Business & Economy Startups Today’s top tech news, Jan 30: OYO to expand to Philippines; gini...

Today’s top tech news, Jan 30: OYO to expand to Philippines; gini raises US$1.6M




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Starting with over 21 franchised and leased hotels, OYO’s current footprint includes presence in Metro Manila, Tagaytay and Cebu

OYO to invest US$50M for Philippines expansion [press release]

Southeast Asia’s budget hotels aggregator OYO Hotels and Homes has announced its launch in the Philippines.

Starting with over 21 franchised and leased hotels, OYO’s current footprint includes presence in Metro Manila, Tagaytay and Cebu as it plans to grow to 10 cities by 2020.

OYO Hotels would be franchising and leasing assets while transforming them into quality living spaces.

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The company has also committed an investment of over US$50 million over the next few years in the country, and aims to generate over 1,000 direct and indirect jobs.

Smart spending-tracker gini secures US$1.6M

gini, a Hong Kong based smart spending-tracker, has completed its seed round with a US$1.6 million investment from both international institutions and Hong Kong-based Vectr Ventures, the early stage fintech venture capital firm.

The funding will support a global roll-out plan, with gini aiming to be compatible with over 3,000 overseas banks in 60 countries by the second half of 2019 — starting with over 60 banks across Hong Kong, France, Switzerland and the UK currently available.

“We are Hong Kong-based, but the plan was never to launch an app only for the Hong Kong market,” said Co-founder CEO Raymond Wyand. “We live in a globalised world. Ultimately, our goal is to build a truly worldwide financial marketplace, to service not just a user’s home market but make managing money across markets accessible and easy for anyone to do. This new seed round allows us to start making that vision a reality.”

Kinestral raises over US$100M led by SK Holdings [press release]

Kinestral Technologies, the developer and manufacturer of Halio, a smart-tinting glass product for buildings and homes, today announced that it has closed Series D funding of over US$100 million led by SK Holdings, one of the largest conglomerates in South Korea.

Current investors 5AM Ventures, Alexandria Real Estate, Capricorn Investment Group and Versant Ventures also participated in the round. This investment will allow Kinestral to expand manufacturing, sales, and installation of Halio smart-tinting glass to meet rapidly growing global demand.

Halio looks like natural glass in its clear state and tints automatically or on demand to neutral gray shades to stop the unwanted intrusion of both glare and solar heat, while giving users privacy. Halio responds in seconds to changing light conditions. It tints uniformly to a virtually limitless number of tint level options. It can also be integrated with building management and home automation systems as well as cloud-based devices.

AI startup Clootrack raises US$500K funding [press release]

Bangalore-based AI startup Clootrack Software has raised US$500,000 in seed funding round led by Indian Angel Network. The round also saw participation from IAN Fund, Unicorn India Ventures (existing investor), SEA Fund and Malabar Angel Network.

Anthony Thomas, Global CIO, Nissan Motors and Salliel Gupta have led the round on behalf of IAN with Anthony joining the company board. IAN investor group also includes Kris Gopalakrishnan (Co-founder, Infosys).

Founded in April 2017, Clootrack is an AI-driven data analytics platform that discovers and measures brand perceptions in real time. It does this based on analysis of customer conversations in various online media and customer care tickets. Clootrack discovers brand perception elements in an unsupervised manner from text conversations.

The company runs on proprietary deep learning algorithms based on proven mathematical models and has two pending patents.

PH venture capital, private equity players form investment industry association [press release]

Leading venture capital and private equity players in the Philippines have come together to create an investment industry association that will act as a unified voice representing professional and institutional investors in the Philippines.

Called the Venture Capital and Private Equity Association of the Philippines (VCAP), this non-stock, non-profit corporation was the brainchild of ICCP SBI Venture Partners, Navegar, Endeavor Philippines, and Kickstart Ventures, Inc. with support from Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura, Sayoc & de los Angeles Law.

“VCAP is the first of its kind in the Philippines. It is a forum to promote a greater understanding of the roles VC and PE play in economic growth, to foster the growth of entrepreneurship and innovation, to encourage foreign investments into the VC and PE sectors in the Philippines, as well as to facilitate interaction and collaboration amongst its members,” said William Valtos Jr., VCAP Chairman and President and ICCP SBI Venture Partners Senior Managing Director.

VCAP’s mandate includes building linkages with similar associations in other countries, raising the profile of the VC and PE asset classes, serving as a platform for potential dialogue on regulatory and policy issues affecting venture and private equity investments in the country, and promoting professional development of the member firms and employees.

The formation of VCAP will give local and foreign investors an accessible forum for sharing market information as well as discussing policies and practices which are of concern to VC and PE institutions and professionals, according to Honorio Poblador IV, VCAP treasurer and Navegar managing partner.


The post Today’s top tech news, Jan 30: OYO to expand to Philippines; gini raises US$1.6M appeared first on e27.

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