and acquisitions (M&As) or IPOs give VCs a return on their investment. They can then launch new funds to invest in fresh startups. It completes the cycle of venture capital. Indian tech IPOs are rare. So the approval given in September by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to ecommerce firm Infibeam to raise INR 4,500 million (US$68 million) breaks new ground. Rivals Flipkart and Snapdeal will be watching what kind of reception the public...

  • What you need to know about growing your marketplace

    If you’re a new startup, or contemplating starting out, odds are you are thinking of creating something as a “two-sided platform.” That is, a platform-based business where you connect service givers to customers -- think Practo or Redbus. Now, if you’re starting out, you’re probably thinking, but how do I overcome our daily challenges to get there? The question gets all the more relevant in India now, as 2016 is going to see some major cold feet from investors. That means no more easy money, and no more “if I’m a startup, someone will fund me” assurances. Only those with solid...