Today’s top tech news, October 3: Tencent online music arm will possibly become the biggest IPO by Chinese company in U.S., Facebook is going to launch startup accelerator in Singapore

ButlerInSuits rebrands as it launches B2B product

Also, Google acquires a small customer service automation startup and ButlerinSuits won Rice Bowl Startup Awards

Tencent is looking to list its online music unit in a U.S. IPO [Reuters]

The online music extension of Tencent Holdings, Tencent Music Entertainment Group has formally filed with regulators to list in the United States, under the symbol “TME”. This move is said to be the biggest U.S. IPO by a Chinese company.

Tencent Music includes Spotify-like digital streaming apps QQ Music, Kugou, and karaoke app WeSing, and is seeking a valuation of about $25 billion, as reported by Reuters.

Depending on its eventual pricing, Tencent Music could be the biggest this year, ahead of the $2.4 billion raised by video streaming service provider iQIYI (IQ.O) in March. In its regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Tencent Music reported a profit of $263 million on a revenue of $1.30 billion for six months ended June 30.

Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs (Asia), JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley are some of the lead underwriters for the public offer.

This coming February, Facebook and IMDA will launch a startup accelerator in Singapore [The Straits Time]

Facebook has announced its six-month-long and free accelerator program that is setting up next February in Singapore. The accelerator will be launched in partnership with the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA).

Also Read: Singaporean tech company Touché works with EDDITS to simplify in-store cryptocurrency payments

The program will be called Startup Station Singapore and will provide selected start-ups with access to mentorships by industry leaders, short training modules and co-working spaces, aiming to accelerate the businesses of startups and provide these businesses with connections to investors and access to a regulatory sandbox facilitated by the IMDA, which allows them to develop new ideas through the use of data in a live environment.

Right now, the program is accepting applications until December 7, 2018. The program is Facebook’s first data innovation start-up programme in Asia and the second in the world after France, and it will be based in an office space at the West Tower of Marina One in the Marina Bay area.

Foursquare has partially closed a total of US$33M Series F funding [Techcrunch]

In a funding round led by Simon Ventures and Naver Corp, with participation from Union Square Ventures as an existing investor, Foursquare announced a partially closed Series F funding, with US$25 million already closed out and another US$8 million inbound, make a total of US$33 million.

Foursquare is a role model of a successful pivot from a consumer-facing social application to an enterprise platform that gives brands, retailers, and ad platforms a way to get accurate, location-based data about their customers and their conversion rates.

CEO Jeff Glueck stated that one of Foursquare’s greatest advantages is that they can offer the same high-level capabilities as their competitors, such as Facebook and Google, while focusing solely on the value they’re delivering to partners.

Foursquare currently has more than 100 million places in more than 150 countries on their platform, which powers apps that collectively serve more than 1 billion consumers. With this latest round, the company’s valuation has increased to a total funding of US$240 million.

Customer service automation startup Onward is now owned by Google [Techcrunch]

Onward, a startup that builds tools for businesses looking to automate their customer service or sales workflows, announced that Google has acquired the company. The company’s key employees, including co-founders Rémi Cossart and Pramod Thammaiah, as well as CTO Aaron Podolny, will be joining Google, as reported by Techcrunch.

The company uses an AI-powered chat solution to make it easy to answer the simplest questions with answers pulled from a database while building flows that could help more detailed questions get addressed with just a few follow-ups. For more complex customer queries, tge company uses a visual bot builder to allow users to quickly build chat decision trees that could help address their customers’ requests while also knowing when it was time to hand things off to a human customer service.

The company was initially a consumer-facing product called Agent Q, works as a shopping virtual assistant that people could text and quickly ask for product recommendations before pivoting and now being acquired with tech capabilities by Google.

ButlerInSuits brings home the title Best Life Helper award in Rice Bowl Startup Awards 2018 [Press Release]

ButlerInSuits, the hospitality service company based in Singapore, has announced its winning title ‘Best Life Helper’ award in ‘Rice Bowl Startup Awards 2018, Singapore. The company is said to be awarded due to its efforts of improving urban living in Singapore.

Also Read: Myanmar freelancer platform Chate Sat raises 6-digit funding to expand its team

ButlerInSuits was founded by Poon, its 24-year old CEO and founder, with the mission to eliminate the inefficiency caused by hiring multiple contractors for various household needs. The company managed to become the single point of contact for all household needs that saves time for customers.

Organized by the New Entrepreneurs Foundation, Rice Bowl Startup Awards celebrates the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship in the Southeast Asian startup ecosystem.

Image Credit: Butlerinsuits

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