Today’s top tech news, August 20: Rocket Internet loses CFO and Qutoutiao files for US IPO

Kevin McSpadden
Today’s top tech news, August 20: Rocket Internet loses CFO and Qutoutiao files for US IPO

Also, layoffs hit Tech In Asia and AirTrunk raises giant US$621 million round

Rocket Internet’s Peter Kimpel resigns to pursue other opportunities — [Reuters]

Peter Kimpel, the Rocket Internet CFO who helped guide the company’s IPO, is leaving the company to “Pursue a new management challenge”, according to Reuters.

The departure announcement was undermined a bit from a report from Bloomberg last friday that Kimpel had joined Barclays to head its Germany operations.

For now, Rocket Internet CEO Oliver Samwer will take control of the CFO responsibilities.

Kimpel joined the company in 2014.

Tech In Asia sees significant layoffs in Singapore and Indonesia — [e27]

Southeast Asian tech news portal Tech In Asia has seen significant layoffs in Singapore and Indonesia, according to e27 sources.

One suggested reason is that the paywall — which was meant to tie together a blockchain push and IPO — never worked out and the company was forced to make cuts to support its runway.

Layoffs included the video production team, the IT staff in Indonesia and Senior Writers left the company, although some did so on their own volition prior to the layoffs.

Qutoutiao files for US$300 million IPO in the US — [TechCrunch]

Qutuotiao, the second largest news aggregator app in China after Toutiao, has filed for a US-based IPO that wants to raise US$300 million, according to TechCrunch.

Qutuotiao is only two-years-old and it raised a US$200 million Series B round from Tencent in March.

The prospectus says the company has 48.8 million MAU and 17.1 DAU. The company has grown despite the popularity of Tuotiao because it targetted tier-3 cities in China.

Singapore based data centre firm AirTrunk raises US$621 million to build into Australia — [e27]

Singapore-based “hyperscale” data centre AirTrunk has raised A$850 million in (US$621 million) funding, in the form of new senior secured debt facilities, according to various media reports.

The funding round also included participation from existing investors AirTrunk CEO and Founder Robin Khuda, Goldman Sachs, and TSSP.

The company will use the funding to support its expansion plan to Australia as well as other Asia Pacific markets.

Qualgro completes first close of US$100 million fund — [e27]

Qualgro, a Singaporean VC fund that focusses on B2B companies, announced today it has closed about 60 per cent of its US$100 million fund.

The company typically invests in Series A and Series B stage companies and significant wins include PatSnap and Eyeota.

This is the second fund for Qualgro after it launched a US$50 million fund in June of 2017.

Bosco raises US$4 million from Singapore-based investment firm FengHe Fund Management — [DealStreetAsia]

Bosco, an Israel based app for child safety, has raised US$4 million from FengHe Fund Management, according to DealStreetAsia.

The company has built and artificial intelligence-fueled app that predicts when a child is threatened. It aggregates various forms of data to create individual profiles, if the kid is suddenly entering into an at-risk situation, the app informs the parents.

The money will be used to finance R&D, marketing and global expansion.

Photo by Andris Romanovskis on Unsplash

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