Today’s top tech news, November 14: Flipkart CEO resigned over sexual assault allegation, SoftBank invests again in WeWork

Prisca Akhaya
Today’s top tech news, November 14: Flipkart CEO resigned over sexual assault allegation, SoftBank invests again in WeWork

Also, Singapore and Bahrain to forge a fintech collaboration, and India’s omnichannel self-checkout retail Perpule raises US$4.7M

Flipkart CEO Binny Bansal resigned amid sexual misconduct allegations [e27]

Despite absence of evidence over the recent allegations, Flipkart CEO Binny Bansal decided to step down from his position in the Indian company. On a statement released by Walmart as the owner of Flipkart group yesterday, the retail behemoth said Bansal’s decision was made over the possibility of the event becomes a distraction.

An investigation has been launched following the emerging sexual assault allegations towards the CEO from a few years ago. Reuters reported that the allegation of sexual assault against Bansal came to the company in July from a former Flipkart associate.

“He strongly denies the allegation. While the investigation did not find evidence to corroborate the complainant’s assertions against Binny, it did reveal other lapses in judgment, particularly a lack of transparency, related to how Binny responded to the situation. Because of this, we have accepted his decision to resign,” the statement reads.

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Kalyan Krishnamurthy will continue to be CEO of Flipkart, which will now include Myntra and Jabong, continuing to operate as separate platforms within the Flipkart business.

SoftBank loves WeWork to the point of additional US$3B investment made [TechCrunch]

Freshly out of US$1 billion convertible note funding in August, Japan-based Softbank Corp has invested another US$3 billion to co-working startup WeWork, this time in a warrant form. The form will allow SoftBank to pay US$3 billion for the opportunity to buy shares before September 2019 at a price of $110 or higher.

This move helps to place WeWork’s value at $42 billion minimum.

SoftBank is said to pay WeWork US$1.5 billion on January 15, 2019 and another $1.5 billion on April 15.

Before the funding in August, SoftBank Vision Fund has supplied the company with a total of US$4.4 billion just last year despite WeWork’s yet to reach profitability.

Bahrain and Singapore join forces in fintech [Press Release]

Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) on the sidelines of the Singapore FinTech Festival 2018, marking the collaboration focussing on fintech innovation between the two countries.
With this MOU, the two countries will support the sharing of information on emerging fintech trends and developments, and facilitate co-operation on innovation projects in Bahrain and Singapore.

It also establishes a common framework to help fintech companies to prepare for regulatory requirements in both countries.

“In recent years, FinTech has created new linkages between the Middle Eastern and South East Asian regions. With this MOU, we look forward to strengthening these linkages and expanding opportunities for FinTech firms in Bahrain and Singapore,” said Ravi Menon, Managing Director of MAS.

Also Read: Canadian PM Justin Trudeau sees Singapore, Canada as strong business partners

China-based co-working startup Ucommune now valued at US$3B after recent fundraise [Deal Street Asia]

China’s co-working startup Ucommune has raised US$200 million Series D round of funding led by All-Stars Investment joined by CEC Capital.

The funding by Hong Kong-based investment company reportedly has put the company’s valuation in US$3 billion. The company plans to use the funding for expansion and supporting its research and development.

The first Chinese co-working unicorn claimed to cover over 200 locations in over 37 cities globally, including Singapore, New York, Beijing, Taipei, Hong Kong, and Shanghai. It plans to be available in 350 cities in 40 countries around the world over the next three years by acquiring a series of fellow co-working spaces providers like Fountown, Woo Space, Wedo Space, Workingdom, and New Space

Indian omnichannel retail Perpule raises US$4.7M in Series A round [Press Release]

Perpule, the omnichannel retail tech company enabling self-checkout, has raised US$4.7 million in a Series A funding led by Prime Venture Partners with participation from Kalaari Capital and Venture Highway.

The company plans to use the fund for expansion into thousands of retail outlets across 10 cities in the next year.

Perpule works by giving the control of offline commerce in the hands of customers by enabling Self Checkouts and Self Ordering solutions for offline stores, food outlets, malls, and cafeterias. Perpule claimed to have served around 500,000 active users.

Singaporean EDBI backs digital adoption WalkMe in Series F round [Press Release]

WalkMe, US-based AI-powered digital adoption platform, has added to its Series F round of funding an investment from EDBI Singapore, raising a total of US$50 million. EDBI joined the funding round led by Insight Venture Partners and Mangrove Capital Partners.

WalkMe plans to expand its digital adoption platform in Asia Pacific via localisation in Singapore.

To date, WalkMe has raised to $217.5 million to date and has offices in Australia and Japan.

Image Credit: Perpule

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