Jon Russell

Jon Russell is an Asia-based writer for TechCrunch. Formerly he was an Asia editor for The Next Web.Jon Russell is passionate about the development of the internet, technology, and startups in Asia. He is based in Bangkok, Thailand.

You can email him at jr@techcrunch.com or use his PGP key.

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  • Southeast Asia gaming and e-commerce firm Sea ends first day on NYSE up 8%

    Southeast Asia gaming and e-commerce firm Sea ends first day on NYSE up 8%

    Sea, the gaming and e-commerce company holding the first major U.S. IPO from a Southeast Asian tech firm, had a bumpy start to life on the NYSE after closing the day up around eight percent on its list price of $15. The company raised $884 million from its listing, but it could surpass $1 billion if all allotted shares are purchased by underwriters. The share — listed as… Read More

  • The Information reveals the startups in its first media accelerator and plans hiring spree

    The Information reveals the startups in its first media accelerator and plans hiring spree

    Business is looking for good for subscription-based tech news site The Information. This summer it announced plans for an accelerator program to encourage others to leap into paid media and today, at its summit event, it revealed the five successful applicants in batch one as well as its own hiring plans. The accelerator has a pretty diverse bunch which cover subjects that include tech —… Read More

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

    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

  • Southeast Asia’s Sea, formerly Garena, to raise upwards of $884M in US IPO

    Southeast Asia’s Sea, formerly Garena, to raise upwards of $884M in US IPO

    Sea, the Singapore-based digital entertainment firm formerly known as Garena, is set to raise upwards of $884 million when it lists on the New York Stock Exchange Friday under ‘SE’. The company, which specializes in publishing games but also offers payment and e-commerce services, has priced its shares at $15 — above the $12-$14 range it previously set out. Sea… Read More

  • Chinese local services giant Meituan-Dianping raises $4B led by Tencent and Priceline

    Chinese local services giant Meituan-Dianping raises $4B led by Tencent and Priceline

    There’s a huge funding round from one of the top local services companies in China. Meituan-Dianping, a company formed by a multi-billion dollar merger in 2015, said today that it has raised a $4 billion Seres C round from a group of investors led by existing backer Tencent. Others involved include Sequoia, GIC, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Trustbridge Partners, Coatue, IDG… Read More

  • WeChat begins censoring users ahead of China’s National Party Congress

    WeChat begins censoring users ahead of China’s National Party Congress

    Expect to see plenty of censorship news coming out of China over the next week. The country’s National Congress is a hugely influential political summit that takes place every five years, and includes the selection of central party leadership. It is also a time when Chinese censors are on high alert, particularly when it comes to online media. Read More

  • Envoy digitizes another inefficient office chore with new service for deliveries

    Envoy digitizes another inefficient office chore with new service for deliveries

    There’s lots to like about startups that are rarely in the media because they are heads down developing product and building an actual business. Envoy is one of those. Led by former kid prodigy Larry Gadea, who worked for Google at 19 and later moved on to Twitter, it has kept pretty quiet since it took a $15 million check in June 2015 from marquee Silicon Valley investor Andreessen… Read More

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

    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

  • Indiez aims to raise the quality of freelancer platforms

    Indiez aims to raise the quality of freelancer platforms

    Indiez is an up-and-coming freelance service that aims to bring a higher standard to a world that is dominated by the likes of Gigster, Upwork and Fiverr by taking a different, team-led approach. There are already plenty of options for developers who opt for freelance work perhaps because they don’t like the shackles of a single day job, want to moonlight outside of office hours, or… Read More

  • North Korea reportedly hacked UK’s Channel 4 over ‘slanderous’ TV series

    North Korea reportedly hacked UK’s Channel 4 over ‘slanderous’ TV series

    North Korea’s cyber forces may never top the scalp of hacking Sony, an attack that successfully derailed plans to release a movie viewed as critical of the country, but the totalitarian state also performed a similar hit on British broadcaster Channel 4, it has emerged. A detailed New York Times report on the development of North Korea’s cyber hacking prowess, which was once… Read More

  • Samsung’s new connected tags monitor pets or kids for a week on a single charge

    Samsung’s new connected tags monitor pets or kids for a week on a single charge

    Samsung has something worth your time if you like to keep tabs on kids, pets or other cherished items. The Korea electronics giant just announced Connect Tag, a small internet-enabled device that tracks location and lasts a week between charges. In other words, this is a similar offering to existing electronic tagging devices from the likes of Tile, the U.S. startup that pulled in $25… Read More

