Grab invests $100M into India’s OYO to expand its budget hotel service in Southeast Asia

Southeast Asian ride-hailing firm Grab has made its most ambitious investment to date after it backed India-headquartered budget hotel network OYO to the tune of $100 million. The investment was part of a $1 billion Series E round led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund that closed back in September. The deal was first made public via a […]

The trust dilemma of continuous background checks

First, background checks at startups, then Huawei’s finance chief is arrested, SoftBank’s IPO is subscribed and I am about to record our next edition of TechCrunch Equity. It’s Thursday, December 6, 2018. TechCrunch is experimenting with new content forms. This is a rough draft of something new — provide your feedback directly to the author […]

Salesforce doubles down on Japan with dedicated $100M fund

It’s been a good week for Japanese startups. Fresh from Google making a rare investment in the country when it backed AI startup Abeja, so Salesforce — another U.S. tech titan — has announced a $100 million fund for enterprise startups in Japan. The Japan Trailblazer Fund is Salesforce Venture’s first local fund in Asia. […]

Asian streaming startup M17, still recovering from a failed IPO, raises another $25M

M17, the Taiwanese streaming company that controversially priced on the NYSE but didn’t list, has returned to the private markets after it raised a $25 million funding round. The round was led by Terry Tsang — CEO of Hong Kong-based games company Madhead — with participation from Pavilion Capital, Stonebridge Ventures and existing investors. This new investment follows a $35 […]

Taiwan-based travel startup AsiaYo raises $7M Series B led by Alibaba Taiwan Entrepreneurs Fund

AsiaYo, a travel accommodation booking platform based in Taipei, Taiwan, has raised a $7 million Series B led by Alibaba Taiwan Entrepreneurs Fund, a non-profit initiative run by the Chinese e-commerce giant, and China Development Financial. Darwin Ventures and Delta Ventures also participated in the round, which brings AsiaYo’s total raised since its launch in […]

Japan’s Sansan raises $26.5M to help Southeast Asia get more from business cards

The humble business card is a target for disruption in Southeast Asia after Japanese contacts management startup Sansan raised JPY 3 billion ($26.5 million) to expand its business into the region. Founded way back in 2007, Sansan helps bring business intelligence to companies through a system that helps build connections between users and both internal employees […]

Neuron Mobility raises $3.7M to bring e-scooters to Southeast Asia’s cities

Despite the rise in electric scooters in the U.S., you’d be forgiven for thinking that Asia — the region where bike-sharing foreshadowed the rise of e-scooters — has been left off the party. But e-scooters have quietly been in the region for some time and now they are beginning to ramp up. Singapore-based Neuron Mobility is […]

Foxconn or Foxgone? Tariffs, Wisconsin and iPhone fires

First some notes on SoftBank’s rumored expansion into China and its weird fund math, then Foxconn and then quick notes on tech depression, Huawei and more. TechCrunch is experimenting with new content forms. This is a rough draft of something new — provide your feedback directly to the author (Danny at danny@techcrunch.com) if you like […]

Google invests in Japanese AI and machine learning startup ABEJA

Google has made a rare investment in Japan after the company led a follow-on round for AI and machine learning startup ABEJA. The deal amount is undisclosed but a little digging suggests that it is likely a single-digit million US dollar figure. That’s because six-year-old ABEJA did confirm that it has now raised JPY 6 billion ($53 […]

JioSaavn becomes India’s answer to Spotify and Apple Music

India finally has its answer to Spotify after Reliance Jio merged its music service with Saavn, the startup it acquired earlier this year. The deal itself isn’t new — it was announced back in March — but it has reached its logical conclusion after two apps were merged to create a single entity, JioSaavn, which is […]