Fundings and Exits

The growth of China’s Bytedance, an ambitious $30 billion tech firm, and its highly addictive Toutiao news aggregator app has set off a search for services with similar growth potential across the world. India, second in population only to China with rapidly growing internet access, is an obvious place to look, and would-be pretender to
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Microsoft announced today that it has acquired Semantic Machines, a Berkeley-based startup that wants to solve one of the biggest challenges in conversational AI: making chatbots sound more human and less like, well, bots. In a blog post, Microsoft AI & Research chief technology officer David Ku wrote that “with the acquisition of Semantic Machines,
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Adzuna, the meta-search engine for jobs, has raised £8 million in Series C funding from Smedvig Capital. The U.K. company’s previous backers include Index Ventures, Passion Capital, LocalGlobe, and over 400 Crowdcube investors. It takes total funding to £12 million. Founded by the team behind Gumtree, Zoopla and Qype, Adzuna essentially aggregates job listings across
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A “dating app for teachers” is an odd but useful way to describe the startup Selected, which has just closed on $1.2 million in seed funding for its recruiting platform for educators. And, in all fairness, Selected said it first. The startup’s own website describes itself (a bit tongue-in-cheek) as a “dating app for job-seeking teachers
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It’s been a busy week for startup funding in Southeast Asia. Following big deals for Carro and Carousell, financial comparison startup Jirnexu is the latest to announce new capital after it closed an $11 million Series B round. The new investment comes courtesy of Japan’s SBI Group — a returning investor which led the round having co-led
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The HR departments of large companies face a common challenge: how to scale the hiring process when they receive hundreds if not thousands of applicants, and how to remove unconscious bias so the best or most suitable candidates are shortlisted. That’s the specific problem MeVitae, an Oxford-based startup founded by neuroscientist Riham Satti and computer
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BrainQ, an Israel-based startup that aims to help stroke victims and those with spinal cord injuries treat their injuries with the help of a personalized electromagnetic treatment protocol, today announced that it has raised a $5.3 million funding round on top of the $3.5 million the company previously raised. The company’s investors include Qure Ventures,
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Carro, an automotive classifieds service and car financing startup based in Singapore, has closed a $60 million Series B round to scale its business in Southeast Asia. The deal was co-led by SoftBank Ventures Korea, Insignia Ventures — the firm from ex-Sequoia Asia partner Yinglan Tan — and Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s B Capital Group.
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Carousell, the Singapore-based mobile listing service that operates across Southeast Asia, has pulled in an $85 million Series C fund as it seeks to strengthen its business among the region’s competitive e-commerce landscape before expanding globally. The round was co-led by existing investor Rakuten Ventures and EDBI, the corporate investment arm of Singapore’s Economic Development Board. Other
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Capital One has acquired the San Francisco-based digital identity and fraud alert startup Confyrm, the company announced through a blog post on Thursday. The deal will bring Confyrm’s technology to the bank in order to help speed its development and implementation of consumer identity services at scale. CEO Andrew Nash founded Confyrm in 2013, along
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As India’s internet access continues to surge among the billion-plus population, data is becoming the new oil. Whether online commerce, ride-hailing, mobile payments and banking, or more, someone needs to verify that people are who, and what, they say they are. That’s an opportunity where HelloVerify, a verification and background screening startup that recently graduated Y Combinator
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Walmart has opened up on the thinking behind its $15 billion majority investment in Flipkart, and perhaps the most interesting facet is that the retailer plans to export ideas from the Indian e-commerce firm to the rest of its global business, including the U.S.. Walmart’s decision to follow Amazon into India is a testament to huge potential growth
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The rumors are true: Walmart has bought a controlling stake in India’s Flipkart. This isn’t a straight-up acquisition, however, because, rather than going it alone, the U.S. retailer is enlisting strategic allies as it takes its fight to Amazon in a new region. Walmart has an existing offline retail business in India, but enter the online space
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Naspers, the South African tech and media conglomerate, continues to have an incredibly hot hand when it comes to global tech investment. Famous for owning a huge chunk of the Chinese Internet powerhouse, Tencent and a big chunk of Mail.ru, Naspers just made $2.2 billion off of the sale of Flipkart to Walmart.  The South African company had
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Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, has finally confirmed that it is making a $16 billion investment into Flipkart for a 77 percent share of the online retailer. Tencent, Tiger Global, Microsoft, Accel and Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal will continue to be investors in the company with this deal. The investment will value Flipkart — India’s biggest
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U.S. job hunting service Glassdoor, which is best known for providing insight into company working cultures, has been acquired for $1.2 billion in cash by Recruit, a $39 billion Japanese corporate that specializes in HR and recruitment services. The all-cash acquisition will see Glassdoor continue to maintain its brand, CEO Robert Hohman explained in a blog
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Alibaba has expanded its e-commerce empire into South Asia after the Chinese internet giant acquired Daraz in an undisclosed deal. Daraz was founded in 2012 by Rocket Internet and today it operates in Pakistan as well as Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Nepal. Rocket said in a statement that Alibaba has acquired the entire Daraz business.
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Singapore-based e-commerce startup ShopBack came on the radar when it raised $25 million last November, and now the company is making its first acquisition. ShopBack said today it has picked up Seedly, a fellow Singaporean startup that offers a personal finance service, in an undisclosed deal. The entire team will move over and Seedly will continue as
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iPrice, a service that aggregates Southeast Asia’s e-commerce websites in a single destination, has pulled in new funding led by messaging app Line’s VC arm, Line Ventures. The round is officially undisclosed, but TechCrunch understands from a source close to negotiations that it is worth around $4 million. Existing iPrice backers Cento Ventures (formerly known as
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Xiaomi’s much-speculated IPO process has kicked off officially after the Chinese smartphone giant filed to go public on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The first draft of its filing does not include proposed financial details of its listing, but the South China Morning Post reports that the eight-year-old company is shooting to raise $10 billion
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While the mid 2010s were filled with massive financing rounds for companies looking to shift business models like Instacart, Uber, and others along those lines, today’s hottest sector is a more technical one: artificial intelligence. That’s required a different approach to building companies. As tools become more and more powerful, and frameworks like TensorFlow become
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