Banks to invest around US$50M in digital cash settlement project – Reuters
A Reuters report revealed that “several of the world’s largest banks” are in the process of investing around US$50 million to create a digital cash system using blockchain to settle financial transactions.
Citing people familiar with the plans, the project was known as “utility settlement coin” and was first proposed by Swiss bank UBS Group AG and London-based tech startup Clearmatics in 2015.
It aims to develop a system to make clearing and settlement in financial markets more efficient.
The source also stated that around a dozen banks are investing in a new entity called Fnality which would run the project.
The new system could launch in 2020. The deal has not been finalised so there is a possibility that details may change.
Alibaba invests US$633M in Chinese furniture major Red Star Macalline – Deal Street Asia
Alibaba Group Holding has invested about RMB4.36 billion (US$633 million) in Chinese furniture and home improvement giant Red Star Macalline through a five-year convertible bonds acquisition, according to a filing with the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
According to a report by Deal Street Asia, the convertible bonds would give Alibaba about 10 per cent stake in Red Star Macalline. Alibaba also acquired a 3.7 per cent stake in the company through the its publicly traded shares on the Hong Kong stock exchange.
The investment calls for Alibaba and Red Star to partner in home improvement, home furnishings, shopping malls, and other businesses.
Alibaba will provide tech support aligned with its new retail vision that integrates digital and physical channels, according to the agreement signed by the two companies.
Brinc raises US$1.5M pre-seed round for China-focussed accelerator – e27
Brinc, a venture accelerator with programmes in IoT & connected hardware, drones, and robotics as well as food technology, announced that it has raised US$1.5 million pre-seed round to focus on developing and operating training programmes around China for existing and new incubator, accelerator, and investment companies.
The spinout is called Brinc Accelerator of Accelerators (Brinc AOA), and it has been piloting a project for the last 18 months.
The company noted that the goal in 2019 is to run four training programmes educating over 100 accelerator programmes.
It has already run three training programmes in combination with various Chinese government entities with The Brinc team training over 75 incubator and accelerator programmes.
Amazon leads US$575M Series G funding round for Deliveroo – Press Release
London-based delivery service Deliveroo today announced a US$575M Series G preferred shared funding round led by Amazon.
Existing investors T. Rowe Price, Fidelity Management and Research Company, and Greenoaks also participated in the funding round.
This takes the total funding Deliveroo has raised to date to US$1.53 billion.
The company plans to use the new funding to grow its engineering team in London, expand delivery reach, create new innovations in the food sector, develop new “personalised” products for customers, as well as increase support for partners and riders.