Samsung vice chairman arrested on bribery charges

Samsung Galaxy s6 edge+ Rear Samsung vice-chairman/heir-apparent Jay Y. Lee has been arrested in Korea on charges of corruption. Lee is accused of paying bribes to an advisor of President Park Geun-hye in exchange for political favors. The New York Times reported that he is alleged to have given a total of $36 million to Park’s secret advisor in order to win government support for a merger between two Samsung… Read More

India-based used car marketplace Truebil refills its tank with $3M raise

shutterstock car keys Truebil, a marketplace for selling used cars in India, has closed a $3 million post-Series A funding round from China’s Shunwei Capital. Its $5.5 million Series A was raised in January 2016. Unlike more traditional rivals like CarTrade, which just raised $55 million led by Singapore’s Temasek, its sister site CarWhale and Cardekho, Truebil dis-intermediates the professional… Read More

Baidu furthers AI push with acquisition of digital assistant startup Raven Tech

baidu Baidu is furthering its push into artificial intelligence after it announced the acquisition of Raven Tech, a Chinese startup that developed an AI voice assistant platform. Baidu confirmed it has bought the startup’s tech, product and staff of 60. The deal comes a month after Baidu hired noted AI expert Qi Lu, formerly with Microsoft, as its COO and Group President.… Read More

mClinica raises $6.3M to map healthcare data in Southeast Asia

Scattered colorful medical pills and capsules Health startups are pulling in money in Southeast Asia. A week after wellness-focused insurance brokerage CXA drew $25 million from investors, fellow Singapore-based startup mClinica has announced a $6.3 million Series A raise. mClinica was founded in 2012 and its mission is to provide healthcare data in Southeast Asia, much like Nielsen and other traditional analyst houses, through an… Read More

PromisePay rebrands to Assembly Payments and nets partnership with Gumtree

assembly-payments-founders Australia-based payment firm PromisePay, which raised $10 million last year, has a double shot of news this week: it has rebranded to Assembly Payments and inked a major partnership deal with Gumtree. The deal will see Gumtree, which is owned by eBay, introduce a new services-focused business in Africa. Gumtree Connect links users with local home services, such as cleaners, machine repairs… Read More

Disney cuts ties with PewDiePie, YouTube’s top star, over anti-Semitic clips

PewDiePie Disney has cut ties with YouTube’s most popular star after he posted a series of videos featuring anti-Semitic clips and messages. PewDiePie has 53 million subscribers on YouTube, is part of original content network YouTube Red, and is affiliated with Disney’s MakerStudios brand, where he has his own network. But that latter relationship is now over after the Wall Street… Read More

Amazon launches Chime, a video conferencing and communications service for business

Amazon corporate office building in Sunnyvale, California (Photo: Lisa Werner/Moment Mobile/Getty Images) Amazon has taken the wraps off of its own Skype competitor. Chime is a new video conferencing and communications from AWS that’s focused on business users. Beyond VoIP calling and video messaging, Chime includes virtual meetings, allowing users to host or join a remote meeting through the service. Pricing starts at $2.50 per user per month on the lowest end, with a higher tier plan… Read More

Uber begins mapping Asia’s roads, starting off in Singapore

FILE - In this Dec. 16, 2015 file photo a man leaves the headquarters of Uber in San Francisco. Uber and advocates for the blind have reached a lawsuit settlement in which the ride-hailing company agrees to require that existing and new drivers confirm they understand their legal obligations to transport riders with guide dogs or other service animals. The National Federation of the Blind said Saturday, April 30, 2016, that Uber will also remove a driver from the platform after a single complaint if it determines the driver knowingly denied a person with a disability a ride because the person was traveling with a service animal. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File) Uber is beginning to map roads in Asia for the first time as it aims to improve its service in the region. The company said today that it has deployed mapping cars in Singapore, the first such country in Asia, in a bid to gather information that can improve its service for both drivers and passengers. It isn’t immediately clear when the initiative will be expanded and which countries in… Read More

Alibaba’s Ant Financial is raising $3B in debt to finance a global M&A spree

Jack Ma of Alibaba Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial announced a surprise deal to acquire international payment service MoneyGram for $880 million last month, but that looks like being just the start of its M&A activities. A source at the company confirmed to TechCrunch that it is close to raising nearly $3 billion in debt financing in order to bankroll further acquisitions, as The Information and… Read More

Tinder rival Paktor launches ‘Labs’ division to experiment with the future of social apps

bio-lab It turns out that Asian dating app Paktor’s quiet acquisition of Down was more than just a one night stand. The deal, which TechCrunch broke news of last week, was part of a number of acquisitions that has led to the creation of Paktor Labs, an experimental division that is led by Down founder Colin Hodge. Paktor, best known as a Tinder rival in Asia, has been pushing to diversify… Read More