Singapore’s Circles.Life lets go of employees despite recent fundraise

Singapore’s Circles.Life lets go employees despite recent Warburg Pincus-backed funding

Mobile virtual network operator Circles.Life reportedly has let go of several employees and eliminated roles associated with non-priority projects less than a month after snagging investment from global private equity major Warburg Pincus, as reported by DealStreetAsia.

The company said the layoffs were a part of the company’s year-end review. “While we continue to hire top global talent for our priority business areas, we have also made difficult decisions recently, including eliminating roles whose projects are no longer a priority,” Circles.Life’s statement reads.

Circles.Life, which leases wireless capacity from a mobile network operator at a discount and resells it to consumers, has around 500 employees across its operations in Singapore, Taiwan, and Australia.

honestbee clears out furniture from habitat; police called in

Tensions between honestbee and landlord LHN Space Resources have escalated with police called in on Feb 28 after the embattled startup moved its furniture and fixtures out of its concept supermarket habitat, as per a Business Times report.

When BT visited habitat at 34 Boon Leat Terrace on the afternoon of Feb 28, police officers were seen interviewing staff of LHN. honestbee contacted the police after LHN staff appeared at the premises to question why the startup was moving its furniture out.

When BT visited habitat again on Saturday evening, more furniture, including about 150 chairs and dining tables, were lined up at the entrance of habitat, with a few honestbee vans parked at the loading area.

A lorry stacked with the tables and chairs from habitat was seen driving away. Though it’s unclear where the furniture was being taken to, BT understands that honestbee has rented a new space in Genting Lane from March 1.

Filipino VC firm Kickstart Ventures to discover the country’s unicorns with US$198M funding disposal

Kickstart Ventures, the venture capital firm based in Makati City, Philippines, has revealed plans to utilise its US$198 million funding disposal in an effort to “nurture promising technology “unicorns” and help innovative companies grow into regional players across Southeast Asia”, as reported by Manila Standard.

“There is a 650-million person opportunity out there in Southeast Asia. We would like to see more Philippine companies thinking about the unmet needs across Southeast Asia, rather than just the Philippines. We would love to see more ambition from them,” said Joan Yao, VP (Investments).

Kickstart Ventures is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Globe Telecom and backed by SingTel and Ayala Corp. It invests in early- to early-growth stage tech startups globally by putting in capital, market access, and expertise in exchange for equity in startups anywhere in the world.

It was established with a US$2.4-million seed fund in 2012. Just last year, Ayala announced that it would allocate US$150 million in venture capital initiatives managed by Kickstart Ventures.

Original Source