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Bangladesh – The most Optimistic Market

Elvis Gomes December 9, 2018

Bangladesh remains the most optimistic market according to the HSBC Navigator Survey on 34 countries. The countries included were the US, the UK, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Russia, Switzerland, Turkey, Australia, China, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam. The survey, conducted by Kantar TNS, takes into account the responses of over 8650 businesses from small to mid to large

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India: Xponentia Capital in talks to invest $10m in pilot training centre FSTC

Private equity veteran Ajay Relan’s new fund, Xponentia Capital Partners,

5

Grab’s $103m investment in Oyo Rooms confirmed

Ride-hailing major Grab has invested a shade over US$100 million

4

Philippine livestreaming app nabs $1.2m from magazine publisher, others

Manila-based livestreaming content platform Kumu just raised US$1.2 million in a seed

3

Singapore property agent listing site gets $730k seed funding

Propseller, a Singaporean startup helping property sellers and landlords find

2

Honda Innovations investing in four VC funds to expand reach in global tech hubs

Honda Innovations, the Silicon Valley arm of Honda R&D, is

News

370242-generic-survey

Bangladesh – The most Optimistic Market

Elvis Gomes Feature December 9, 2018

Bangladesh remains the most optimistic market according to the HSBC Navigator Survey on 34 countries. The countries included were the US, the UK, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Russia, Switzerland, Turkey, Australia, China, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam. The survey, conducted by Kantar TNS, takes into account the responses of over 8650 businesses from small to mid to large

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E-wallet

E-Wallet In Bangladesh – Is It Feasible?

SD Asia Desk Feature December 9, 2018

Bangladesh initiated to digitalize the country by 2021 for which various aspects of ICT are being introduced and developed since a decade and mobile financial services began were introduced in March of 2010. 20 banks were approved by the Bangladesh Bank to provide mobile banking service of which 18 are currently providing services such as e-wallet or electronic wallet. What

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Grab and Idooh partner up to bring in-car ads

Elvis Gomes Feature December 4, 2018

Idooh has partnered with GrabAds, Grab’s online-to-offline advertising platform, to deploy in-vehicle media screens in GrabCars in the Philippines. Fully interactive 10-inch Idooh display tablets will be installed into selected GrabCar vehicles, providing passengers with updates on lifestyle, news, and entertainment as well as e-commerce options while in transit.  Grab drivers can look forward to an additional revenue source of

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Pakistan based Venture Capital Sarmayacar may invest in Bykea

Elvis Gomes Feature December 4, 2018

Pakistan-focused venture capital firm Sarmayacar is investing in local ride-hailing startup Bykea, according to three sources close to the development. The Series A fundraising is expected to be in the region of $5 million and will be a combined investment involving at least three investors.

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ADB approved loan of $50 million for Microenterprise Development

Elvis Gomes Feature December 4, 2018

The ADB has approved $50 million to Palli Karma Sahayak Foundation (PKSF),  a development finance organization. The loan will be disbursed through a credit line to PKSF which will be disbursed to partner organizations and 40,000 microenterprises of whose 70% will be female. The total cost of the project, which is due for completion at the end of 2020, is

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women-entrepreneurs

The opportunities and challenges of f-commerce for female entrepreneurs of Bangladesh

SD Asia Desk Feature December 4, 2018

Facebook, is not only social media, but has become a platform for Bangladeshi female entrepreneurs to conduct business with over 2 crore users in Bangladesh. However, there are opportunities and challenges of this relatively new dimension of conducting business, not as usual. F-commerce stands for Facebook commerce which refers to overseeing online business activities through a Facebook page or Facebook

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Fn1Kowd

Mobile Data usage increases 46%

Elvis Gomes Feature December 2, 2018

Since the introduction of 4G, the usage of internet boosted. Last year’s average usage was about 700MB. However, Robi, with 2.83 crore active mobile internet users and 55 lakh regular users, saw 88% increase in data usage in just one year. Grameenphone, with 3.63 crore active internet users and 50 lakh 4G users, saw 52.4% increase in a year. Banglalink

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Microsoft’s market value crosses Apple’s

Elvis Gomes Feature December 2, 2018

For the 1st time in 8 years,Microsoft’s stock market value closed ahead of Apple Inc’s. Microsoft shares rose 0.6 % at $110.89 making its market capitalization $851.2 billion where Apple’s share value dropped 0.5% to $178.58 which brings its market value to $847.4 billion. Reasons for Microsoft’s rise was assumed to be growth in cloud computing and Apple’s decline could

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Golden Gate Ventures to invest $18 million in Malaysian startups

Elvis Gomes Feature December 2, 2018

Southeast Asia-based VC Golden Gate Ventures has announced it will allocate US$18 million, or RM 75 million, of its third fund for Malaysia-based startups and open an office in the country. Golden Gate Ventures has already invested in Malaysian Startups such as GoQuo, ServisHero, Codapay and Funding Societies.

