Startup

CEO of leading AI startup SenseTime says valuation has passed US$7.5 billion

(Sept 6): SenseTime Group’s valuation surpassed US$7.5 billion this year after securing investment from backers like SoftBank Group, yet the world’s largest AI startup said it’s in no hurry to go public.

Skincare app company leverages on treasure trove of data

SINGAPORE (Sept 9): Everyone wants to look good, but it is hard to find the right product for each individual’s skin type. Oftentimes, people end up with tubes and containers of products they have bought and tried but found unsuitable. This is especially so in less mature markets that have a more limited access to skincare. Into the picture comes TroveSkin, arming consumers with artificial intelligence through their smartphones that can detect skin issues, recommend products to deal with them and monitor the progress through daily selfies.

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Fintech startup soCash raises US$6 mil in series B funding round

SINGAPORE (July 22): soCash, the Singapore-headquartered fintech startup, announced that it has raised US$6 million ($8.2 million) in its series B funding round.

With the new funds, soCash aims to grow its distribution network to improve the accessibility and convenience of banking services in countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Hong Kong -- as the company has already acquired the relevant regulatory clearances in these three markets.

Go-Jek snags investment from Thailand's largest lender

(July 11): Ride-hailing giant Go-Jek has secured an investment from Siam Commercial Bank, the Thai lender that counts King Maha Vajiralongkorn as its biggest shareholder, according to people familiar with the matter.

It’s unclear how much Thailand’s biggest bank is investing in Go-Jek, the people said, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. Their partnership will help Indonesia’s most valuable technology startup bolster its financial services, while Siam Commercial is counting on online growth to help increase revenue, they added.

This startup uses AI to detect falls among elderly who are home alone

SINGAPORE (June 28): Local entrepreneur Lim Meng Hui was working on an artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled security system to detect intruders when his grandmother fell and lay helpless. When her health deteriorated rapidly after that, he decided that detecting falls among the elderly was a far more critical need that his start-up could address.

Lim and co-founder Toh Ying Wei started SmartPeep, a tongue-in-cheek moniker for what is shaping up to be an essential tool for an ageing population.

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.

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