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Alfred Lee

Journalist at BEAMSTART. I write about breaking business news in the region.

Articles, Links, and Press

Xiaomi just surpassed Apple to become the world's no. #2 smartphone company by shipments

Xiaomi's rise comes after Huawei descended from the top spot over the recent months.

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Twitter launched 'Stories' (Fleets) last year; now they're shutting it down due to low usage

Twitter Fleets were in direct competition to Instagram and Snapchat "Stories".

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Malaysia's Carsome to buy iCar Asia in a deal worth $200 million

Carsome will own 19.9% in iCar Asia, with plans to acquire the rest of the company later.

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Video Inside: Richard Branson becomes first billionaire to fly to space

Richard Branson is also the founder of Virgin Galactic, the company that flew him to space.

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Singapore-based Princeton Digital Group is building a data center in Japan worth $1 billion

Princeton Digital Group is tapping on Asia's growth and need for highly scalable data centers.

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RM5,000 grant for online marketing now available for eligible SMEs in Malaysia

Eligible businesses will receive widespread marketing and promotions for their products / services.

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Malaysia's Vendfun launches self-service 'Hybrid Kiosks' for hotel check-ins and food ordering

Vendfun's hybrid kiosks are equipped with a 50-inch touch-screen panel for users to interact with as well as cashless payment capabilities.

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pitchIN, a Malaysian crowdfunding platform, has raised $1.3 million via equity crowdfunding

A total of 322 investors participated in pitchIN's equity crowdfunding round.

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Delyva's new app makes it easy to find, compare, and book delivery services; onboards 9 new partners

Prior to this, Delyva's customers could only make bookings from their website.

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Someone paid $28 million to fly to space seated next to Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos will be flying to space on Blue Origin's debut private astronaut mission

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Stripe now supports GrabPay for online payments in Malaysia and Singapore

Stripe will be launching in The Philippines in the near future, which could also include GrabPay as a payment method too.

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Tencent made $7.4 billion in profit in Q1 2021; a huge jump of 65%

Tencent's management style and business model have proven to be very resilient.

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Snapchat now has over 500 million active users; attracting more advertisers

Snap's revenues have grown significantly too, beating expectations.

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Zhang Yiming founded ByteDance and TikTok; now he's stepping down as CEO

He played a pivotal role in growing the company to what it is today.

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Gojek and Tokopedia confirm merger with new entity: GoTo Group

GoTo Group is now one of Southeast Asia's largest technology conglomerates

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Meituan lost $26 billion after CEO posted ancient poem online

Meituan has been following the footsteps of many other tech giants in China.

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Gojek raises another $300 million lead by Indonesia's largest telco company.

Gojek's new round is aimed at supercharging both companies' collaborative efforts.

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Global Smartphone shipments shoot up by 27% in Q1 2021

Apple had the highest jump in smartphone shipments in Q1 2021

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China companies raise over 11x more money in the US year-on-year

Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) into China rose by 4% despite the global pandemic

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India banned TikTok; now their own apps have caught up in user numbers

India's social media users are also very loyal to their home-grown apps

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Coinbase worth over $86 billion after going public, sends Bitcoin prices up

A large part of Coinbase's revenues were attributed to fees from rising cryptocurrency prices.

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After over $1b in profit, China's ride-hailing giant DiDi plans to make its own cars

DiDi is laying the groundwork to become China's largest vehicle ecosystem.

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Singapore startup companies raised $5.5 billion in funding for 2020; falling by 35%

Startup funding in Singapore has been falling for the past few years.

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Philippines is launching a $5 million fund to invest in local startups

The new fund launch is in line with Philippine's Innovative Startup Act

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MaGIC`s E-Nation conference returns with 3 series & conference; to gather thousands of participants

E-Nation will bring together a huge delegation of startup ecosystem players and more

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Baidu is going public again, this time in Hong Kong; set to raise $3.1 Billion

Baidu is set to become one the largest IPOs in Hong Kong for 2021.

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Kopi Kenangan founders set up Angel Investment Fund; investing $10k - $150k per startup

The Angel Investment Fund will invest in companies focused on Indonesia

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Zhihu, the Quora of China, prepares to go public in the US

Zhihu raised over $434 million in its last funding round

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Alibaba is serious about entering Bangladesh; buys up food delivery startup HungryNaki

HungryNaki was founded in 2013 and operates in 5 cities in the country.

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Malaysia's SERV wants to be the app for vehicle owners; growing 2X year-on-year

SERV has recently closed a $106k in funding via equity crowdfunding (ECF)

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Malaysia's Kravve helps people sell their handmade food online; raises $287k in crowdfunding campaign

Kravve's ECF campaign started in January and has a total of 144 investors today

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AirBnb lost $3.9 billion; CEO positive travel will return with vaccine rollout

AirBnB is also investing heavily in the platform's experience to make booking/hosting stays simpler

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Twitter will soon allow creators to get paid with new 'super follow' feature

Creators can also paywall content to 'super followers' on Twitter.

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ErudiFi is helping students afford education; raises $5 million in funding

ErudiFi works with over 50 universities to provide flexible education financing for students

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TechNode Global aims to be Asia's leading tech media platform; raises $1 million seed funding

TechNode Global plans to cover more technology stories, deliver high-quality events, and build comprehensive cross-border business across the region

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TTA's Taiwan Pavilion featured 100 startups at CES 2021

TTA has been working alongside the Taiwanese government to showcase more startups on a global stage

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SpaceX's Starlink has over 1000 satellites in orbit; could disrupt telecom by providing internet to the world

Elon Musk believes Starlink could capture a piece of the $1 trillion market for internet services, potentially disrupting telecom providers.