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Invest2innovate launches $15 million fund

Elvis Gomes Feature December 2, 2018

Pakistani Accelerator invest2innovate launches a fund of $15 million named i2i Ventures which is the 1st of its kind. Sarmayacar, a Pakistani venture capital firm, also launched $30 million fund with an aim to investing in local startups. These initiatives are boosting the confidence and interest among the investors as well as, entrepreneurs.

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frugal_innovation

Meet the 5 winners of Urban Innovation Challenge 2018

Elvis Gomes Feature December 2, 2018

On Monday, 27th November, 2018 Brac announced its winners for Urban Innovation Challenge 2018 at Brac Centre. Starting from June of this year, UIC 2018 started its campaign with the theme “Our cities, our problems”. It aims to support early stage social enterprises who are actively working for solving dire problems of our society. In 4 different categories, 5 winners

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business capital

Creating Capital For Your Big Business Idea

SD Asia Desk Feature November 28, 2018

Bangladesh is a hotbed for business creation and growth, a fact that has led the UK’s influential Institute of Export to name it as ‘the new Asian Tiger’. The efforts of country businesspeople has driven 7.11% growth in GDP year on year. With so much international interest, there has seldom been a better time to get started in business. For those with a

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Cancer

Singapore startup, Ark, gets funding to ‘eliminate late-stage cancer’

Navojit Dastidar Feature November 27, 2018

After eight years in development, a Singapore startup is preparing to launch its cancer-testing kits. The team’s vision, says co-CEO Dr. Zhou Lihan, is “a world without late-stage cancer.” “Late diagnosis is really why the prognosis of cancer patients are so poor today,” explains Zhou. He adds that for many cancers, “if they are discovered at the early stage, the

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Eko

Bangkok based Eko Communications raises $20M for expansion to Europe

Navojit Dastidar Feature November 27, 2018

After focusing on Asian markets, particularly in Southeast Asia, Bangkok-based Eko Communications is getting ready to take on Slack, Microsoft Teams, and other enterprise messaging apps in Europe. The startup announced today that it has raised a Series B of $20 million and opened offices in London (which will serve as its new commercial headquarters), Amsterdam, and Berlin. The funding, led by

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Women entrepreneurs to get app development training from Apple

Navojit Dastidar Feature November 27, 2018

Apple today announced the launch of the all-new Entrepreneur Camp, a first-of-its-kind initiative designed to create new opportunities for app-driven businesses owned or led by women through an intensive technology lab, specialized support and ongoing mentoring. To be eligible for the program, applying app-driven businesses must be female-founded, co-founded or led and have at least one woman on the development team

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Sheba

Sheba.xyz signs healthcare deal with Telenor Health for its service providers

Navojit Dastidar Feature November 27, 2018

Telenor Health has signed an agreement with Sheba.xyz, an online based marketplace devoted to providing the best quality service, said a statement sent to FS. Under this agreement, service providers of Sheba.xyz, will now be enjoying the digital health care benefits of Tonic that includes up to BDT 200,000 yearly coverage for the hospital stay, monthly free minutes for 24/7 doctor consultation,

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Vedantu

Online tutoring platform Vedantu raises $11m led by Omidyar Network

Navojit Dastidar Feature November 26, 2018

Vedantu, an online tutoring platform, has raised $11 million in a Series B funding round led by Omidyar Network, the company’s co-founder, Vamsi Krishna, said in an interview. The funds will be used for technology expansion and deeper penetration in tier 2 and 3 cities. Accel Partners, an existing investor, also participated in the round. Vedantu, which means ‘knowledge network,’

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Grab

Grab, NUS trial e-scooter sharing service, GrabWheels

Navojit Dastidar Feature November 26, 2018

A three-month trial has begun for Grab’s e-scooter sharing service GrabWheels at the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Kent Ridge campus. E-scooters have been deployed across eight parking stations on campus in the pilot, which sees the new GrabWheels service being tested for the first time in Singapore, Grab said in a joint news release with NUS on Friday (Nov 23).

