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Here’s what you should know today:

1. Alibaba-backed Grana takes aim at Mainland China

Hong Kong online fashion retailer Grana has expand to mainland China via an official store on Tmall. The company has recently scored a $10 million series A funding led by the Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund.

Grana built a name for itself in the online fashion industry by cutting out the middleman – it manufactures and sells clothes directly to customers. It allows them to reduce the cost the prices for clothes made out of expensive fabrics such as silk or cashmere.

The company expects China to be its next biggest market after the US.

Read the full story here

2. Flipkart raises offer to buy Snapdeal for $850 million

Flipkart revised its bid for Snapdeal to $850 million after its initial offer of $600 million was rejected. In an unexpected turn of event, however, Ahmedabad-based ecommerce Infibeam has jumped into the fray with a proposal to buy for $1 billion.

Founded in February 2010, Snapdeal was the second biggest ecommerce company after Flipkart until 2015. It was valued US$6.5 billion when it raised funding early last year. The company began to crash after Amazon’s entry to the country.

Read the full story here

3. Shopee launches Shopee Mall, expands to B2C space

Shopee has launched Shopee Mall, a dedicated in-app space for B2C sellers. This portal is separate from the regular Shopee marketplace and provide access to products from brands such as 3M, L’Oreal, Philips and Reckitt Benckiser.

All products listed on the Shopee Mall are guaranteed to be authentic. Shoppers can easily identify Shopee Mall product listings with the newly added red ‘Mall’ label.

Within the portal, shoppers can also navigate easily between key brands, category campaigns and personalised recommendations.

Shopee Mall aims to bolster both attributes and assure consumers by ensuring that all sellers on Shopee Mall are verified with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority, a locally registered entity.

Read the full story here

Here’s what you should know today.

1. Amazon injects $260m more into India to fight off Chinese rivals

Amazon pumped $260 million into its India unit last month, according to a regulatory filing.

Amazon has been spending all that cash on building massive warehouses, a large logistics unit, marketing, discounts and increasing product assortment.

The ecommerce battle has heated up this year, with SoftBank’s $1.4 billion investment in Alibaba-backed Paytm, and a matching $1.4 billion into Flipkart led by Tencent. Amazon lost out to Alibaba in China, but is on stronger footing in the neutral territory of India’s relatively more open market to beat its Chinese rivals.

Read the rest of the story here.

 

2. Internet provider startup MyRepublic plans IPO next year

The company is currently in the process of fundraising, and the “rumors” of MyRepublic making a bid to buy a majority stake in Singapore telco M1 are making things complicated. The M1 buyout Rodrigues referred to was reported by Bloomberg at the end of May. MyRepublic says it will not buy M1 because it’s “not a telco” but an internet platform company.

It’s not yet certain where MyRepublic will list. The firm has considered SGX because it’s headquartered in Singapore, but doesn’t exclude the possibility of Hong Kong or Australia either.

With the IPO funds, MyRepublic plans to expand in seven new markets in Southeast Asia: Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, the Philippines, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka.

The company also announced it plans to launch mobile telephony services in Singapore, as a mobile virtual network operator, buying airtime from Singapore’s three telcos, Singtel, Starhub, and M1.

Read the rest of the story here.

 

3. Recommended Reading: JD and Lazada square off in Indonesia

JD has four warehouses in the archipelago, with plans to build another three by the end of the year. Staffing has almost tripled to about 400 people in the past 12 months.

Within five years, the Beijing-based company plans to have refrigerated trucks delivering fresh food and frozen goods to homes.

“E-commerce is a no-brainer and it’s going to happen,” said Zhang Li, head of JD’s operations in Indonesia. “Indonesia makes a lot of sense because of its size,” Li said. “Yes, there’s a big problem with the infrastructure here. So what’s the solution? You build it.”

He’s going up against Lazada, which is seeking to build its own web-shopping empire across Southeast Asia and is controlled by Alibaba, JD’s main rival in China.

“Everyone is looking here,” said Christian Winata, an analyst at East Ventures. “Indonesia is about five years behind China, so the next three to five years will be very key for us because we’ll see all the infrastructure built in the past year or two start to work.”

Read the rest of the story here.

 

 

Amazon was initially poised to make its much anticipated foray into Southeast Asia in Q1 this year. Now, it seems like the ecommerce giant hat delayed its entry to ‘later this year’, according to reports.

The long awaited launch has been relatively under the radar, although sources revealed that Amazon was planning to introduce its Prime and Fresh services to Southeast Asians. The region’s current most popular marketplace Lazada has in turn doubled down in the region to prepare for Amazon’s arrival, having acquired online grocery service Redmart in November last year.

But it seems that the US ecommerce giant is prioritizing other projects for now. Here are some of its most recent activity, including an acquisition and other market entry:

Source: Amazon Australia Twitter Account (Not yet verified)

Amazon poised to enter Australia

ABC Australia reported on 22nd March that Amazon is planning a launch down under and promising cheaper prices, faster delivery times and its online groceries delivery service. The company has reportedly hired more than a hundred people to cover roles in IT and logistics.

“They are the animal that went right across America devouring all before it, sending everyone broke,” said Gerry Harvey, founder of Australian online retailer, Harvey Norman.

There isn’t a confirmed launch date yet for Amazon AU.

Amazon acquires Souq.com to tackle the Middle East

Amazon has confirmed its acquisition of Dubai online retailer, Souq.com. The online retailer has similar offerings as Amazon, selling electronics, fashion and household items to six Middle Eastern countries. It was launched in 2005 as an online auction site, and pivoted to become an online marketplace in 2011.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE are attractive to Amazon being among the top countries worldwide for mobile penetration.

