Honestbee appoints Brian Koo as new CEO [Reports]

Brian Koo, the grandson of South Korean tech giant LG founder, has been appointed as interim CEO and Board Chairman of Honestbee, according to Straits Times. Earlier there were reports that the grocery delivery startup  fired its CEO Joel Sng.

The new report is based on an internal email that Sng has sent earlier, announcing and confirming his resignation. However, he did not give an exact timeline of his resignation. In the email, Sng also named Roger Koh as the company’s CFO, Victor Chow as COO, Jonathan Low as CTO, and Varian Lim as chief of staff.

Walmart-owned Flipkart in talks to acquire Bengaluru-based Namdhari Fresh [CNBC-TV18]

Walmart owned Flipkart is in talks to buy Bengaluru-based grocery chain Namdhari Fresh as it is looking to push its play in the food and grocery segment, sources told CNBC-TV18.

Started in 2000 by parent company Namdhari Seeds, Namdhari Fresh operates over 30 stores in Bengaluru.
While Walmart is said to have held talks with Namdhari, the acquisition will be made through Flipkart, said the sources. The contours of the deal, however, are still being worked out, they added.

According to the sources, Walmart is keen to get into businesses with strong agri-supply chain and Namdhari’s sourcing from farmers is a key area of focus in the talks.

OYO to acquire Amsterdam based @Leisure Group [press release]

Asia’s leading budget hotels chains OYO Hotels & Homes has announced that it has agreed to acquire Amsterdam based @Leisure Group.

@Leisure is a leading vacation rental company in Europe and manages holiday homes, holiday parks, and holiday apartments. OYO will acquire @Leisure from Axel Springer, the media and technology company.

@Leisure Group, through its Belvilla, DanCenter, and Danland brands, offers more than 30,000-fully managed holiday homes across 13 countries in Europe and through its Traum-Ferienwohnungen brand, offers a subscription-based home management service with over 85,000 homes across 50 countries. This represents a total inventory of 300k+ rooms.

BlackBuck raises US$150M in Series D [press release]

BlackBuck, an online marketplace for trucking in India, has announced that it has closed a US$150 million round of equity funding, led by Goldman Sachs Investment Partners and Silicon Valley-based Accel.

Other new investors who participated are Wellington, Sequoia Capital, B Capital and LightStreet. The round also saw participation from existing investors Sands Capital and International Finance Corporation, the investment arm of the World Bank. This takes the total amount of funds raised by the company to over $230 million.

BlackBuck currently has over 300,000 trucks and 60,000-plus fleet owners on its platform. The company will deploy these funds to penetrate deeper into the market, by on boarding new trucking partners along the existing as well as new transportation corridors. The company will invest heavily in product and data sciences capabilities, to enable more efficient freight matching processes.

NEXEA Accelerator invites application for its new batch [press release]

Malaysia’s NEXEA Accelerator is inviting application for its new programme. Applications close on May 31.

Twenty startups will be selected for the one-month pre-accelerator programme. The top 5 will receive mentorship from experienced and successful ex-entrepreneurs, cloud IT and tech worth up to RM1.5 million, access to NEXEA’s experts on fundraising, marketing, legal, finance and strategy, introductions to angel investors, family offices, and later-stage VCs when ready, and seed funding of RM50,000.