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China's economy is recovering quickly; foreign investments rise to record levels

China's economy grew despite the global pandemic, with foreign investments peaking in the fourth quarter of 2020.

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Jack Ma reappears after vanishing for months; Alibaba shares jump 8%

In a new video recording after vanishing for months, Jack Ma is seen to be speaking to a group of rural teachers.

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Hike Messenger was popular in India; now it has shut down after raising $260m+ in funding

The company was valued at $1.4 billion after raising funding from notable investors

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DJI started with drones, now they're moving into self-driving technology

DJI is hiring engineers to build technology that could be used for various autonomous vehicle parts.

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Founder of Indonesia's GrabToko startup arrested for scamming customers

GrabToko is an e-commerce startup from Indonesia that sold brand new smartphones at steep discounts.

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Shopee's parent company, SEA Group, has bought a bank in Indonesia

SEA Group bought Bank Kesejahteraan Ekonomi Indonesia, a significant move into the digital banking space.

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Grab may remain unprofitable until 2023; raises over $300 million for financial services arm

Grab has been investing heavily on expanding the financial services business, and may remain unprofitable until 2023 according to Moody's

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GoBear financial products comparison startup shuts down after raising $97 million in funding

GoBear was reportedly used by over 55 million people and had over 100 commercial partners ranging from banks and insurance providers.

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In China, food delivery order volume is reaching 500 million users in 2020

A large number of food delivery consumers in China are people in their 20s - 30s.

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Startup funding in India fell by 34% due to the pandemic; lowest since 2016

A large part of India's startup funding was affected by the pandemic and tensions with China.

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Spaces Exchange 106 co-working space to launch at Malaysia's tallest building

Spaces Exchange 106 is located at a 106 storey newly built skyscraper called The Exchange 106.

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China's overseas gaming revenue crosses $15 billion for the first time

China's domestic games industry generated $42.6 billion in revenues for the same period.

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TechCrunch ex-COO Ned Desmond has joined VC firm SOSV as senior operating partner

While at TechCrunch, Ned Desmond was heavily involved in organizing the popular Disrupt events around the world each year

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China's Luckin Coffee committed fraud; to pay $180 million in fines.

Luckin Coffee admitted to fabricating more than $300 million in sales between April 2019 to January 2020

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Facebook A.I. disables large number of accounts; sparks #facebookdisabledme campaign on Twitter

Affected users are using the #facebookdisabledme Twitter hashtag to raise awareness

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Malaysian government selects 8 VC firms as part of the PENJANA programme

The PENJANA programme by the Malaysian government will match up to RM600 million on a 1:1 basis with the VC funds, with an initial target of RM1.2 billion.

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Malaysia bans e-scooters as complaints from the public surge; illegal from 1st Jan 2021

The Traffic Enforcement and Investigation Department has been receiving many complaints from the public about e-scooters being a hazard on the road.

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Singapore is reopening borders to travellers from Taiwan; Air Travel Pass applications now open

Travellers from Taiwan can begin applying a single-entry Air Travel Pass to enter Singapore effective immediately

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DoorDash goes public; CEO now worth over $3 billion and SoftBank gains 16x returns

DoorDash has brought over 16x in returns to SoftBank's investment in the company.

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Esports City, one of the largest esports facilities in Southeast Asia has just launched in Malaysia

The 65,000-square-feet esports facility will begin hosting events and major tournaments starting 2021

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Indonesia's Gojek launches platform for small businesses to sell online, GoStore

The GoStore solution lets small businesses set up online stores to sell online easily.

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Budget hotels franchiser OYO cuts 300 staff; pivots business model

Earlier this year, OYO laid off 5,000 staff as the global pandemic affected the company's business.

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Malaysia's Carsome used car selling platform raises $30 million in a Series D round.

Carsome has gone beyond just a used car selling platform to an end-to-end platform providing a multitude of services.

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Grab-Singtel, Sea, and Ant Group can now run Digital Banks in Singapore.

The companies received digital banking licenses from Singapore's government last Friday.

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Web Summit will hold RISE 2022 in Kuala Lumpur and launch new conference in Tokyo

Both Rise Kuala Lumpur 2022 and Web Summit Tokyo will be in-person (physical) events.

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Rev Asia's iMedia has acquired majority stake in Chinese portal, Moretify.

iMedia has acquired 4 other companies in the last 4 months.

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Vinod Sekhar launches The Vibes, a new site covering Malaysian news

The Vibes aims to be a moderate news portal for the current generation

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China has surpassed US in A.I. patent filings for the first time

The country filed more than 110,000 A.I. patents last year

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Recruiters can now Post Unlimited Jobs and reach millions of candidates with Premium Jobs

Recruiters can also post unlimited jobs on behalf of other companies too.

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BigBrainBank, an AI investing startup, has raised 7-figure seed funding.

Aims at making investing simpler for the mass market in Asia.

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MyCash launches $1.2m crowdfunding campaign for eMoney license

To increase the company's paid up capital to RM5 million

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Philippines's startup AQWIRE raises $2.1m in Series A round led by Spiral Ventures

The company has been profitable with over $1.7 million in revenue.

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India bans 43 more apps from China; Alibaba apps included in the mix.

The country previously banned 59 apps from China back in July.

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Malaysia's Aerodyne Group to invest in Australia's Sensorem

A strategic investment to penetrate Australia's market.

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Popular gaming company, Roblox, files for IPO

Revenue has shot up but losses widened too

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