Flying taxi startup Blade is helping Silicon Valley CEOs bypass traffic

One year after a $38 million Series B valued on-demand aviation startup Blade at $140 million, the company has begun taxiing the Bay Area’s elite. As part of a new pilot program, Blade has given 200 people in San Francisco and Silicon Valley exclusive access to its mobile app, allowing them to book helicopters, private […]

Indonesia’s Kargo comes out of stealth with $7.6M from Travis Kalanick, Sequoia and others

Travis Kalanick may be busy cooking up a cloud kitchen business, but that hasn’t stopped the former Uber CEO’s VC fund from making its first investment in Southeast Asia. 10100, the firm that Kalanick launched last year for investments in Asia, just took part in a $7.6 million seed round for Kargo, an early-stage “Uber […]

Xiaomi Q4 sees strong growth in overseas shipment and internet services

Xiaomi, the Chinese company known for its cheap handsets and a vision to drive revenues by selling internet services, has come in ahead of analysts’ estimates in its fourth-quarter profit although revenues missed expectations. The Hong Kong-listed company more than tripled its net profit to 1.85 billion yuan ($276 million), exceeding the 1.7 billion yuan […]

Ola raises $300M as part of a new electric vehicle partnership with Hyundai and Kia

Ride-hailing platform Ola announced today that it has raised $300 million from Hyundai and Kia as part of a strategic partnership focused on electric vehicle development. This brings the company’s total raised to $3.8 billion according to Crunchbase. Ola’s last funding was announced just three weeks ago, when the company said it had raised $56 […]

Pi Day wasn’t pleasant for a lot of tech execs

Pi Day is apparently New Job day for tech execs and VCs these days. Leaving: Lee Fixel It’s not every day that one of the top VC investors heads out from their shop. TechCrunch’s @cookie aka Connie Loizos has the story: Lee Fixel, the low-flying head of Tiger Global’s private equity business, is leaving at […]

Wattpad gains strategic investment from Times Bridge to further expand in India

Wattpad is further expanding into Asia with a new partnership and undisclosed strategic investment from Times Bridge, the global investment arm of The Times Group in India. The deal aims to help the storytelling community establish a larger presence in the country where it already counts more than 2.6 million monthly users who have shared […]

AgroStar gets $27M Series C to give more Indian farmers increased crop production with data analytics

Indian agriculture tech startup AgroStar announced today that it has raised a $27 million Series C for its platform, which helps farmers increase crop production, manage orders and buy supplies online. The round was led by Bertelsmann India Investments, with participation from returning investors Accel, Chiratae Ventures and Aavishkaar Bharat Fund. AgroStar bills its app […]

The Juggernaut is a subscription media company for the South Asian diaspora

Everyone and their dog seems to have an email newsletter today, but what happens if and when yours takes off? Some have gone down the paid route, but another credible alternative is to turn it into a subscription media business. That’s a route that The Juggernaut, a new pay-to-play publication targeted at the Indian diaspora, […]

The other smartphone business

With the smartphone operating system market sewn up by Google’s Android platform, which has a close to 90% share globally, leaving Apple’s iOS a slender (but lucrative) premium top-slice, a little company called Jolla and its Linux-based Sailfish OS is a rare sight indeed: A self-styled ‘independent alternative’ that’s still somehow in business. The Finnish […]

Who are the next billion users and what do they want?

Entrepreneurs and tech executives are widening their gazes outside of developed nations for their next source of growth. Ubiquitous cheap phones and increasingly affordable phone plans such as Jio in India are helping another billion users join the internet. What do those users want though, and how are they the same and different than existing […]