Global startup programme Surge confirms an all-online instalment for its third batch

Surge, a global startup programme for startups from Asia and the US, has announced that the third instalment of the programme will go completely online.

“We want to ensure that we remain available and accessible to our founders at all times while ensuring the health and well-being of the Surge community with all speaker sessions, office hours, and deep dives with founders, speakers, and mentors will be conducted remotely,” said a Surge spokesperson in a statement.

Instead of week-long in-country sessions once a month, Surge will resort to a day-long session held every week for 15 weeks, starting April 13. They include the regular coffee meetups it has, which will become ‘Coffee with Surge’, a virtual coffee chats session for founders in Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, India, and other parts of Southeast Asia.

There will be no change in the content and speakers for Surge.

“The sessions are being designed to ensure we continue to foster a sense of community and encourage inter-geo collaboration amongst founders. All our speakers and mentors will continue to engage with founders as before and we are grateful for how invested they are in helping our Surge founders at this time,” reads the statement.

Surge 03 founders will be invited to join the in-country sessions during the next post-Covid-19 Surge. Right now, Surge 04 applications are open for aspiring startups.

Indian healthtech CureFit raises US$109M funding led by Singapore’s Temasek

CureFit, a platform offering health, wellness, food, and merchandising through multiple brands based in India, has announced that it has received US$109 million in a funding round led by Temasek, the Singapore government-backed investment company.

Also Read: Myntra co-founder Mukesh Bansal’s health and fitness platform raises US$25M funding

According to ETTech, two new investors — GabelHorn Investments and Ascent Capital — joined the round, along with existing investors, such as Accel PartnersChiratae Ventures, and Unilever’s global investment arm.

CureFit was founded in 2016 by Mukesh Bansal, Founder of Myntra, and Ankit Nagori, former CBO at Flipkart.

WHO Health Alert brings COVID-19 facts to billions via WhatsApp

The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a messaging service, in partnership with WhatsApp and Facebook, to keep people safe from coronavirus.

The initiative hopes to potentially reach 2 billion people and enable WHO to get information directly into the hands of the people that need it.

From government leaders to health workers and family and friends, this messaging service will provide the latest news, situation reports, and real-time numbers, and information on coronavirus, including details on symptoms and how people can protect themselves and others and help government decision-makers protect the health of their populations.

The service can be accessed through a link that opens a conversation on WhatsApp. Users can simply type “hi” to activate the conversation, prompting a menu of options that can help answer their questions about COVID-19.

The WHO Health Alert was developed in collaboration with Praekelt.Org, using Turn Machine Learning technology.

US-based Ripple chooses Thai startup DeeMoney as remittance partner

Global payment company Ripple has formed a new partnership with Thai fintech startup DeeMoney

According to a report by Daily Hodl, DeeMoney is actively using Ripple’s payment messaging system, designed to be a faster version of Swift to process inbound payments to Thailand from South Korea, Indonesia, Singapore, Israel as well as the Middle East and Gulf regions.

Also Read: What to consider when building startups targeting expats

“DeeMoney provides same-day settlement into all Thai bank accounts. With RippleNet, the transfer process is more efficient for those sending money from the growing number of financial institutions, and at the best possible rates,” said the report.

Marcus Treacher, Ripple’s Senior Vice President of Customer Success said that the partnership is a first for Ripple in the region. 

“By being the first non-bank institution in Thailand to use RippleNet, it helps redraw the boundaries and rules of engagement by providing efficient international transfers at low fees and competitive rates,” he said.

Currently, DeeMoney is planning a wider roll-out of Ripple’s payment messaging system. Phase two of the implementation will utilise Ripple’s technology to power outbound transfers to destination countries.

Photo by Simon Abrams on Unsplash


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