INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Daily Briefing: Singapore's Sea acquires Indonesian bank; Advantir raises 'seven-figure' seed funding

And Geylang Serai Hari Raya Bazaar to be held online on a new digital platform.

From Bloomberg:

Singapore’s Sea Ltd., the tech startup that’s become Southeast Asia’s most valuable company, has acquired Indonesia’s PT Bank Kesejahteraan Ekonomi, according to people familiar with the matter.

Sea has gained full control of the Jakarta-based lender, better known as Bank BKE, after buying stakes from existing shareholders PT Danadipa Artha Indonesia and PT Koin Investama Nusantara through its subsidiary Turbo Cash Hong Kong Ltd., said the people who asked not to be named as the matter was private.

The move accelerates the company’s ambition to establish itself as a leader in financial technology and services across its region, much as it has done with mobile gaming and online shopping. Sea raised almost #3.97b (US$3b) in a stock offering last month, saying it intends to spend the proceeds on business expansion.

Representatives of Sea and Bank BKE declined to comment.

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From e27:

Advantir Innovations, a Singapore-based food tech startup, announced today it has raised an undisclosed seven-figure amount in seed funding. Led by Raging Bull Investments, participating investors include she1K Global, Expara Asia Ventures, Azerus, and other angels.

The firm disclosed the fresh financing will be used to grow the team, drive new product innovation, and facilitate international expansion.

Founded in 2018 by Jeremy Tan and incubated by NUS enterprise, the startup’s flagship capsule dessert machine Swirl.GO creates four types of soft-serve desserts—ice cream, gelato, sorbet and frozen yoghurt. It operates with Swirl Pods, which are individual disposable capsules, to serve up a “wide selection” of flavours.

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From ChannelNewsAsia:

The annual Geylang Serai Hari Raya Bazaar will continue to be held online this year, said the People's Association (PA) on 13 January.

"In view of the evolving COVID-19 situation, physical bazaars and trade fairs, which traditionally attract large crowds, will not resume," said PA in a media release, adding that for residents' safety and wellbeing, the Geylang Serai bazaar will continue to be held online and on a new digital platform.

The bazaar will take place from 9 April to 13 May, and will be a "celebration of the Malay/Muslim culture and heritage, with varied food and lifestyle experiences for Singaporeans from all walks of life to enjoy," the association said.

"Similar to last year, the online experience will enable many residents to learn new skills and enjoy new opportunities to expand and grow their businesses on an online platform."

The popular bazaar was deferred last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw vendors moving online to sell their goods.

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