GuestReady, a service for Airbnb hosts, doubles down on Europe with another acquisition

GuestReady, a service that helps shared economy hosts manage their business on Airbnb and other rental sites, is getting into expansion mode again after it completed its fourth acquisition. The company, which has raised $3.7 million from investors to date, just announced that it has acquired France-based rival BnbLord, a startup that it claims is […]

Didi steps up financial drive as it courts car leasing companies

Didi Chuxing is making a further push into the financial arena as it looks to diversify its business amid huge losses. We reported in January that the company, which controls a dominant slice of China’s ride-hailing market, released financial and insurance products targeting riders and drivers. Its service offering just broadened after the startup launched […]

Grab plans to raise $2B more this year to fund an acquisition spree in Southeast Asia

Always be raisin’. That appears to be the motto of Southeast Asia’s ride-hailing companies Grab and Go-Jek. Fresh from closing a near-$1.5 billion raise from SoftBank’s Vision Fund as part of a huge, multi-billion Series H deal, Grab said today that it plans to extend the round to $6.5 billion to amp up its battle […]

Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s B Capital makes $406M first close of new fund

B Capital, the VC firm from Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, has made the first close of its second fund. The firm has closed out $406 million in initial capital, according to a filing lodged with the FCC last month. The document doesn’t include details of a target raise or which LPs have committed. Saverin came […]

The team behind Baidu’s first smart speaker is now using AI to make films

The HBO sci-fi blockbuster Westworld has been an inspiring look into what humanlike robots can do for us in the meatspace. While current technologies are not quite advanced enough to make Westworld a reality, startups are attempting to replicate the sort of human-robot interaction it presents in virtual space. Rct studio, which just graduated from […]

India’s OYO enters Japan in partnership with SoftBank

Fresh from closing a notable investment from Airbnb, India’s OYO has expanded its footprint into Japan. The move comes through a joint venture with investor SoftBank — which led OYO’s $1 billion round last year through its Vision Fund — which will cover hotel-based accommodation and home rentals. Financial details around the joint venture were […]

Airbnb confirms $150M-$200M investment in India’s OYO

Airbnb is continuing to widen its focus beyond ‘unconventional’ hotels as it gets ready for a much-anticipated IPO. Following its acquisition of HotelTonight last month, the company has picked today (April Fool’s Day) to confirm that it invested in India’s OYO — a startup that manages budget hotels and other stays. The deal has been […]

Jio Health combines online and offline healthcare in Southeast Asia, starting in Vietnam

The internet is often lauded for the potential to increase the impact of a range of primary services in emerging markets, including education, commerce, banking and healthcare. While many of those platforms are now being built, a few are finding that a hybrid approach combining online and offline is advantageous. That’s exactly what Jio Health, […]

China’s grocery delivery battle heats up with Meituan’s entry

Fast, affordable food delivery service has been life-changing for many working Chinese, but some still prefer to whip up their own meals. These people may not have the time to pick up fresh ingredients from brick-and-mortar stores, so China’s startups and large companies are trying to make home-cooked meals more effortless for busy workers by […]

Global video streaming market is largely controlled by the usual suspects

Here’s a look at the players that dominate the video streaming market, the regions where they operate, and how they are trying to win customers.