Author: Jon Russell

Southeast Asia gaming and e-commerce firm Sea ends first day on NYSE up 8%

TECHCRUNCH Sea, the gaming and e-commerce company holding the first major U.S. IPO from a Southeast Asian tech firm, had a bumpy start to life on the NYSE after closing the day up around eight percent on its list price of $15. The company raised $884 million from its listing, but it could surpass $1 billion if all allotted shares are purchased by underwriters. The share — listed as ‘SE’ — ended the day solid despite some initial uncertainties. Trading opened at $16.25, a small pop, before the price dropped below the $15 mark over the next couple of hours....

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The Information reveals the startups in its first media accelerator and plans hiring spree

TECHCRUNCH Business is looking for good for subscription-based tech news site The Information. This summer it announced plans for an accelerator program to encourage others to leap into paid media and today, at its summit event, it revealed the five successful applicants in batch one as well as its own hiring plans. The accelerator has a pretty diverse bunch which cover subjects that include tech — of course — Hollywood, investing and local news. The companies — which hail from the U.S., Europe and Asia and are of varying maturity and size — each get a $25,000 check alongside mentoring from...

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Grab raises $700M in debt to add more drivers to its ride-hailing service in Southeast Asia

TECHCRUNCH Grab is in the process of raising $2.5 billion for it ride hailing service in Southeast Asia, but that hasn’t stopped the Uber rival from tapping banks for $700 million in debt facilities to develop its business. The Singapore-based company said it had pulled in the financing from “leading global and regional banks” to expand its car rental fleet in Singapore and Indonesia, two of its key markets. This debt facility takes Grab to over $4 billion in funding. It raised $2 billion from SoftBank and China’s Didi in July, with $500 million set to be added by other...

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Southeast Asia’s Sea, formerly Garena, to raise upwards of $884M in US IPO

TECHCRUNCH Sea, the Singapore-based digital entertainment firm formerly known as Garena, is set to raise upwards of $884 million when it lists on the New York Stock Exchange Friday under ‘SE’. The company, which specializes in publishing games but also offers payment and e-commerce services, has priced its shares at $15 — above the $12-$14 range it previously set out. Sea originally planned to raise $1 billion but it later lowered that figure. However, the IPO could pass the $1 billion mark if the firm’s underwriters purchase their full allotment of shares, which totals a maximum $132 million. The listing...

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Chinese local services giant Meituan-Dianping raises $4B led by Tencent and Priceline

TECHCRUNCH There’s a huge funding round from one of the top local services companies in China. Meituan-Dianping, a company formed by a multi-billion dollar merger in 2015, said today that it has raised a $4 billion Seres C round from a group of investors led by existing backer Tencent. Others involved include Sequoia, GIC, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Trustbridge Partners, Coatue, IDG, Tiger Global, and China-UAE Investment. Travel giant Priceline joined as a new investor. There’s no word on the valuation, but recent reports pegged it as high as $30 billion. The company was valued at $18 billion 18...

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WeChat begins censoring users ahead of China’s National Party Congress

TECHCRUNCH Expect to see plenty of censorship news coming out of China over the next week. The country’s National Congress is a hugely influential political summit that takes place every five years and includes the selection of central party leadership. It is also a time when Chinese censors are on high alert, particularly when it comes to online media. The next summit, the 19th, takes place on Wednesday and is likely to last around a week. Already, on the eve of the gathering, we have the first glimpse of internet restrictions for Chinese users. WeChat, China’s top messaging app with...

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Envoy digitizes another inefficient office chore with new service for deliveries

TECHCRUNCH There’s lots to like about startups that are rarely in the media because they are heads down developing product and building an actual business. Envoy is one of those. Led by former kid prodigy Larry Gadea, who worked for Google at 19 and later moved on to Twitter, it has kept pretty quiet since it took a $15 million check in June 2015 from marquee Silicon Valley investor Andreessen Horowitz to digitize modern office management, starting with a visitor registration system that kills the traditional lobby sign-in book. But it’s been busy during that time. Today, Envoy has over 5,000...

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Credit giant Experian leads $30M investment in India’s BankBazaar

TECHCRUNCH  Indian credit marketplace BankBazaar has pulled in $30 million in fresh funding led by Experian, the London-headquartered credit giant with a £14 billion ($18 billion) market cap. BankBazaar seems to have a penchant for big name backers. Amazon led its $60 million Series C funding in 2015 while Experian is the main investor behind this Series D raise. The company didn’t specific the… Read...

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