Hi there, it’s Robin.
The South-east Asia tech scene has moved up by another notch very quickly this week, mimicking the earlier trends amongst Chinese internet giants.
Singapore-headquartered Grab, for instance, moved into groceries delivery, partnering HappyFresh, in addition to ride-hailing, food delivery, and even mobile payments- taking huge strides in its directions of becoming a super app, similar to the likes of China’s O2O platform giant Meituan & Tencent’s WeChat.
Additionally, we have also heard of rumours that Grab might be looking to spin off GrabPay for independent growth – similar to how Tencent spin off its music streaming arm and how Didi splits its premier services from its other services.
However, it never gets easier for a startup, really.
While Singapore is looking into the implementation of possible measures such as lifting Grab’s exclusivity agreements with various players, Malaysia, on the other hand, also started to impose traditional taxi driver license rules on Grab’s drivers. Competitors of Grab such as Indonesia-based Go-Jek, Ryde, Kardi, and Jugnoo will be looking to pounce in on Grab’s larger market share at the moment.
This is why the entrepreneurship journey is difficult and startups have to stay nimble and alert in order to weather the storms to succeed.
Ironically, 90% of startups actually don’t prepare, refine and follow up, according to Tiang, a partner of SeedPlus, Singapore’s seed venture firm. SeedPlus is a seed-stage investor that identifies the buds among the weeds, looking to invest in product-focused deep tech startups across Asia.
SEA’s tech scenes aside, China’s tech unicorns are also facing some difficulties.
Xiaomi, for example, – the first to list after HKEx’s dual-listing, fails to impress, trading below its low-end offer price of HK$17 on its trading day debut. This could have some negative impact on the imminent IPOs at the Hong Kong bourse, with 51 Credit Card setting an offer price of only HK$8.50 for its upcoming IPO.
Ofo, China’s bike-sharing startup, has also started to close its Australia, Israel & India operations to focus on the growing domestic competition against Hellobike & Mobike.
The massive proliferation of app usage also comes with its own set of problems – China’s WeChat is looking to punish more than 50,000 accounts and 8,000 WeChat groups for online gambling – an illegal activity in China.
Still, this does not deter these giants.
Despite the online gambling challenge, WeChat has already on-boarded more than 1.5m third-party developers for its mini-app – one of China’s most disruptive technologies in recent years. This essentially offers convenience to users, ultimately driving WeChat’s push to become the sticky super app.
Interestingly, contrary to the dismal IPO climate in Hong Kong, the private investments sector is still relatively ‘hot’. Just this week, China’s online securities brokerage Tiger Brokers recently closed a Series C funding round, propelling the firm to join the ranks of China’s list of unicorns.
On-demand Chinese coffee startup Luckin Coffee also raised $200 million to further its fight with Starbucks for a larger slice of the burgeoning coffee market in China.
Read on to find out more interesting stories from last week, and feel free to tip us if you have news clue or you just want to talk with us, email us at KrASIAofficial@gmail.com and we’re looking forward to hearing from you.
Here are some stories you shouldn’t miss.
China’s Tongcheng-ELong heads for $1B Hong Kong IPO amid increasing competition
Toutiao launches paid content app to diversify revenue streams
China’s fitness app Keep seals $127M Series D round from Goldman Sachs and Tencent, foraying into the gym space
Tesla revs expansion with a new factory in Shanghai targeting 500,000 cars
Apple launches US$300m clean energy fund in China
China trumps the U.S with higher mobile payment penetration
Qiqi Technology share prices tumble more than 5% on HK trading debut
China’s Inke IPO debuts above low-end offer price in Hong Kong
Tesla announces new innovation centre in Beijing
Asia’s healthcare tech investments reach a record high in H1 2018
Ex-JobsDB CEO Adrian Chng to run fintech startup GoBear
M’sian coworking space WORQ secures $2.5m, new branches to come
New fund Sun SEA Capital set up, targets to fund O2O startups and more
Woohoo…the biggest coming out party of unicorn IPO, what’s your pick?
Shanghai and Beijing challenge Silicon Valley as Chinese tech hubs grow
Xiaomi LEI Jun: Let us witness a great milestone together!
Groupon reportedly discusses potential sell, candidates include Alibaba and IAC
Grab’s Anthony Tan shares how he feels about China, govt, and superapps
HR tech startup EngageRocket helps firms understand employee grouses
SmartPeep takes a step towards preventing falls with video AI