Asia news roundup: Xiaomi posts $1b loss, crypto exchange loses $40m in hack, and more
All the news you might have missed today and over the weekend.
Xiaomi posts $1b loss before its long-awaited IPO (China). Smartphone and gadget maker Xiaomi reported a net loss of US$1.09 billion in the first quarter of this year, according to an official filing with Chinese regulators. However, its smartphone shipments still grew by 88 percent during the same period, thanks to overseas markets like Europe. For the whole of 2017, the Chinese company’s net loss was US$6.8 billion. (Reuters)
Blockchain and cryptocurrencies
Hacked crypto exchange loses more than $40m worth of tokens (South Korea). Korean crypto exchange Coinrail was hit by hackers over the weekend, which resulted in a loss of over $40 million in tokens. The stolen coins were all issued in various ICOs by companies like Pundi X, Dent, and Tron. Coinrail has stated that the remaining 70 percent of its crypto assets have been moved to a secure “cold wallet” while the exchange has suspended its service for the moment. (TechCrunch)
‘800-pound gorilla’ of bitcoin mining reportedly raises $400m in pre-IPO round (China). Bitcoin mining company Bitmain is said to have raised US$400 million from existing investor Sequoia Capital India ahead of an expected IPO in September, according to local media. The company designs and makes cryptocurrency mining equipment and is described by Bloomberg as “the dominant maker of mining rigs.” (DealStreetAsia)
Small business lending startup raises $21.5m in series C led by Google’s growth capital fund (India). Gurgaon-based Aye Finance has raised US$21.5 million. The series C funding comes from CapitalG, the growth capital fund of Google owner Alphabet Inc (also known as Google Capital). Existing investors SAIF Partners and LGT Impact Ventures also joined in. The fintech startup provides financing to micro and small businesses across 10 states in India. (VCCircle)
Fintech marketplace nets $1m to expand in Southeast Asia and the US (Singapore). Singapore-based fintech startup Liquidity Marketplace has raised seed funding to the tune of US$1 million. The company brings together lenders and borrowers without any intermediation. Its SaaS-based service also allows banks to offer real-time pricing to clients who purchase treasury products. The seed round was led by Javelin Startup-O Victory Fund, the venture arm of Singaporean venture builder Startup-O, and joined by strategic angel investors. (Startup-O)
Bike-sharing feels the (cash) crunch as oBike and Ofo face challenges (Singapore). Bike-sharing startups Ofo and oBike are each having their share of trouble in the city-state. One of Ofo’s logistics and freight providers in Singapore is apparently selling a fleet of Ofo bikes stored in its warehouse due to outstanding fees owed to it by Ofo. Meanwhile, oBike has apparently converted some of its users’ deposits into year-long subscriptions without those users’ consent or notification. A technical glitch was blamed as oBike is pledging to return the funds to users. (Tech in Asia)
AR / VR
Mixed reality startup bags $3m to develop Star Wars-style holographic social experience (South Korea, US). DoubleMe, a startup based in South Korea and California, has been awarded a US$3 million research and development grant by a South Korean government infocomms and technology agency. DoubleMe is developing a more efficient and affordable method of “holoportation,” a mixed reality technology that captures 3D models and projects them through compatible devices using 5G networks. The tech enables social experiences and communication in real time. (DoubleMe)
Sports equipment and services startup scores $78m from industry firms and Olympic medal winners (China). Guangzhou-based Health Mall has raised a series C round worth US$78 million. Investors are undisclosed, but the startup says they comprise more than 10 sports industry companies and more than 30 Olympic medal winners in China. Health Mall has an online marketplace for sports equipment, as well as a SaaS-based platform that connects athletes and coaches. It also owns and manages several sports studios. (China Money Network)
Digital exchange hub set to be the third local startup to go public in Indonesia (Indonesia). NFC Indonesia, a provider of digital services like video streaming app Oona TV and a phone credit marketplace, announced it’s going to list on the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) in July. The company plans to raise up to US$24 million. NFC Indonesia is a subsidiary of MCash, itself listed on IDX. After its parent company and ecommerce startup Kioson, it will be the third Indonesian startup to go public on IDX. (e27)
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