BeliMobilGue raises $10M for its used-car sales platform in Indonesia

BeliMobilGue, a used car sales platform in Indonesia, has fueled up with a $10 million Series round for the race to dominate the automotive market in Southeast Asia’s largest economy.

The company was started in 2017 as a joint venture between Europe’s Frontier Car Group (FCG) and Intudo Ventures, a VC firm focused on Indonesia. BeliMobilGue said today that the capital came from FCG and new investors, which include Tunas Toyota — the authorized dealership for Toyota cars in Indonesia.

It’s worth noting that FCG itself is a venture which, as the name sounds, develops on automotive ventures in emerging (frontier) markets in Latin America, Asia and Africa. Its investors include Naspers/OLX, Balderton Capital, TPG Growth and Partech Ventures.

This Series A round follows a $3.7 million round last year for BeliMobilGue — which means ‘buy my car’ in Indonesia’s Bahasa language.

BeliMobilGue is aimed at making it easy for car owners to sell their vehicle.

The first step is an online price estimation for vehicle. If the owner is happy with the valuation, BeliMobilGue takes the vehicles in and, after a one hour check attended in person by its testers, it arranges a sale to its network of over 1,000 dealers and private buyers. The entire process is targeted at one hour and is free for consumers, BeliMobilGue CEO Rolf Monteiro told TechCrunch.

The company has 30 physical testing points across Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital city, and with this money in the bank it is targeting expansion to Java. By the end of this year, Monteiro forecasts that the number of physical stations will have passed 100.

Another target for this year is ancillary services. BeliMobilGue is focused on enabling dealers, many of whom are often small businesses rather than nationwide chains, to growth with its service so it is offering financial packages financed by a third-party bank.

“The difference between small and large dealerships is their access to capital,” Monteiro explained in an interview. “We are a little bit more comfortable [than a bank] to extend their finance because we’re not just using data, we’re sitting on that dealer relationship.

“Plus we are sitting on cars, so we are financing cars that come from our platform and [if necessary] we can help offload the car for the dealer,” he added.

BeliMobilGue aims to sell vehicles within an hour, that includes a comprehensive inspection that’s carried out by its staff and covers 300 points.

BeliMobilGue is far from alone in going after Indonesia, which is the world’s fourth most populous country and the cornerstone of most digital strategies for the region. An annual report from Google and Temasek forecasts that Indonesia’s online economy will grow to $100 billion by 2025 from $8 billion in 2015. Southeast Asia as a whole is predicted to reach $240 billion, which is telling of the significance of Indonesia.

With that in mind, regional rivals have doubled down on Indonesia.

Carro has raised $78 million to date — including a $60 million Series B last year — while Carsome has $27 million and iCar Asia, from venture builder Catcha, has pulled in $39 million to date.

Each of that trio serves multiple markets across the region, not Indonesia exclusively, which is where Monteiro believes he can find an advantage. While he admitted that BeliMobilGue could have raised more money — it stuck to finding ‘smart money’ over amassing pools of cash, he said — he sees the existance of competition as win-win for the industry.

“Indonesia is a massive market,” he said. “Whether it is us, Carro or Carsome, the competition helps educate the market and it will get us new business. But, as much as I welcome them, I want that dominant position.”

Adding strategic investors like Tunas Toyota is, Monteiro believes another key differentiator.

“An investor like Tunas has 25-30 years of experience, so, for us, this partnership is golden. We’re quite content with the round and how it played out,” he said.

Gridstore acquires DCHQ and becomes HyperGrid

hyperform-dashboard_orig Gridstore, a company that focuses on building software and data center appliances for Windows Hyper V-based clouds, today announced that it has acquired DCHQ, a service that helps enterprises move their applications to any cloud or container infrastructure (with a specific focus on Java-based applications). With this acquisition, Gridstore is changing its name to HyperGrid and the old… Read More

Jury finds Google’s implementation of Java in Android was fair use

oracle v google Software developers can breathe a massive sigh of relief — a jury found today that Google’s implementation of 37 Java APIs in Android qualified as fair use. “Today’s verdict that Android makes fair use of Java APIs represents a win for the Android ecosystem, for the Java programming community, and for software developers who rely on open and free programming languages… Read More

In Oracle’s world, Android is a crime against open source

Safra Catz, co-chief executive officer of Oracle Corp., gestures as she speaks during the Oracle OpenWorld 2014 conference in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014. Catz made her first remarks as Oracle co-CEO at the conference when she introduced Intel Corp. President Renee James, who also spoke. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images Oracle and Google are back in the courtroom again — the same court they started in back in 2010, when Oracle first sued Google over the company’s use of 37 Java APIs in its Android operating system. The case, first decided in favor of Google, bounced up to an appeals court and was reversed, then appealed to the Supreme Court, which declined to hear the case. Now Oracle’s… Read More

Programming Trends To Look For This Year

shutterstock_323723186 There has never been a more exciting time for technologists and developers worldwide. The number of active development languages and frameworks, as well as development tools and learning avenues, continues to soar. Despite all these resources at our fingertips (or perhaps because of this abundance), it may not be obvious where industry trends are leading us. In my role as a coding bootcamp… Read More

Google confirms next Android version won’t use Oracle’s proprietary Java APIs

android_java_logo

Google is ditching the Java application programming interfaces (APIs) in Android and moving to only OpenJDK, the open source version of Java. The news first came by a “mysterious Android codebase commit” from last month submitted to Hacker News. Google confirmed to VentureBeat that Android N will rely solely on OpenJDK.

