Asia news roundup: Our ‘optional investment’ in region leads to losses, says Uber chief
Here are Asia’s top tech stories from today. We’ll be back with our next news roundup after the Lunar New Year holiday.
Uber CEO says emerging markets explain negative income (Asia-Pacific). Dara Khosrowshahi told attendees at the Goldman Sachs Technology & Internet Conference in San Francisco that the company’s big investments in “developing” markets such as India were a major reason why its operating income remains in the red. He described Uber’s operations in Asia as an “optional investment,” but reiterated the company’s commitment to continued investment and competition in the region.(TechCrunch)
Kakao unit acquires carpooling startup Luxi (South Korea). Kakao Mobility, the transport subsidiary of internet and messaging giant Kakao, has agreed to purchase Luxi in a US$23.3 million deal. The acquisition is intended to meet increasing demand for ride-hailing made through its Kakao Taxi app. (DealStreetAsia)
Media and entertainment
Meanwhile, Kakao’s gaming business secured fresh funding. Tencent, Actozsoft, Bluehole Studio, Netmarble Games, and Premier Growth are among several investors to have pumped US$130 million into Kakao Games, which is eyeing an IPO in the near future. (TechCrunch)
Property and real estate
EV Hive opens co-working space in mail service center (Indonesia). The East Ventures-backed shared workspace operator launched its latest venue in PT Pos Indonesia’s main regional post office in Pasar Baru, Jakarta. The startup’s collaboration with the national mail agency is aimed at revitalizing post offices by drawing younger people into the facilities, while encouraging innovation in the mail delivery space. (e27)
Investors, incubators, and accelerators
GSMA seeking next cohort for accelerator program (Asia-Pacific). The GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund – an Asia and Africa-focused accelerator scheme backed by the GSM Association (GSMA), a global mobile industry group, as well as the Australian and UK governments – will begin accepting applications for its third round next month. The 15 startups selected to join the program will receive up to US$347,500 in equity-free funding, as well as opportunities to partner with mobile operators to help scale their products and services. A high turnout from Myanmar is expected, with 5 percent of the top 100 applications for the program’s second round coming from the country. (DealStreetAsia)
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