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Alfred Lee

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

Articles, Links, and Press

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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China's Baidu is buying Joyy's live-streaming service YY for $3.6 billion

Baidu is looking to diversify its core business into other areas.

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Too many fake guru scams; OpenAcademy launches app for quality online learning.

Offering byte-sized learning courses in Instagram Stories fashion

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China's Tencent grows by 29%; generates $19 billion in revenue for Q3 2020.

The company generated $5.8 billion in profit for the quarter too.

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TikTok and Douyin remain top grossing apps for 7 consecutive months.

The company generated $110 million in revenue in October 2020 alone.

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WhatsApp payments is here; rolling out starting with India.

Money transfers between bank accounts can be made on the app

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Indonesian logistics startup Logisly has raised $6m in funding by Monks Hill Ventures

The company aims to serve as a single point of contact for everything logistics.

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Singapore's Robinsons retail chain closes after 162 years in business.

The company has been suffering losses in the recent years.

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Malaysia's SeedDream is helping businesses run better marketing campaigns; raising US$500k.

SeedDream aims to become the regional MarTech Platform leader in 3 years.

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Esports continues to boom in China; Tencent invests $100m into VPSN

The company already hires over 1000 people across 5 business divisions.

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After raising $750 million, streaming startup Quibi is shutting down 6 months after launch

The startup is said to be selling its assets of more than 100 original series

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Cathay Pacific will cut 6000 staff to stay afloat.

The company has lost $1.27 billion in the first 6 months of the year.

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Catch these thought leaders at MaGIC's upcoming E-Nation Conference

Helping businesses navigate through the post-pandemic economy.

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Raising funds? AWS & Found8 are hosting a 1-on-1 VC matching event for startups.

Aims at providing a conducive environment for startups to meet VCs.

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Malaysia's GoGet raises $2million series A round to enhance on-demand gig economy

GoGet currently has over 20,000 gig workers and 5,000 businesses

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A new micro-fund, iSeed SEA is investing $100k into SEA startups.

The $5 million micro-fund will focus on Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Singapore.

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IBM will split into two separate companies by end of 2021

The new company will focus on lower-margin lines of businesses.

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MaGIC's E-Nation conference is back, will connect thousands of startup ecosystem participants.

Start-up entrepreneurs, social enterprises and investors will be converging at the conference.

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Facebook now offering cash and advertising credits grant for Malaysian companies.

Eligible companies will receive a grant of cash and advertising credits.

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Uber looking to sell some of its $6.3 billion stake in China's ride hailing Didi Chuxing

Uber is beginning to sell some of its investments to increase its stock price

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China vows to “fight back” if TikTok and WeChat are banned.

A total ban on both apps are scheduled to take place from Nov 12.

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SoftBank sells ARM to Nvidia for $40 billion.

SoftBank has also revived talks about going private.

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Singapore slowly reopens: To allow business events of up to 250 people.

They must first apply for permission prior to holding the event.

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MaGIC’S Global Accelerator Programme Cohort 4 2020 Underway With 40 Promising Startups

Fourth Installment of one of the region’s largest accelerator programmes goes fully virtual, 
focuses on business resilience

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Pitchbook: SOSV now ranked most active VC globally.

The VC is also ranked #2 in Europe and in the US.

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