Asia news roundup: Rotimatic maker bags $30m, ZTE banned from buying US tech, and more
The US has banned a telecommunications-gear maker in China from buying American products amid growing trade tensions between the two giant economies.
Zimplistic lands US$30 million in series C round (Singapore). The startup, which has developed Indian-style flatbread making appliance Rotimatic, announced today that it has closed its series C fundraise. The round was co-led by private equity firm Credence Partners and EDBI, the investment unit of Singapore’s Economic Development Board. Existing backers also joined the round. Zimplistic said the capital will go towards realising its goal of converting 25 percent of the global flatbread-consuming population into Rotimatic users. (Tech in Asia)
Government releases ecommerce statistics for the first time (Singapore). The city-state’s Department of Statistics has begun releasing monthly figures for online retail sales, which will help lawmakers determine if there should be any changes made to current tax policy. The agency reported digital transactions worth US$110 million in February, which made up 3.9 percent of overall retail sales in the country — a 0.2 percent dip from the previous month. (Bloomberg)
JD to invest US$85.4 million in Allianz China arm (China). The Beijing-based ecommerce firm has announced that it will take up a 33 percent stake in the China unit of global insurance company Allianz, in a bid to expand its foothold in the online finance sector. The investment is subject to approval from China’s banking regulator, but if green-lighted would make JD the second largest shareholder in Allianz China. (Reuters)
Enterprise software and services
Kdan raises US$5 million in series A funding round (Taiwan). The mobile software company, which offers content creation tools and online cloud services to users, has closed its series A financing round. Investors included WI Harper Group, Darwin Venture Management, and Accord Ventures. Kdan will use the funding to expand its footprint in the US and China, and to develop new features aimed at enterprises and educational institutions. (Kdan)
Dexecure secures US$763,000 in seed round (Singapore). The SaaS startup, which has developed tech to optimize and speed-up loading for mobile and desktop websites, has bagged approximately US$763,000 in seed funding from Cocoon Capital and Walden International. It will use the funding to hire sales team members and explore potential new product lines. (Dexecure)
Better Life’s chairman says staffless stores are a”pseudo-proposition” and “a dead end” (China). Wang Tian, chairman of the Tencent- and JD-backed retail conglomerate, has suggested in a social media post that staffless convenience stores – something that his firm’s investors have devoted considerable efforts to – will not work. . Better Life operates department and convenience stores, as well as supermarkets, in the country. (KrAsia
Blockchain and cryptocurrencies
CoinHako launches Bitcoin Cash e-wallet (Singapore). The Singapore-based cryptocurrency firm, which claims to process over seven figures worth of digital currency transactions every month, has launched Bitcoin Cash capability for their e-wallet, allowing users to buy, sell, or trade the bitcoin spin-off cryptocurrency on its platform. (CoinHako)
Media and entertainment
iQiyi joins AOMedia as alliance’s first Chinese member (China). The Beijing-based video-streaming platform, touted as the country’s Netflix-equivalent, announced that it has joined the Alliance for Open Media, an international group made up of leading companies in the video-related tech industry. The group’s founders, which include Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, IBM, and Netflix, formed the organisation to address the need for open standards for video compression and delivery over the web. (iQiyi)
Alcheme raises undisclosed amount in seed round (Singapore). The tech-driven skincare startup, which customises products for individual consumers by using facial recognition technology, has closed its seed funding round led by DSG Consumer Partners and private investor Kenneth Bishop. The firm said the capital will be used for product and market development, and to increase their market presence in the beauty industry. (Alcheme)
ZTE banned from buying US technology for 7 years (China). In another sign of growing trade tensions between the two countries, the US Department of Commerce has prohibited the Chinese firm from purchasing any US technology for a seven-year period. The ban comes in the wake of a range of US national security concerns about ZTE, , including that it paid bonuses to employees engaged in allegedly illegal activities. The move prevents ZTE, one of the world’s biggest smartphone and communications-gear manufacturers, from buying crucial components (Bloomberg)
This post Asia news roundup: Rotimatic maker bags $30m, ZTE banned from buying US tech, and more appeared first on Tech in Asia.