Voter manipulation on social media now a global problem, report finds

New research by the Oxford Internet Institute has found that social media manipulation is getting worse, with rising numbers of governments and political parties making cynical use of social media algorithms, automation and big data to manipulate public opinion at scale — with hugely worrying implications for democracy. The report found that computational propaganda and […]

A huge database of Facebook users’ phone numbers found online

Hundreds of millions of phone numbers linked to Facebook accounts have been found online. The exposed server contained more than 419 million records over several databases on users across geographies, including 133 million records on U.S.-based Facebook users, 18 million records of users in the U.K., and another with more than 50 million records on […]

Grab promises to invest $500 million into Vietnam

Ride-hailing company Grab is going to focus some of its efforts on Vietnam with a $500 million investment over the next five years to grow its activities in the country. While Grab started as a ride-hailing company, it is now much more than that. The company has become a “super app” that you can open […]

Aspire raises $32.5M to help SMEs secure fast finance in Southeast Asia

Aspire, a Singapore-based startup that helps SMEs secure working capital, has raised $32.5 million in a new financing round to expand its presence in several Southeast Asian markets. The Series A round for the one-and-a-half-year-old startup was funded by MassMutual Ventures Southeast Asia. Arc Labs and existing investors Y Combinator — Aspire graduated from YC […]

Grab raises more money — again

Southeast Asia’s highest-capitalized startup is sitting on even more money from investors today after ride-hailing Grab announced it has raised $300 million from Invesco. The deal takes Singapore-based Grab $7.5 billion raised to date. The money is part of its ongoing — feels-like-everlasting — Series H round which was started last June via a $1 […]

Grocery delivery startup Honestbee is running out of money and trying to sell

Honestbee, the online grocery delivery service in Asia, is nearly out of money and trying to offload its business. The company has held early conversations with a number of suitors in Asia, including ride-hailing giants Grab and Go-Jek, over the potential acquisition of part, or all, of its business, according to two industry sources with […]

Go-Jek brings in Misfit co-founder and ex-Facebook head to lead Vietnam business

Ambitious ride-hailing startup Go-Jek’s Southeast Asia expansion plan suffered a blow when it lost the leadership team behind its business in Vietnam, but now it has replaced them with the former head of Facebook in the country. Christy Trang Le, who led Facebook’s business in Vietnam for nine months before quitting for family reasons in […]

Sequoia reveals first cohort for its ‘Surge’ accelerator program in India and Southeast Asia

Back in January, Sequoia India announced plans for its first early-stage startup accelerator program in India and Southeast Asia, and today the firm revealed the first cohort of 17 startups. To recap, the program — which is called Surge — gives each startup a $1.5 million check and participation in a four-month program that’s split […]

Jio Health combines online and offline healthcare in Southeast Asia, starting in Vietnam

The internet is often lauded for the potential to increase the impact of a range of primary services in emerging markets, including education, commerce, banking and healthcare. While many of those platforms are now being built, a few are finding that a hybrid approach combining online and offline is advantageous. That’s exactly what Jio Health, […]

Asia’s AnyMind pulls in another $8M and expands into outdoor advertising

Asia-focused marketing startup AnyMind Group has landed a further $8 million in funding to close out its Series B round and expand into new verticals. The company announced a $13.4 million raise back in November, but that has now expanded to $21.4 million thanks to an additional injection from VGI Global Media, a Thailand-based firm […]