Today’s top tech news, March 08: Grab close to deal for Uber’s Southeast Asia business

Sainul Abudheen
Today’s top tech news, March 08: Grab close to deal for Uber’s Southeast Asia business

The structure of the deal would be similar to the deal Uber struck with Didi Chuxing in China in 2016

Grab close to deal for Uber’s Southeast Asia business [Bloomberg]

Grab, the dominant ride-hailing service in Southeast Asia, is close to finalizing a deal to acquire Uber Technologies Inc.’s business in the region and may sign a deal this week or next, according to people familiar with the matter.

Under terms of the proposed agreement, Grab would buy out Uber’s operations in certain markets in Southeast Asia and Uber will take a stake in Grab, the people said, asking not to be named because the talks are private.

The structure would be similar to the deal Uber struck with Didi Chuxing in China in 2016, when the San Francisco-based company sold its local operation in exchange for equity in the company. Under a scenario being considered, Uber’s stake in Grab is likely to be in the high teens or 20 percent, said one of the people.

Japan punishes seven cryptocurrency exchanges over regulatory lapses [Reuters]

Japan on Thursday punished seven cryptocurrency exchanges, ordering two of them to suspend business, in an effort to shore up consumer protection after the US$530 million theft of digital money from Tokyo-based Coincheck Inc.

The Financial Services Agency criticised the exchanges for lacking the proper internal control systems, and ordered them to make improvement in areas from risk management to preventing the criminal use of digital money.

The exchanges included Coincheck, served with its second such notice since it was targeted in the late-January heist, and GMO Coin, run by GMO Internet Inc. Two exchanges, Bit Station and FSHO, were ordered to halt operations for a month from Thursday.

GSMA Innovation Fund awards six-digit grants to New Day, Kargo [DealStreetAsia]

The GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund, which provides equity-free grant funding to startups in Asia-Pacific and Africa, has chosen New Day (Neh Thit) and Kargo from Myanmar for a grant support worth six-digit dollars each, it announced in February.

The startups, part of the second batch of the innovation fund, were among 24 startups based in 15 markets around Africa and Asia Pacific, covering a range of sectors including health, insurance, logistics, using mobile innovation to solve local problems.

New Day or Neh Thit (in Myanmar language) is a platform where job seekers are connected to their future employers. The company deploys chat-based technology using social networks to connect low and middle-income job seekers to potential employers.

Kargo is an online platform that connects truck owners with businesses and individuals for a reliable and efficient delivery service.

Bitcoin price drops 10% as hackers exploit Binance’s API keys [TechCrunch]

Welcome to another rollercoaster day for the cryptocurrency community. In just a few minutes, bitcoin price crashed from US$10,740 to US$9,690, which represents a 10.8 percent crash.

As always, it’s a bit hard to know for sure what’s happening. But one company in particular is having a bad day. Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has spotted some unusual activities and halted withdrawals.

Binance is one of the biggest exchanges out there. According to CoinMarketCap, it’s one of the four biggest exchanges for the top cryptocurrencies when it comes to traded volume.

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