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A Lord and Taylor sign is pictured during Black Friday shopping in New York City, New York, U.S., November 23, 2018. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Black Friday: Online shopping trumps malls for US shoppers

Navojit Dastidar Feature November 26, 2018

The Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday kickoff of the U.S. holiday shopping season showed the increasing preference for online purchases, as more Americans opted to stay home and use their smartphones while sales and traffic at brick-and-mortar stores declined. The ongoing shift to online shopping has forced retailers across the country to invest heavily in boosting their e-commerce businesses, and

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Mizuho

Mizuho commits $20M for tech fund in China

Navojit Dastidar Feature November 25, 2018

Mizuho Securities, a subsidiary of Japan’s second-largest lender Mizuho Financial Group, will establish a technology investment fund in China in partnership with two local venture capital firms, according to a report by the Nikkei. Mizuho Securities is said to have made an initial $20-million commitment to the fund, which will be managed by Cybernaut Investment Group and New Frontier Capital Management (Hong

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Tata capital

Tata Capital to set up $200M second healthcare fund

Navojit Dastidar Feature November 25, 2018

Tata Capital, the flagship financial services arm of the diversified Tata Group, has kicked off the process to raise as much as $200 million (Rs 1,400 crore) for its second healthcare fund, VCCircle reported. The new fund would be almost three times bigger than the previous fund, Tata Capital Healthcare Fund I, which received capital commitments of Rs 319 crore (about

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matrix partners

Chinese text analysis startup Elen raises $22M series A from Matrix Partners China

Navojit Dastidar Feature November 25, 2018

Matrix Partners China, an affiliate of US-based Matrix Partners, has led a $22-million Series A round into Elens, China’s developer of AI-powered text analysis, according to an announcement by Matrix Partners China. Established in 2016, Elens deploys voice image recognition and natural language processing to improve efficiency of enterprises. Elens is led by experts in the field of big data management,

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BB governor

Former Bangladesh Bank governor proposes fund for innovation, research

Navojit Dastidar Feature November 25, 2018

Former governor of Bangladesh Bank Dr. Atiur Rahman has proposed creation of a national innovation and research fund to encourage more young people to become entrepreneurs He made the proposal while addressing a seminar organised for youths by World Linkup at the Senate Building of Rajshahai University on Saturday, says a statement. Describing the youths as the main resources for

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Wework

New age WeWork Labs will not take equity in exchange for mentorship

Navojit Dastidar Feature November 25, 2018

With the goal of helping early-stage entrepreneurs move into the next stage of their startup journey, WeWork officially launched its ‘Labs’ programme in Singapore today, marking its first foray into Southeast Asia. The programme — which cannot be compared to an accelerator or incubator — is a for-pay programme that does not take any equity and works like a bespoke

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Narayanganj

Electric train service comes to Narayanganj

Navojit Dastidar Feature November 22, 2018

The government has taken up a project to introduce electric train service in Narayanganj under a public-private partnership with Singapore.The cabinet committee on economic affairs with Finance Minister AMA Muhith in the chair yesterday approved the local government division’s proposal to reduce the district’s traffic congestion. Nasima Begum, additional secretary to the cabinet division, told reporters afterwards that 388 cities

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Instarem

Singapore’s fintech startup Instarem raises $20M from MDI Ventures

Navojit Dastidar Feature November 22, 2018

Instarem, a Singapore-based startup that helps banks transfer money overseas cheaply, has raised a Series C round of over $20 million for global expansion. The round is led by MDI Ventures  — the VC arm of Indonesian telecom operator Telkom — and Beacon — the fund belonging to Thai bank Kasikorn — as well as existing investors Vertex Ventures, GSR Ventures

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MidEast travel startup Holidayme snags $16m Series C via merger with KL-based Tripfez

Navojit Dastidar Feature November 22, 2018

Middle East-based online travel agency Holidayme on Wednesday announced that it is merging with Malaysia-based travel startup Tripfez to form one of the world’s largest Muslim-focused online travel agencies. The newly merged entity has also raised $16 million in a Series C funding round led by China and Kuala Lumpur-based venture capital firm Gobi Partners. Other investors in the round

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LocaLokal

Malaysian travel platform LokaLocal raises fund from S Korea’s BonAngels

Navojit Dastidar Feature November 22, 2018

South Korean venture capital firm BonAngels Venture Partners has led an undisclosed investment in Malaysia-based travel startup LokaLocal. With this investment, LokaLocal becomes BonAngels’ first Malaysian portfolio company. The venture capital firm has previously invested in around 140 companies in Korea, Japan, the US and Southeast Asia. LokaLocal said it will use the proceeds to accelerate its growth through its integrated

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SBI

SBI venture arm to roll out funds targeting SMEs and affordable housing

Navojit Dastidar Feature November 20, 2018

SBI Capital Ventures Ltd (SVL), an alternative asset management arm of State Bank of India group, will float two funds – Small and Medium Enterprises (Rs 4 billion) and Affordable Housing Fund (Rs 3.5 billion). This is part of plans to expand the portfolio of funds under SBI Caps Ventures, a subsidiary of SBI Capital Markets Ltd. Both funds are targeting closure of fund in

