Asia Digest: GrabTukTuk Electric launches in Chiang Mai; Taiwan’s iWEECARE raises $1m

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Grab has launched its GrabTukTuk Electric service in Chiang Mai while Taiwan’s iWEECARE has raised $1 million in a pre-Series A funding round.

Grab launches GrabTukTuk Electric in Chiang Mai

Grab has launched Grab TukTuk Electric in Chiang Mai in an effort to roll out electric vehicles in Thailand.

According to a statement, Grab plans to replace 450 LPG tuktuks with electric ones by this year. The Southeast Asian ride-hailing decacorn currently provides a range of on-demand services in Chiang Mai such as JustGrab, Grab RodDaeng and GrabFood.

The statement added that Grab aims to drive the adoption of electric transportation options in Thailand, but did not provide further details.

Grab has also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with partners from the government and private sector to establish the Chiang Mai Smart Mobility Alliance Network. This public-private partnership aims to reduce the use of private vehicles in Chiang Mai by 35 per cent in five years, contributing to a less-polluted and less-congested city.

Apart from Thailand, Grab has also rolled out electric vehicle (EV) fleet in Singapore.

In January, the ride-hailing company said it will roll out 200 Hyundai Kona EVs in the island state by 2019. Last year, Grab announced a strategic partnership with SP Group to allow its EV driver-partners to use SP Group’s charging points at a discounted price to incentivise EVs in Singapore.

A number of Grab’s investors are also strong proponents of electric mobility. These include Asian car-makers Toyota, Hyundai and Kia.

Grab, Hyundai and Kia, for instance, are working on a series of EV pilot projects in Southeast Asia this year, aimed at using EVs to maximise cost efficiencies for Grab’s driver-partners.

Taiwan’s iWEECARE raises $1m in pre-Series A funding

iWEECARE, a Taiwan-based healthtech startup, has raised $1 million in pre-Series A funding led by Singapore-based Verge HealthTech Fund. Other participating investors include US and Taiwan-based venture capital firm, Translink Capital and Darwin Venture.

The company says it has developed what it calls the the world’s smallest smart thermometer. Temp Pal is a stamp-sized soft flexible patch to be attached on the human body, measuring just 1.1 x 1.0 x 0.1-inches at a weight of 3 grams. The patented technology tracks body temperature wirelessly in real time and boasts accuracy of less than 0.05°C (0.9°F).

Glen Tseng CEO of iWEECARE said: “Traditional thermometers rely on human behavior and efforts to test periodically, resulting in interruptions of quality of life and ambiguous health care decisions. Our company hope to address the issues with a friendly and comfortable solution.”

iWEECARE added that it has received regulatory approval to market Temp Pal in the EU and Taiwan. It aims to supply its product to consumers and hospitals across Europe and Asia.