Hi there, Mars here from the Philippines.
Southeast Asia’s ride-hailing giant Grab and its fiercest competitor Go-Jek continue to dominate our tech news coverage for this week, although the spotlight was more focused on the Indonesian ride-hailing firm, which ended the week with an additional US$1 billion in its coffers, overshadowing Grab’s US$200-million fresh funding from Central Group, Thailand’s largest retail conglomerate.
Go-Jek had finalised the first close of its Series F funding, led by existing investors including Google and Tencent. The announcement confirms KrASIA’s report that the firm was raising funds that would bring the company closer to a status of a decacorn – companies valued more than US$10 billion. With the fresh mega-funding, Go-Jek is expected to further accelerate its expansion in the region, following its entry into Singapore, Vietnam, and Thailand. Although it continues to face a roadblock in the Philippines.
With ride-hailing giants Grab and Go-Jek further expanding their footprints in the region, can we expect new startups to operate in this space to challenge the “duopoly”? Probably not, according to Jianggan Li, founder and CEO of Singapore-based venture builder and investment consultant Momentum Works, which we interviewed this week for our VC Series.
This week also saw KrASIA’s exclusive report on the fundraising activity of theAsianparent, the Singaporean online parenting startup similar to China’s Babytree. According to sources, theAsianparent is in talks with investors including Alibaba’s Ant Financial and Chinese conglomerate Fosun for a new funding round at pre-money valuation of US$60 million. Both Alibaba and Fosun have invested in Babytree, which raised US$200 million in Hong Kong IPO last year.
Grab and Go-Jek are likely to continue to dominate the news next week and trust that KrASIA will also be at the forefront to report on the latest development in the region’s ride-hailing space and other sectors that are shaping Southeast Asia’s startup scene. Meanwhile, have meaningful and joyful celebration of the Chinese New Year!
Here are some stories you shouldn’t miss.
Exclusive|Singaporean online parenting startup theAsianparent to raise new round led by Fosun (update)
Philippine antitrust watchdog fines Grab for post-merger audit intervention
Grab to launch three new ride-hailing services in Myanmar this year
After a failed Uber partnership, Thai taxi operator launches own ride booking app
Malaysian startup introduces the first Muslim-friendly browser
Even with Grab and Go-Jek in the market, Singapore’s Ryde secures funding
Indonesia’s Traveloka opens R&D centre in India
Grab announces its 3 billionth ride, a new R&D centre, and streaming service
Grab reportedly to bag $200m from Thailand’s Central Group in deepened regional push
Electric scooter startup Lime to promote responsible riding culture in Singapore
South Korean unicorn Woowa Brothers to begin food delivery in Vietnam
Lazada folds online grocer RedMart into its own app
Indonesia’s startup The Fit Company announced funding from East Ventures
Fore Coffee announced US$8.5 million funding and is challenged by a new competitor
Ofo axes its Singapore operations team
Go-Jek raises $1b in first close of Series F round
Exclusive | Alibaba and Fosun are about to invest into theAsianparent, SEA’s Babytree
Neuron Mobility co-founder Zachary Wang: Businesses need to be hyperlocal
Is Indonesia better equipped to deal with hoaxes on WhatsApp in this election?
Momentum Works Jianggan predicts 2019 for KrASIA: Online giants going offline, and more down rounds
What 2019 holds for Southeast Asia’s e-commerce sector
New regulations, internet celebrities, and sweeping into the hinterland—how did the Chinese mobile internet fare in 2018?
How localisation strategies aid Tik Tok’s global reach