Telkomsel injects US$300mn more into Gojek to further grow Indonesia’s digital lifestyle sector; The two firms will explore more opportunities to integrate their digital services, with the aim of delivering greater value to consumers, partners and businesses; Telkomsel had invested US$150mn in Gojek in November 2020.

Scrutinising the remarkable tale of this teenage Forbes 30 under 30 inductee; An investigation by TechInAsia finds inconsistencies in Team Labs’s funding and financials; The Singapore-based startup’s US$9.8mn fundraise claims from US-based Grand Canyon Capital without even a single f2f meeting between the two firms remains sketchy.

Axiata-owned ADA rakes in US$60mn from Softbank to develop AI-driven digital marketing solutions; ADA will also invest the funds in content analytics, automation of content creation and build data platforms that predict consumers’ insights; Post-deal, Softbank will own 23.07% shareholding of ADA at an enterprise valuation of US$260mn.

Thailand’s Brooker Group to invest US$48mn into decentralised projects; They include 15-plus high-growth companies, including Binance, Uniswap, Enjin and Filecoin; This new direction to digital assets DeFi and dApps will eventually make up approximately 50 per cent of the group’s total assets.

Malaysian drones services firm Aerodyne adds Japanese investors to its cap table; Investors are Real Tech Fund, Kobashi Holdings and ACSL; The capital will help Aerodyne expand its agri drones service Agrimor, globally, especially to India, Indonesia and Thailand.

NGC Ventures launches US$20mn fund, invests in decentralised exchange Dexlab; It is a strategic investor that aims to accelerate the growth and development of key blockchain projects in the Solana ecosystem; This is one of the five strategic investment funds that will bring US$100mn of new capital to the Solana ecosystem.

Tonik raises US$17mn in an iGlobe-led round to scale its neobank services in Philippines; Other backers are Sequoia India, Altara Ventures, Insignia, Citius and Baring Vostok Capital; Tonik claims to have secured US$20mn in retail deposits within just a month of its public launch in March 2021.

Vietnam’s Sky Mavis receives US$7.5mn Series A to scale its top blockchain game Axie Infinity globally; Investors include Libertus Capital (lead), Collab + Currency, Blocktower Capital and 500 Startups; Axie Infinity is a virtual world full of fierce, adorable pets, called Axies, which can be battled, collected and used to earn an income.

HashMix raises US$3mn funding to roll out its mining power NFT in June; Investors include HashKey Capital, Kenetic Capital, GBV Capital, LongHash Ventures, and Fenbushi Capital; HashMix aims to democratise and activate the mining economy by introducing a decentralised universal marketplace for various mining capacities using the NFT tech.

UglyFood in talks to raise up to US$1mn seed funding, looks to close the round by Aug; The startup operates in the fruits and vegetables space by selling excess/ugly produce, and creating content on sustainability; In addition to groceries, UglyFood also operates in three other categories: workshops, comics and games.

atato raises US$1mn to help financial institutions build blockchain-based digital assets solutions; Investors include Zipmex Asia, SOSV, and angels; Atato’s products help companies create, store and manage digital assets in compliance with the Southeast Asian digital assets regulations.

EduSpaze partners Colombian VC studio to help Asian edutech startups expand into LatAm; The Latin Leap partnership also aims to provide strategic and commercial support for Asia’s edutech startups to capitalise on the global growth momentum; It is also aimed at helping drive deeper co-operation between the Latin American and Asian tech ecosystems.

Alice Labs eyes SEA expansion after raising US$500K seed funding; Investors are Anchorless Bangladesh (lead) and HOF Capital; Alice Labs develops smart tools and conversational artificial intelligence solutions that manage and automate customer service for e-commerce and online businesses; The company’s core product, MyAlice, enables businesses to streamline customer service, making it more efficient and customer-friendly.

Givaudan and Bühler open Protein Innovation Centre in Singapore; The Centre combines the pilot technology of Bühler’s extrusion and processing equipment with Givaudan’s new culinary facilities and its world-leading expertise in flavor, taste, ingredient, and product development; At the Centre, customers can develop high-quality products suitable for Asian culinary applications at scale.

Indonesian Shariah fintech market is 5th largest in the world; Reports also noted that millennials dominate borrowers on the platform; Indonesia’s Shariah fintech market size is US$2.9bn; The first rank is Saudi Arabia with US$17.9bn, followed by Iran (US$ 9.2bn), UAE (US$ 3.7bn, and Malaysia (US$3bn).

China’s digital currency is coming — other major economies need to follow suit; The digital yuan is a version of the normal Chinese currency deployed on a blockchain, which is the tamper-proof online ledger technology that underpins digital coins like bitcoin and ethereum; The digital yuan bypasses the need for these banks; There is no service fee, unlike these payment alternatives, and in theory the speed of payments can be even faster.

Look beyond Singapore: Why Kuala Lumpur is an emerging tech hub alternative; At about 16mn, Malaysia has a significantly larger workforce than Singapore’s 2.3mn, and its employees are also nearly as proficient in English; With more than 32 million people, Malaysia also has an incomparably larger population of digital consumers.

When paying it forward doesn’t pay: It’s time for startup mentorship events to step up; Volunteering your time and energy in startup events and programmes is great, but here are three red flags to look out for to avoid wasting your time and making sure you’re really paying it forward.

Better workforce management leads to greater customer satisfaction. Here’s how Google did it; Learn how Google put the right people, in the right places, at the right times, for a better customer experience.

The hybrid work model will outlast the pandemic. But will one model fit all?; One hybrid model doesn’t fit all and forcing it to work across the entire organisation will lead to decreased productivity and poor employee experiences.

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