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Golden Equator Capital and Korea Investment Partners announce 88M Southeast Asia fund

There’s more money flowing into Southeast Asia’s tech startup scene after Singapore’s Golden Equator Capital and Seoul-based Korea Investment Partners announced plans for a collaborative $88 million (SG$120 million) fund for the region.

The two investment firms will act as joint partners for the vehicle, which is expected to hit a first close before September and a final close by the end of 2018. Already, they claim to have 65 percent of the target capital committed by LPs.

The firms are aiming for the Series A and B spaces with a typical check size of between $1.5 million and $3.7 million for what will be known as the GEC-KIP Fund.

The focus for deals is quite varied. A spokesperson told TechCrunch that it’ll cover sectors like proptech, fintech, health tech, new media and entertainment, e-commerce and edutech “as long as we can leverage the broad expertise of the different investment professionals we have within the combined GEC-KIP team.”

Southeast Asia often falls off the radar for investment in Asia, with the far larger countries of China and India typically getting the attention, but rising internet access among the region’s cumulative population of over 600 million signals growth potential. A recent report co-authored by Google forecasts Southeast Asia’s ‘internet economy’ reaching more than $200 billion by 2025, up from just $30 billion in 2015. A few unicorns, including ride-sharing companies Grab and Go-Jek, have also helped put it on the map for investors.

Speaking of investors, Golden Equator Capital is part of Golden Equator, a Singapore-based group of businesses that includes financial services, consulting, an incubator and, of course, investment funds. The firm has existing ties with Korea — via a Korea-focused health tech incubator launched last year — and its advisory team includes Taizo Son, founder of Japanese VC firm Mistletoe and brother of SoftBank chairman Masayoshi Son.

Korea Investment Partners, meanwhile, manages 41 funds with more than $2 billion in assets under management worldwide.

“We are excited to embark on this cross-learning development with KIP who is a seasoned VC investor with a long, established track record across several markets such as US, China, and Korea,” Daren Tan, managing partner of Golden Equator Capital, said in a statement.

“G

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Elon Musk tweets he’ll “bet ya a signed dollar” that Thai cave rescuer is a “pedo”

Elon Musk seems not only intent on burning all the goodwill he earned for trying to help last week’s Thai cave rescue, but rolling around in its ashes, too. In a series of extraordinarily offensive, now deleted tweets, the SpaceX and Tesla CEO called a British diver who participated in last week’s dangerous rescue mission a “pedo guy,” adding in another tweet “bet ya a signed dollar it’s true.”

Musk’s tantrum was triggered by an interview the diver, Vern Unsworth, gave CNN International last Friday, in which he called the small submarine Musk had SpaceX engineers build a “PR stunt” and said Musk could stick it “where it hurts.” Though the submarine was intended to help the 12 boys stranded with their soccer coach navigate flooded cave passageways, Unsworth, who helped plan the rescue operation and recruited other cave diving experts, said it “had absolutely no chance of working.”

Unworth added that Musk “had no conception of what the cave passage was like. The submarine, I believe, was about 5 foot 6 long, rigid, so it wouldn’t have gone round corners or round any obstacles. It wouldn’t hadn’t have made the first 50 meters into the cave from the dive start point.” When the reporter mentioned that Musk had gone into the cave on Tuesday, Unsworth said he was “asked to leave very quickly. And so he should have been.”

The rescue mission, made even more challenging by monsoon season, claimed the life of a Thai Navy seal before all boys were saved last week.

This is not the first time that Musk has clashed with a member of the cave rescue team. As confirmation came in that the last group of boys and their coach had been freed on July 10, the head of the rescue mission, Narongsak Osatanakorn, told reporters that “although [Musk’s] technology is good and sophisticated it’s not practical for this mission.”

In response, Musk dismissed the credentials of Ostanakorn, who led the joint command center coordinating the operation and is former acting governor of Chiang Rai, the province where the cav

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A list of ten things that billionaire owners of EV clean energy and rocket companies should and should not tweet

So… apparently there’s been another kerfuffle on the Twitter about some asinine things that a certain wealthy, rocket-building, payment-revolutionizing, electric vehicle company-creating entrepreneur has written in tweets to millions of followers.

This billionaire is, by all accounts, incredibly difficult to work for, very visionary and … a bit thin-skinned for someone with such a habit of courting press.

this is what @elonmusk did to a guy with 2 tweets. pic.twitter.com/S38FLRiZZR

— drew olanoff (@yoda) July 15, 2018

I’m not saying that’s his fault. He’s been shredded by hundreds of people in thousands of messages on a platform that’s given him millions of (fake and) real followers and a megaphone that would be powerful enough to change the world (or at least the world’s coverage of him) with a single bloviating bit of textual hot air.

