Today’s top tech news, October 22: Uber to appeal Singapore fines, Grab to test courier service

Kevin McSpadden
Today’s top tech news, March 14: SoftBank, Toyota in talks to invest US$1B in Uber’s self-driving unit

Also, SingPass launches mobile app and Hong Kong company buys Indonesian payments firm

Grab preparing on-demand logistics service trials this week — [Business Times]

Grab is expected to start testing an on-demand courier service in Singapore tomorrow, according to a report in the Business Times.

The move is yet another example of Grab diversifying its product offerings as the ride-hailing company aims to evolve into a do-everything app. According to the article, the trial will be available only in East Singapore, covering the fringes of CBD to Changi.

The Land Transport Authority said it has approved the limited trial, which is a question because the LTA warned Ryde, a Grab competitor, about their plans to pursue on-demand courier services.

Singapore VC join hands with Dutch venture firm to help grow the Southeast Asian early-stage startups — [Press Release]

3B Ventures, a VC-firm based in Copenhagen, Denmark has signed an MOU with InterVentures, a Singaporean company, to work together to build a platform to support Southeast Asian early stage startups.

The two companies will focus on companies fixing problems in agriculture, energy, healthcare, education and water management.

““We have worked together with many high-net-worth individuals, families offices and CVC. One of the problems they often faced was having high startup failure rates and difficulties in exiting their investment. Together with 3BVC, we build an ecosystem by providing an end-to-end solution. We curate, invest, structure and scale the businesses, to minimise the startup failure rates,” said Paddy Tan, the Founder and CEO of InterVentures in a statement.

Uber will appeal Singapore competition committee decision — [Channel News Asia]

Uber, which was bought by Grab in one of Southeast Asia’s landmark startup deals, is planning to appeal a decision by the Singapore Competition Committee which found the deal violated the city’s fair competition laws, according to Channel News Asia.

Uber was fined S$6.58 million (US$4.8 million) for the merger — which has resulted in public backlash over a perceived drop in service coinciding with a price increase.

Uber said it is filing the lawsuit independent of Grab.

Singapore government-services agency launches mobile app with fingerprint identification — [e27]

The Singapore government has announced today the official rollout of the mobile app version of its e-services platform SingPass.

This will allow users to log in to their SingPass account using their fingerprint, facial recognition (for selected smartphones) or a 6-digit passcode.

They no longer need to enter their passwords when performing digital government transactions, such as checking CPF balances and applying for HDB flats.

Additionally, with SingPass Mobile, users based overseas will now be able to use the app to transact digitally with the Singapore government, without the need for a physical token.

Hong Kong fintech continues Southeast Asian push with purchase of Indonesian digital payments company — [e27]

Hong Kong-based TNG FinTech Group has acquired WalletKu, a finch company which offers prepaid mobile phones credit top up, bill payments, hotel, airline, and sports ticket bookings and payments.

The transaction details were not disclosed.

This is TNG’s second such a deal in a week, following its acquisition of Malaysia’s payments company Ekuinas Tranglo.

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