Category Archives: Asia

Instamojo raises $7M to help SMEs and ‘micro-entrepreneurs’ in India sell online

In India, startups are quietly building the tools and platforms to enable a different kind of gig economy: one that allows “micro-entrepreneurs” to tap growing access to the internet to sell goods and services online. One such firm helping this burgeoning economy is Instamojo, a seven-year-old Bengaluru-based startup, which has pulled in a $7 million Series B as it aims to grow its reach to more than one million SMEs and micro-SMEs in India. Founded in 2012 as a side project, Instamojo offers independent merchants the means to […]

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Daily Crunch: Bing has a child porn problem

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here: 1. Microsoft Bing not only shows child pornography, it suggests it A TechCrunch-commissioned report has found damning evidence on Microsoft’s search engine. Our findings show a massive failure on Microsoft’s part to adequately police its Bing search engine and to prevent its suggested searches and images from assisting pedophiles. 2. Unity pulls nuclear option […]

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Mr Jeff bags $12M Series A to replace trips to the laundromat

If you thought the on-demand laundry space had run out of startup steam here’s a bit of a conditioner: Spanish startup, Mr Jeff, has bagged a $12M Series A, led by All Iron Ventures. The 2016-founded firm currently offers home laundry and dry cleaning services, including on-demand and monthly subscription options, in seven countries, with a focus on LatAm. Last August it acquired Brazilian laundry franchise, Lava é Leva, to move into another market in the region. The franchise model sets the approach apart from some other […]

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Fitness marketplace ClassPass acquires competitor GuavaPass

ClassPass, the five-year-old fitness marketplace startup with $239 million in financing, is acquiring competitor GuavaPass, which was founded by Rob Pachter and Jeffrey Liu in 2015. ClassPass is in the midst of an expansion sprint, both domestically and internationally. The company is hyper-focused on Asian markets, where GuavaPass had carved out its own place with 75 studio partners across 11 cities, including Abu Dhabi, Bnagkok, Beijing, Dubai, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Mumbai, Shanghai and Singapore. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. This […]

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Daily Crunch: AR startups face an uneasy future in 2019

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here: 1. Magic Leap and other AR startups have a rough 2019 ahead of them  2018 was supposed to be the year where the foundation of AR was set to expand, but now it looks like momentum has been sucked out of the industry’s heavy hitters. 2. Sorry I took so long to upgrade, Apple  […]

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Lightspeed is raising its largest China fund yet

Lightspeed China Partners, the China-focused affiliate of Silicon Valley-based Lightspeed Venture Partners, has set a $360 million target for its fourth flagship venture fund, according to a document filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission today. If the target is reached, the fund will be Lightspeed China’s largest yet, per PitchBook. Lightspeed China’s previous two funds each closed on $260 million. The VC raised $168 million for its debut fund in 2013. Lightspeed China is led by David Mi (pictured). Mi, an investor in multiple billion-dollar Chinese companies, […]

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The trust dilemma of continuous background checks

First, background checks at startups, then Huawei’s finance chief is arrested, SoftBank’s IPO is subscribed, and I am about to record our next edition of TechCrunch Equity. It’s Thursday, December 6, 2018. TechCrunch is experimenting with new content forms. This is a rough draft of something new – provide your feedback directly to the author (Danny at danny@techcrunch.com) if you like or hate something here. The dilemma of continuous background checks My colleague John Biggs covered the Series A round for Israel-based Intelligo, a startup that provides […]

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Foxconn or Foxgone? Tariffs, Wisconsin and iPhone fires

First some notes on SoftBank’s rumored expansion into China and its weird fund math, then Foxconn and then quick notes on tech depression, Huawei and more. TechCrunch is experimenting with new content forms. This is a rough draft of something new — provide your feedback directly to the author (Danny at danny@techcrunch.com) if you like or hate something here. SoftBank has fund visions (and a Vision Fund) for China? That, and more money Kane Wu at Reuters reported overnight that SoftBank is looking to open an office […]

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Agtech startup Imago AI is using computer vision to boost crop yields

Presenting onstage today in the 2018 TC Disrupt Berlin Battlefield is Indian agtech startup Imago AI, which is applying AI to help feed the world’s growing population by increasing crop yields and reducing food waste. As startup missions go, it’s an impressively ambitious one. The team, which is based out of Gurgaon near New Delhi, is using computer vision and machine learning technology to fully automate the laborious task of measuring crop output and quality — speeding up what can be a very manual and time-consuming process […]

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Enterprise messaging startup Eko Communications raises $20M for its European expansion

After focusing on Asian markets, particularly in Southeast Asia, Bangkok-based Eko Communications is getting ready to take on Slack, Microsoft Teams, and other enterprise messaging apps in Europe. The startup announced today that it has raised a Series B of $20 million and opened offices in London (which will serve as its new commercial headquarters), Amsterdam, and Berlin. The funding, led by SMD Ventures, with participation from AirAsia’s digital investment arm Redbeat Ventures, Gobi Partners, East Ventures, and returning investors, brings Eko Communication’s total raised to $28.7 […]

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