Grab_Singapore_RD

Grab says ‘right time’ to introduce electric vehicles, set to roll out 200 Hyundai Konas [Channel News Asia]

Ride-hailing firm Grab is set to roll out 200 electric vehicles (EVs) into Singapore’s streets progressively from Friday (Jan 11).

Having purchased 200 Hyundai Kona 64 kWH electric cars, Grab will release an initial batch of 20 vehicles on Friday with the rest being introduced over the next few weeks, head of the company’s car leasing service GrabRentals, Kau Yi Ming said in an interview with local media.

“With these 200 cars, we will also be one of the biggest EV fleet in Singapore, and we want to be able to take this opportunity to introduce electric vehicles to both drivers and passengers of Grab,” said Kau.

Singapore-based blockchain fintech company BitRock raises US$4M [press release]

Singapore-based blockchain fintech corporation BitRock, a startup hatched by the instant messaging and social platform YeeCall, has announced that it has raised US$4 million funds to provide fintech solutions for the blockchain industry.

BitRock’s vision is to provide blockchain fintech solutions through the ‘solid triangle’ — wallet + mining pool + quant fund it has forged and tackle such problems as the high threshold for blockchain beginners and the difficulty of application landing, in an effort to facilitate the development of the blockchain industry.

BitRock consists of the following three business — Banko Wallet, Rawpool (a full set of support and services for miners, and Snake Quant Fund.

Alibaba buys German data analysis start-up [Reuters]

China’s Alibaba Group Holding has acquired German data analysis firm Data Artisans, the Berlin-based startup said, in a deal reported to be worth around 90 million euros (US$103 million).

The transaction marks the first full takeover by a Chinese company on Berlin’s growing startup scene. In the last significant deal, Alibaba’s rival Tencent Holdings participated in a US$160 million funding round for online bank N26 in March 2018.

Data Artisans CEO Kostas Tzoumas said Alibaba would also invest an undisclosed sum in the company to develop Apache Flink, its open-source software that can process large data volumes, and to expand into new business areas.

Israeli cybersecurity company Radware to acquire Bengaluru-based ShieldSquare [The Economic Times]

Israeli cybersecurity company Radware will acquire Bengaluru-based bot management ShieldSquare owned by Kaalbi Technologies in the first quarter of 2019, according to media reports. The amount of the deal was not disclosed.

Founded in 2013, the startup offers protection against bot attacks and web scraping. It offers attack detection, threat research, reporting, and analysis services to business. The company It graduated from the Microsoft Accelerator programme in 2013 as well.

Reportedly, Radware CEO Roy Zisapel said that the acquisition will allow to expand the company’s portfolio with robust bot management solutions and its existing cloud security services. “Bot management can stand alone as product offerings as well as integrate into our suite of attack mitigation solutions.”

OYO appoints Sam Shih as COO for China [press release]

OYO Hotels, a leading budget hotels aggregator in South Asia, has announced the appointment of Sam Shih as its Chief Operating Officer (COO) for the China market.

Shih will be responsible for the overall regional operations, driving consumer experience and building operating efficiencies at scale across OYO China.

Before OYO Hotels, Sam served as President of Global Consumables and CEO at Asia Pulp & Paper Co., a giant in the pulp and paper industry. He also led the operations at Red Bull and Accor Group, France.

Sam started his career and spent over two decades in PepsiCo. During this time, he took senior positions such as President of Pepsi (China) Investment, Vice President of Pepsi Beverage Business in China, as well as Chief Operating Officer at Pepsi China.