Captain’s log, August 18: High-end co-working spaces in Thailand set to grow

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Also, Grab drivers in Indonesia can now cash out instantly, Japanese software development lab Monstar Lab raises US$6.3 million and others

echelon thailand

True Corporation to spend US$3.6 million its co-working space, TrueSphere

Thailand-based communications conglomerate True Corporation is set to pump THB 120 million (US$3.6 million) into expanding its high-end co-working space, TrueSphere.

The Bangkok Post said that True wants to grow its current network of eight co-working spaces to 22, spread across five cities, by the end of 2018.

True’s loyalty programme customers, called Black Card members will be able to leverage on big data analytic tools as part of True’s partnership with IBM Thailand, which offers Watson Analytics.

Also Read: The benefits of coworking based on business size

True will also be rolling out IoT solutions optimised for Apple iPhone users.

True describes itself as a luxury co-working space due its “first-class service“, with service staff providing food and drinks, similar to what one would expect at a hotel or restaurant.

Techstars set to expand to India

US-based startup incubator Techstars is set to launch in India. According to a report by DealStreetAsia, it will partner with Bengaluru-based startup ANSR consulting and hire a local team to set up operations in India.

Techstars has previously launched corporate programmes with multinational companies such as Walt Disney, Comcast and Target.

For India, it hopes to build a holistic suite of programmes that will connect global corporations to Indian startups as well as Indian corporations to the global tech ecosystem.

Grab drivers now have an instant cash out feature on its app

Grab drivers in Indonesia now have the opportunity to collect their earnings instantly with the platform’s new Instant Cash Out feature.

As long as they have a CIMB Niaga bank account, they can transfer fares to their bank accounts and withdraw them from the bank’s ATM at their convenience. Grab will help drivers without without these bank accounts to apply for one.

“We understand many of driver partners are still hesitant to accept cashless payments due to the extra processing time for credit and debit card transactions. We believe that our latest Instant Cash Out feature will encourage them to embrace the convenience of cashless payment,” said Mediko Azwar, Marketing Director, Grab Indonesia.

Also Read: Uber and Grab win big — Malaysia legalises ride-hailing services

Grab is making a strong play to expand its marketshare of the digital payments space in the Indonesia, as part of its ‘Grab 4 Indonesia’ 2020 master plan,

n April this year, it acquired Indonesian O2O e-commerce platform Kudo, integrating Kudo’s platform with Grab’s payment ecosystem.

Japanese software firm Monstar Lab raises US$6.3 million

Japanese software development firm Monstar Lab has raised JPY 700 million (US$6.3 Million) in a round led by investors YJ Capital Inc., Shinsei Corporate Investment Limited, San-In Chuo Television Broadcasting Co., Ltd., Fenox Venture Capital and Tanabe Corporation, together with further investments from existing shareholders.

Monstar Lab plans to use the newly-raised financing to expand to US and European markets.

Monstar Lab develops consumer and enterprise mobile apps such as business software, IoT and AR/VR applications.

It currently has operations in major Asian markets, including Japan, Singapore, China, Philippines, Vietnam and Bangladesh.

Cambridge Innovations sells its Roadzen stocks worth US$250,000

Cambridge Innovations, a UK-based enterprise that invests in AI and machine-learning-focussed startups, has sold its stock in India-based insurtech startup Roadzen worth US$250,000.

The sale of the stocks is intended to facilitate the entry of a “prominent Hong Kong-based Chinese investor,” according to a press release.

Roadzen helps insurers underwrite their risk with better data, interact with their customers in real-time, provide roadside assistance to stranded customers and process auto-claims instantly. It currently has over 10 million customers across US, China and India.

Rohan Malhotra, Co-Founder and CEO of Roadzen said, “CI has been a fantastic strategic investor and a valuable technology partner to Roadzen. As we execute our next set of milestones, we hope to continue working with Aashish and the CI team to reshape traditional auto insurance.”

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Source: e27

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