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

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

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 revenue,
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Huawei invests $23M to support incubating hub in Thailand and India

Huawei had announced the opening of its OpenLab in India with the focus on supporting Indian government rolls out its Smart Cities program and an overall digitization in the country using Huawei’s ICT capabilities. As reported by TechObserver.in, Huawei’s new center will function as an incubating hub for Huawei’s India and global market. A total of US$23 million is going
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Fastwork raises US$4.8M led by Gobi Partners

Online freelancing platform, Fastwork, with operations in Thailand and Indonesia, announced today it has secured US$4.8 million in Series A financing round led by regional venture capital firm Gobi Partners. Vickers Venture Partners, LINE Ventures, and Partech Partners also joined the round, which brings Fastwork’s total amount raised to date to US$5.5 million.
“SMEs are growing at an unprecedented pace in
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Thailand’s Freshket Raised Funding To Develop Its Platform

Thailand’s B2B online marketplace for food businesses Freshket announced on Sunday that it has raised a six-digit US dollar first round of venture capital (VC) funding. Freshket founder and CEO Ponglada Paniangwet stated that the startup plans to use the funding to develop its platform, which was soft-launched in January. Freshket is also looking toward Vietnam and Indonesia
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Mobile Telecom Operators In Thailand To Implement Online Fingerprint ID System For New SIM Registration

Mobile telecom operators in Thailand have been ordered to implement an online fingerprint ID system for new SIM registrations. The new regulation is expected to roll out by March, and is applicable to both new prepaid and postpaid SIM card registrations. Each registration via online fingerprint ID system will cost between 1,000 to 2,000 baht for the mobile operator.
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Mastercard Index of Consumer Confidence Published; Bangladesh Recorded The Largest Gain

The Mastercard Index™ of Consumer Confidence survey, which is conducted twice every year since 1993 just published the report of H2, 2016. It’s all good news for Bangladesh. Bangladesh recorded the largest gain in Asia Pacific of 11.2 points to 82.8 points – a significant improvement in overall consumer confidence compared to H1 2016 where it saw a relatively smaller increase of
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500 TukTuks, 500 Startups’ Microfund For Thailand, Has Finally Closed At A Sum Of US$15.4 Million

500 TukTuks, 500 Startups’ microfund for Thailand, has finally closed at a sum of US$15.4 million, up from US$10 million at its launch. Led by Krating Poonpol and Natavudh Moo Pungcharoenpong, the fund gained massive interest from high net-worth individuals and corporate investors, leading to the increase in its size. With more capital, 500 TukTuks is moving at full speed.
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Thailand-Based Digital Content Platform Ookbee Has Partnered With Chinese Iinternet Giant Tencent

Thailand-based digital content platform Ookbee has partnered with Chinese internet giant Tencent to build a new user-generated digital content company, called Ookbee U, in the country. Ookbee U will focus on growing a content ecosystem comprised of user-generated comics, music, blogs, fiction stories and novels. It plans to generate over 1 million items of user-generated content in three years.
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Thailand’s Government And Alibaba Working Together To Help SMEs Succeed In E-Commerce

Thailand’s Government and Alibaba have agreed to work together to provide e-commerce training for Thai SMEs and individuals- and Alibaba will also be working with Thailand Post to help boost the country’s supply-chain and logistics-systems. Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak and Alibaba Group’s Executive Chairman Jack Ma witnessed the signing of a Letter of Intent on the new
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Thailand- Based WorkVenture Raised US$420K

Thailand-based job search portal WorkVenture has raised THB 15 million (US$420,000) in a round led by strategic investors Sommaphat Traisorat, Chief Executive of TCC Land Asset World, and Songphon Chaovanayothin, Executive Director of PACE Development Corporation. With the new strategic partners on board, the startup will be able to ramp up growth strategies for the Thai market.
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Hong Kong’s Mobile Dating App DateTix Has Acquired A Thailand competitor

Hong Kong’s DateTix, an ASX-listed mobile dating app, has acquired a Thailand competitor named Noonswoon in a deal worth about US$212,000 in stock considerations. The acquisition will allow the Thai company to continue operations in the country and Noonswoon will leverage the partnership to expand into markets with a strong DateTix presence, such as Hong Kong, China and the UK.  
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Thailand’s Helpster Raises US$2.1M To Help Blue Collar Workers Find Jobs

Helpster, a Thailand-based company that helps blue collar workers find jobs, announced today it has raised a US$2.1 million Seed Round led by Convergence Ventures. Wavemaker Partners and other unnamed strategic investors also participated in the round. The money will be used to accelerate product development as well as support the company’s recent expansion into Indonesia.
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