Softbank and Google invest in China truck-hailing firm – [Reuters]

Chinese truck-hailing firm Manbang has announced an investment of US$1.9 billion from several investors including Japan’s Softbank Group and Alphabet Inc.’s VC fund Capital G, according to a report by Reuters.

Manbang, often described as China’s “Uber for trucks”, is an app that lets shippers connect with truck drivers. They said that the investment would help them develop new markets and business areas.

Bluedot Innovation secures US$5.5M in Series A Funding – [Press release]

Austalian location services company Bluedot Innovation has secured US$5.5 million in Series A funding, according to a press release. The round was led by Transurban, an urban toll road managers and developers. New and existing investors also participated in the round including Jeff Katz (formerly of Mercury Payments), and PayPal founding CFO David Jacques.

Bluedot lets enterprises connect with their customers through highly relevant and personalised interactions based on the location and context of the customer. They will continue to invest in research and development to expand their platform.

“Partnering with Bluedot has enabled the delivery of our innovative smartphone app, which is helping our customers easily manage their use of our roads while building in safeguards to promote road safety,” said Chris Jackson, Transurban General Manager of Customer Experience. “Our strategic investment in Bluedot ensures we’re well placed to use location services technology to deliver new products for our customers that makes travelling with us a seamless experience.”

Bluedot has raised a total of US$13 million in funding.

Go-Jek rumoured to be in talks with ComfortDelGro – [TechCrunch]

Singapore taxi operator ComfortDelGro is reported to be in talks with Go-Jek, according to TechCrunch.

ComfortDelGro tied up with ride-hailing giant Uber in December 2017, which fell through when Uber exited Southeast Asia and agreed to sell its business in the region to Grab.

Possible tie-up would give Go-Jek access to ComfortDelGro fleet of taxis.

Sprout Solutions raises US$1.6M in seed funding – [e27]

Philippine-based HR-tech startup Sprout Solutions has secured seed funding. The round was led by local VC Kickstart Ventures, with participation from Wavemaker Partners and Beenext, as well as an unnamed private investor.

Sprout Solutions offers cloud-based human resource solutions using AI and predictive analytics, and has recently launched a recruitment AI system.