As another week draws to a close, here are the hottest news stories from the past 24 hours.
Grab closes record round (Singapore). Yesterday’s news that Hyundai invested in Grab marks the close of its series G fundraise, which is now the biggest funding round in Southeast Asian history based on publicly available data, the ride-hailing firm told Tech in Asia. Softbank, Didi Chuxing, and Toyota are also known to have participated in the oversubscribed round, which brings Grab’s total equity funding to over US$4 million. (Grab)
Ofo shareholder sells stake for US$3 billion (China). GSR ventures’ Zhu Xiaohu is reported to have sold his shares in the bike-sharing startup to co-investor Alibaba for US$3 billion. This would value ofo at about US$10 billion – more than three times its valuation at the close of its US$700 million series E round last July. (Technode)
Maoyan Weying eyes US$1 billion Hong Kong IPO (China). The cinema ticketing platform raised US$156 million from Tencent in November, and counts China’s Enlight Media and ecommerce firm Meituan Dianping among its other backers. (Bloomberg)
Meicai raises US$450 million (China). Tiger Global Management and China Media Capital led the the investment in the app, which allows restaurants to order fresh fruits and vegetables direct from farmers. (Bloomberg)
ToneTag gets US$1.3 million funding (India). The offline mobile payments app secured the capital from Hong Kong-registered Tropical Star. ToneTag previously raised US$1 million from Reliance Capital in August 2015 and an undisclosed sum from several angel investors in November 2016. (Inc42)
Bianlifeng acquires cashierless rival Lingwa (China). Cashier-free convenience store chain Bianlifeng has announced the purchase of a controlling stake in competitor Lingwa, in a sign that more consolidation may be set to come in the fledgling industry. Another rival, Xingbianli, denied yesterday that it is pulling out of smaller cities. Alibaba, JD, and Tencent have all made their owncashierless store plays too. (China Money Network)
Online lenders form industry body (India). Several peer-to-peer lending startups have banded together to establish the Association of P2P Lending Platforms, to represent the interests of the country’s growing industry in this area. The move comes three months after India’s central bank released guidelines for non-banking financial service providers engaged in P2P lending. (Inc42)
Set top box sellers face charges (Singapore). Two local firms and their directors are set to be charged in court for selling Android-based set top boxes capable of streaming copyright infringing content, in what could become a landmark case for the city-state. The industry-led Coalition Against Piracy last month singled out Singapore as “the worst [Asian country] in terms of availability of illicit streaming devices.” (The Straits Times)
See: Previous Asia tech news roundups
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