Today’s top tech news, January 10: LINE explores cryptocurrencies for payment services

Also, new corporate VC fund by world’ largest automaker and Frontier Digital Ventures appoints new Chairman.

LINE explores cryptocurrencies for payment services – [Bloomberg]

Japan’s largest messaging app is said to be exploring the integration of cryptocurrencies into its platform, sources said. In this report by Bloomberg, LINE is in discussion with multiple companies on using cryptocurrencies for payment services, including LINE Pay.

The company, known for its cute and expressive stickers that users share with each other, has recently been shifting toward advertising, and offers different services such as food delivery, online video streaming, and even job searches, apart from messaging.

Wantedly ceases operations in Indonesia – [e27]

Japanese job search platform Wantedly has announced cessation of its operations in Indonesia. Wantedly is a service that aims to make it easier for job-seekers to search for job vacancies and internship opportunities. There are several different features included within the Wantedly platform as core service that complement each other, such as Wantedly Chat, Wantedly Contact, Wantedly People, and Wantedly Siori.

Frontier Digital Ventures appoints Anthony Klok as Chairman – [Press release]

Frontier Digital Ventures, an operator of online classifieds businesses in underdeveloped and emerging countries, has appointed Anthony Klok as non-executive Chairman of the board. Klok is currently an Investment Director at Ellerston Ventures, and has considerable experience in sourcing and investing in online and technology companies.

Klok succeeds David Bixby, who stepped down from his position due to demands of his role as Managing Director of one of Australia’s largest multi-industry conglomerates, Wesfarmers Industrial.

Frontier Digital Ventures has a track record of supporting online businesses, particularly in the property and automotive verticals and general classifieds websites. It’s portfolio currently consists of 15 companies operating across 15 markets.

LeFlair raises US$3M Series A – [e27]

Vietnamese e-commerce platform LeFlair has raised a US$3 million funding in a Series A round led by Capital Management Group.

LeFlair was founded in 2015 and sells premium brands online. They currently have 700,000 users registered and partners with over 1,000 local and international premium brands.

World’s largest automaker has launched a US$1B corporate venture capital fund – [TechCrunch]

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi has launched a US$1 billion corporate venture capital fund to focus on investment on “new mobility.”

Called Alliance Ventures, the fund is looking at startups working with automotive electrification, autonomous systems, network connectivity and artificial intelligence, and has already made its first investment, taking an equity stake in battery technology developer Ionic Materials.

The first offices for the new fund will be located at Silicon Valley, Paris, Yokohama, and Beijing.

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