Grab in talks with Altimeter SPAC to go for US listing at US$40bn valuation: A deal, if confirmed, would make it the largest ever blank-check transaction; As per Reuters sources, Grab — SEA’s most valuable startup worth more than US$16bn — has not finalised any deal. More here

gojek, Tokopedia ink conditional sales agreement; Following the merger, the combined entity is expected to command US$35-40bn valuation; As per a D-Insights report, gojek shareholders are expected to hold 16% in merged entity, while Tokopedia will hold the rest. More here

What is the logic of AirAsia entering Singapore’s food delivery market?; Airlines are bleeding cash right now and probably do not have the deep pockets required to survive long periods of negative cash flows of a new business venture; Investing a lot of money into a business only makes sense if the firm has a competitive edge that allows it to enjoy good profits in the future. More here

Openspace Ventures hits final close of third SEA fund at US$200mn; Apart from this early-stage fund, Openspace is also in the market to raise a US$300mn opportunities vehicle, OSV+, to allow its LPs to co-invest and double down on select portfolio companies. More here

VNG invests US$6mn in Got It, to launch premium instant P2P gifting solution in Vietnam; Got It offers loyalty programmes and reward vouchers and its clients consist of over 500 of the largest multinational and national companies across Vietnam; VNG will assist Got It in expanding its gifting services, B2B channels and merchant network. More here

Singapore testing on-demand courier delivery by autonomous robots; Through an app, consumers will be notified when the robot is en route to its destination and will receive a confirmation notification that it’s arrived; The speed for each robot, which weighs 80 kg (unloaded), is capped at walking speeds (about 5 kmh). More here

How did the pandemic affect SEA’s online shopping behaviour in 2020?; A report reveals that the overall website traffic of online shopping platforms increased positively across all countries year-over-year; This can be seen most in Singapore, which experienced a surge of 35% compared to 2019, followed by the Philippines (21%), Vietnam (19%), Malaysia (17%), Thailand (15%), and Indonesia (6%). More here

How ZaZaZu aims to empower women through starting conversation about sexual wellness; Female pleasure is often overlooked, and ZaZaZu CEO Jingjin Liu explains how it correlates to women’s confidence and success; She agrees that the sexual wellness industry in Singapore has been growing in recent years, and that the startups working in the sector are on a mission to normalise sexual wellness. More here

MDEC to provide funding facilitation support to Malaysia-based startups; The government agency has launched two initiatives that are geared towards opening up opportunities for local startups and tech companies as well as elevating the proficiency of founders to successfully navigate the complexities of raising funds and fulfilling the gruelling demands of potential investors. More here

Digital health passports will allow Singaporeans to travel safely, but it comes with challenges; While digital health passports may indeed be the quickest and most effective way of resuming international travel, there are still concerns around security and personal data; As with any app that stores health records, there will be privacy and fraud concerns. More here

China’s ‘corona tech’ takes hold across Japan and ASEAN; In China, the VR business and other remote services grew rapidly after the coronavirus hit in early 2020. For example, KE Holdings, an online property brokerage adept at staging VR tours, went public in New York in August 2020. More here

How to rebuild trust after e-commerce blunders; Even though the pandemic caused much of that distress, online vendors often failed to be upfront with unexpected circumstances; Online vendors needed to do more to communicate those issues via both social media communications and on their websites. More here

How ByteDance plans to crack the gaming industry; ByteDance is forging ahead, giving a brand name, Nuversegame, and a website to its gaming business for the first time last month; Its strategy consists of a genre-spanning portfolio, a hiring spree, a proven monetisation scheme, and a focus on both the domestic and overseas markets. More here

A*STAR’s agritech programme champions innovation in farming in Singapore; One of A*STAR’s latest projects features research in sustainable hybrid lighting systems; They find out how innovations in lighting technologies create an environment where vegetables can be produced with higher yields, reduced energy consumption and lowered carbon footprint. More here

Ant Group CEO leaves after failed IPO prompts revamp; Simon Hu’s exit from the company comes as Ant is working on plans to shift to a financial holding company structure following intense regulatory pressure to subject it to rules and capital requirements similar to those for banks. More here

S’pore startup Alchemy Foodtech raises US$2mn led by SEEDS Capital; The startup develops active food ingredients that fight diabetes; Its key product is Alchemy Fibre, a fibre blend that is proven to make carbs healthier; It was part of Thailand’s Space-F accelerator programme. More here


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