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ByteDance to reduce workforce in Indonesia by 450; OpenAI nears US$3.4B annual revenue; BayaniPay raises US$9.6M in Series A funding

Dear reader,

The planned job cuts at ByteDance in Indonesia highlight the turbulent landscape of the tech industry, driven by the recent US$1.5 billion merger between TikTok Shop and Tokopedia. This strategic consolidation, aimed at eliminating redundant roles, mirrors broader trends across the sector as companies grapple with economic challenges.

Approximately 450 jobs, or 9 per cent of the staff, predominantly in advertising and operations, are at risk, reflecting ByteDance’s focus on streamlining operations.

Indonesia has been a significant market for TikTok Shop, competing fiercely with Shopee and Lazada. The merger with Tokopedia was essential for ByteDance to navigate local regulatory landscapes. However, this consolidation brings about tough decisions, including workforce reductions, a move indicative of the pressures faced by large tech firms globally.

The GoTo Group’s response to the Indonesia Stock Exchange underscores its non-controlling minority shareholder status, emphasising that operational decisions rest with Tokopedia’s management. This statement follows the departure of Tokopedia’s founding CEO and longtime COO from GoTo’s board of commissioners, signalling potential strategic shifts.

Overall, the layoffs reflect the broader economic downturn affecting major Chinese tech companies, compelling them to restructure and optimise efficiencies amidst a challenging global market.




ByteDance to lay off 450 employees in Indonesia
This decision will mainly affect the advertising and operations teams, with ByteDance aiming to eliminate duplicate roles following the TikTok Shop and Tokopedia merger. In total, ByteDance’s combined e-commerce team in Indonesia is around 5,000-strong.

GoTo stays mum on ByteDance’s layoff plans as former chiefs leave board
Bloomberg reported on Wednesday that ByteDance’s planned job cuts may affect about 450 of the firm’s 5,000-strong team in Indonesia – or about 9%; Local media reports, however, indicated that ByteDance might slash up to 70% of Tokopedia’s workforce.

Anchanto grows revenue by 39% in 2023, aims for full-year profits by 2026
The Singapore-based e-commerce-focused SaaS firm posted revenue of US$11.3M revenue for FY2023; The company managed to narrow its net loss by 12.7% to US$4.3M; Anchanto helps brands, retailers, and logistics providers manage end-to-end ecommerce operations.

BayaniPay boosts Series A round to US$9.6M with fresh US$3M capital
The investors are Wavemaker Partners, PTGB, and Talino Venture Studios; BayaniPay’s mobile-first service empowers global professionals working abroad to financially support their families and communities back home.

Singapore to trial battery swapping, mobile charging for electric heavy goods vehicles
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VinFast’s India factory to open ahead of schedule: founder
In January this year, VinFast announced an agreement with the Indian state of Tamil Nadu for a US$2 billion investment into the country; The company will also start building a factory in Indonesia within the next two months.

OpenAI closes in on US$3.4B in annualised revenue
This is more than double the US$1.6B it reportedly hit in late 2023; The bulk of OpenAI’s annualized revenue – around US$3.2B – reportedly comes from its products and services; Another US$200M came from offering its AI models through Microsoft Azure.

Arches scores US$3M financing to democratise expert knowledge sharing
The investors include KUSABI, Visional, and SMBC Venture Capital; Arches is a one-stop platform offering expert interviews, research, consulting, and talent placement; It connects decision-makers with vetted experts across Asia and beyond.

HK property tycoon Adrian Cheng leads US$8M round in celeb fandom startup Stanly
Besides C Capital, AppWorks, Goodwater, and Palm Drive Capital also co-invested; US-based Stanly connects fans with artists through digital fan clubs and exclusive content.

Vertex Ventures invests in Japanese firm StayX
StayX converts single-use rooms into multiple-use rooms; It covers various business aspects, such as attracting customers via the Internet, real-time inventory management, price adjustments.

Wavemaker Impact backs farm waste-to-energy startup Octayne
By prioritising Net Zero, Octayne strives to eliminate coal dependency in Southeast Asia without affecting the region’s development ambitions and encouraging the adoption of alternative fuels into existing infrastructure.

AgriG8 gets Better Bite Ventures’s backing to decarbonise rice production in SEA
AgriG8’s digital platform allows access to finance and incentivises methane-reducing farming practices, while the gamified smartphone app CropPal helps them report emissions-reducing practices they have implemented.

Indian beauty unicorn Purplle raises US$100M from Abu Dhabi wealth fund
PE fund Creaegis is also expected to join this round; To date, 3-year-old Purplle has raised close to US$400M in disclosed funding from Peak XV Partners, Blume Ventures, and Goldman Sachs.

Meet the 16 startups that demonstrated in AppWorks’s 28th demo day
The batch featured companies connecting social commerce with offline channel logistics, innovative payment solutions, and new applications for blockchain and AI; As many as 20 per cent of participating startups were founded by female founders.


Korean brothers’ startup Nibertex develops chemical-free fabric for sustainable textiles
Nibertex’s PFAS-free membranes help reduce environmental pollution and potential health hazards associated with traditional waterproof textiles.

See you in the Philippines: Why the local startup ecosystem is getting all the attention today
The Philippines has seen “a surge of activity from multiple local conglomerates … mirroring Indonesia’s trajectory in 2017-2019”.


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Can co-working spaces change Malaysia’s work habits?
In recent years, the users of co-working spaces have been SMEs and startup businesses, proving to be a majority of the users in the co-working space.

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A defining characteristic of the current marketing renaissance in Southeast Asia is the unwavering commitment to continuous learning.

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It appears that NFTs will remain successful for the foreseeable future; do they, however, make sense for your company?

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While Hong Kong’s status as a crypto hub took a hit, its overall international financial reputation remained largely intact.

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How M&A can supercharge your startup’s success
M&A is a good exit strategy for deep-tech or tech-based ICT service companies and trend-sensitive B2C consumer goods companies.

Confessions of a founder: There’s no fun in fundraising in 2024
If you’re having a tough time fundraising, there’s a fair chance that it’s not your fault. Part of it lies in the funding climate these days so don’t beat yourself too much over it.


Why these startups focus on informal plastic waste workers in the fight against climate crisis
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Navigating global expansion: Essential tips for entrepreneurial success
For successful global expansion, entrepreneurs must consider these factors to navigate challenges and maximise benefits effectively.

Hacking your way into angel impact investing with just US$10K
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Gen AI in banking: How to ensure a successful transformation for an age-old industry
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Navigating the AI landscape in 2024: Why there is an urgency for enhanced governance
There are two points that stand out in 2024, starting with how AI will experience a shift from a “nice-to-have” to a “must-have”.

Fintech Nation integrates thought leadership and community into its startup support initiatives
This year, Fintech Nation wants to invest in more companies, doubling last year’s number of five companies.

The post Ecosystem Roundup: ByteDance to cut 450 jobs in Indonesia | OpenAI closes in on US$3.4B in annualised revenue | BayaniPay adds US$9.6M to Series A appeared first on e27.


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