Here’s a wrap of the day’s news.
Ant Financial said to have raised US$10 billion at a US$150 billion valuation (China). The operator of digital wallet powerhouse Alipay has raised US$10 billion in its latest funding round, according to Reuters. Sources tell the news agency that the company has attracted investors like Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC and state investor Temasek, as well as US private equity investor Warburg Pinkus. This values Ant Financial at US$150 billion, up from US$60 billion at its last fundraise two years ago. If confirmed, the deal could make Ant Financial the most valuable startup in the world. (Reuters)
Alibaba sells healthtech assets to affiliate for US$1.4 billion (China). Alibaba Group has reached a deal to sell several healthcare product and medical-device categories from online marketplace Tmall to its Hong Kong-listed subsidiary, Alibaba Health. The deal will give Alibaba Group US$1.4 billion in newly issued shares, which increases its stake in Alibaba Health to 56.2 percent. The group wants to turn Alibaba Health into its “healthcare flagship platform,” according to CEO Daniel Zhang. (The Financial Times)
Omnistream gets funding to rejuvenate physical retail with data (Singapore, Hong Kong). The data analytics startup secured an undisclosed amount of seed funding in a round co-led by C31 Ventures and Wavemaker Partners. Omnistream develops data analytics solutions for brick-and-mortar retail outlets, allowing them to improve their offerings through insights on shopper behavior and activity. The Hong Kong-founded startup has relocated to Singapore to tap into resources by real estate operator CapitaLand, the parent company of C31. (Tech in Asia)
Blockchain and cryptocurrencies
Sentinel Protocol raises US$8 million through an ICO to identify crypto-scams (Singapore). The Singapore-headquartered blockchain company raised US$8 million in a token sale. The startup aims to identify, analyze, and record online threats to cryptocurrencies, such as phishing attacks and malware. CEO Patrick Kim lost 7,218 ether in a 2016 cyberattack. The incident made him realize the need for greater security for crypto assets. (e27)
WeChat rolls out new privacy rules (China). The social platform has announced new rules for user privacy amid heavier global scrutiny on data protection. The rules, which come into effect today, focus on user data leakage through functions like pop-up widgets and external links, and intellectual property protection for content producers. Chaping, a WeChat media account that was accused of plagiarism, said on Monday it had agreed to return a US$4.7 million investment from WeChat owner Tencent. (Technode)
Sinoventures has US$390 million for Guangzhou’s AI ecosystem (China). The Chinese VC firm announced a US$390 million investment fund for AI companies in Guangzhou. Sinoventuressaid it will help Guangzhou develop an AI ecosystem by setting up a subsidiary and a research center there. Led by Lee Kai-Fu, who formerly headed Google’s China operations, the firm recently announced it raised US$500 million more for AI investments in China. (DealStreetAsia)
See: Previous Asia tech news roundups
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