Asia Digest: PH’s VESL wins ‘She Loves Tech’ competition; Baidu to deploy robo-taxis in China

Manila-based fintech trade finance startup VESL has won the ‘She Loves Tech’ competition that is the world’s largest startup platform for women and technology. In a separate development, tech giant Baidu and car maker Hongqi are working together to deploy as many as 10 robo-taxis in Changsa in China.

Manila’s VESL wins ‘She Loves Tech’ competition

Manila-based fintech trade finance startup VESL has won the She Loves Tech competition focused on women entrepreneurs.

VESL, which has an all-women founding team, is an online platform that connects trade credit insurance with businesses across the world.

As the winner of the competition, the startup will receive a cash prize of $15,000 from the She Loves Tech sister fund. What’s more, it will now be able to access the She Loves Tech accelerator programme.

Going forward, She Loves Tech will help VESL scale up its business into a global platform, wherein it will be able to compete with other startups.

Founded in 2015, the She Loves Tech platform has featured over 1,000 startups across the globe for the past four years, which have subsequently raised over $70 million from top venture capital firms such as Sequoia Capital and Wavemaker and other tech giants like Microsoft and Amazon.

The She Loves Tech competition has been held in several markets in Asia and Europe and going forward, it will have competitions in Singapore, Latvia, Germany, France, Bangladesh, and Nepal.

China’s Baidu, Hongqi to deploy robo-taxis

China’s tech giant Baidu and Chinese automotive producer Hongqi are working together to deploy 10 robo-taxis in Changsa, the former confirmed to DealStreetAsia.

The taxis will be rolled out in the city’s driving testing zone under different road conditions. The robo-taxis project called Apollo Go is on its last lap and will be a part of Changsa ‘smart-city’ mission.

Under the project, the city will implement the 5G network, and work towards upgradation of its road infrastructure.

The robo-taxis are all Hongqi’s electric SUV’s units, equipped with Baidu’s autonomous driving system, video cameras, sensors, tablets, amongst other technology.