China’s Vivo is eyeing smartphone users in Africa and Middle East

Africa’s mobile phone industry has in recent times been dominated by Transsion, a Shenzhen-based company that is little known outside the African continent and is gearing up for an initial public offering in China. Now, its Chinese peer Vivo is following its shadow to this burgeoning part of the world with low-cost offerings. Vivo, the […]

Streaming video service Iflix raises more than $50 million led by Fidelity International as it prepares to go public

Iflix, the streaming video service that competes with Netflix in Southeast Asia and other emerging markets, announced today that it has raised a new round of funding led by Fidelity International, with participation from returning investors Catcha Group, Hearst, Sky and EMC. The Malaysia-based company did not disclose the amount of the round, but said […]

VertoFX raises $2M for its African and EM currency trading platform

VertoFX, an Africa and emerging markets-focused currency trading and payment startup, has raised a $2.1 million seed round, led by Accelerated Digital Ventures. The London-based company, with a subsidiary in Lagos, Nigeria, has created a platform that allows businesses and banks to exchange and make payments in exotic foreign currencies that don’t often convert or […]

Splyt wants to connect the world’s ride-hailing apps for easy international roaming

The vision of a universal global ride-hailing service is over. Uber’s decision to exit markets like China, Southeast Asia and Russia coupled with the failure of its rivals to develop a proposed roaming system, means that global travelers must install multiple apps if they are to take advantage of on-demand taxis. That’s unless a little-known startup […]

Thunes raises $10M to make financial services more accessible in emerging markets

Cross-border fintech continues to be an area of interest for venture capitalists. The latest deal sees GGV Capital — the U.S-China firm that’s backed Xiaomi, Airbnb, Square and others — lead a $10 million investment in Singapore-based startup Thunes. Other investors in the Series A round are not being disclosed at this point. Thunes — […]

Jungle Ventures hits $175M first close on its third fund for Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia’s startup ecosystem is set to get a massive injection of funds after Jungle Ventures reached a first close of $175 million for its newest fund, TechCrunch has come to learn. Executives at the Singapore-based firm anticipate that the new fund, which is Jungle’s third to date, will reach a final close of $220 […]

Human rights activist Amira Yahyaoui is battling the US college financial aid system

Tunisian human rights activist Amira Yahyaoui couldn’t go to college. Not because she couldn’t afford it; where she comes from, college is virtually free. She lost the opportunity to pursue higher education, to finish high school, even, when she was exiled from Tunisia at age 17, under the repressive regime of the country’s former President, […]

Uber is paying $3.1BN to pick up Middle East rival Careem

After months and months of rumors it’s finally been confirmed that ride-hailing giant Uber is picking up its Middle East rival Careem in an acquisition deal worth $3.1 billion — with $1.7BN to be paid in convertible notes and $1.4BN in cash. Uber writes that it expects the transaction to close in Q1 2020, pending […]

Global smartphone growth stalled in Q4, up just 1.2% for the full year: Gartner

Gartner’s smartphone market share data for the just gone holiday quarter highlights the challenge for device makers going into the world’s biggest mobile trade show, which kicks off in Barcelona next week: The analyst’s data shows global smartphone sales stalled in Q4 2018, with growth of just 0.1 percent over 2017’s holiday quarter, and 408.4 […]

Zwipe tops up with $14M to bring biometric payment cards to market this year

Biometric payment card startup Zwipe has swiped $14M to add to an earlier Series B round as it continues to work towards commercializing technology that embeds a fingerprint reader in payment plastic for an added layer of security. “We are not commercially rolled out yet, we expect that to happen in the second half of this […]