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JD’s automated sorting center in Kunshan. Photo credit: JD.

Here’s a rundown of news from today and over the weekend.


Google to plunk down US$550 million in JD.com (China). The US tech giant is pouring US$550 million into the Chinese ecommerce powerhouse as part of a “strategic partnership” between the two. Under the deal, Google and JD will jointly develop a range of online shopping solutions in regions outside China, particularly in Southeast Asia, the US, and Europe. JD will start selling products through Google Shopping, a platform that aggregates ecommerce sites based on product search. (Tech in Asia)

Financial services

Money-transfer app developer lands US$40 million from GIC, others
(South Korea).
The Singapore sovereign wealth fund and Sequoia China have made a joint US$40 million investment into Viva Republica, the developer behind fintech app Toss. The latest funding boosts the startup’s war chest to a total US$116 million and will be used to support its growth and ramp up product development. (e27)


Razer leads US$3.3 million investment into esports tournament platform (Australia). Esports Mogul Asia Pacific announced that it has raised US$3.3 million in around led by the gaming hardware company and another Singapore-based technology firm, Cloud Alliance. The money will go to developing the startup’s Mogul Arena, an app that allows people to play in online tournaments whenever they want. It will also use the funds to pursue aggressive user acquisition. (e27))


Grab secures US$370 million debt financing deal for vehicle fleet (Singapore). The ride-hailing startup has secured a US$370 million asset-backed syndicated facility deal that had 16 participants, including banks such as HSBC, which structured the transaction. The five-year deal is part of the $700 million in debt financing announced by Grab last October and comes shortly after a $1 billion funding round from Japanese carmaker Toyota closed last week. (Deal Street Asia)

Uber to keep pursuing growth (India). The US company said it will continue to chase growth over profits in India, where it’s competing with homegrown rival Ola. Uber claims it’ getting more than 10 million rides every week – , more than twice as many from a year ago – in the country, which has become its most significant overseas market after the company pulled out of China and Southeast Asia. (Livemint)

ComfortDelgro Savico Taxi, Vinataxi merge to take on Grab (Vietnam). The companies – the former is a joint venture between Saigon General Service Corporation and Singapore’s largest cab operator ComfortDelGro while the latter is a homegrown brand that has the third-biggest share in Ho Chi Minh City – plan to take on ride-hailing leader Grab – to set up a new system with a fleet of 300 high-tech cars. (Deal Street Asia)


Xiaozhu reportedly bags US$100 million in new funding round (China). The country’s biggest house-sharing platform is in talks to secure $100 million as it continues to go up against local competitor Tujia.com and US giant Airbnb, according to a report from The Information. The Beijing-based startup says it has 350,000 listings and 28 million registered users, with its total transaction volume reaching US$390 million in 2017 from US$194 million. (Deal Street Asia)

Artificial intelligence

MobiKwik invests US$294,000 in data science firm(India). The fintech company, which provides a mobile payment system and digital wallet, has plunked down in Pune-based Pivotchain Solutions. MobiKwik plans to strengthen its fintech offerings with the investment. (Livemint)

See: Previous Asia tech news roundups

This post Asia news roundup: Google plows $550m in JD, Vietnam taxis team up to take on Grab, and more appeared first on Tech in Asia.

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