Twitter is (finally) cracking down on bots

 Twitter is cracking down on bots after it announced changes to its API that will massively reduce the impact of services that allow links and content to be shared across multiple accounts, i.e. the software that powers Twitter bots. So that means an end to services that let those controlling large numbers of accounts to batch tweet, follow users, retweet or like tweets. Twitter will continue… Read More

India’s Capillary Technologies raises $20M from Warburg Pincus and Sequoia

 Capillary Technologies, an India-based startup that helps e-commerce businesses manage their marketing and customer engagement, has pulled in $20 million in fresh funding from existing investors Warburg Pincus and Sequoia. The company said it plans to use the capital to develop its products and R&D, including a new focus on the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) space where it works… Read More

SoftBank’s $100B Vision Fund could get more capital from the Middle East

 SoftBank’s Vision Fund looks set to bring on more capital from the Middle East as it bids to reach its $100 billion fundraise target. The fund has already deployed around one-third of the $93 billion it raised in its first close, according to statements released earlier this month, and now it is on the hunt for more LPs. The Middle East has proven to be fertile soil for the Vision Fund,… Read More

Google’s Tez payments app now lets users handle their utility bills and more

 Google’s Tez payment service in India has got a major update that allows users to pay their utilities and other bills via the app. The service was launched last September for iOS and Android and it initially allowed for payments between bank accounts using India’s UPI (Unified Payments Interface) protocol. Now the app has gotten support to pay for bills from more than 80… Read More

Telegram has raised an initial $850M for its billion-dollar ICO

 It looks like Telegram’s billion-dollar ICO has reached its first milestone after the chat app company raised an initial $850 million, according to a filing. A document submitted to the SEC earlier this week states that the money was raised “for the development of the TON Blockchain, the development and maintenance of Telegram Messenger and the other purposes.” The security… Read More

India’s Zoomcar raises $40M led by automotive giant Mahindra & Mahindra

 India’s Zoomcar — which operates an on-demand car rental service — has raised a $40 million Series C round led by Mahindra & Mahindra, the 70-year-old Indian corporation that specializes in automotive. Ford and other existing investors also took part in the round, Zoomcar confirmed. CEO and co-founder Greg Moran added that the round is still open and may be extended… Read More

Chat app Kakao’s games business lands $130M from Tencent and others ahead of IPO

 Korea’s dominant messaging firm Kakao is back raising funds after its games business, a standalone unit that is headed for an IPO, pulled in $130 million (140 billion KRW) from Tencent and a range of other strategic investors. The company, which owns Korea’s top mobile messaging app and one of the country’s largest internet portals, operates a sprawl of business that… Read More

Alibaba invests another $1.3 billion into its offline retail strategy

 Alibaba has furthered its physical retail footprint after it invested another billion dollars into projects to develop its so-called “new retail” strategy which combines online and offline. The Chinese firm, the dominant e-commerce player in its country, gobbled up a 15 percent stake in Beijing Easyhome Furnishing for RMB 5.45 billion, or around $867 million, and pumped $486… Read More

Toyota invests $69M in Japanese Uber rival backed by the taxi industry

 This week isn’t turning out to be great one for Uber in Japan. Two of its investors — Didi and SoftBank — are teaming up to launch a rival service, while one of its existing competitors has just landed a big cash infusion and highly influential backer after Toyota backed JapanTaxi. The auto giant said it will invest 7.5 billion JPY ($69 billion) into JapanTaxi, an… Read More

Chinese police are using smart glasses to identify potential suspects

 China already operates the world’s largest surveillance state with some 170 CCTV cameras at work, but its line of sight is about to get a new angle thanks to new smart eyewear that is being piloted by police officers. The smart specs look a lot like Google Glass, but they are used for identifying potential suspects. The device connects to a feed which taps into China’s state… Read More