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Photo credit: Ryde

Here’s a rundown of today’s headlines.


Ryde alleges “phantom bookings” originate from IP addresses linked to Grab (Singapore). Ride-hailing startup Ryde said that its drivers have fallen victim to an increasing number of apparently fake bookings in recent weeks. Drivers are booked, but when they arrive at the pick-up point, passengers are not present. As a result, drivers are unable to take on genuine bookings, and they lose fuel and money in the process. Ryde claimed it has collected “compelling digital evidence” that highlights several IP addresses linked to the Midview City and Herencia office complexes – both used by dominant ride-hailing player Grab – as the source of many of the “phantom bookings.” Grab told Tech in Asia it is investigating the matter. (Ryde)

Consumer tech

Cashify banks US$12 million in series C round (India). The startup buys second-hand mobile devices and other electronics and then sells them through merchant partners. It plans to use the money to create a resale website, allowing consumers to purchase directly online. China’s CDH Investments and Morningside co-led the round. Used-electronics reseller Aihuishou, Bessemer Ventures, and Xiaomi founder Lei Jun’s Shunwei Capital also participated. (TechCrunch)

Blockchain and cryptocurrencies

Government heightens scrutiny of crypto-exchange bank accounts (South Korea). The country’s Financial Services Commission (FSC) said that newly amended anti-laundering regulations require domestic banks to monitor all accounts held by cryptocurrency exchange operators. Until now, banks have only monitored investors’ accounts, but FSC said that a recent investigation found that some exchanges had moved assets out of investors’ depositing accounts to their own operating accounts. This breaks ring-fencing rules that require exchanges to their own assets separate from those of their investors, the agency said. (CoinDesk)

Binance’s leadership team / Photo credit: Binance

Binance to launch its first crypto-fiat exchange in Uganda (Hong Kong). Binance Uganda will support the trading of various digital tokens and fiat currencies, including the African country’s shilling. Founder Changpeng Zhao said that the move “shows Binance is not just into chasing the most developed markets” and that the startup sees plenty of opportunity in the African market. (Cointelegraph)

JD and Huobi team up (China). The tech giant’s cloud services unit, JD Cloud, has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with cryptocurrency exchange operator Huobi. The two will work together on the application of blockchain-related technology to finance, IoT, and data services. (TechNode)


Edureka scores US$2 million investment (India). Leo Capital led the round. Online education platform Edureka said it will use the funding to try to hit its target of sixfold revenue growth over the next three years. (Livemint)

Artificial intelligence

Turing Robot raises series B-plus funds (China). The startup did not disclose the amount it received, but said the round brings its total funding to date to US$53 million. Turing Robot focuses on the areas of cognitive computing, human-machine interaction, machine learning, and semantic recognition, and claims to hold about 200 patents relating to these and other technologies. Qianhai Wutong Mergers & Acquisition Funds and Zoy Capital led the round. (China Money Network)

Enterprise software and services

The Kakitangan team

The Kakitangan team / Photo credit: Kakitangan

Kakitangan closes pre-series A round (Malaysia). BFM Capital, the seed investment arm of BFM Media, led the round. Kakitangan offers an online human resources platform, including payroll and expense claim management capabilities, aimed at small- and medium-sized businesses. (Kakitangan)

Liepin parent lists in Hong Kong (China). Wise Talent, which runs job recruitment site Leipin, is said to be seeking about US$370 million from the IPO – substantially lower than the US$800 million that was being discussed a few months ago. Nevertheless, the float is expected to be the year’s second largest in Hong Kong following Ping An’s US$1.1 billion raise in April. Wise Talent attained unicorn status after banking US$100 million in its 2016 series D round. (TechNode)

Hashtag Loyalty gets seed backing (India). The customer relationship management platform secured the seed investment from Ahimsa Capital. Hashtag Loyalty had earlier focused on offering point-of-sale hardware solutions to the restaurant industry, before moving to a software-as-a-service model. It claims to have handled 2.5 million transactions for its clients to date. (Inc42)

Investors, incubators, and accelerators

Muru-D pulls out of the Lion City (Australia/Singapore). The accelerator is discontinuing its program in Singapore, and will “refocus” on its schemes in Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney. Muru-D said it is “very proud” of its Singapore accelerator and startups that were in the three cohorts to have completed the program will remain members of its alumni network. (Muru-D)

See: Previous Asia tech news roundups

This post Asia news roundup: Grab hit by Ryde’s fraud claims, Binance looks to Africa, and more appeared first on Tech in Asia.

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