Vietnam-based travel impact startup Triip launches blockchain booking feature [press release]

Triip, a Ho Chi Minh City-based travel impact company announces its new payment network that has two new blockchain currencies option.

The company claimed that it’s the first time ever a travel booking platform features blockchain currencies. Targeting upcoming mid-December, Triip’s visitors will be able to book their travels with Ethereum, followed by a new currency of Tomochain called TOMO by the end of the month.

Triip has been around for four years now and has been open to innovations with their moves in adopting blockchain currencies. The reason the company has TOMO currency is also due to the company’s support towards Tomochain’s recent Mainnet launch for TOMO and its partnership with the cryptocurrency.

After the blockchain payment launch, Triip plans to expand its user base in Indonesia alongside as a part of its collaboration move with photo-editing app PicMix.

“Within Triip as well as in the blockchain world at large, big things are happening. We’re glad that we are on this ride,” closed Hai Ho, the CEO of Triip in addressing Triip Protocol’s partners.

China-based e-commerce firm LightInTheBox acquires Singapore’s Ezbuy for US$85M [Singapore Channel Asia]

The discount e-commerce service firm LightInTheBox announced that it has closed the acquisition of Ezbuy, Singapore’s cross-border selling service operating in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Pakistan.

The deal first emerged in November with LighInTheBox taking 100 percent ownership of the company as a way for the struggling e-commerce firm to survive.

The company has spent the last few months at a price less than US$1 with the initial price entering the stock market at US$9.50. Its stock’s today is worth US$0.64 and it is reflected in the company’s Q2’s net loss US$9.5 million.

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The Ezbuy deal comes in as the last hail mary that is expected to will inject new blood beyond its markets. Ezbuy CEO Jian He has become CEO of LightInTheBox taking over from Alan Guo, LightInTheBox’s founder, while Meng Lian, a partner with IDG Ventures, Ezbuy’s backer, has joined as a director.

Taiwan’s big data company Accupass expands to Malaysia to boost event ecosystem [Press Release]

Taiwanese AI and big data company Acupass officially expands its footprint to Malaysia through a brand launch called “Shape Future Events – Take your events to the next level” today at the Selangor Digital Creative Centre (SDCC) in i-City, Shah Alam.

Accupass provides an O2O (online to offline) model and event planning consultancy that also boost the development of event industry. It works by applying AI and Big Data technologies into event planning, which then enables clients to increase their efficiency with event organization.

The reason Accupass enters Southeast Asia through Malaysia is that the company has seen Malaysia as having a mature digital economy environment with its internet infrastructure and a population that is fluent in both Chinese and English.

“Accupass recently has been devoted to applying AI (artificial intelligence) to event planning services, such as FACEPASS, Chatbot (automatic ticket selling), and Accupai (photo optimization service). We look forward to creating an ecosphere for the event industry in Chinese region,” said Freeza Huang, Asia Pacific General Manager of Accupass.

Uber is sued by the company that claims to have the first on-demand ride-hailing concept [Channel News Asia]

Uber Technologies Inc is reportedly being sued by Sidecar Technologies Inc, the company that claims to pioneer the on-demand ride-hailing concept. The bitter Sidecar has accused the unicorn startup to engage in what it describes as “predatory pricing and anticompetitive practices” that ultimately put Sidecar out of business.

The lawsuit is filed in U.S. district court in San Francisco on Tuesday, December 11, morning stating that “Uber became hell-bent on stifling competition from competing for ride-hailing apps,” and used subsidies and made fake ride requests to competitors in a bid to dominate the market.

According to Sidecar’s lawsuit, Uber gave bonuses and other subsidies to drivers, reduced passenger fares and lost money on every ride. Furthermore, in the lawsuit, Sidecar’s co-founder Sunil Paul also mentioned that “Uber’s senior officers and executives directed clandestine campaigns” to place fraudulent ride requests on the Sidecar app that were canceled before drivers arrived at the pick-up destinations.

Sidecar went out of business in December three years ago and was forced to sell its assets to General Motors Co in 2016.

Indonesia’s e-commerce unicorn Tokopedia raises US$1.1B, in development to become an “infrastructure-as-a-service” platform [e27]

Indonesian e-commerce unicorn Tokopedia today announced that it has raised a US$1.1 billion funding round led by SoftBank Vision Fund and Alibaba Group, with participation by Softbank Ventures Korea and other existing investors.

Tokopedia stated that it will continue its focus on the Indonesian market, specifically in driving economic development and financial inclusion. To support its mission, Tokopedia commits to building the technology and infrastructure to empower small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well as improve customer experience.

“Leading into our tenth year, Tokopedia is evolving our ecosystem to infrastructure-as-a-service where our logistics, fulfillment, payments and financial services technologies will empower commerce, both online and offline,” said Tokopedia CEO and Co-Founder William Tanuwijaya.

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Tanuwijaya noted that this approach will broaden Tokopedia’s scale and reach while improving operational efficiencies for businesses and partners in the company’s ecosystem.

Image Credit: Accupass