Rajasa Hadisoemarto

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Edtech startup Ruangguru raises series B round led by UOB’s venture arm

Iman Usman (L) and Belva Devara, co-founders of Ruangguru. Photo credit: Ruangguru.Indonesian edtech startup Ruangguru has just announced it …

HotelTonight turns to investors again after three years, raises $37 million

Hotel booking application HotelTonight has secured a $37 million funding round – it’s first big capital deal for over three years.<p>The Series E round …

Venture Capital

Local deals site LivingSocial lays off 280, over 50% of staff, outsources customer services

More bad news for LivingSocial, the beleaguered commerce platform that competes with the likes of Groupon in offering deals on events and services local to its users. Today, LivingSocial announced that it would lay off 160 employees, and over the next two months, it will shut down its customer …

This startup ensures the local bar never runs out of your favorite beer

You walk into your friendly neighborhood bar at the end of a long, stressful day. All you want to do is kick back, relax, and savor a pint of your …

Xiaomi just made a ‘hoverboard’

At a Xiaomi event in Beijing this afternoon, the phone maker’s founder and CEO Lei Jun showed off a self-balancing scooter the company has produced …

Ex-Groupon execs want you to outsource tasks to new concierge service

What’s the next startup boom area? There’s no one easy answer to that, but it seems that mobile-based concierge services are a likely candidate to be …

The Know app lets you snoop on your partner and it's even worse than Peeple

There has already been a sea of controversy over the yet-to-be-released Peeple app that lets you review anyone you know like a restaurant.<p>And now it has a contender for the worst app of all time – The Know, which uses the tagline “because ignorance is never bliss.”<p>The purpose of this iOS app is to …

10 startups that could be the next big thing in Indonesia

I love to reference the book <i>Crossing the Chasm</i> by Geoffrey Moore. In a nutshell, the “chasm” is an awkward gap in which tech companies often find …

WeWork, the $10 billion startup that rents space to other startups, wants to rent you a place to live, too

WeWork is busy launching its co-living apartments — known as WeLive spaces — in places like New York City and Washington DC, The Information reports.<p>Its first two co-living buildings could open this year, though an investor presentation about WeLive suggests profit margins will drop since WeLive …

Hobnob Lets You Create Personalized Event Invites To Send By Text

There are a number of services today that allow you to create and send digital invitations to birthdays, parties and other events, where the invites themselves are sent out via email, social networks, or even by postal mail if you choose. But a new application called Hobnob, launching now, is …

Apps

NexTravel Wants To Change The Way Corporate Travel Is Booked

Booking travel is never easy, but booking travel for work is even worse. NexTravel wants to provide a better way for employees to search flights and hotels, while giving employers the ability to track and manage costs.<p>Even as consumers have gotten used to using simple online platforms for booking …

With new app, Groupon Getaways grows fast, despite Expedia divorce

Since earlier this year, Groupon Getaways has no longer been co-branding its vacation packages with Expedia Inc, using Expedia to source its flash …

Catering Startup Cater2.me Says It Has Served 5M Meals

It’s been more than two years since I last wrote about Cater2.me, a service that connects local food vendors with companies in need of catering. Sounds like the startup has been busy since then — co-founder Zach Yungst told me that it has now served 5 million meals total, and that it’s launching in …

Startup pitch: Trekeffect attempts to tie travel planning threads together

Trekeffect is a new travel startup tackling a classic area of travel startup-ery: travel planning.<p>The idea is to deliver a more cohesive planning …

Startup pitch: SmartDepart is an intelligent comparison tool for hotel booking

Today’s travel startup pitch comes from SmartDepart, a hotel search engine that’s taking a direct comparison approach to selecting hotels. Rather …

Startup pitch: Hotel Gift lets you give a vacation as a present

Launched earlier this month, Hotel Gift is a Dutch start-up that has created a digital listing service for buying and selling gift cards for stays at …

Not every house has rooms that turn 90 degrees, but this one does

It would seem that when Iran isn't busy putting the kibosh down on social media, its architects are designing some pretty crazy ways to beat the weather. Case in point: a seven-floor house in Tehran with three rectangular rooms that can rotate up to 90 degrees in accordance with the season. As <i>Slate</i> …

RelayRides raises another $10 million (after $25 million investment two months ago)

Peer-to-peer car rental company, RelayRides has raised additional $10 million, in a Series B round led by Trinity Ventures.<p>In June 2014, the company …

Startup pitch: Yonderbound wants to break down the barriers to travel

Yonderbound was founded with the belief that everyone has the right to travel.<p>The team says it has built the product around this vision and instead …

Trip planning site TripHobo raises Series A in bid to scale platform

TripHobo, a crowd-sourced trip planning service, has attracted Series A funding from Indian venture capital firm, Kalaari Capital.<p>The terms of the …

Secret Escapes acquires Travelist, wants to get flashy elsewhere in Europe

Secret Escapes is showing there is still life in the flash hotel sale model, buying fellow Polish brand Travelist in a bid to expand in Europe.<p>Terms …

Groupon splits with Expedia, launches Getaway Tonight

<b>UPDATE</b>: Groupon has reached out to clarify that the Expedia partnership continues as a supply partner for the brand’s Market Picks inventory. This …

Startup pitch: XciteGo offers real-time marketplace for hotel stays

Emerging travel startup XciteGo has created a new type of marketplace for hotels and travelers, where travelers can bid in an open forum for hotel …

Fastbooking launches B2B engine, Sabre heads to Azerbaijan, and more

This is a roundup of product news and announcements for travel DISTRIBUTION in tourism and hospitality for June 2014.<p><b>Friday 27 June 2014:</b><p>Fastbooking …

What are the consequences of a world for hotels after rate parity?

The French economy minister launched a legal action a few weeks back against the hotel booking site Booking.com.<p>Arnaud Montebourg has called into …

Comment on Startup pitch: Zizoo motors into charter boat rental and skipper reviews by Giedrius Urnikis

Hi Nick<br>Thank you for assurance. I am considering and in the process of chartering power boat for long weekend. Come across Zizzo and was suspicious, …

TripAdvisor to let independent hotels get instant bookings via mobile

At some point between September and December, independent hotels will gain the ability to have travelers using TripAdvisor’s metasearch tool book …