Posted on

China roundup: Keep down internet upstarts, cultivate hard tech

Hello and welcome back to TechCrunch’s China roundup, a digest of recent events shaping the Chinese tech landscape and what they mean to people in the rest of the world.
The tech industry in China has had quite a turbulent week. The government is upending its $100 billion private education sector, wiping billions from the market cap of the industry’s most lucrative players. Meanwhile, the assault on Chinese internet giants continued. Tech stocks tumbled after Tencent suspended user registration, sparking fears over who will be the next target of Beijing’s wrath.
Incisive observers point out that the new …

Read More

Posted on

INKR draws in $3.1M to make more comics accessible to worldwide audiences

Digital comics platform INKR’s team
INKR is a digital comics platform that crosses cultural and language divides, enabling creators to reach global audiences with its proprietary localization technology. Previously bootstrapped, the company announced today that it has raised $3.1 million in pre-Series A funding led by Monk’s Hill Ventures, with participation from manga distributor TokyoPop founder and chief executive Stu Levy.
Headquartered in Singapore with an office in Ho Chi Minh City, INKR was founded in 2019 by Ken Luong, Khoa Nguyen and Hieu Tran. The company says that since it launched in October 2020, its monthly average users have grown 200%. …

Read More

Posted on

Indonesian B2B marketplace GudangAda raises more than $100M in new funding

GudangAda founder and chief executive officer Stevensang
GudangAda, a Jakarta-based marketplace that brings wholesalers closer to retail stores and other buyers, announced it has closed a Series B of more than $100 million. The company says the round was oversubscribed, passing its initial target of $75 million. The funding was led by Asia Partners and Falcon Edge, with participation from Sequoia Capital India, Alpha JWC and Wavemaker Partners.
This brings GudangAda’s total raised so far to about $135 million. Its last funding was a $25.4 million Series A last year, led by Sequoia Capital India and Alpha JWC.
Founded in January 2019, GudangAda is …

Read More

Posted on

Indonesia “sea-to-table” platform Aruna hooks $35M led by Prosus and East Ventures Growth Fund

When Aruna’s founders first met at university, they wanted to find a way to use their studies in information technology to help family members who were running small fisheries. Indonesia is one of the world’s largest fisheries producers, but the industry is very fragmented. This means fisheries, especially small ones, deal with fluctuations in demand and price instability. Aruna was created to bring them closer to customers like restaurants and exporters, the way farm-to-table startups are aggregating the agricultural supply chain.
Aruna announced today it has raised $35 million in Series A funding led by Prosus Ventures and East …

Read More

Posted on

Kamereo gets $4.6M to connect farmers and F&B businesses in Vietnam

While working as the chief operating officer of a pizza chain in Vietnam, Taku Tanaka saw how difficult it is for restaurants to connect with farmers. Many small F&B businesses can’t buy in large volumes, so they rely on nearby markets or multiple suppliers who only sell one category. In turn, this means farmers are disconnected from the end customers of their products, making it hard to predict selling prices or plan their crops. Tanaka founded Kamereo, B2B platform with its own warehouse and last-mile delivery network, to focus on those problems.
Based in Ho Chi Minh …

Read More

Posted on

YC-backed Deskimo, an on-demand coworking space app, launches in Singapore and Hong Kong

Arcc, a coworking space in Singapore available for bookings on Deskimo
Part of Y Combinator’s current batch, Deskimo wants to make finding coworking spaces easier. Its on-demand booking app is currently available in Singapore and Hong Kong, with plans to enter more markets after Demo Day. Its founders are former Rocket Internet executives who say that their main competition aren’t spaces like WeWork or other hot desk booking apps. Instead, its Starbucks, since Deskimo caters to people who usually work from home, but occasionally need a place nearby where they can get away from distractions or take meetings. …

Read More

Posted on

Investment app Syfe raises $30M Series B led by returning investor Valar Ventures

Syfe founder Dhruv Arora
Investment apps in Southeast Asia are attracting a lot of funding, and now some are raising fast follow-on rounds, too. For example, Indonesian robo-advisor app Bibit raised $65 million in May just four months after a $30 million growth round. Now Singapore-based Syfe is announcing that it has closed a $30 million Series B, only nine months after its Series A. It also said all of Syfe’s full-time employees will receive equity in the company.
The latest round’s lead investor is Valar Ventures, which also led Syfe’s Series A, marking the fintech-focused venture capital firm’s …

Read More

Posted on

Carsome Group will acquire iCar Asia in a deal worth $200M

Southeast Asia’s car marketplace wars are going into high drive. Today Carsome Group, one of the region’s largest online used car marketplaces, said it plans to acquire listings platform iCar Asia in a transaction worth more than $200 million.
Carsome has agreed to acquire 19.9% of iCar Asia from Malaysia internet conglomerate Catcha Group. In exchange, Catcha Group will become a shareholder in Carsome Group. Carsome and Catcha Group have also made a joint proposal to iCar Asia’s directors to buy the rest of the company from its shareholders.
Carsome rival Carro revealed one month ago that it raised …

Read More

Posted on

Vara raises $4.8M from investors like Go Ventures and Sequoia India’s Surge to digitize Indonesian SMEs’ payrolls

Staff management platform Vara’s team
If you follow startup news from Indonesia, you know that the country’s estimated 60 million small businesses are a hot target for tech companies. BukuKas and BukuWarung, for example, both recently raised large rounds to fuel their race to digitize SMEs’ operations. Founded in November 2020, Vara is focused specifically on making staff management easier for small businesses and their workers, replacing the notebooks or spreadsheets many relied on to keep track of payroll with an app called Bukugaji.
The company announced today it has raised $4.8 million in seed funding from Go Ventures, RTP Global, …

Read More

Posted on

Indonesian edtech startup Gredu raises $4M Series A to keep teachers, parents and students engaged with one another

Many teachers and parents in Indonesia rely on WhatsApp to keep in touch, creating “multiple groups that often become messy and highly ineffective, and result in confusion or lost threads,” says Rizky Aniez, the co-founder and chief executive officer of Gredu. The Jakarta-based startup was created to give everyone involved in the educational process—school administrators, teachers, parents, guardians and students—apps that let them keep track of everything and communicate with one another. Today it is announcing a $4 million Series A, led by Intudo Ventures, an Indonesia-focused venture capital firm, with participation from returning investor Vertex Ventures. 
While some …

Read More