ChatbotPH joins Sterling Paper Group of Companies – [Press release]

The Philippines’ ChatbotPH, an AI-powered chatbot company, has joined the Sterling Paper Group of Companies through an acquisition deal of an undisclosed amount.

Founded in 2017, ChatbotPH builds custom-made, AI-powered virtual assistants to automate customer service. Beyond developing chatbots, the startup also holds regular AI training and research and development for their clients who are mostly in the lifestyle, banking, and retail industries.

“This acquisition of Sterling allows us to double down on the momentum that we have built on 2017 and scale our operations in order to help more businesses utilise the power of chatbots and AI,” said Ron Baetiong, ChatbotPH Co-Founder and CEO, in a press statement.

Sterling Paper Group is one of the Philippines’ largest conglomerates with businesses ranging from paper to real estate, to agriculture. “ is the third tech company acquisition that the Sterling Paper Group of Companies acquired in six months time,” said Henry Lim Bon Liong, Sterling Paper Group of Companies Chairman. “We believe that is really the future of how technology can further enhance and improve customer service of businesses and also allow easier and faster access of information to the users.”

CoinsPH partners with beep™ – [Press release]

Philippine-based has partnered with beep™, the country’s popular contactless payment provider to launch a new function that allows commuters to easily reload their beep™ cards using NFC-enabled Android smartphones. is a digital wallet and mobile payments app that allows the unbanked and the underbanked to store value in their wallets to send money, and make payments across the Philippines using their smartphones. beep™ cards are popularly used by commuters for the metro’s trains and toll ways and have recently been available for use in a few select bus companies, restaurant, cinema, and supermarkets. They have a reported 4 million active beep™ cardholders to date.

“Each day, nearly 2 million Filipinos are forced to wait in long lines to top up their beep™ cards with cash,” said Ron Hose, CEO of, in a press statement. “With this collaboration, beepTM cardholders can seamlessly use to load their cards with their phones and make payments anywhere beep™ is accepted. This solution represents a catalytic step forward in a vision that we share with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas of forging an advanced digital economy by 2020.”

A-Bio invests in Clinipath – [Dealstreet Asia]

Investment firm A-Bio has invested RM7 million (US$1.8 million) in pathology service provider Clinipath Malaysia, according to a report by Dealstreet Asia.

A-Bio is established by the Malaysian Government to foster high-growth enterprises in the country, specifically in high technology industries like biotech. Clinipath Malaysia has a nationwide network of clinical laboratories they aim to expand, develop IT infrastructure, and digitalise pathology.

foodpanda to launch favourites – [Press release]

Food delivery service foodpanda Singapore has announced the launch of favourites by foodpanda. Launching on March 30, favourites by foodpanda is a pop up kitchen with a 30-seater dine-in restaurant bringing together nine popular food and drinks brands.

The 3,100 square feet of space will be in 71 Woodlands Avenue 10 in Singapore and will also be delivering to nearby Sembawang and Yishun. For partner restaurants, the facilities are offered rent-free in exchange for percentage commission from their sales.

favourite by foodpanda is a new initiative by the food delivery company, with Singapore and Berlin as the pilot cities. According to Luc Andreani, Managing Director of foodpanda Singapore, “the launch of favourites is an important step in our growth strategy, helping our restaurant vendors to increase their output and reach. We are proud to be the first delivery company in Singapore to operate a dine-in restaurant, creating a fun and vibrant market kitchen atmosphere.”

Temasek leads US$250M Series E in 17ZUOYE – [e27]

Beijing-based 17ZUOYE has secured US$250 million Series E funding led by Singapore’s Temasek Holdings and participated in by new investor CITIC Private Equity Funds Management and existing shareholder Shunwei Capital.

17ZUOYE is a K-12 online education platform for teachers, students, and parents in China that provides tailor-made premium content to each student.The company will use the money for market expansion and also to improve its content and technology.