The cryptocurrency craze continues as Indonesia’s central bank indicates it will ban not just the tokens but also the businesses that transact them. In other news, two US tech giants reported positive growth in the region.
Media and entertainment
Viddsee bets on original content (Singapore). The video streaming company has created Viddsee Studios to produce original content for its platforms. It has also announced a partnership with the Singapore government’s Infocomm Media Development Authority to produce five TV series next year. (Viddsee)
Ayopop secures series A funding (Indonesia). Finch Capital led the round. Mobile bill payment app Ayopop previously raised US$1 million in seed funding from Gree Ventures and angels including Sandeep Tandon, co-founder of FreeCharge. (Finch Capital)
Central bank indicates cryptocurrency startups face ban (Indonesia). Bank Indonesia Governor Agus Martowardojo said that all forms of cryptocurrency will be formally outlawed in the country at some point next year. He added that parties facilitating cryptocurrency transactions will be prohibited. (Coconuts)
Athlede raises US$40,000 seed funding (Singapore). Tri5 Ventures led the investment in the startup, which is developing health, fitness, and sports training assistance wearables. Athlede is backed by venture builder Budding Innovations. (Budding Innovations)
Ola to trial bike-sharing (India). The ride-hailing company is making a tentative move into dockless bike-sharing. Dubbed Ola Pedal, the service will be piloted on the campus of the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur. (VCCircle)
Amazon’s Marketplace revenue grows by over 105 percent (India). The US company’s ecommerce business appears to be a big hit in India, reporting that its income there more than doubled over the course of the year. (The Economic Times)
Google reports 25 percent growth in ad revenue (Asia-Pacific). The internet giant’s chief business officer Philipp Schindler declared himself “a big fan” of the region, citing the significant growth in Google’s advertising revenue from markets such as Japan, Vietnam, and the Philippines. (Mumbrella)
Investors, incubators, and accelerators
It also announced its fifth Launchpad cohort (Asia-Pacific). Google’s emerging market accelerator program has selected 10 startups from Asia, including its first-ever Bangladeshi and Pakistani entrants. (Tech in Asia)
Eight Roads Ventures announces new US$222 million fund (Japan). The Bermuda-based VC firm’s second Japan-focused fund will invest in companies working in fintech, healthcare, and other emerging technologies. (Eight Roads Ventures)
Rocket Internet expects startup profitability next year (Asia-Pacific). The German venture builder and investment firm has pushed back its original prediction that its startups would begin turning a profit by the end of this year. However, Rocket also reported a 28 percent jump in revenue between January and September – while its nine-month losses narrowed to US$44 million, improving from US$642 million over the same period last year. (Reuters)
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