Ecosystem Roundup: 6 of world’s top 11 startup ecosystems in APAC; East Ventures forms US$88M seed fund; Great Eastern to invest US$70M in Axiata’s fintech arm

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Lazada appoints its 3rd CEO in 3 years; New CEO Chun Li, its co-president and head of its Indonesia ops, is replacing incumbent Pierre Poignant; The e-commerce major claims to have 70M+ users as of end-March; Alibaba owns 90% of Lazada after investing US$3B since 2016; E-commerce in SEA was worth US$38B last year. More here

9 cybersecurity startups graduate from ICE Accelerate’s 4th batch; Since inception in 2018, ICE has facilitated a total of US$13M investments for 16 of its startups; The firm’s founding partners are Singtel Innov8, NUS Enterprise. More here

Grab contributed US$5.45B to Indonesian economy in 2019, says research; GrabFood is the biggest contributor; This figure marks a 58.3% increase over the 2018 numbers; As Indonesia starts to move past COVID-19, platforms like Grab and the gig economy can support the country on its road to recovery. More here

Malaysia’s Petronas Ventures invests in Braintree; The agritech startup develops robotic devices that would be able to provide agri solutions and converts unattended land into high-value crop farms; The investment is aimed at scouting for breakthrough technologies that could support Petronas’s growth beyond the oil and gas biz. More here

Indonesian movie rating app Cinepoint raises funding from Ideosource; Cinepoint’s system allows for ratings gathered through an exit polling post-movie-launch, verified real-time; Ideosource earlier invested in gojek’s on-demand video platform GoPlay. More here

The one statement that will kill a startup; ‘It is not my problem’ is a symptom of a toxic attitude that pushes a narrative of self-preservation above everything else; Not everyone is suited for a startup culture, because it is a fluid structure; In startups, a single employee can wear different hats (customer service, ops, social media and marketing etc.) at the same time. More here

6 of the world’s top 11 startup ecosystems are now in APAC: Startup Genome Report 2020; 30% of world’s top startup ecosystems are now in SEA compared to 20% in 2012; Due to COVID-19, startups were hit hard by ‘capital shock’ and ‘lack of demand’; The report also says 4 out of every 10 startups today are in the red zone. More here

Singapore’s Great Eastern to invest US$70M for a 22% stake in Axiata’s fintech arm Boost at US$320M valuation; Boost is an e-wallet and lifestyle app with over 7.5M users, 170K merchants in Malaysia; With this, Axiata’s stake in Boost will come down to 78.125%. More here

VCs-backed Social Bella launches e-commerce platform for mothers; The unit offers curated personal care, treatment and hygiene products for the segment; Around 100 brands are available; In 2019, Social Bella raised US$40M led by EV Growth, Temasek. More here

Toyota holds US$293M stake in Uber; That is ~0.6% of the ride-hailing giant’s outstanding shares; The automaker reduced its shareholdings in 24 companies and increased them in 10; Toyota currently has an interest in 174 firms, including 65 listed companies, compared with 200 firms in 2015. More here

Most employers in Singapore remain fair, reasonable amid COVID-19; Ministry of Manpower says up to 187K workers (5% of total workforce) have been affected by employers’ cost-saving measures; The largest group of affected workers numbering 45K hold jobs in accommodations, food services industries. More here

East Ventures (EV) forms new US$88M seed fund, announces first close; The sector-agnostic fund is for COVID-19-survived startups; EV has backed 170+ firms across SEA; It is an early investor in Tokopedia, Traveloka. More here

Digital green economy: How tech can help save the planet; The emergence of new ‘green tech’ that use blockchain technology to actively address the most urgent environmental issues in various forms: greenhouse emission, plastic pollution, forest conservation, and protection of endangered species. More here

Key management areas for businesses to address during and after the pandemic; Sticking to the status quo is out of the question for ‘going concern’ businesses; Strategy rethinking, employee management, and the response to regulation and scrutiny may entail significant or even radical changes. More here

Enterprise Singapore sets aside US$55M grant to boost the agri-food tech sector; The grant complements the nation’s “30 by 30” goal; Since the start of 2020, investments of at least US$40M from both public and private sources have been made into agri-food tech startups. More here

Singapore startup to open ghost kitchens in 1K+ locations globally; TiffinLabs currently operates 9 digital-first restaurant brands out of its kitchens in the city-state; It will leverage its AI-driven kitchen operating and management system to deliver an international menu from digital-first restaurant brands; It targets to reach 15M+ households. More here

Redefining productivity in a pandemic; The work culture in APAC tends to lean towards in-person connections, and video calls play a critical role here in replicating real-life conversations; Companies that did not have flexible working policies pre-COVID should think hard about its implementation as remote working becomes a way of life. More here

How we can keep 5G networks secure; At the heart of successful 5G adoption is govt commitment to a ‘Zero Trust Architecture’; No cybersecurity prevention is 100% effective and organisations need to implement an effective security process centred around threat detection and response. More here

7 recommendations for cryptocurrency and utility token issuers; If cryptocurrency and utility token issuers want to list their tokens on public markets, they should provide basic levels of transparency; Increasing transparency is a long-term positive for projects and essential to the long-term growth of the digital asset industry. More here

Singapore prepares for a thriving 5G ecosystem; Singtel and JVCo will deploy nationwide 5G standalone networks; Businesses, including SMEs, will be able to develop and test 5G-enabled devices and apps. More here

Cybercrime jumps over 50% in 2019, new threats emerge from COVID-19; There were 9,430 cybercrime cases reported last year, up 51.7% from the 6,215 cases in 2018; The common types of cybercrime were e-commerce scams, phishing and malware attacks; E-commerce scams remained the top scam type in Singapore last year, with victims losing US$1.7M from US$1.4M in 2018. More here

iflix acquisition by Tencent is a sign of consolidation; The subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) market is crucially competitive; The acquisition should cause the biggest splash in Indonesia and Malaysia where Tencent doesn’t have ops; In April, Singapore’s SVOD firm HooQ stopped its service. More here

Malaysian tech companies gear up to expand via MDEC’s virtual market access drive; MDEC hosted GAIN Connex Indonesia; The virtual event drew 105 participants, including 40 Malaysian tech firms that were given exclusive insights on doing biz in Indonesia, gaining market access in the republic. More here

The post Ecosystem Roundup: 6 of world’s top 11 startup ecosystems in APAC; East Ventures forms US$88M seed fund; Great Eastern to invest US$70M in Axiata’s fintech arm appeared first on e27.

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