Here are today’s top headlines.

1. TMB partners with Alibaba to boost Thai SME growth in ecommerce

What? Thailand’s TMB Bank has partnered with Alibaba Group and web building platform Ready Planet to boost SME growth in ecommerce.

How? SMEs with a ‘gold supplier’ membership on Alibaba.com through Ready Planet will receive special privileges such as special money conversion rates and free money transfers. They will also have access to TMB’s training program, ‘SME Trade Expert Program’, with the chance of getting free ad space on Alibaba.com’s home page.

The bank estimates that there will be 300-500 clients that sign up for the program.

Read the rest of the story (in Thai) here

 

2. Venture lending firm InnoVen extends loans to two startups in Southeast Asia

What? Venture lending firm InnoVen Capital announced today it has extended loans to stock image database 123RF and digital media services provider Conversant Solutions.

What is venture debt? A type of debt financing provided to venture backed companies by specialized banks or non-bank lenders to finance working capital/expenses.

It is essentially type of loan that can be used by a company to carry it over a particular threshold between venture capital fundraises or to purchase necessary equipment.

What is the benefit? “Venture debt allows us to keep our equity – it is a cheaper form of financing.” Said Andy Sitt, founder of 123RF, InnoVen’s latest client states.

Read the rest of the story here.

 

3. Recommended Reading: China’s ecommerce gold rush is on, and the deliverymen dig in

According to a write-up in Financial Times, what China’s logistics sector lacks in glamour it makes up for in sheer heft. The mainland industry is worth some $2.2tn, out of $9tn globally, according to logistics consultancy Armstrong & Associates.

 Leading that rush is Cainiao, the tech-driven logistics network in which ecommerce giant Alibaba holds a 47% stake. Cainiao has assembled a network of 15-16 of the biggest delivery companies and built a data platform that enables speedier and more efficient service by letting couriers bundle deliveries in the same area.

Source: Financial Times, 31st Jan, 2017

Read the rest of the story here

For more reading on Cainiao, download eIQ’s report on the logistics giant here.

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