Ecosystem Roundup: Is Revolution Precrafted issue casting a shadow over Philippine startup sector?

Revolution Precrafted becomes cautionary tale for valuation-focused startups; The firm, which wanted to be the Ikea of homes, promised quick-to-build luxury homes but failed to live up to customers’ expectation; Now, its billion-dollar valuation is called into question, and angry customers are considering a lawsuit; Suppliers are also complaining.

Forbes removes Team Labs’s Harsh Dalal from 30 Under 30 Asia list; The decision was made “after a careful consideration of the findings of a comprehensive review of the information that was used to qualify him for the list, as well as new information that has come to light in recent days”; This move happened after Tech in Asia released a story that investigated and found numerous gaps in Team Labs’s narrative.

New US$300mn SPAC by James Murdoch’s unit eyes South Asia, SEA; It will invest in media, entertainment, consumer tech, healthcare, and education industries; It will seek to acquire a business that is well-positioned to participate in sector consolidation or would benefit from a public acquisition currency; The SPAC will be listed on NASDAQ.

SoftBank’s Son wants to double Vision Fund portfolio to 500 Startups; He says SoftBank’s group of 200 entrepreneurs could even increase to 500 or 1,000, also suggesting his successor could come from within that group; He adds he has no interest in buying controlling stakes in companies,, calling such deals as inefficient use of his time.

Krungsri Finnovate to invest US$100m in 120 Thai startups through 2023; The VC arm of Krungsri Bank will increase investments in fintech, e-commerce, proptech, and AI startups at the series A stage and higher in Thailand and SEA; Its minimum check size is US$1mn; To date, the VC arm has worked with over 50 startups in over 100 projects.

Peter Thiel-backed Bridgetown launches third SPAC, looks to raise US$260mn in IPO; The SPAC intends to focus on a target with ops or perspective ops in the tech, financial services, or media sectors in SEA; As per a report, SEA’s internet economy crossed the US$100bn-mark in 2020 and is poised to triple to an estimated US$300bn by 2025.

Open Banking: why this risky pursuit is the key to accelerating fintech innovation; On the digital payments front, startups are able to roll out their own e-wallet capabilities, while depending on banks to provide ledger systems, account opening services, and cash management services in the background; They may also offer white-labelled credit cards and Buy Now Pay Later services to new or underserved market segments, while utilising banks’ credit facilities.

Jeff Smith: ‘Local partnerships key to driving growth for Smule in hyper local markets’; The Indonesian community is one of the most active and engaged in Smule; One of the challenges that its faced was the diversity and bandwidth of devices across regions such as Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Singapore’s e-scooter rental startup Neuron Mobility launches in Canada; Neuron will be launching its safety-leading N3 e-scooters which electronically secures a safety helmet to every e-scooter; The e-scooter will also be fitted with bilingual voice guidance, in English and French, to educate users and help them ride and park safely.

Japanese blockchain company Chaintope plans to make Malaysia regional hub; Malaysia is an ideal location for the company’s global footprint with its high English proficiency, stable environment and cost competitiveness; Chaintope Malaysia is supporting projects in Japan and Malaysia, including digitalisation of administrative documents in Iizuka, and traceability in the Japan fishing industry to detect the source of marine resources and to prevent illegal fishing.

Digital University in India launches online blockchain course for startups; Digital University of Kerala’s course will cover blockchain basics and how the technology is applied over different business verticals, including government operations, banking, supply chains, real estate, environment, and healthcare.

As M&A accelerates, deal-makers are leveraging AI and ML to keep pace; Typical deals require the analysis of huge amounts of data in a relatively short period of time; So, when time is money, tools that speed up the M&A process are critical; That’s why AI-powered tools that help deal-makers automate tasks, reduce human error and ensure greater regulatory compliance are gaining interest.

Tech startups and state-owned enterprises (SOEs) are teaming up to fuel digitalisation in Indonesia; Digitalisation will give a facelift to the startup ecosystem through VC investments offered by banks and state-owned establishments; Indonesia is home to over 100 SOEs that are influential in various industries, including construction, natural resources, transportation, manufacturing, finance, and agriculture.

Even startups on tight budgets can maximise their marketing impact; A startup’s best marketing asset is its story; The knowledge and expertise of its team, together with the why and the how of its offering provides the most compelling content.

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