Circles.Life and EZ-Link partner in data-scheme for Singapore commuters — [Press Release]

Circles.Life, the Singaporean cellular service provider, announced today that it has signed a partnership with EZ-Link to provide commuters with 100MB of free data for every 10 rides they take using the pass on public transportation.

The deal would also provide commuters with an extra 1GB every month if they link their Circles.Life number to their EZ-Link account via the mobile app.

For most commuters in Singapore, receiving an extra 100 or 200MB per week would not be a particularly difficult accomplishment. The vast majority of people use EZ-link for their public transportation and 10 rides is the equivalent of commuting between the office and home for one 5-day work week.

The extra 1GB per month is only applicable for the first 6 months.

Grab announces new services — [Grab]

On the same day that Uber officially says goodbye to Singapore, Grab has announced the upcoming launch of four new services for users in the region.

The most notable is the launch of the GrabFood app in Singapore, which is heading into a Beta test for people in the Central Business District and Farrer Park regions. This app will presumably play the same role as UberEATS and will compete directly with Deliver and foodpanda (among other niche food-delivery services).

The other three services are ride-hailing updates. Grab will launch GrabAssist for people with mobility issues and GrabFamily for people who have small children. The prices for both services are expected to be marginally more expensive than JustGrab.

Finally, Grab announced the imminent launch of GrabCar Plus, which is basically the same service but with nicer vehicles. GrabCar Plus is expected to launch at the end of May.

The company also told Channel News Asia that its regulatory investigation is “going well”.

iPrice Group raises fresh funding from LINE Ventures

iPrice, the Southeast Asian e-commerce website, announced today it has raised an undisclosed funding round led by LINE Ventures, the corporate VC are of the popular messaging app LINE.

Previous investors Cento Ventures and Venturra Capital also participated in the round. In December, 2016 the company raised US$4 million led by Asia Venture Group and Venturra.

The company was founded in 2014 and operates in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, and Hong Kong.

Ofo is buying fewer bikes from manufacturers — [South China Morning Post]

The bike-sharing giant Ofo only fulfilled 37 per cent of its original bike order as governments begin to crack down on the number of bicycles flooding their streets. According to the South China Morning Post, ofo originally was going to order 5 million bikes from its manufacturer, named Shanghai Phoenix Bicycles, but only fulfilled bought 1.86 million.

Much of the clampdown is coming from local governments in China. According to the article, the days in which ofo (or its competition) would enter a city by releasing a wave of bikes at loss-making prices appears to be over.

In April, ofo and MoBike have both recently raised their subscription prices, signaling an end to the days in which the bikes are highly subsidised amid an unsustainable business model.

The company has 10 million bikes globally.

Venture capital firm GGV raises US$236M (RMB1.5B) in new RMB fund — [e27 via TechNode]

GGV Capital has raised close to RMB1.5 billion (US$236 million) in its first RMB fund, the venture capital firm announced in a press release.

The new RMB fund will focus on early stage and growth stage startups in areas including internet services, consumption upgrade, cutting edge technology, smart hardware, corporate services, and digital services.

Founded in 2000, the venture capital firm has invested in over 200 companies in the US and China including Alibaba, Airbnb, Xiaomi, Didi Chuxing, and Square. GGV operates in both China and the US with offices in Silicon Valley, Shanghai, and Beijing.

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