  • IBM is using the blockchain to speed up and simplify cross-border payments

    IBM is using the blockchain to speed up and simplify cross-border payments

    The blockchain has long been seen as a method to quicken (and cheapen) cross-border payments, and now that movement — which includes a number of startups making moves privately — just got its highest profile advocate after IBM announced its own solution focused on banks. The computing giant has teamed up with blockchain startup Stellar and payment company Kickex to launch a… Read More

  • Ola raises $1.1B led by Tencent to fuel battle with Uber in India

    Ola raises $1.1B led by Tencent to fuel battle with Uber in India

    It’s been a long while coming but Uber’s chief rival in India is finally raising a big round, and joining the billion-dollar round club at the same time. Ola today announced that it has closed $1.1 billion in fresh financing. That’s the largest funding round in the company’s six-year history and its first major raise since November 2015 when it closed $500 million… Read More

  • Logistics on-demand startup Lalamove raises $100M as it approaches a $1B valuation

    Logistics on-demand startup Lalamove raises $100M as it approaches a $1B valuation

    Unicorns are like buses for Hong Kong. After living in the shadow of other cities and waiting around for its first, it now has (almost) two billion-dollar companies within months… and in the same space. GoGoVan became the country’s first unicorn in September following a merger deal with China-based 58 Suyun, and now Lalamove — another Hong Kong company specializing in… Read More

  • Airbnb’s major China rival Tujia raises $300M more at a $1.5B valuation

    Airbnb’s major China rival Tujia raises $300M more at a $1.5B valuation

    Airbnb finally got serious about the Chinese market this year, and now its chief rival in the country — Tujia — has tapped investors for $300 million more to sharpen its focus on global markets. The new funding values Tujia at $1.5 billion, the startup confirmed. That’s a big jump on the $1 billion it commanded when it last raised in 2015, but the company is going to the… Read More

  • Vertex Ventures closes new $210M fund for Southeast Asia and India

    Vertex Ventures closes new $210M fund for Southeast Asia and India

    Vertex Ventures, one of the VC funds linked to Singapore’s sovereign fund Temasek, has closed its third investment fund for Southeast Asia and India with a total of $210 million for investment. Vertex Venture Holdings operates five funds across the world, which include vehicles focused on the U.S., Israel and healthcare. This is the third installment of its fund for India and Southeast… Read More

  • Alibaba is leading a $27M investment in open source database startup MariaDB

    Alibaba is leading a $27M investment in open source database startup MariaDB

    Alibaba has spent 2017 pushing its cloud computing business and now it is preparing to make its first major investment in a Western startup in the space. The Chinese e-commerce giant has agreed to lead a €22.9 million ($27 million) investment in MariaDB, the European company behind one of the web’s most popular open source database servers, according to a source with knowledge of… Read More

  • First China, now South Korea has banned ICOs

    First China, now South Korea has banned ICOs

    South Korea has banned ICOs, the up-and-coming method of raising funding via crypto tokens, due to concerns over the potential for financial scams. China’s Central Bank became the first to outlaw ICOs, which are also known as token sales, in a move made earlier this month and now Korea is following suit. Companies from across the world have raised more than $1.8 billion this year to… Read More

  • Toshiba chip business set for $18B sale to Bain-led group backed by Apple

    Toshiba chip business set for $18B sale to Bain-led group backed by Apple

    The long-running saga over the future of Toshiba’s memory chip business — the world’s second largest supplier of NAND memory used in phones and PCs — took a big step forward after the Japanese company officially agreed [PDF] to an $18 billion sale to a consortium led by Bain Capital, which includes Apple among its backers. A deal was agreed in principle earlier this… Read More

  • Confirmed: Korean crypto exchange Korbit sold to Nexon parent for $80M

    Confirmed: Korean crypto exchange Korbit sold to Nexon parent for $80M

    The parent company of games giant Nexon has confirmed that it acquired Korea’s second largest cryptocurrency exchange, Korbit, in a deal that values it at just over $120 million. A spokesperson from NXC, the corporation that is the largest shareholder of $11.5 billion-valued Nexon, confirmed to TechCrunch that it paid 91.3 billion KRW (approximately $79.5 million) for 65.19 percent… Read More

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