Kencko, a company that wants to help people eat more fruit and vegetables in their daily life, is entering feast mode after it announced a $3.4 million seed round for growth and product development.
We profiled the company last year, but — for those who missed it — Kencko develops plant-based products that help people eat healthy without having to suffer the pain of horrible tasting food or other extreme eating. That’s to say that its fruit drinks, the company’s first product, include the pulp and vitamins absent in pressed juice but come in a convenient sachet that has been flash-frozen and slow-dried to retain all the goodness. The company says that each packet, which is 20g and mixes with water, contains two of the five-a-day recommendation for fruit and vegetable servings.
Right now, Kencko — which means health in Japanese — is selling the fruit drink
The app is designed to work on patchy or weak internet connections and, at just 10MB, it is small enough to cater to lower-end devices that have limited storage or older phones. Spotify Lite is limited to Android devices running version 4.3 or newer, and it is open to both paying and non-paying users. For those worried about maxing out their data plan, the app comes with an optional limit that can tell you when you are close to hitting that buffer.
Spotify claims that 90 percent of the features of the main app are available in Lite, in particular areas around multiple — including video and cover artist — are omitted as they are not critical to the core experience.
Waresix, one of a handful of startups aiming to modernize logistics in Indonesia — the world’s fourth most populous country — has pulled in $14.5 million to grow its 18-month-old business.
This new investment, Waresix’s Series A, is led by EV Growth — the growth-stage fund co-run by East Ventures — with participation from SMDV — the investment arm of Indonesia corporation Sinar Mas — and Singapore’s Jungle Ventures . The startup previously raised $1.6 million last year from East Ventures, SMDV and Monk’s Hill Ventures. It closed a seed round in early 2018.
Waresix is aiming to digitize logistics, the business of moving goods from A to B, which it believes is worth a total of $240 billion in Indonesia.
A large part of that is down to the country’s geography. The archipelago officially has over 17,000, but there are five main ones. That necessitates a lot
PayU, the Naspers owned fintech firm that specializes in emerging markets, is broadening its global reach into Southeast Asia after it announced a deal to buy a majority stake in Singapore-based Red Dot Payment.
Naspers is best known for its payments and fintech business in markets like India, Latin America, Africa and Eastern Europe, but now it will enter Southeast Asia, a market with over 600 million consumers and rapidly rising internet access.
PayU plans to tap that potential through Red Dot, an eight-year-old startup founded by finance veterans which offers services that include a payment gateway, e-commerce storefronts and online invoicing across Southeast Asia. PayU said it has acquired “a majority stake” in the business. It did not specify the exact size but it did disclose that the deal values Red Dot at $65 million.
It isn’t clear exactly how much Red Dot had raised from investors overall —
July 4 is American Independence Day, but it also marks the arrival of Stranger Things season three — a release that might just be the most-anticipated in the history of Netflix.
Season three dropped at 12:01 PDT which means, dear reader, that it is now online and ready for your viewing pleasure.
The series has been an enormous hit for Netflix. Beyond a litany of awards, it has proven to be a smash with Netflix subscribers. More than 15 million watched the season 2 opener within three days of its release, while every episode of the second season had racked up more than four million views within that early window.
Netflix has gone to town promoting season three — with teasers in popular Roblox and Fortnite and an international promotion campaign — so you can expect that the numbers will be even higher this time around. The only question
Sony is doubling down on the world of startup investment. The Japanese tech giant announced a new fund that is aiming to raise 20 billion JPY (around $185 million) to invest in companies within “key high-growth industries.”
While Sony launched a fund in 2016, this new vehicle — which is called Innovation Growth Fund — has been set up with others. Firstly, it is being run jointly with Daiwa Capital Holdings — the VC arm of investment bank Daiwa Securities — and early LPs confirmed include Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Osaka Shoko Shinkin Bank and Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance Company Limited. Sony isn’t saying how much has been raised so far, but it isn’t the full target yet.
The previous fund made over 40 investments, Sony said, and now IGF is taking over with the goal of writing bigger checks than Sony typically manage by itself and paying closer
The new era of tech-enabled banks is coming, even in regulation-heavy Japan. Kyash, a fintech company with visions on becoming Japan’s first challenger bank, said today it has raised $14 million to continue its expansion.
To be clear, Kyash isn’t a bank. Yet. But it is currently applying for a host of licenses in Japan that could allow it to offer banking-style features including checking accounts, ATM withdrawals and money remittance. Right now, it is a payment app that offers a connected Visa card in the style of Monzo, N26, Revolut (which has a Japan license) and others of that ilk.
The startup was founded in 2015 in Shinichi Takatori, a former banker and management consultant who saw the potential to merge tech and finance.
“I really noticed that information and communication has become ubiquitous but money itself hasn’t changed for a long time,” Takatori told TechCrunch in an
Sweet Escape, a startup founded in Indonesia that helps connect photographers with customers, is all smiles today after it announced a $6 million Series A round.
The company — which was profiled by TechCrunch last year — said that the investment was led by Singapore-based funds Openspace Ventures and Jungle Ventures with participation from Burda Principal
Investments. Existing investors, which include Beenext, SkyStar Capital, and GDP Venture, also took part. The startup previously raised $1 million in seed funding.
Founded in 2017 by David Soong and Emile Etienne — whose previous startup was recently acquired by Indonesian travel unicorn Traveloka — Sweet Escape was initially aimed at helping travelers to connect with photographers to take great holiday photos, and get them back quickly. Now, however, that mission has broadened and the company is billing itself as a platform to reach and book photographers.
