Jon Russell

Jon Russell

Writer

Jon Russell has been a reporter for TechCrunch since 2014 covering all things tech in Asia, in particular the major players in China, India and Southeast Asia. Originally from the UK, he is based in Bangkok and has lived in Thailand since 2008. During that time, Jon has watched smartphones and the internet, most notably Facebook, completely change the daily life of people across Southeast Asia. That’s pace of change is set to continue as tech and startups become all the more influential in the region, and that’s what keeps Jon’s interest and attention.

You reach Jon via jr@techcrunch.com or use his PGP key. He’s also active on Telegram (@jonrussell) and Twitter (@jonrussell) and he runs a weekly newsletter at Asiatechreview.com.

Note: Jon owns a small amount of cryptocurrency. Enough to gain an understanding, not enough to change a life.

The Latest from Jon Russell

Google has acquired one of India’s most popular train-tracking apps

Google is increasing its efforts in India after it snapped up the team behind popular transportation app “Where is my Train.” The app claims 10 million registered users and, as the name su

China’s JD.com teams up with Intel to develop ‘smart’ retail experiences

Months after it landed a major $550 million investment from Google, China’s JD.com — the country’s second highest-profile investor behind Alibaba — has teamed up with another U

Payment service Toss becomes Korea’s newest unicorn after raising $80M

South Korea has got its fourth unicorn startup after Viva Republica, the company beyond popular payment app Toss, announced it has raised an $80 million round at a valuation of $1.2 billion. This new

Coinbase abandons its cautious approach with plan to list up to 30 new cryptocurrencies

Coinbase is the most conservative exchange in cryptoland, largely because it operates in the U.S. under the watchful eye of the SEC. The $8 billion-valued company trades fewer than ten cryptocurrencie

Grab invests $100M into India’s OYO to expand its budget hotel service in Southeast Asia

Southeast Asian ride-hailing firm Grab has made its most ambitious investment to date after it backed India-headquartered budget hotel network OYO to the tune of $100 million. The investment was part

Ex-Facebook exec Kirthiga Reddy becomes first female investing partner at SoftBank’s Vision Fund

Following speculation that SoftBank is hiring a China-based team, the Japanese investment giant has brought on its first venture partner for its $100 billion Vision Fund. Kirthiga Reddy, a former exec

The Epic Games Store is now live

It’s a busy week for Epic Games . Fresh from pushing out a major season 7 update for Fortnite, so the gaming giant has taken the wraps off its own games store. First announced earlier this week,

Fortnite gets into Christmas mode with snow, planes and ziplines in season 7

Fortnite, the world’s most popular game, is getting into the festive period after it released its much-anticipated Season 7 update, which includes lots of Christmasy touches. The new season sees

Salesforce doubles down on Japan with dedicated $100M fund

It’s been a good week for Japanese startups. Fresh from Google making a rare investment in the country when it backed AI startup ABEJA, Salesforce — another U.S. tech titan — has ann

Asian streaming startup M17, still recovering from a failed IPO, raises another $25M

M17, the Taiwanese streaming company that controversially priced on the NYSE but didn’t list, has returned to the private markets after it raised a $25 million funding round. The round was led

Netflix rival Iflix launches $5M search for up-and-coming filmmakers in Asia

Netflix is increasing its efforts in Asia after it commissioned more local content and began testing more aggressive price points, but one local rival is hitting back with a program to spotlight pro

Google is killing off Allo, its latest messaging app flop

It’s official: Google is killing off Allo. The messaging app was only launched in September 2016, but it was pretty much flawed from the word go, with limited usage. Google was, once again, pai

Japan’s Sansan raises $26.5M to help Southeast Asia get more from business cards

The humble business card is a target for disruption in Southeast Asia after Japanese contacts management startup Sansan raised JPY 3 billion ($26.5 million) to expand its business into the region. Fo

Neuron Mobility raises $3.7M to bring e-scooters to Southeast Asia’s cities

Despite the rise in electric scooters in the U.S., you’d be forgiven for thinking that Asia — the region where bike-sharing foreshadowed the rise of e-scooters — has been left off t

Google invests in Japanese AI and machine learning startup ABEJA

Google has made a rare investment in Japan after the company led a follow-on round for AI and machine learning startup ABEJA. The deal amount is undisclosed but a little digging suggests that it is l

JioSaavn becomes India’s answer to Spotify and Apple Music

India finally has its answer to Spotify after Reliance Jio merged its music service with Saavn, the startup it acquired earlier this year. The deal itself isn’t new — it was announced bac

Rudy Giuliani, a Trump cybersecurity adviser, doesn’t understand the internet

Welcome back to the latest edition of politicians don’t get technology! Our latest guest is Rudy Giuliani, former New York mayor and current cybersecurity adviser to President Trump. Rudy Giuli

Experian leads $10M investment in Southeast Asia fintech startup Jirnexu

Consumer credit giant Experian is continuing to back Asian fintech startups after it led a $10 million investment in Southeast Asia’s Jirnexu . Jirnexu, which is headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, o

UrbanClap, India’s largest home services startup, raises $50M

UrbanClap, a four-year-old startup that offers home services across India, has closed a $50 million Series D round for expansion. The round was led by Steadview Capital, a hedge fund with more than $

So crypto didn’t kill venture capital after all

Last year, $7 billion followed into ICOs. Combined with 2018, the cryptocurrency-based funding mechanism is estimated to account for $20 billion. ICOs threatened to disrupt venture capital more widely
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