Digital wallet and financial services platform True Balance has raised $23 million in a Series B2 funding. The new round of funding saw participation from Japan-based global messenger Line Ventures Corporation, Korean search engine Naver, Korean bank Shinhan Bank along with TS Investment and other partners. Including the latest funding, the company has raised $42 million so far.
In a bid to push hardware, Facebook is planning to design its own chips that could be used to power its AI algorithms and also in consumer devices. At present, Facebook’s AI servers run on Nvidia chips. Though Facebook is yet to make an official announcement, its AI researcher Yann LeCun tweeted about the job postings, calling for candidates interested in designing chips for AI.
Insurance solutions software provider Ebix announced that it had entered into an agreement to acquire a majority stake in India-based e-learning company Smartclass Educational Services Private Limited. Under the terms of the agreement, Ebix will pay up to $8 million in cash for its stake in SmartClass.
Bengaluru-based expense management startup Fyle announced a fresh round of $1.1 million funding from existing investors Pravega Ventures and Beenext. The round also saw a strategic investment from Girish Mathrubootham-led Freshworks, which has been a customer of Fyle across multiple countries.
Delhi-based mother and childcare products company Honasa Consumer Pvt Ltd's brand Mamaearth announced actor and entrepreneur Shilpa Shetty Kundra has come on board as an equity investor. The first round of funding was led by Kanwaljit Singh and a few other investors in 2016. The company raised $1 million in the second round of funding led by Fireside Ventures and other investors in 2017.
Flipkart is planning to do to the television category this year what it did to the smartphone category in 2014. At present, online accounts for 10 percent of all televisions sold in India, with Flipkart capturing 80 percent of the online market. Televisions already account for 55 percent of the large appliances category and Flipkart is targeting to grow this to 60 percent. Televisions is the second largest contributor to company’s revenue.
After over a decade of trying to build a successful messaging application for Android – and failing – Google is finally opting for a change in approach. Anil Sabharwal, the tech giant’s VP of Communications and Photos, confirmed that the company was “pausing investment” on Google Allo, its latest messaging app, to focus on building Android Messages into a new service called Chat, powered by the Rich Communication Services (RCS) protocol.
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Holdings Group is pushing even further into the rural market in China with a fresh investment of CNY 4.5 billion (about $717 million) in Huitongda, an e-commerce platform offering B2B, B2C, and O2O services in rural China. Alibaba previously launched Rural Taobao to let rural users buy and sell items on the company’s online marketplace Taobao.