A deluge of Amazon orders, more bad news for Uber, and Ofo’s widening footprint. Here’s a summary of what happened in Southeast Asia’s tech and startup ecosystem in the last seven days.
Amazon’s Prime Now has resorted to booking taxis and freelancers to make deliveries as orders flooded in. In response, the Land Transport Authority stated that taxi and private-hire drivers cannot courier goods if they are not also carrying passengers. (Tech in Asia)
One of the cars Uber is renting out to drivers in Singapore caught fire while on-road. Reports said Uber local executives knew the cars it was leasing had defects. While it took swift action, the company admitted “it could have done more” to fix the problem. (Tech in Asia)
The Singapore-based company that owns Muslim Pro got acquired. The app ranks among the most popular ones catering to Muslims around the world. (Tech in Asia)
An Indonesian-founded startup has made it to Y Combinator for the first time. Payfazz, which received US$120,000 from YC, lets people buy things like prepaid phone credit and pay for electricity bills. (Tech in Asia)
Media conglomerate Emtek now owns a minority stake in Grab. It revealed in its second-quarter financial report that it got the stake as part of the deal with the ride-hailing company involving the sale of payments startup Kudo. (Inc42)
Malaysia and Thailand
China’s Ofo also introduced its dockless bike-sharing service to Malaysia. This came days after its under-the-radar launch in Thailand. With the rollout, Ofo now operates in a total of seven countries. (Tech in Asia)
Thai telco Dtac announced Global Expansion Track for its accelerator program. Startups accepted in the new track will possibly be able to tap Telenor Group’s 200 million customers in 13 markets globally. First to participate is Thailand’s T2P, a customer loyalty and ewallet startup, which raised a total of over US$3 million from investors like J-Venture and 500 Startups. (Techsauce)
Ride-hailing companies Uber and Grab face a new round of regulatory threats in Manila. Lawmakers are now looking into how “ride-sharing” should be defined in the law after taxi operators complained the two companies’ partners are operating fleets of vehicles just like them. Earlier, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board slapped Uber and Grab a PHP 5 million (US$99,500) fine each for allowing some of their drivers to operate without permits. (Inquirer)
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