Today’s top tech news, July 27: WeWork China raises funding, ‘ojek’ to protest during Asian Games opening

Facebook acquires Redkix, a blockchain startup secured a former minister as advisor, while a new bike-sharing service is launched in Jakarta

WeWork China raises US$500M – Dealstreet Asia

The Chinese subsidiary of coworking space giant WeWork has raised a US$500 millon Series B funding round led by Trustbridge Partners, Temasek, SoftBank Group, SoftBank Vision Fund and Hony Capital, Dealstreet Asia reported.

The funding round followed up a US$500 million funding round that the company has raised last year from SoftBank and Hony Capital.

According to Bloomberg, the latest funding round has valued WeWork China at US$5 billion.

“This investment will help WeWork fuel our mission to support creators, small businesses, and large companies across China. WeWork has built an incredible team in China that supports our members every day, serving as a bridge for local companies who want to reach the world as well as for global companies that want to enter the Chinese market,” WeWork co-founder and CEO Adam Neumann said in a press statement.

Motorbike taxi drivers of ride-hailing apps to protest during Asian Games opening – The Jakarta Post

Drivers of motorbike taxi (“ojek“) services from ride-hailing companies in Indonesia are threatening to stage a protest during the opening ceremony of 2018 Asian Games, which is set to happen on August 18, The Jakarta Post reported.

Igun Wicaksono, leader of drivers’ organisation Two-Wheel Action Movement (Garda), said that the drivers demanded an increase in the fare from IDR1,200 (US$0.08) per kilometer to IDR3,000 (US$0.20), which was the original fare when ride-hailing companies entered the Indonesian market in 2015.

The opening ceremony was chosen as the time for the protest as one of the ride-hailing companies is counted as a main sponsor of the event.

According to information on Asian Games’ official site, Southeast Asian ride-hailing giant Grab is the Official Mobile Platform Partner of the event.

Facebook acquires Israeli messaging company Redkix – Venture Beat

Social media giant Facebook announced that it is acquiring Israeli messaging company Redkin, Venture Beat reported.

The Redkix team will join Facebook’s Workplace team while Redkix while co-founders Oudi and Roy Antebi said that the current app would shut down.

“We’re aligned with their vision and excited to work with them to help companies collaborate and get work done,” the co-founders wrote in a press statement.

A Facebook spokesperson has declined to share the size of the transaction.

Redkix develops a platform that enable users to “intuitively” bridge the use of email and enterprise chat services, allowing them to reply direct messages via email and vice versa.

Former Indonesia’s Minister of Finance joins HARA as advisor – Press Release

Indonesia’s former minister of finance Dr Chatib Basri has joined blockchain startup HARA as advisor, the company announced.

The company aims to solve the problem of the lack of access to agricultural data and market information among Indonesian farmers, which had affected their productivity and led to losses. It plans to use blockchain technology to build a decentralised data exchange.

The HARA project is currently being piloted in several regions in the country; it claimed to have reached around 3,000 farmers in 41 remote villages in the latest phase of the project.

“I’m honoured to be part of this adventure as an advisor for HARA,” Dr Basri said in a press statement.

Local bike-sharing startup GOWES launches in Jakarta – Press Release

PT Surya Teknologi Perkasa, a subsidiary of IDX-listed M Cash, today launched bike-sharing service GOWES in Jakarta.

The service will be available exclusively at Monumen Nasional (Monas) park in Central Jakarta as a start; the company has installed up to 100 units of bicycles in the arena.

It was the result of a collaboration between GOWES, the government of DKI Jakarta through its smart city and Monas management unit, and the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) Indonesia.

The GOWES app is available for both iOS and Android devices; users can top-up credits using M Cash digital kiosks.

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