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Downtown Singapore. Photo credit: ronniechua / 123RF.

Active.ai, EasyRewardz, and Hmlet were among the day’s funding recipients, while Singapore’s central bank announced a big investment in artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics technologies.

Artificial intelligence

Active.ai scores US$8.25 million in series A round (Singapore). Vertex Ventures, CreditEase, and Dream Incubator co-led the investment in the startup, which develops AI-driven chatbots for banks’ customer engagement operations. (Tech in Asia)

Real estate

“Co-living space” operator Hmlet gets US$1.5 million seed funding (Singapore). The company provides short-term rentals in shared accommodation aimed primarily at tech startup workers. Woh Hup affiliate Aurum Investments led the round. (Tech in Asia)

Hmlet’s new co-living space in Joo Chiat, Singapore. Photo credit: Hmlet.


Central bank commits US$20 million to AI and data analytics projects (Singapore). The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is offering the grant as part of its US$165 million Financial Sector Technology and Innovation Scheme, to support the adoption of the technologies in banks and financial institutions. Opening the international Fintech Festival in Singapore today, MAS officials also announced new initiatives aimed at enhancing cyber security, as well as partnerships with several foreign counterparts. (Tech in Asia)


EasyRewardz closes US$2 million series A round (India). The platform allows users to keep track of their rewards from loyalty schemes run by airlines, hotels, and shops, all in one place. TransContinental Venture Fund led the round, with existing angel investors Jitendra Gupta and Vinay Chatlani returning. (The Economic Times)

Investors, incubators, and accelerators

Fenox Venture Capital reveals Sichuan plans (China). The US VC firm is setting up a startup incubator in Chengdu, Sichuan, after obtaining a license – and financial backing – from the Chinese government. Fenox CEO Anis Uzzaman said the incubator will largely mirror its Indonesia program, GnB Accelerator, under which participating  startups receive US$50,000 in funding in exchange for 10 percent equity. (e27)

MDI Ventures backs US space startup (Indonesia). MDI, the VC arm of Indonesian telco Telkom, joined the US$3.2 million seed investment in Loft Orbital, which buys satellites and rents out space onboard them to third-party companies to mount sensors. (CNBC)

A Terrafugia flying car prototype at the New York International Auto Show. Photo credit: IFCAR.

Geely buys US flying car startup (China). The Zhejiang-based auto giant has agreed to acquire Terrafugia, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology spin-out that is aiming to have its Transition flying car in production within two years. Geely compatriot Tencent led a US$90 million series B round investment in German flying car startup Lilium two months ago. (China Money Network)

This post Asia tech news roundup – Nov 14 appeared first on Tech in Asia.

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