Startups

Kenya Moves Against Fintech Predatory Lending

Kenya Moves Against Fintech Predatory Lending

Kenya’s director general of budget, fiscal and economic affairs at the treasury revealed last Thursday that the government is moving to regulate predatory lending brought about by the country’s boom in lending startups. A number of fintech lenders are said to be using mobile money technology to extend credit to both banked and unbanked customers. The system, which can grant Kenyans loans in a matter of minutes, often leave borrowers burdened with high interest rates. This led the finance ministry to publish a draft bill on financial regulation to ensure that digital lenders treat retail customers fairly. A final version […]

French President to Tech Giants “There is no free lunch”

French President to Tech Giants “There is no free lunch”

Last Wednesday, French president Emmanuel Macron warned the executives of tech giants such as Microsoft and Facebook that “there is no free lunch” and that he would like them to contribute more to society. Macron is said to be pushing to transform France into a “startup nation” which will draw significant investments from technology and artificial intelligence. He is also leading European efforts to obtain more taxes from tech companies. Macron is also set to hold talks with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg on tax and data privacy during the Tech For Good summit this week. Source: Reuters

Bitcoin Startups Target Asian Remittances Market

Bitcoin Startups Target Asian Remittances Market

Even with the volatility and bubble-like appreciation of Bitcoin, observers are noting that there is an increasing number of startups in Asia leveraging the cryptocurrency as a business model. Startups like Bitspark in Hong Kong, and Bloom, Payphil, coins.ph and Satoshi Citadel Industries’ (SCI) remittance unit Rebit in Philippines are using Bitcoin as a transfer mechanism, rather than a currency, to capitalize on the millions of dollars sent monthly to and from countries such as Hong Kong, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Pakistan, Nigeria and Ghana. Some remittance shops say that they are able to charge customers 25-75% less without the banking […]

EU Commission to Propose Measures to Boost Fintech

EU Commission to Propose Measures to Boost Fintech

Reuters revealed this week that it has seen a document which details plans of the European Commision to draft a law on crowdfunding and blockchain technology to boost its financial technology sector. It is said that the departure of Britain, which is a major fintech hub, has prompted Brussels to think up measures to cultivate fintech in the EU. The plans, which could be published as early as this week, will include proposals for a bloc-wide licensing system for crowdfunding platforms and the forging of common standards for blockchain technology which are likely to be used in payment and securities […]

Bee Token Investors Scammed Out of Almost $1 Million

Bee Token Investors Scammed Out of Almost $1 Million

Investors in the Bee Token ICO were reportedly scammed by fraudsters to the tune of $1 million in cryptocurrency using a simple email phishing scheme. The “home sharing” startup began raising funds on January 31 and ended February 2 after reaching a target hard cap of 5000 ETH. However, the company only discovered the phishing scheme after the ICO had launched and asked investors not to send Ethereum to any other addresses aside from official website and statements. Investigation into the matter revealed three wallet addresses connected to the fraud which contained around $1 million after the ICO had ended. […]

Regulatory Sandbox for Startups

Startups are disruptive by nature, and policymakers all over the world are scrambling to keep up with their relentless development. This failure to catch up with emerging technologies has resulted in some dramatic deadlocks, such as the much-publicized rift between Uber and the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB).1 After flouting driver accreditation rules, Uber was meted out a one month suspension and had to cough up a hefty Php190M fine to lift said suspension. The dispute was met with public outrage from Uber’s inconvenienced users,2 illustrating just how important startups have become in today’s world. Uber is just […]

Shanghai to Build Massive Data Trading Platform to Boost Tech Hub Status

Shanghai to Build Massive Data Trading Platform to Boost Tech Hub Status

In an interview with the South China Morning Post, Chief executive of Shanghai Data Exchange Corp Keven Tang Qifeng revealed that his company is planning to set up a massive electronic data trading platform which will boost Shanghai’s profile as a major tech hub. He added that even today, there is already a strong demand for trading of data sets, and the company is looking to capture around one -third of the national trading volume by 2020 where the market is expected to grow to around $15 billion. In addition to its efforts to stay at the forefront of China’s […]

Soundcloud Receives $170m in Fresh Funding

Soundcloud Receives $170m in Fresh Funding

Reports earlier this week reveal that online audio distribution company Soundcloud managed to secure $170 in investment, staving off immediate money problems. The Berlin-based company was threatened with closure, signaled by a drop in valuation from $700 million in 2014. Difficulties came to a crux in July when 40% of the workforce had to be laid off, and management had to admit to shareholders that the company would not be able to continue without additional funding. Sources say that Soundcloud will be rolling out major changes after receiving the money, such as cost reduction measures, additional monetization plans, and a […]

Government to Ask Startup Community for Environmental Fixes

Private stakeholders and the Department of Information and Communication Technology is looking to ask for the help of the startup community with the country’s environmental issues in the Philippines’ premiere annual tech conference Geeks on a Beach (GOAB).   The fifth GOAB hopes to attract serial entrepreneurs and Fil-Ams from Silicon Valley to add more depth to the event, says event organizer Tina Amper of TechTalks.ph. Aldo Carrascoso, GlycoProX and Veem co-founder says that there is “tremendous” potential for the Philippines to become a location for tech start-ups. GOAB will take place in the city of Puerto Princesa in Palawan […]