Secretive Magic Leap says ex-engineer copied headset for China

(June 18): Magic Leap Inc, a US startup that makes a headset to project digital objects onto the real world, accused one of its former engineers of stealing its technology to create his own augmented reality device for China.

In a lawsuit filed Monday, Magic Leap alleges that Chi Xu, who left in 2016, exploited its confidential information to “quickly develop a prototype of lightweight, ergonomically designed, mixed reality glasses for use with smart phones and other devices that are strikingly similar” to the Florida-based startup’s designs.

YouTrip raises record US$25.5 mil pre-series A to expand its platform across Asean

SINGAPORE (May 16): YouTrip, Singapore’s first multi-currency mobile wallet with a prepaid Mastercard which was jointly developed by EZ-Link, has raised US$25.5 million ($34.9 million) in its latest pre-Series A fundraise.

This marks the largest pre-Series A funding round for a fintech startup operating in Southeast Asia.

Participating investors include major Asian family offices and venture capital firm Insignia Ventures Partners, founded by ex-Sequoia Partner Yinglan Tan.

This startup plans to permanently integrate its offerings with Grab

SINGAPORE (May 10): If there is one thing that internet and app-oriented start-ups track closely regardless of the industry they operate in, it is the conversion rate. This metric measures how much user traffic is translated into a desired action, for instance, sales. The aim, obviously, is to have a high conversion rate in order to boost the chances of success.

Avarga to acquire 23.08% stake in urban farming startup Archisen for up to $1.5 mil

SINGAPORE (June 29): Avarga, formerly known as UPP Holdings, is acquiring a 23.08% stake in Archisen for a cash consideration of up to $1.5 million in three separate traches.

Archisen is a Singapore-based startup that designs, develops and operates urban farming systems by employing Internet of Things, automation and data analytics. Archisen’s existing shareholders are Clarence Tan Kum Wah and Vincent Wei Yangsheng.

Based on Archisen’s unaudited management accounts drawn up to May 31, it recorded a net loss of $0.47 million since its date of incorporation on Dec 2, 2015.

AI healthcare startup UCARE.AI secures $8.2 mil funding

SINGAPORE (May 16): UCARE.AI, a Singapore-based artificial intelligence (AI) healthcare startup, has recently concluded its Series A funding, bringing total investment to $8.2 million to date.

The Series A global investors included VC firm Walden International, insurance group Great Eastern, Singaporean investor and philanthropist Peter Lim, as well as law firm WongPartnership’s startup initiative WPGrowth Ventures.

China's Meituan said to acquire Mobike for US$3 bil

(Apr 4): Meituan Dianping, the Chinese food review and delivery giant, is close to acquiring Mobike in a deal that will value the three-year-old bike-sharing startup at about US$3 billion ($3.9 billion), according to people familiar with the matter.

This vegetable-selling startup's just been valued at $3.7 billion

(Jan 12): Meicai, a China startup that helps farmers sell vegetables to restaurants, has raised US$450 million ($598 million) in a funding round led by Tiger Global Management and China Media Capital, according to people familiar with the matter.

Spackman invests $306,000 in Korean film production startup

SINGAPORE (Nov 16): Spackman Entertainment Group says that it has invested KRW250 million ($306,000) in the seed financing round for The Makers Studio, a Korean film production startup.

Once the investment is completed, Spackman will own 20% of the equity interest in The Makers Studio.

The Makers Studio is established by three Korean entertainment industry veterans: Kim Ok‐hyun, Choi Yeon‐ju and Moon Bo‐young.

This Japanese startup now lets anyone hold a personal IPO

(Sept 21): Nuko Numano is a cosplayer in Japan who regularly hosts livestreams for her fans, but only to a select few who own five of her shares priced at US$38 ($51) apiece. That seems like a bargain, considering they were trading for as much as US$585 in July.

3 tech trends to change SME growth in 2017 and beyond

SINGAPORE (March 24): Using technology creatively to manage the business back-end can enable even the smallest start-ups to compete on the regional and even the global stage.

While government assistance can help in easing the costs around technology adoption, business builders need to be proactive in keeping abreast of the latest trends and be more digitally-aware of how they can impact their businesses.

Here are three major trends that will make a big difference in the way entrepreneurs and business builders manage and grow their companies in 2017 and beyond:

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