Major players SoftBank and Tencent dominated Asian tech news today and over the weekend, while ride-hailing service Grab hit a significant milestone.
Smartkarma, an online marketplace for investment research, scores US$13.5 million funding (Singapore). Sequoia India led the series B round, which will fuel the startup’s expansion into new markets. Existing investors Wavemaker Partners, Jungle Ventures, and Spring Seeds Capital also joined the round. (Bloomberg)
Kaodim secures US$7 million funding (Malaysia). Square Peg Capital and SIG Asia Investments co-led the investment, which the Kuala Lumpur-based online services marketplace will use to expand its business in Southeast Asia and boost its marketing efforts. (Tech in Asia)
Tencent makes big investment in GJS Robot (China). The internet giant has injected “tens of millions” of yuan into the startup’s series A round, following its US$41 million investment in US educational robot maker Wonder Workshop last week. GJS builds fighting robots that participate in combat contests. (China Money Network)
The company has also joined OpenStack Foundation (China). Tencent has signed up as a gold-level member of the non-profit, which oversees development and governance of the free and open source cloud computing platform. Cisco, IBM, and Intel are among the other members, while existing Chinese members include China Telecom, Huawei, and ZTE. (TechCrunch)
HCash raises US$40.6 million in ICO (Australia). The startup is developing technology to securely transfer data between different types of blockchain. About US$25.8 million of its digital tokens are now in circulation. (Business Insider)
Hevo gets US$1 million seed investment (India). The data integration platform, founded by the same team that launched food delivery startup Spoonjoy, secured the seed funding in a round led by IDG Ventures India. (VCCircle)
Kissht raises US$10 million (India). Chinese conglomerate Fosun International led the investment in the Mumbai-based startup, which works with online and offline merchants to offer credit to their customers at point of sale. (The Economic Times)
Grab hits 1 billion rides across Southeast Asia (Singapore). The customer who made Grab’s 1 billionth ride was a 17-year-old Singapore national swimmer who competed in this year’s Southeast Asian Games, the company said in a statement. (Grab)
SoftBank said to join Alodokter’s US$7 million series B (Indonesia). The health and wellbeing information portal is rumored to have closed a new round following its US$2.5 million series A in August 2016. While the Japanese tech giant is said to have participated, Alodokter’s previous backers include 500 Startups, Fenox Venture Capital, and Golden Gate Ventures. (DealStreetAsia)
Meanwhile, SoftBank quarterly profits beat predictions (Japan). The Japanese tech giant reported operating profit of US$3.5 billion for the three months ending September, exceeding analysts’ expectations of US$2.8 billion. Sales for the quarter matched predictions at US$19.5 billion. (Bloomberg)
Investors, accelerators, and incubators
It’s also said to be upping its stake in US telco Sprint after merger talks fell through (Japan/US). Sprint had been negotiating a combination with rival T-Mobile US. However, talks broke down last week, and SoftBank – which already owns 80 percent of Sprint – is now expected to increase its stake. (Axios)
Broadcom wants Qualcomm (Singapore/US). The Singapore-based chipmaker, known as Avago until a record US$37 billion merger last year, is now said to be planning an even bigger deal. Rumor suggests Broadcom could offer an eye-watering US$103 billion for US competitor Qualcomm this week, just days after US President Donald Trump claimed the Singaporean company would relocate to the US. (Reuters)
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