Category Archives: Asia

Indian PM Narendra Modi’s reelection spells more frustration for US tech giants

Amazon and Walmart’s problems in India look set to continue after Narendra Modi, the biggest force to embrace the country’s politics in decades, led his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party to a historic landslide re-election on Thursday, reaffirming his popularity in the eyes of the world’s largest democracy. The re-election, which gives Modi’s government another five years in power, will in many ways chart the path of India’s burgeoning startup ecosystem, as well as the local play of Silicon Valley companies that have grown increasingly wary of […]

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These startups are locating in SF and Africa to win in global fintech

To become a global fintech player, locate your company in San Francisco and Africa. That’s the approach of payments company Flutterwave, digital lending startup Mines, and mobile-money venture Chipper Cash—Africa-founded ventures that maintain headquarters in San Francisco and operations in Africa to tap the best of both worlds in VC, developers, clients, and the frontier of digital finance. This arrangement wasn’t exactly coordinated across the ventures, but TechCrunch coverage picked up the trend and some common motives among these rising fintech firms. Founded in 2016 by Nigerians […]

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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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Why startups need to be careful about export licenses and the Huawei ban

America is the land of free trade … precisely until it is not. Through a thicket of laws and regulations, the U.S. government has broad control over what can get exported to whom, particularly in areas with sensitive technology or national security concerns. In general, those restrictions are loose, which is why startups mostly haven’t had to think about export laws. That open world is rapidly closing though, and startups could well be the most harmed given that they have limited resources to handle these sorts of […]

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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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India’s ride-hailing firm Ola is now in the credit card business, too

A day after India’s largest wallet app Paytm entered the credit card business, local ride-hailing giant Ola is following suit. Ola has inked a deal with state-run SBI and Visa to issue as many as 10 million credit cards in the next three and a half years, it said today. The move will help Visa and SBI (State Bank of India) acquire more customers in India, where most transactions are still bandied out over cash. For Ola, which rivals Uber in India, the foray into credit cards […]

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Crowned by Burger King, meat replacement company Impossible Foods raises $300 million

After being crowned by Burger King as the first meat replacement patty to roll out nationally with one of the largest fast food chains, Impossible Foods has raised $300 million in capital. The financing brings the company’s total equity raise to $750 million — and provides a sizable pool of funds to draw from as it continues to compete with its newly publicly traded rival, Beyond Meat. Beyond Meat rockets in early trading on Nasdaq, reaching a valuation of over $3 billion Both companies are looking to […]

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India’s Locus raises $22 million to expand its logistics management business

Locus, an Indian startup that uses AI to help businesses map out their logistics, has raised $22 million in Series B funding to expand its operations in international markets. The financing round for the four-year-old startup was led by Falcon Edge Capital and Tiger Global. Existing investors Exfinity Venture Partners and Blume Ventures also participated in the round. The startup has raised $29 million to date, Nishith Rastogi, co-founder and CEO of Locus, told TechCrunch in an interview. Locus works with companies that operate in FMCG, logistics […]

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India’s most popular services are becoming super apps

Truecaller, an app that helps users screen strangers and robocallers, will soon allow users in India, its largest market, to borrow up to a few hundred dollars. The crediting option will be the fourth feature the nine-year-old app adds to its service in the last two years. So far it has added to the service the ability to text, record phone calls and mobile payment features, some of which are only available to users in India. Of the 140 million daily active users of Truecaller, 100 million […]

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Singapore’s Grain, a profitable food delivery startup, pulls in $10M for expansion

Cloud kitchens are the big thing in food delivery, with ex-Uber CEO Travis Kalanick’s new business one contender in that space, with Asia, and particularly Southeast Asia, a major focus. Despite the newcomers, a more established startup from Singapore has raised a large bowl of cash to go after regional expansion. Founded in 2014, Grain specializes in clean food while it takes a different approach to Kalanick’s CloudKitchens or food delivery services like Deliveroo, FoodPanda or GrabFood. It adopted a cloud kitchen model — utilizing unwanted real estate […]

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