Qatar sovereign fund, SeaTown join Carsome’s US$290M Series E round; valuation rises to US$1.7B
Carsome claims it works with over 8K dealers, transacts 100K cars annually, and runs seven B2C retail centres across Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand; Carsome became a unicorn following its acquisition of iCar Asia in July 2021.

SPAC race heats up in Asia with first Singapore listings due
Vertex Technology Acquisition Corporation, sponsored by Vertex Venture Holdings, is seeking at least S$170M (US$125M), while Tikehau Capital SCA-backed Pegasus Asia could raise at least S$150M; The listings come after a dry spell for IPOs in Singapore, with just about US$1B raised from 8 deals in 2021.

VE Capital acquires robotics startup Ourglass, two other firms for US$9.5M
The transaction follows VE Capital’s previous US$37M purchase of 3 other startups in Oct 2021; With the new deals, VE Capital Asia aims to reinforce its key business verticals specialising in management consultancy, IoT and automation, software houses, AI and ML.

POS startup Olsera nets US$2.5M to accelerate merchant acquisition in 200 Indonesian cities
The investor is Kejora-SBI Orbit; Olsera claims to have helped over 10,000 MSMEs across 300 cities in Indonesia digitise their businesses; The government has set an ambitious target to onboard over 30M MSMEs into the digital economy ecosystem by 2024.

Here’s how startups can prevent tech debt from piling up
Startups prioritise short-term plans and focus more on adding functionalities to achieve milestones, sign up marquee customers or raise funding; This roadmap shuffling and disregard for the long-term view trigger tech debt.

Wootag raises US$1.7M to scale its video interactive and insights platform for businesses
Investors are India-based Cornerstone Venture Partners, Wavemaker Partners and SEEDS Capital; By utilising highly customisable and actionable Wootag’s “tags”, people can interact at various points of the video without leaving the video ad.

MoMo buys stake in Vietnamese sales management startup Nhanh
Nhanh specialises in cloud-based solutions for omnichannel sales management and its services are used by over 80K businesses in Vietnam; In June 2021, MoMo had also acquired local artificial intelligence startup Pique.

Grab rolls out pilot for self-pickup service in Singapore
It allows users to pre-order certain items (meals, cakes, and baked goods) and collect them from a common pick-up point; The new service does not require users to pay delivery charges, and the minimum order value is pegged at S$1.

How I built a tech startup from scratch as a student founder in just two years
The journey of a student entrepreneur is really challenging; It can be a really daunting task to start a company and build a solution for tens of thousands of users, says Gabriel Sze of Dive Deals.

Post-pandemic technology trends to anticipate in 2022 and beyond
The tech trends 2022 is set to deliver will revolutionise how we work and live. Here are some of the technologies to expect.

Vietnam promotes application of AI in hydrometeorology
This application helps to improve the quality of hydro-meteorological forecasts and warnings, ensuring reliability and accuracy and contributing to mitigating disaster risks, and boosting socio-economic development.

Cybersecurity crucial for ongoing digitisation of banking industry: researchers
Attacks targeting customers, impersonating bank employees, malicious fake messages purportedly coming from bank links, and websites disguised as banks’ to defraud customers are also becoming more widespread.

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The post Ecosystem Roundup: SPAC race heats up in Asia; Carsome raises US$290M in pre-IPO round appeared first on e27.

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