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Asian tech news roundup – Oct 31


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Investment for Bigbasket, SoCash, and Netmeds; shutters for Tripvisto; and a new role for Jack Ma. Here are some of today’s tech headlines from around the Asia-Pacific region.


Tripvisto shuts down (Indonesia). Tripvisto CEO Bernardus Sumartok has confirmed the closure of the booking site for holiday tour packages. The startup received US$1 million in series A funding from Gobi Partners in 2015, as well as seed capital from East Ventures the previous year. (Tech in Asia)


Bernardus Sumartok, co-founder and CEO of Tripvisto.


Netmeds raises US$14 million (India). The investment in the online pharmacy was led by Cambodian-Uzbek firm Tanncam and Singapore-based Sistema Asia Fund. The startup’s CEO said the funding will be used grow its existing consumer base and expand to other Indian locations. (DealStreetAsia)


Bigbasket bags investment (India). The inventory-led online groceries marketplace secured just over US$8 million in funding from Abraaj Group, Bessemer Venture Partners, Sands Capital, and the World Bank’s International Finance Corp. This comes just days after the startup revealed it had received US$5.8 million from Helion Ventures and Trifecta Capital, as it seeks to boost its war chest to face down key rival Grofers. (Inc42)


Lala World raises US$2 million prior to ICO (Singapore). Lala World uses blockchain to help underbanked communities get access to financial services. It has announced the close of its US$2 million series A round, which came from undisclosed investors. The startup is launching a token sale later this month to secure additional funding. (e27)


SoCash gets Vertex backing (Singapore). The startup – which allows customers to make bank account transfers and withdrawals when at the checkout in stores – raised an undisclosed amount of series A funding from Temasek affiliate Vertex Ventures. (Tech in Asia)


Hari Sivan, founder and CEO of SoCash.

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FClassroom secures series B funding (China). The AI-driven education startup – which uses machine learning and natural language processing technologies to help students with homework – raised US$15 million in the round led by Canhua Capital and joined by XVC. (China Money Network)


Samsung retires top execs (South Korea). The consumer tech giant today announced that the heads of its three key divisions – consumer electronics, mobile, and components – will be replaced. It also said it would separate the roles of CEO and board chairman for the first time, as investors and regulators alike mount pressure on the company to decentralize power from its scandal-embroiled owners, the Lee family. (The Wall Street Journal)


Razer’s IPO slated for November 13 (Hong Kong/Singapore). The company will reportedly offer 1.06 billion shares for an indicative range of US$0.38 to US$0.51 each. The listing could raise up to US$550 million. (South China Morning Post)


Jack Ma in tai chi mode – and other guises.


Jack Ma’s latest role (China). The Alibaba founder is adding yet another string to his bow: Movie hero. Ma will act alongside martial arts stars Donnie Yen, Jet Li, and Sammo Hung in a kung fu-themed short film which he sees as a vehicle for promoting tai chi. (South China Morning Post)

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Big hire for B Capital (Singapore). The VC firm started by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin has named veteran investor Howard Morgan as its new chairman. Morgan previously served at quantitative investing specialist Renaissance Technologies, incubator Idealab, and VC firm First Round Capital. (LinkedIn)