And boy, as a billionaire entrepreneur, does this fella blow the hot air.

Wait… I am saying some of this is his fault.

That said, he’s done some truly amazing things for the world. AND IS A BILLIONAIRE.

With that in mind, here’re a few humble suggestions for him to keep in mind as he approaches the touchpad, keyboard, or any other tweet-enabling appliance as he looks to foray further into the wild feathered world of the Twitter-birds.

Image: Bryce Durbin / TechCrunch

THINGS THAT ARE OKAY TO TWEET

Tweeting about offers to help people in dire need of help. Listen, I know you got a lot of heat for this one, and it was ultimately an unnecessary gesture that some folks chalked up to a cynical attempt to change the subject, but I believe that your heart was in the right place. People love John Henry stories — especially now when technology threatens to overwhelm all of us. So this bit of ingenuity that you and your team concocted wound up as an actual embodiment of an old folktale? So what? Humans can win without machines. This is a good thing. Embrace it. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have offered to help. Or that people should dismiss that offer as ridiculous. Tweeting about phenomenal things that your companies have managed to achieve in the world. It’s a jaded world, so people dismiss a lot of t

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Sacha Baron Cohen is about to add jet fuel to Showtime’s rise starting tonight

Netflix has been killing competitors with its original TV shows and movies. A Morgan Stanley survey released back in May had 39 percent of U.S. consumers naming Netflix as offering the “best original programming” among subscription video services, with everyone else eating its dust, including HBO, which nabbed 14 percent, Amazon Prime Video (5 percent) and Showtime Networks, with a measly 3 percent of the votes.

That could well change with a new, seven-part Showtime series by Sacha Baron Cohen, the English actor, comedian, screenwriter, and producer who has played fictional characters Ali G, Borat Sagdiyev, and Bruno, and who is back in brilliant form, including as Israeli anti-terrorist expert Col. Erran Morad.

If you doubt that the series — “Who is America” — is going to be the talk of the internet (and offline word), check out this clip streamed last night ahead of its premiere tonight at 10 p.m. EST.

Among other things, it features former Congressman Trent Lott promoting putting guns in the hands of “law-abiding citizens, good guys, whether they be teachers, or whether they actually be talented children and or highly trained preschoolers.“ (Lott hardly appears to have an, ahem, gun to his head, either.)

The clip may well leave you speechless at first, especially if you have parented, or even momentarily interacted with, or possibly just seen on TV, a preschooler.

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Liberty equality technology France is finally poised to become a tech power

Once America had an unassailable advantage, an economic flywheel that spun off innovation and Fortune 500 companies like a perpetual-motion machine. Bring in the best, brightest, and most driven from around the world; educate them or their children at its universities; then watch them start companies, succeed wildly, give back to their alma maters, and recruit new talent as the virtuous cycle began again.

It hardly mattered whether these immigrants came in as students (think Satya Nadella, Sundar Pichai, and Steve Jobs’ father Abdul Fattah Jandali) or with their families (Sergey Brin and Jerry Yang) or as refugees (eg Alexis Ohanian’s father’s family) or as undocumented immigrants (eg Ohanian’s mother.) Meanwhile, the UK, thanks to its Commonwealth connections and universities like Oxbridge and Imperial College, did much the same on a smaller scale. It was a self-sustaining wealth-generation and nation-strengthening machine of gigantic proportions, and it would take colossal idiocy to want to interfere with it.

My father's family were refugees & my mom was an undocumented immigrant. Without them, there’s no me & no @Reddit.https://t.co/vITtZw5Gff pic.twitter.com/4qivf7eGRI

— Alexis Ohanian Sr. 🚀 (@alexisohanian) January 31, 2017

Enter Brexit. Enter Donald Trump. Enter their implicit and explicit rejections of immigration, including serious barriers to and discouragement of legal and skilled immigration, such as H-1B visa holders and international students — along with the general sense of “you’re not welcome here” that they’re clearly doing their damnedest to convey.

Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, that other great immigrant nation, France, has been working overtime for the last four years to open both its economy and its borders to tech startups. I was skeptical of these efforts a couple of years ago, but two days ago I sat down with former Cisco CEO John Chambers and Accel partner Joe Schoendorf to talk tech in France, and they’ve convinced me that under President Macron, “everything has changed.”

It’s not just that Macron’s reforms have made it far easier to hire and fire in France, making labor costs far more understandable and predictable — although this is a huge deal and a major sea-change

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