Today’s top tech news, Aug 15: Y Combinator is now in China; Singapore’s Alpha7 secured US$5.2M

Today’s top tech news, Aug 15: Y Combinator is now in China; Singapore’s Alpha7 secured US$5.2M

Also, Hong Kong’s Animoca secured US$1M funding, LINE welcome TRON (TRX) into BITBOX, and more

Y Combinator is heading to China with a startup program – [TechCrunch]

U.S. accelerator Y Combinator is expanding to China and announced the hiring of former COO of Baidu’s AI research division Qi Lu. Lu will develop a startup program in China with his new title as YC China’s CEO and Head of Research, according to a report by TechCrunch.

As reported by TechCruch, YC President Sam Altman said that the startup program will be based in Beijing. The official timeframe is still not disclosed but the recruitment has started for Chinese startups .

With China’s growing startup ecosystem — which competes is head-to-head with the US, YC’s move to expand to China is timely.

“YC’s strength has always been its special founder community and to add a lot more Chinese founders seems to be valuable to everyone, especially to be able to operating network across U.S. and China,” explained Altman.

Hong Kong’s mobile games developer Animoca raised US$1M from Sun Hung Kai & Co. Limited to further AI and blockchain-based products – [press release]

Hong Kong’s mobile games developer for smartphones, Animoca Brands Corporation Limited, has secured a AUD$1.5 million (US$ 1 million) investments from Sun Hung Kai & Co. Limited, a Hong Kong based investment firm. It also received money from its current strategic partner, the blockchain fitness company Lympo.

Animoca plans to use the capital raised to research and develop novel products based on blockchain and artificial intelligence.

Sun Hung Kai has entered into a subscription agreement with Animoca to acquire 14,285,714 fully paid ordinary shares of Animoca Brands at a price of AUD$0.07 (US$0.05) per share for a total sum of AUD$1 million (US$722,ooo).

Sun Hung Kai will have a 1:1, attaching 12-month loyalty option exercisable after 90 days at a price of AUD$0.09 (US$0.065) per share, conditional on placement shares being held for 90 days with the loyalty option subjected to Animoca Brands shareholder approval.

Also Read: Blockchain tech lets indie app developers break monopolies and find financial freedom

LINE’s cryptocurrency exchange BITBOX added the blockchain platform TRON (TRX) – [press release]

LINE Corporation officially announced today the addition of TRON (TRX) to its new cryptocurrency exchange BITBOX. This makes TRX the first coin project to pass BITBOX open-listing committee’s review.

With TRON now available for trading on BITBOX, LINE plans to airdrop 9 million TRON coins to BITBOX’s users on August 22, 2018 during a promotional event. LINE now opens BITBOX to more applications from other coin projects as a user-centered exchange with efficient and secure cryptocurrency services.

“With TRON’s dedication to building the infrastructure for a truly decentralized internet and its recent partnership with BitTorrent, BITBOX stands a chance to connect with the world’s fastest-growing blockchain project and to offer our users the best cryptocurrency experience,” said Youngsu Ko, CEO of LINE Tech Plus, LINE’s Singapore-based subsidiary that operates BITBOX.

Singapore’s Alpha7 secured US$5.2M and set eyes to international expansion – [e27]

Alpha7, Singapore-based cloud company announced today that it has raised a total of US$5.2 million in private funding. In a statement reported by e27, the cloud company will focus on growing its users and is looking for investors to support their regional expansion plan to Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand.

Alpha7 was founded in 2014 by CEO Lynette Seah and described its service as a “COO-as-a-service.” Its 2017’s digital dashboard A7 IoB (A7 Internet of Business) enables business owners to view their business data (on marketing, sales, operations, finance and HR) in just one place. It claimed to have 500 users online.

Also Read: Google to invest US$350M to build third data centre in Singapore to expand cloud platform capabilities

Indonesia-based Cicil has raised a total of US$5 million to help struggling university students financially [e27]

Cicil, the installment financing platform for Indonesian university students, announced today that it has secured a Series A funding round led by East Ventures and Vertex Ventures that has brought their total funding to over US$5 million.

The funding will help Cicil to provide financial help to students to cover their tuition fees or other school amenities such as laptops online using only smartphone. It will also be used to accelerating their expansion plan.

Since 2016, this Google Launchpad startup claimed to have seen growth across 10 provinces and 29 cities in Indonesia, with more than 100 universities have introduced Cicil to their students.

In a press statement, Vertex Ventures Managing Partner Joo Hock Chua mentioned that the startup has “huge opportunities” to expand beyond Indonesia.

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