Because we know we’d die a little inside if we missed these top stories
Two high-profile acquisitions
DMM buys Japanese pawn shop app Cash for $62.2M [TechCrunch]
Japan’s leading Internet and e-commerce conglomerate DMM has acquired pawn shop app Cash for about $62.2 million. This less than one-year-old startup’s software automatically appraises an item’s value based on user photos and offers a cash advance with it as collateral.
Cash was developed by Bank, a startup launched by serial entrepreneur Yusuke Mitsuomoto earlier this year. Mitsuomoto’s previous startup, an e-commerce platform called Stores.jp, sold to Zozotown, one of Japan’s largest online clothing retailers, for an undisclosed sum in 2013.
LINE Indonesia buys carpooling platform TemanJalan [e27]
The Indonesian business unit of messenger platform LINE today announced that it has acquired chatbot-based carpooling platform TemanJalan for an undisclosed sum.
The startup is the company’s first acquisition in the Indonesian market, which it is in the top five most downloaded Android apps list in 2016, according to a GfK research.
TemanJalan focusses on offering carpool matchmaking service for university students. The platform connects university students that are planning to travel on the same route and schedule; the students are then able to arrange their trip using a chat feature.
A bitcoin exchange launch
Cryptocurrency exchange Coinome launched in India [Press release]
‘Coinome’, a cryptocurrency exchange platform owned by online payments solutions company BillDesk, has been launched in India.
Coinome operates a crypto-currency exchange and is the first crypto platform in India to allow users to be on-boarded simply and quickly via instant e-KYC. It means that users can start transacting in crypto-currencies almost immediately on registering. The exchange platform supports instant deposits using payment gateway and instant withdrawals, thereby allowing transactions even on weekends or business holidays.
5 startups receive investments
Smart Axiata fund invests in 3 Cambodian startups [e27]
Cambodian mobile telecom company Smart Axiata has announced the three startups to receive investment from its US$5 million Smart Axiata Digital Innovation Fund (SADIF). The startups are Joonak Delivery (an e-commerce, logistics and delivery service for corporates and small and medium-sized enterprises), Morakot Technologies (a cloud-based core banking platform for microfinance institutions and banks), and Aniwaa (a comparison website for 3D printers in the world).
Each of the three startups will receive between US$25,000 and US$500,000 in investment.
Bitcoin.co.id raises funding from East Ventures [e27]
Indonesian cryptocurrency startup Bitcoin.co.id has raised an undisclosed funding from venture capital firm East Ventures. Bitcoin.co.id CEO Oscar Darmawan said that in addition to educating and focussing on the Indonesian market, the startup also plans to reach other markets in the Southeast Asian region.
A high-profile appointment
Grab appoints Vikas Agarwal as GrabPay CTO [e27]
Grab has appointed Vikas Agrawal as Chief Technology Officer for its mobile payments platform GrabPay. The announcement comes just shy of a month after the Southeast Asian ride-hailing giant expanded GrabPay’s capabilities to allow merchants to transact with customers, based on a QR-code system.
Based in Bangalore, Agrawal has two decades of experience in India’s fintech space. He was the Senior Vice President of Engineering of leading India-based digital payments and m-commerce company Paytm.
A protest march in Jakarta
Go-Jek riders take to street demanding government protection [e27]
Riders of motorbike-based ride-hailing services in Jakarta are marching to demand the government to issue regulation to protect ride-hailing drivers against mistreatment from the companies that they are partnering with.
Scheduled to begin before 10AM local time today, the march is planned to start at the Ministry of Transportation office and will end at the Istana Negara.
Plans for the march have surfaced across social media platforms since Wednesday night, and Twitter handles such as @DramaGojek has been live-tweeting the process when this article was published.