SG Digest: Ex Grab, Uber execs launch car subscription platform; Alethea AI raises $16m

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Former executives of Grab, Uber, and Hertz have launched Carzuno, a car subscription startup in Singapore, while AI software development firm Alethea AI has raised $16 million in a private token sale.

Former Grab, Uber execs launch car subscription platform

Carzuno, a car subscription startup, has launched in Singapore. The startup was founded by two automotive enthusiasts and veterans with over 25 years of industry experience from Grab, Uber, and Hertz.

Carzuno offers customers full-time use of a car of their choice on a monthly-subscription basis. The company said on its website that it aims to enable everyone to get their ideal car and allow them to easily switch cars as their lifestyle changes over time. “Carzuno’s mission is to offer all the benefits of car ownership, but none of the hassle,” according to the website.

A Carzuno car subscription will come with insurance, servicing, 24/7 roadside assistance, and taxes included in the flat monthly fee. The car will be delivered at the customers’ doorsteps upon successful activation of a subscription plan.

The startup currently offers over 40 car models, shows its website.

The auto tech space in Southeast Asia has been very active recently. In June, Singapore-based Carro announced the completion of a $360 million Series C funding round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, making it the first automotive marketplace unicorn in Southeast Asia.

At the same time, Drive lah, Singapore’s first peer-to-peer car sharing platform, announced that it has raised $3.2 million in a pre-Series A round led by global technology services company Nityo Infotech’s corporate venture arm.

Alethea AI raises $16m from game and crypto investors

Artificial intelligence software development firm Alethea AI has raised $16 million in a private and restricted token sale to a group of game and crypto investors.

Prominent investors and individuals in crypto industries, such as billionaire Mark Cuban, Alameda Research, Multicoin, Galaxy Interactive, Dapper Labs, LD Capital, Bitkraft, HOF Capital, Gemini Frontier Fund, Borderless Capital, Whitestar Capital, Yield Guild Games co-founder Gabby Dizon, and Bitscale also participated in this sale.

Alethea AI is a decentralized protocol to create intelligent and interactive NFTs powered by GPT-3. The Singapore-based company plans to create a metaverse populated by its bots after creating the world’s first “intelligent NFT” (iNFT). The chatbot NFT called Alice was sold at a Sotheby’s auction in mid-June for $478,000.

“We envision a metaverse populated by millions of iNFTs and humans, each with their own distinct personality traits, free-flowing autonomy, and interactive capabilities,” said Alethea chief executive Arif Khan in a statement.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.