Singapore’s online marketplace builder Arcadier to raise US$25M via token sale [press release]

Arcadier, a Singapore-headquartered online marketplace builder, has announced the launch of its token generation event (TGE) pre-sale for Project ArcadierX, its blockchain-enhanced marketplace platform.

Arcadier aims to introduce immutability, transparency and decentralisation to the global B2B and B2C e-commerce markets, while enhancing trust through blockchain.

Arcadier intends to raise US$25 million by Q3 2019.

To date, the firm has already raised US$1million via a private sale.

WhatsApp hires Ezetap’s Abhijit Bose to be its India head [Reuters]

Facebook-owned WhatsApp said on Wednesday it had hired Abhijit Bose, Co-founder and CEO of Indian mobile payments firm Ezetap, to be the head of its operations in India, its biggest market by users.

The Indian government has pressured the messaging service to build a local team and Bose’s appointment comes as WhatsApp tries to curb the spread of misinformation on its service in India where it has more than 200 million users.

Bose’s appointment is the first time WhatsApp has created a country head role anywhere in the world, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.

The Indian government has previously told the US company to take steps to prevent the circulation of false texts and provocative content that had led to a series of lynchings and mob beatings across India.

WhatsApp has since launched a media advertising blitz, done roadshows, and held workshops with community leaders and police officials to curb the spread of misinformation through its platform.

Temasek sets up new groups to focus on AI, blockchain investments [DealStreetAsia]

Temasek Holdings, Singapore’s state investment firm, is setting up new groups to explore opportunities in Artificial Intelligence and blockchain technologies.

Temasek is creating so-called “experimental pods” to focus on these two areas, which it sees as long-term trends impacting multiple industries and geographies, according to an internal memo obtained by Bloomberg. Chia Song Hwee, the chief operating officer of key management arm Temasek International, will oversee the new groups.

BookMyShow joins Grab Ventures Velocity program to scale-up in South East Asia [press release]

BookMyShow announced today it has joined the Grab Ventures Velocity, a scale-up programme launched by Grab, Southeast Asia’s leading O2O mobile platform. With this, BookMyShow becomes an entertainment startup to be a part of this innovative program to scale up business in Indonesia and Southeast Asia.

A 16-week long programme, it will help participating companies scale up faster through access to assets, resources, capabilities and networks of Grab and its programme partners. During the programme, BookMyShow’s entertainment offerings will be featured within the feed on the Grab homepage, allowing users to browse and book services directly from the Grab app.

Freelancer acquires enterprise freight marketplace Channel 40 [press release]

Freelancer Limited, the world’s largest freelancing and crowdsourcing marketplace by total number of users and jobs posted, has acquired Channel 40, an enterprise marketplace connecting freight owners with transport operators.

Simultaneously with the acquisition, the company announced the launch of Freightlancer.com, a global marketplace for freight, shipping & transportation spanning from complex enterprise haulage to consumer metro deliveries, powered by the world’s largest human labour cloud of over 30 million freelancers in 247 countries, regions and territories.

Channel 40 was started in 2016 by mining executive Tom Cavanagh, who also founded, and is CEO of, EMS Group, one of Australia’s largest underground mining and tunnelling service providers.

Channel 40 primarily services the construction, mining, tunnelling, rail and oil & gas industries, with over 6,000 freight operators in its marketplace. In the last 12 months, Channel 40 has shipped over US$4.5 million of freight within Asia Pacific, as well as internationally to the United States and Europe.