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morgan stanley

China’s Golden Education raises Series C from Morgan Stanley, Hillhouse Capital

Navojit Dastidar Feature November 20, 2018

Hillhouse Capital and Morgan Stanley have reportedly led a RMB800-million ($115 million) Series C funding round in Chinese professional training firm Golden Education. Yonghua Capital and Vision Knight Capital were also said to have participated in the investment. The news first appeared on Chinese newswire 36Kr. Requests for confirmation sent to Hillhouse Capital and Morgan Stanley have not elicited any

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sikumis

Agritech startup Sikumis receives strategic investment from Metralog

Navojit Dastidar Feature November 20, 2018

Indonesian agritech startup Sikumis today announced that it has raised follow-on undisclosed strategic investment from Telkom Group subsidiary Metralog. Metralog first invested in the company in July. The startup is currently developing a platform that integrates the various aspects of agriculture business, from P2P lending, financing, to online auction system.

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Leathertech

Leathertech Bangladesh 2018 launches on Thursday

Navojit Dastidar Feature November 20, 2018

The sixth edition of a three-day Leathertech Bangladesh 2018 will begin at International Convention City Bashundhara from November 22, aiming to bring global technology at the doorsteps of the local industry to catalyse growth and modernisation. ASK Trade & Exhibitions Pvt Ltd is organising the trade show. Concurrently, the second edition of the Bangladesh Leatherfootwear & Leathergoods International Sourcing Show

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MTB

MTB launches UnionPay payment services

Navojit Dastidar Feature November 20, 2018

Mutual Trust Bank (MTB) yesterday joined hands with UnionPay International to jointly launch debit and credit cards alongside QR code payment, e-wallet and digital card services for the first time in Bangladesh. The virtual services allow payments through mobile phones, taking away the need for physically carrying cards. MTB signed the relevant agreements with UnionPay International in Shanghai, China in

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Google forecasts Southeast Asia’s Digital economy to triple by 2025

Elvis Gomes Feature November 20, 2018

With over 650 million cumulative populations, Southeast Asia’s Digital economy is predicted to reach $240 billion by 2025 according to “e-Conomy SEA” report by Google. The report suggests that internet economy will grow by 44% this year from last year to $72 billion, which was only $19.1 billion in 2015. Online travel (30 billion) tops the chart in bringing in

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Whatsapp

WhatsApp could obliterate Snapchat by replicating evaporating messaging

Navojit Dastidar Feature November 19, 2018

WhatsApp already ruined Snapchat’s growth once. WhatsApp Status, its clone of Snapchat Stories, now has 450 million daily active users compared to Snapchat’s 188 million. That’s despite its 24-hour disappearing slideshows missing tons of features, including augmented reality selfie masks, animated GIFs, or personalized avatars like Bitmoji. A good-enough version of Stories conveniently baked into the messaging app beloved in the developing world

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Quantum computing

Quantum computing to govern our future, not AI

Navojit Dastidar Feature November 19, 2018

The word “quantum” gained currency in the late 20th century as a descriptor signifying something so significant, it defied the use of common adjectives. For example, a “quantum leap” is a dramatic advancement (also an early ’90’s television series starring Scott Bakula). Quantum computing is technology based on the principles of quantum theory, which explains the nature of energy and matter on

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Service export

Services exports clocks in over 50pc gain

Navojit Dastidar Feature November 19, 2018

Earnings from services export rose 55.52 percent to $1.4 billion between July and September because of higher performance of the transport sector, according to data from the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) yesterday. The earnings are 12.76 percent higher than the target of $1.25 billion. Receipts from the transport service sector totalled $190.18 million in the current fiscal year’s first quarter.

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BTRC competition.cms

BTRC to forge competition through ranking telcos, ISPs

Navojit Dastidar Feature November 19, 2018

The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission will rank telecom and internet service providers based on different evaluation methods, including customer surveys, inspections, audits and test drives. The telecom regulator is also considering to publish the final evaluation report on its website or through the media to raise public awareness and create a competitive environment conducive for better service. The BTRC yesterday

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Top 10 technology oriented economies of the world

Elvis Gomes Feature November 19, 2018

Technology has been an inseparable tool in the process of development of any country. Adaptability to technology is one of the most influential and crucial indicator for a country to attract foreign investment. The world is enthusiastically ready for the next generation technology like artificial intelligence, green energy based technology etc. Therefore, the most flexible economy to adapt to this

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ICT

ICT acclamation for Tech trailblazers

Navojit Dastidar Feature November 18, 2018

The changes in technology have paved the way for production to quadruple in just a couple of years and people, especially the younger generation, have adopted ICT very fast, said Finance Minister AMA Muhith, speaking as the chief guest at the programme. This is why the government chose information and communication technology for spearheading the country’s development, he told the

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