“As an open-source platform, Android is built upon the collaboration of the open-source community,” a Google spokesperson told VentureBeat. “In our upcoming release of Android, we plan to move Android’s Java language libraries to an OpenJDK-based approach, creating a common code base for developers to build apps and services. Google has long worked with and contributed to the OpenJDK community, and we look forward to making even more contributions to the OpenJDK project in the future.”

Android provides certain Java API libraries to support the development of apps in the Java programming language, broken into two parts: The APIs to the libraries and the implementing code developed by Google that make said libraries work. Oracle, which develops Java, has two implementations of these libraries: the proprietary JDK version and the open source OpenJDK version. Google’s decision to “consolidate” its efforts with OpenJDK, which Android already uses in some areas, means it will be sharing its implementing code.

The code commit in question, which shows 8902 files were changed, clearly notes OpenJDK code was added to Android:

Initial import of OpenJdk files.
Create new libcore/ojluni directory with src/main/java and src/main/native subdirectiories.
Build ojluni into core-oj jar.
Use openjdk classes from java.awt.font package.
Copy all files from jdk/src/share/classes and jdk/src/solaris/classes directories in openjdk into libcore/ojluni/src/main/java.
Copy following native files from openjdk to libcore/ojluni/src/main/native: [long list of files]

Google is hoping that developers will appreciate the change because it simplifies the code on which they build apps — a common codebase for these Java API libraries, as opposed to multiple codebases. That may be true, but if that was the only reason Google made the complete switch to OpenJDK, the company would have done so years ago.

When we asked Google why now, the company pointed to to the release of Java 8 last year and the introduction of new language features such as lambdas. As such, Google wants to put more resources into OpenJDK where the team can have a bigger impact on new features and improvements. That’s the developer story Google is pitching in any case, but there’s a massive legal narrative here that can’t be forgotten.

Oracle

Hacker News users are rightly wondering whether the code commit means the legal dispute between Oracle and Google has been settled out of court, or whether Google has decided to protect itself with regards to future Android versions in the event it loses. It’s a good question, but because the Oracle lawsuit is ongoing, Google declined to comment whether this code commit is related.

After acquiring Sun in January 2010, Oracle sued Google for copyright and patent infringement in August 2010, arguing that Android cannot use Java’s APIs without permission. Google countered by declaring that APIs can’t be copyrighted as they are essential to software development, collaboration, and innovation.

In May 2012, a jury found that Google did not infringe on Oracle’s patents, saying that Java’s APIs can’t be copyrighted. In May 2014, the Federal Circuit partially reversed the district court decision, ruling in Oracle’s favor: Java’s APIs can be copyrighted. In June 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case and sent it back to a lower court so Google could argue that it made fair use of Oracle’s copyrighted APIs.

Is it just a coincidence that after all the back and forth, Google has decided to completely embrace OpenJDK? Unlikely, but the end result is what matters: future versions of Android won’t be dependent on Oracle’s proprietary JDK version.

Either way, the case isn’t over (Google can’t exactly change existing Android versions), and the final decision will still be watched very closely as it could have a huge impact on software development as a whole. If Oracle wins, tech giants could hold a lot of power over developers creating new software based on existing apps and services. If Google wins, fair use laws could essentially protect the use of APIs.










Oracle settles with FTC for abandoning old Java software on user PCs

oracle-java

The Federal Trade Commission announced that it has won concessions in a settlement with software maker Oracle over the company’s failure to uninstall older, insecure Java SE software from customer PCs upon upgrade.

This, said the FTC, despite Oracle’s explicit promise to its users that updates would render their machines “safe and secure.”

By abandoning these legacy builds, Oracle essentially left backdoors open on the computers of its customers — backdoors well-known to potential attackers due to their widespread publicity among security researchers.

As part of the settlement, Oracle will be responsible for both notifying its users of the terms it agreed to and the risks posed by its uninstalled software, as well as for providing the tools necessary to perform complete removals.

Action like this highlights the need for industry watchdogs, as insecure legacy software is a prime example of what economists call externalities: negative consequence of economic behavior that the free market provides no incentive to correct or account for.