Category Archives: alibaba

Africa Roundup: Jumia’s post-IPO earnings, Gokada’s $5.3M raise, Facebook’s fake-news purge, Joe Montana’s fintech investment

Jumia held its first post-IPO earnings call and weathered a short-sell assault in May, with Wall Street showing confidence in the Pan-African e-commerce company. On the numbers, key takeaways were that Jumia’s Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) — the total amount of goods sold over the period — grew by 58% to €240 million. Marketplace revenue grew 102% to €16 million, and gross profits as a percentage of GMV grew by 6.5% in Q1 2019. Overall, Jumia’s operating losses for the period widened to €45.4 million from €34.3, […]

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Alibaba pumps $100 million into Vmate to grow its video app in India

Chinese tech giant Alibaba is doubling down on India’s burgeoning video market, looking to fight back local rival ByteDance, Google, and Disney to gain its foothold in the nation. The company said today that it is pumping $100 million into Vmate, a three-year-old social video app owned by subsidiary UC Web. Vmate was launched as a video streaming and sharing app in 2016. But in the years since, it has added features such as video downloads and 3-dimensional face emojis to expand its use cases. It has […]

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A young entrepreneur is building the Amazon of Bangladesh

At just 26, Waiz Rahim is supposed to be involved in the family business, having returned home in 2016 with an engineering degree from the University of Southern California. Instead, the young entrepreneur is plotting to build the Amazon of Bangladesh. Deligram, Rahim’s vision of what e-commerce looks like in Bangladesh, a country of nearly 180 million, is making progress, having taken inspiration from a range of established tech giants worldwide, including Amazon, Alibaba and Go-Jek in Indonesia. It’s a far cry from the family business. That’s […]

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Online grocery startup Grofers lands $200M led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund

Hot on the heels of Indian delivery startup BigBasket raising $150 million — at a unicorn valuation, no less — so its close rival Grofers has also pulled in capital after it announced a $200 million raise to battle its local competition and international giants Amazon and Walmart. The round is the largest in India’s online grocery sector to date, and it was led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund, which continues to make major bets on the nation’s growing internet economy. KTB and existing investors Tiger Global and Sequoia […]

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How the trade war with China hit Uber’s public offering

Uber’s much heralded public offering has arrived not so much with a bang as with a whimper, thanks largely to the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China. Overnight, the U.S. government made good on the threat from President Donald Trump to hike tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25% up from 10%. Trump’s China tariffs are getting a major increase on Friday As a result, stock markets slid further on Friday, and their decline hit Uber’s initial public offering. The company’s shares […]

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Grocery startup BigBasket becomes India’s newest unicorn with new $150M investment

India has a new unicorn after BigBasket, a startup that delivers groceries and perishables across the country, raised $150 million for its fight against rivals Walmart’s Flipkart, Amazon and hyperlocal startups Swiggy and Dunzo. The new financing round — a Series F — was led by Mirae Asset-Naver Asia Growth Fund, the U.K.’s CDC Group and Alibaba, BigBasket said on Monday. The closing of the round has officially helped the seven-year-old startup surpass $1 billion valuation, co-founder Vipul Parekh, who heads marketing and finances for the company, […]

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Grocery delivery startup Honestbee is running out of money and trying to sell

Honestbee, the online grocery delivery service in Asia, is nearly out of money and trying to offload its business. The company has held early conversations with a number of suitors in Asia, including ride-hailing giants Grab and Go-Jek, over the potential acquisition of part, or all, of its business, according to two industry sources with knowledge of the talks. Founded in 2015, Honestbee works with supermarkets and retailers to deliver goods to customers using its store pickers, delivery fleet and mobile apps. The company is based in […]

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African e-commerce startup Jumia’s shares open at $14.50 in NYSE IPO

Pan-African e-commerce company Jumia listed on the New York Stock Exchange today, with shares beginning trading at $14.50 under ticker symbol JMIA. This comes four weeks after CEO Sacha Poignonnec confirmed the IPO to TechCrunch and Jumia filed SEC documents. With the public offering, Jumia becomes the first startup from Africa to list on a major global exchange. In an updated SEC filing, Jumia indicated it is offering 13,500,000 ADR shares for an opening price spread of $13 to $16 per share, representing 17.6 percent of all company shares. […]

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WTF is Baillie Gifford?

The SoftBank Vision Fund has been screaming from the venture headlines the last few months, driven by eye-popping rounds (and valuations!) into some of the most notable startups around the world. Yet, SoftBank isn’t the only player rapidly buying up the cap tables of top startups. Indeed, another firm, more than a century old, has been fighting for that late-stage equity crown. Baillie Gifford . … Who the what? When our fintech contributor Gregg Schoenberg interviewed Charles Plowden, the firm’s joint senior partner, about the firm’s prodigious […]

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Snap is channeling Asia’s messaging giants with its move into gaming

Snap is taking a leaf out of the Asian messaging app playbook as its social messaging service enters a new era. The company unveiled a series of new strategies that are aimed at breathing fresh life into the service that has been ruthlessly cloned by Facebook across Instagram, WhatsApp and even its primary social network. The result? Snap has consistently lost users since going public in 2017. It managed to stop the rot with a flat Q4, but resting on its laurels isn’t going to bring back […]

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