Singapore-based Zuzu gets $2M seed to help small hotels compete with big chains

 Independently-owned hotels sometimes fall through the cracks of the hospitality industry because they struggle to compete with major chains, but don’t belong on Airbnb or HomeAway. Zuzu Hospitality Solutions bridges the gap in Asia by providing essential revenue management and marketing services to small hotels while allowing them preserve their own brands. The Singapore-based startup… Read More

GitHub’s scandalized ex-CEO returns with Chatterbug

 Translation earbuds might eliminate some utilitarian reasons to know a language, but if you want to understand jokes, read poetry, or fall in love in a foreign tongue, you’ll have to actually learn it. Unfortunately, products like Rosetta Stone leave people feeling burned after claiming the process should be easy while never helping you practice talking with a real native speaker. You… Read More

Grab raises $700M in debt to add more drivers to its ride-hailing service in Southeast Asia

 Grab is in the process of raising $2.5 billion for it ride hailing service in Southeast Asia, but that hasn’t stopped the Uber rival from tapping banks for $700 million in debt facilities to develop its business. The Singapore-based company said it had pulled in the financing from “leading global and regional banks” to expand its car rental fleet in Singapore and Indonesia,… Read More

PayKey raises $10M for its millennial-targeted “social banking” smartphone keyboard

 Banks face an increasingly crowded battlefield in the fight for millennial customers. Not only do they have to compete with services like Venmo, but many messaging apps are adding their own peer-to-peer payment services. Tel Aviv-based startup PayKey thinks it has the solution with a smartphone keyboard that lets bank customers access financial services without having to log onto a banking app. Read More

Credit giant Experian leads $30M investment in India’s BankBazaar

 Indian credit marketplace BankBazaar has pulled in $30 million in fresh funding led by Experian, the London-headquartered credit giant with a £14 billion ($18 billion) market cap. BankBazaar seems to have a penchant for big name backers. Amazon led its $60 million Series C funding in 2015 while Experian is the main investor behind this Series D raise. The company didn’t specific the… Read More

Fandango is acquiring rival online ticketer MovieTickets.com

 A consolidation in the advance movie ticketing space is happening today, with Fandango’s announcement that it’s acquiring rival MovieTickets.com for an undisclosed sum. The deal, which is expected to close before year-end, will help Fandango expand its international footprint, particularly in Latin America, as well as bring new cinemas to its ticketing platform. Read More

Social commerce startup Meesho gets $3.4M Series A to build a reseller network in India

 While most of the attention paid to India’s e-commerce boom focuses on big players like Flipkart, there’s another fast-growing sector: people, mostly women, who resell items on social media. Several startups now exist to serve the so-called “housewife reseller” market. One of them, Y Combinator alum Meesho, announced today that it has raised a $3.4 million Series A led… Read More

Music rights collection startup Kobalt adds another $14M at $789M valuation, Bill Maris joins board

 When he was still at Google Ventures, Bill Maris led a round of funding into music royalty collecting startup Kobalt, to make one of the VC arms bigger bets in the world of digital music. Now that he’s moved on to start another firm, he’s taking a step to re-up his interests in the company. Today, Kobalt announced that Maris’ Section 32 has invested $14 million into Kobalt,… Read More