Souq has gained a large following, with an average 27 million visits spanning over six months based on SimilarWeb traffic.

Source: SimilarWeb

India’s ongoing battle

With Alibaba’s injection of $200 million into Paytm and biggest rival Flipkart’s recent $1 billion fundraising to solidify claims on India, Amazon will need to focus on the country to capture India’s projected $220 billion online GMV opportunity.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch report stated that India could become Amazon’s second largest market (after the US) after its investment of $5 billion into operations there.

“While revenues are relatively small to Amazon’s global scale, Amazon India could generate $81 billion in GMV and $2.2 billion in operating profit by 2025,” – Economic Times India  

There’s a lot of buzz brewing in India – Flipkart restructuring, Walmart investment, etc. – it’s no wonder Amazon is focusing on the activity.

But let’s not forget about Southeast Asia

Delayed or not, Amazon’s postponed launch date should be encouraging for local online and offline players alike, as it gives them more time to gear up to fight the giant.

Amazon is quietly laying down the groundwork for its Southeast Asian launch to meet the clear demand for its services here.

Google Trends over 12 months show that people are searching for Amazon, in relations to Singapore.

Google Trends search for Amazon.com, Inc. in Singapore

And it isn’t only retail businesses that are sweating because of Amazon’s global stretch. Advertising giants such as Google, especially as over 55% of Indonesians start their product search on a popular marketplace such as Lazada ID or Tokopedia.  

“The long-tail capacity, common for marketplaces, makes it feasible for Amazon to not just be an online retailer and a marketplace but also the search engine where it all starts.” Early Moves

Players, are you ready?

Before you head home, here are today’s top ecommerce headlines.

 

1. Tencent Singapore office targets tourists

Tencent, which owns the WeChat messaging and browsing platform, has created an International Business Group charged with raising awareness of the opportunities offered by WeChat, especially targeting people who live outside China.

A growing number of luxury brands are establishing a presence on Wechat – Gucci even sells handbags worth several thousand US dollars on the platform, and BMW reaches out to prospective customers.

Read the rest of the story here.

 

2. Amazon India losses double, but so do revenues

Amazon Seller Services, the registered business unit of Amazon India, posted a loss of US$527 million in the fiscal year ending March 2016, as heavy investments and spending took a toll on margins.

However, the company’s revenues also jumped to US$335 million, compared to US$151 million in the same period last year.

Read the rest of the story here.

 

3. GMO, NetDesign set up joint venture

Japanese tech giant GMO Internet Group has made inroads into Thailand’s online-related services market through a 1-billion-baht partnership with a local pioneer firm.

The move by GMO Internet is part of the group’s strategy to expand its presence in Southeast Asia. “Thailand is the centre of our business expansion in Asean due to its 45 million internet users, digital-savvy population,” says Chalermruth Narkvichien, chief executive of GMO-Z com NetDesign.

Read the rest of the story here.

Here are today’s top ecommerce news.

1. Taobao is officially back on the USTR “notorious markets” list

The US Trade Representative (USTR) has put Alibaba’s C2C platform, Taobao, back onits “notorious markets” list. Being included on the notorious markets list is a black mark, suggesting that a company is guilty of allowing rampant piracy and IP theft, but it doesn’t come with any sort of sanction and it isn’t likely to affect Taobao’s day-to-day business.

Seemingly, USTR was getting pressure from both sides while making this decision. After submitting a public draft of its report for comments this summer, numerous trade groups appealed to the USTR to put Taobao back on the list.

Read the rest of the story here.

 

2. Amazon has injected $296 million into its Indian unit

A report in The Economic Times says Amazon is estimated to have spent more than Rs1000 crore last month to woo customers with special offers and discounts for the festive season, and is losing about Rs600 crore every month.

Amazon entered India three years ago, introducing some of its global programs this year including its Prime service, which offers quicker deliveries and early-access deals. All this is an attempt to knock Flipkart out of its reigning position.

Read the rest of the story here.

 

3. Singapore-based fintech investor Senjō Group acquires UK payments company Kalixa

The acquisition will allow Senjō Group to extend its reach into European markets. For Kalixa, the deal enables it to leverage on Senjō Group to broaden its network in Asia, as well as other regions within the global payments company’s portfolio.

The transaction is expected to be completed by Q1 2017.

Read the rest of the story here.

Before you dive into the Halloween candy craze, check out the headlines you should know for today.

 

1. Amazon says India investments showing results, but drain on global margins

Amazon’s finance chief also indicated that the company would continue to add resources to India. Over the past two months, Amazon has outsold Flipkart in terms of monthly sales, but Flipkart continues to be ahead of Amazon.

Read the rest of the story here.

 

2. Rumor mill: Lazada in talks to buy Southeast Asia grocery delivery startup Redmart?

Lazada, under Alibaba’s stewardship, is in advanced talks with Redmart, a Singapore-based grocery delivery service, to buy the company. Redmart is said to prefer an investment, but one source told us that an acquisition priced between $30-40 million could be agreed and announced as soon as this week.

Read the rest of the story here

 

3. The realistic future of AI for ecommerce

The days of negative revenue and buying market share in Southeast Asia are quickly coming to an end, and sustainable e-commerce is going to require a focus on user experience.

Read the rest of the story here

 

4. Amazon takes aim at Alibaba by bringing Prime to China

Amazon has launched a tailored version of its Prime service in China to tap consumer demand for overseas goods, putting the U.S. online retail firm in closer competition with local rivals Alibaba and JD.com.

Read the rest of the story here