Ex-Facebook exec Kirthiga Reddy becomes first female investing partner at SoftBank’s Vision Fund

Following speculation that SoftBank is hiring a China-based team, the Japanese investment giant has brought on its first venture partner for its $100 billion Vision Fund. Kirthiga Reddy, a former executive with Facebook, has taken the role and, in doing so, she becomes the first female investing partner with SoftBank’s Vision Fund team. She will […]

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 […]

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 […]

Australia passes ‘dangerous’ anti-encryption law after bipartisan compromise

Update, 12/6: The bill has now passed after the Labor party agreed to drop its proposed amendments — you can read full details of the bill here. Australia’s controversial anti-encryption bill is one step closer to becoming law, after the two leading but sparring party political giants struck a deal to pass the legislation. The bill, […]

UrbanClap, India’s largest home services startup, raises $50M

UrbanClap, a four-year-old startup that offers home services across India, has closed a $50 million Series D round for expansion. The round was led by Steadview Capital, a hedge fund with more than $1 billion under management, and existing investor Vy Capital. It takes UrbanClap to $110 million raised to date, according to data from Crunchbase. […]

GCHQ’s not-so-smart idea to spy on encrypted messaging apps is branded ‘absolute madness’

Nobody wants to be a third wheel. Unless you’re a British spy. Two of the most senior officials at British eavesdropping agency GCHQ say one way that law enforcement could access encrypted messages is to simply add themselves to your conversations. “It’s relatively easy for a service provider to silently add a law enforcement participant to […]

Easyship, a Stripe for global e-commerce shipping, raises $4M

Easyship, a Hong Kong-based startup that aims to make international shipping for e-commerce as easy as payments, has closed a $4 million Series A round. The company was founded in 2015 by former Lazada duo Tommaso Tamburnotti and Augustin Ceyrac, and ex-banker Paul Lugagne Delpon. From their time with Lazada, the then-Rocket Internet -owned e-commerce site […]

ACLU asks court to release a secret order forcing Facebook to wiretap Messenger

Earlier this year, the U.S. government tried to force Facebook to secretly recode its Messenger app to allow the feds to listen into an encrypted, real-time voice call on suspected members associated with the notorious MS-13 gang. Facebook declined, and the feds pushed the court to hold the company in contempt. The case collapsed, but […]

Google lays outs narrow “EU election advertiser” policy ahead of 2019 vote

Google has announced its plan for combating election interference in the European Union, ahead of elections next May when up to 350 million voters across the region will vote to elect 705 Members of the European Parliament. In a blog post laying out a narrow approach to democracy-denting disinformation, Google says it will introduce a […]