Softbank, others gear up for mega investment in Bytedance
SoftBank Group Corp., KKR & Co. and General Atlantic plan to make a giant investment in fast-rising Chinese internet player Bytedance, people familiar with the matter said. The deal could make Bytedance the world’s biggest startup.
The latest round may value Beijing Bytedance Technology Co., parent of news aggregator Toutiao and video sensation Tik Tok, at around USD 75 billion before investment. SoftBank is initially targeting an investment of about USD 1.5 billion though it’s unclear how big its final cheque will be, the people, who wished to remain anonymous, said.
The current deal is still in discussions and terms could change, they added. Representatives for Bytedance and SoftBank declined to comment. General Atlantic had no immediate comment, while KKR didn’t respond to an emailed query.
Alibaba’s Tao Factory to AI-upgrade 200 garment factories
Tao Factory, a retail management platform under Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding plans to partner with 200 garment factories this year, enabling them to monitor production data better through the use of artificial intelligence.
Tao Factory will team up with Alibaba Cloud’s Internet of Things team and deploy their equipment in traditional clothing workshops, the unit said. The 20 firms that have already participated in the revamp saw their scheduling performance increase 6 per cent and delivery cycles became 10 per cent shorter, data from Hangzhou-based Alibaba shows.
The first company Tao Factory transformed, Hangzhou Dianshi Garment, was satisfied with the program, which after the transformation has had no off-seasons and has enough workers during busy periods.
*Marry in Jiangsu Province, get electronic license from Alipay *
The Jiangsu Provincial Government will begin issuing electronic marriage licenses through Alipay for couples whose nuptials are registered in the province, local media said.
The move is part of an update to the provincial government’s Alipay mini-program, “Jiangsu Government Affairs”, aiming at increasing convenience not only for individuals wanting to prove their marital status but also for those wanting to take out a mortgage, demolish a property, and transfer real estate, among others.
Users are required to search for the mini-program in Alipay and scan their faces to verify their identity in order for it to be issued. Alibaba is currently trialling its Alipay-based digital IDs in Hangzhou and Quzhou in Zhejiang province, and Fuzhou in Fujian province. The virtual IDs allow their users to book train tickets and check into hotels but are only accepted by local authorities.
WhatsApp rumours plunge Infibeam shares
Source: VC Circle
The share price of Infibeam Avenues Ltd, the operator of India’s only listed e-commerce firm Infibeam fell from Rs 180.35 apiece to Rs 57.90 on the NSE on Friday.
The Ahmedabad-headquartered company is now valued at Rs 3,900 crore (USD 541.67 million). This means Infibeam has lost its status as a unicorn.
According to a report by Bloomberg, a message attributed to brokerage firm Equirus Securities had been doing the rounds on WhatsApp claiming that Infibeam had given interest-free and unsecured loans to a unit with negative net assets.
Infibeam was founded in 2010 by former Amazon executive Vishal Mehta. It was one of the youngest companies to list on the National Stock Exchange when it floated its initial public offering in March 2016.
Entry of Indonesia’s Go-Jek on hold: LTFRB
Source: Business World
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said Indonesian ride-hailing company Go-Jek filed an application to operate in the Philippines, but it was rejected. The application was not entertained as the government issued a moratorium on accrediting transport network company (TNC) last month.
“The moratorium came out before they filed their application for accreditation,” said the office of LTFRB Chairman Martin B. Delgra III in a message to reporters on Wednesday. The company filed its application on August 13.
In May, the LTFRB said it met with representatives of Go-Jek to discuss the possibility of its entry to the Philippines after Uber Philippines exited the scene. LTFRB Board Member Aileen Lourdes A. Lizada said then the officials of Go-Jek had to review the regulatory policies in the Philippines, particularly its limits to surge pricing.
Indonesia's KASKUS joins online TV platform
One of the most familiar startups in Indonesia Kaskus, is now venturing out with the newly launched Kaskus TV, a video platform for programmes and short videos. The video platform is integrated with the company’s main product, its discussion platform called Kaskus Forum. Kaskus TV content creators will include hobbyists, communities, and their content partners.
KASKUS has also provided their creators with an auditorium and a mini recording studio. The company also plans to produce web series in video or podcast audio based on the writings shared on their discussion platform.
Gilmour Space secures USD 13 million
Gilmour Space Technologies, a leading hybrid propulsion company in Queensland and Singapore, has raised AUD 19 million (USD 13 million) to scale-up and launch its first commercial hybrid rocket to space in 2020.
The Series B investment round was led by top-tier venture capital firms in Australia including Sequence Ventures, Blackbird Ventures and 500 startups. Blackbird had also led Gilmour Space’s AUD 5 million Series A round in May last year.
Gilmour Space is developing a new breed of hybrid rockets that will offer dedicated LEO launches to small satellite customers at very competitive prices. The company plans to launch Eris-100 in 2020, a three-stage commercial vehicle capable of launching 100 kilograms to LEO; followed by Eris-400 in 2021, a clustered-engine vehicle for payloads of up to 400 kilograms.