U.S. President Donald Trump has handed Huawei a lifeline after he said that U.S. companies are permitted to sell goods to the embattled Chinese tech firm following more than a month of uncertainty.
It’s been a pretty dismal past month for Huawei since the American government added it and 70 of its affiliates to an “entity list” which forbids U.S. companies from doing business with it. The ramifications of the move were huge across Huawei’s networking and consumer devices businesses. A range of chip companies reportedly forced to sever ties while Google, which provides Android for Huawei devices, also froze its relationship. Speaking this month.
Southeast Asia’s highest-capitalized startup is sitting on even more money from investors today after ride-hailing Grab announced it has raised $300 million from Invesco.
The deal takes Singapore-based Grab $7.5 billion raised to date. The money is part of its ongoing — feels-like-everlasting — Series H round which was started last June via a $1 billion capital injection from Toyota.
Warburg Pincus, the private equity fund with over $60 billion under management, is doubling down on Asia after it announced a $4.25 billion fund dedicated to China and Southeast Asia.
The firm has been present in China for 25 years, and it has invested over $11 billion in a portfolio of over 120 startups that includes the likes of Alibaba’s Ant Financial and listed companies NIO (a Tesla rival), ZTO Express (a courier firm)among others. The new fund will work in tandem with the firm’s $14.8 billion global growth fund which was finalized at the end of last year.
What’s particularly interesting about the new fund is that it has expanded to include Southeast Asia, where internet adoption is rapidly expanding among 600 million consumers, for the first time. It is the successor to Warburg Pincus’ previous $2.2 billion ‘China’ fund and, with the addition of Southeast
In the world of ride-hailing and its billion-dollar investment checks, an $8 million capital raise may not be a big deal but it does represent a coming-out for Splyt, a UK-based startup that is aiming to help make global ride-hailing roaming a reality — and not just within ride-hailing apps.
The four-year-old company announced this week that it closed an $8 million Series A round from a range of undisclosed (and existing) family offices and angel investors. In addition, the round included participation from Southeast
Started in 2017 by Edward Tirtanata and James Prananto, the company aims to bridge the gap between cheap street vendor coffee and drinks priced at the higher end of the spectrum from international chains such as Starbucks — the ‘sweet spot,’ you might say. That delta is a major reason why Indonesia, which is the world’s fourth-largest coffee exporter, has Southeast Asia’s lowest coffee consumption per person, Tirtanata argued.
Kopi Kenangan is also unashamedly local. Rather than lattes, mochas or flat whites, its top-selling drink is ‘Es Kopi Kenangan Mantan,’ a
Carrefour, which is Europe’s largest retailer, sold a majority 80% stake in its China-based business to Chinese retailer Suning, according to an announcement made this weekend. The deal is worth €620 million — that’s RMB 4.8 billion or $705 million — and it is set to close by the end of this year.
Beyond a retail story, the news also has a strong tech angle given the convoluted relationships of the parties that are involved, and it’s a reminder of the power that Chinese tech giants have grown to command.
Ties to Alibaba
Suning has had close links to Alibaba. The e-commerce giant owns a 20% stake in Suning courtesy of
Huawei may be on the ropes as it battles sanctions from the U.S. government, but fellow Chinese smartphone rival Xiaomi is in expansion mode with the launch of a new brand that’s aimed at winning friends (and sales) among the young and fashionable.
“Mi CC” is the newest brand from Xiaomi. Unveiled on Friday, the phone-maker said it stands for “camera+camera” in reference to its dual-camera feature, but that apparently also segues into “a variety of meanings including chic, cool, colorful and creative.”
The end goal of that marketing bumf is a target customer that Xiaomi describes as “the global young generation.”
Essentially, what Xiaomi is doing here is breaking out a dedicated set of phones for those who care more about aesthetics than performance. To date, the company has built its brand on developing phones that are as good — well, nearly as good — as
WeWork’s battle to win co-working in Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous country, is intensifying after one of the U.S. firm’s key rival announced a slew of announcements to double down on its business.
EV Hive, an Indonesia-based co-working startup, said today that it has raised $13.5 million and expanded into new verticals. The company is putting off plans to foray into new countries in order to prioritize growth opportunities at home.
The four-year-old company, which started out as a project for seed stage VC firm East Ventures, has rebranded to CoHive as part of the strategy to diversify its business. That’ll see it add new services for living spaces (CoLiving) and retailers (CoRetail), in addition to its core co-working and events businesses.
“We’re the number one player in the market and our goal now is to use the capital and offer more services and products,” Jason Lee,
The investment was led by existing backer Impulse VC — the Russian fund that is backed by billionaire Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich — and new addition VentureSouq from Dubai. Other past backers also took part, including Boost Heroes, Aria Group and 808 Tech Ventures. GuestReady raised $3 million in 2017 and this round takes it to nearly $10 million from investors to date.
GuestReady’s property management platform helps owners manage the intricacies of operating a shared-economy house, such as cleaning, laundry, and check-in and out services. It claims to cover over 2,000 properties across six countries: the UK, France, Portugal, UAE, Malaysia, and Hong Kong. Airbnb is the obvious platform to work with, but a sizeable volume of business comes from Expedia’s HomeAway business
Shareholders are invited to vote on the offer ahead of the company’s annual general meeting on July 15. The initiative has already been approved by Alibaba’s board, which is recommending that shareholders follow suit.
The particularly interesting part of the filing is where Alibaba explains the reasons behind the stock split.
“The Board of Directors is proposing the Share Subdivision to increase the flexibility for the Company in future capital market activities. Among other reasons, the one-to-eight share subdivision will increase the number of shares available