Ecosystem Roundup: Wavemaker closes US$111M 3rd fund; Her Capital launches women-focused fund; New retail drove US$165M agrifoodtech funding in Indonesia in ’19

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Wavemaker closes its third SEA fund at US$111M, exceeds target; Backers include Concentric, Pavilion, Temasek, IFC; The new fund aims to invest in 60 new firms with an initial check size of about US$500K; Wavemaker is an investor in Moka (acquired by gojek), Zilingo, Red Dot Payment (acquired by Naspers). e27

Tinder co-founder, SpaceX backer invest in Filipino edutech startup Avion School, which helps Filipinos become software engineers in 12 weeks; Avion follows a concept called ‘income-share agreements’; The Philippines has 750K potential students, and there is a trend among people to learn coding. e27

5 survival strategies for startups in a post-COVID-19 world; While new-born startups had it extra-tough, the “valley of death” has engulfed startups in all stages; Startups have to reassess their expenses, approach existing investors, recheck and explore alternative business model to stay relevant and be successful. e27

How Fefifo aims to make farming cool again for the younger generation; The Malaysian agritech startup brings in the concept of co-working space into farming; The startup takes away all the business formality side of farming to give agropreneurs everything they need to start in the co-farming space. e27

Why the future of AI needs more of diversity and the arts; We have reached the point in time where humanity and technology co-exist and our lives get more intertwined with tech in one way or another; We need all sorts of minds in harmony orchestrating every gender of different myelinated fibre strength, not just in STEM but also in art to create the magic of AI. e27

What gaming industry can teach the fashion industry amidst COVID-19; With the consumer shift online, businesses should consider enhancing their digital marketing strategies to build a stronger e-commerce presence but entice customers to visit physical stores when they reopen. e27

Why the digital workforce needs more women; COVID-19 has the potential to decimate gains in gender equality or act as an accelerator for change; A UNDP study found 90% of people are biased against women and over 40% believe men make better biz executives; In AI, only 22% of professionals are women. CWT

Facebook reveals 13 participants selected for its Community Accelerator programme in APAC; From community leaders of LGBTQ to mental health awareness, participants have been selected from Australia, Indonesia, Thailand and Philippines; Leaders enrolled in the programme will receive up to US$30,000 in capital. e27

Chatbots are backfiring, ‘driving away customers’; Study says unpleasant chatbot interactions are caused by inauthenticity when customers feel tricked into conversing with a non-human; Such interactions are caused by inauthenticity, excessive questions or repeated answers on the part of the bot, failure to deal with complex queries due to a limited operational scope. InsideRetail Asia

China’s aggression is undermining its tech giants’ global ambitions; The likes of Alibaba, TikTok have long sought to transform themselves into global operations; But geopolitical tensions are making this harder; The main beneficiary of TikTok’s troubles will be other US tech groups, like Facebook. Nikkei Asian Review

Thai fast-food chain Central Restaurants to open 100 cloud kitchens by 2024; The country’s food-delivery services generate US$1.1B in sales annually; Such centrally located kitchens are on the rise across SEA; Grab, gojek are already in the biz, while Jollibee Foods has plans to spend US$141M to open cloud kitchens. Nikkei Asian Review

It is all about survival of the most adaptable, says PatSnap’s Jeffrey Tiong; With examples such as Zoom and Slack, the end-user is now opening up and guiding enterprise decisions; Use your product to become your spokesperson and let the customers experience its value. e27

Upskilling to thrive in the new digital normal; The unicorns of the 2030 decade will be born in the digital transformation, automation and modernisation of traditional arms of existing business; COVID19–induced digital innovations are shaping the customer experience journey in travel and mobility, tourism, service industries and public spaces. Digital News Asia

Farm-to-fork models, new retail drove US$165M agrifoodtech funding in Indonesia last year; With 7 deals, East Ventures was the second most active investor; The ‘farm to fork’ model will be a door opener for more tech innovation that promotes food, agriculture, and the sustainability of farmers’ livelihoods. AgFunderNews

Google to buy 7.7% stake in Jio Platforms for US$4.5B; The two firms will develop an Android-based smartphone OS; The telco is looking to roll out an e-commerce initiative that will tap into its huge 388M-strong subscriber base; Facebook, Intel and others have already ploughed some US$15B into Jio. CNN

Is the supply chain shifting to Vietnam in a post-COVID-19 world?; The country is a rising manufacturing hub for electronics, textile, footwear; FDI holds 80% of the local market share of electronics sector; However, the nature of the manufacturing industry in Vietnam poses a potential threat. e27

Thailand is ahead with 5G rollouts in SEA amidst the pandemic; Its usage in enabling remote healthcare devices, including AI and robotics used in hospitals, has heightened perception that it is instrumental to the national recovery; Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore are also pushing ahead with their 5G plans. Tech Collective

Singapore’s Her Capital launches debut women-focused fund for SEA; Plans to raise US$10M: To invest in startups led by at least one female founder/startups which develop products/services leveraging ‘she economy’. DealStreetAsia

Robotic automation potential catalyst for jobs growth in Malaysia; With cobots helping to increase productivity, companies often find themselves in a position to hire more people, thus creating jobs and not eliminating them; Recently, the government announced pilot programmes to explore the use of robotic tech in various sectors to reduce the country’s reliance on foreign workers. Bernama

Vietnam struggling to reach 5K science and tech firms target this year; It currently has only ~500 such firms; The government has found many barriers to reach the target; The country has improved policies and institutions, including amendments of some laws on investment, enterprises and corporate income tax. Vietnam News

Taiwanese scooter-sharing platform WeMo gears up for international expansion; It has a fleet of 7K+ scooters and registers 1M rides/month; WeMo recently raised Series A led by AppWorks; Its local competitors are GoShare, Gogoro. TechCrunch

E-wallet SmartPay offers online savings with Viet Capital Bank tie-up; SmartPay users including small traders can now save online at high interest rates and get other benefits; Since its launch in May last year, the e-wallet has signed up 185K+ merchants, ~1.7M users. Vietnam News

Thailand’s Digital Service Sandbox ready for businesses; The sandbox allows service providers/e-transaction services firms to test their innovations or services before release; Applications for the first round of selections are open till July 31. OpenGovAsia

GrabPay partners with InstaPay, allowing users to transfer funds to and from e-wallets; No card or bank details are saved in the app when you use your banking app or e-wallet; Users can save GrabPay as a transfer template in their respective banking or e-wallet apps. YugaTech

The post Ecosystem Roundup: Wavemaker closes US$111M 3rd fund; Her Capital launches women-focused fund; New retail drove US$165M agrifoodtech funding in Indonesia in ’19 appeared first on e27.

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