Chinese city of Tianjin to launch US$16 billion fund to support artificial intelligence development – [Reuters]

Tianjin, a city in northern China, announced it plans to set up a RMB 100 billion (US$16 billion fund) to support the development of AI technologies.

It will invest the money into sectors developing intelligent robots and other related hardware and software. Additionally, it will set aside RMB 30 billion (US$4.7 billion) to develop smart devices and help traditional industries adopt these technologies.

Tianjin will also allocate RMB 10 billion (US$1.57 billion) to support intelligent manufacturing.

Last year, the Chinese government said it aims to become the world leader in AI by 2030. It wants its AI output to surpass RMB 1 trillion (US$148 billion) by that date.

Alpha JWC to invest up to US$5 million in PayPal Incubator’s 2018 participants – [press release]

Southeast Asia VC firm Alpha JWC has announced it will invest up to US$5 million in startups who participate in the 2018 edition of the PayPal Incubator.

The programme runs for nine months and the startups will receive coaching and mentorship from PayPal executives, participate in networking opportunities and connect to outside funders.

Past participants include cryptocurrency startup TenX and insurtech startup PolicyPal.

“Alpha JWC can help nurture the future of fintech industry and grow together with the region’s best FinTech entrepreneurs, while at the same time improving lives touched by these entrepreneurs’ business,” said Will Ongkowidjaja, Alpha JWC Ventures’ Co-Founder and Managing Partner.

Indonesian beauty platform Sociolla raises US$12 million in funding – [e27]

Indonesian beauty e-commerce and social platform Sociolla has raised a US$12 million funding round led by East Ventures’ late-stage new fund EV Growth.

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Participating investors include Indonesian VC Sinar Mas Digital Ventures; Yahoo! Japan’s corporate VC arm YJ Capital; Japanese beauty e-commerce giant istyle and an undisclosed “major” institutional investor from Singapore.

The company said it will use part of the new funding to acquire tech talents for its new social beauty platform SOCO, which aims to integrate Beauty Journal and the platform’s e-commerce features.

Real estate startup Averspace launches bank transfer option – [press release]

Singapore P2P real estate startup Averspace has partnered with bank transfer platform Xfers, allowing landlords and tenants to receive and make payments of their security deposit and rent right after signing their digital tenancy agreement on Averspace.

Xfers processes online bank transfer payments without the hassle of manual reconciliation and offers an alternative to the long processing time of cheque clearing payment method.

“We are pleased to be partnering Xfers to ‘close the loop’ in our digital rental process,” said CEO of Averspace, Ivan Lim. “Now our tenants can make an offer direct to landlords of their preferred properties, indicate their preferences to the landlord, digitally sign their tenancy agreement and make payment, all in one application.”

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