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2016 has been somewhat of a definitive year for ecommerce in Southeast Asia. With the region poised to experience an ecommerce golden age, trends and predictions that will shape ecommerce in 2017 have been identified and there is no denying that the year will most likely bring significant milestones to the region’s development.

2016 certainly set things in motion: acquisitions, closures and entries were this year’s key themes. As the year draws to a close, we present the top 5 stories and briefs covered on eIQ that have made an impact on the development of ecommerce in Southeast Asia.

1. Battle of the giants

The first foray in a series of moves that would eventually complete Jack Ma’s trojan horse for Southeast Asia. In April, Alibaba made a $1 billion acquisition of Rocket Internet’s Lazada, effectively injecting much needed investment into the cash strapped marketplace, and hereby making an effective entry into the region.

This was followed by an announcement in November that Alibaba’s Ant Financial has invested in Thailand’s Ascend Money.

Amazon finally announced its entry into Singapore Q1 of 2017. Although a much covered angle in the media, these three stories have defined the majority of Southeast Asia ecommerce in 2016.

 

2. Indonesia’s Go-Jek, Singapore’s Garena & Grab are unicorns

After raising $550 million, Go-Jek is now valued at $1.3 billion, claiming unicorn status.

Singapore’s Garena has also maintained its status as Southeast Asia’s most valuable startup with additional funding that came through in September.

Grab also raised $600 million in funding making it another unicorn in the region.

 

3. Google and Temasek’s e-conomy SEA 2016 report

Arguably the most referenced report this year. Google and Temasek’s analysis of Southeast Asia’s ecommerce landscape has appeared in a string of interviews as references for research arguments and have shined a spotlight into the region’s developing landscape. Access the full report on eIQ’s reports section here.

 

4. LINE debuted as 2016’s largest technology IPO

The dual listing in New York and Japan occurred in July this year. The Japanese messaging app spiked 30% in market debut after opening at $42 per share in what appears to be the biggest tech IPO of this year.

The company is owned by Naver, a South Korean Internet company, who offered 22 million shares on the New York Stock Exchange and 13 million on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

But it hasn’t been all good news for Cony & Brown as news came out in October that the messaging app is struggling to acquire new users, barely moving beyond its 220 million monthly active user base.

 

5.  Goodbyes: Ensogo, Rakuten & Foodpanda

In June, Ensogo announced the closureof all business units in Southeast Asia. Following its shift from a daily deals website in 2013 to a mobile marketplace in 2015, the company was struggling to thrive in an increasingly competitive market.

Rakuten also announced the closing of its Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia marketplaces in February and sold back Rakuten Thailand to original founder, Pawoot Pongvitayapanu. The company did not give a reason for the closures, but announced that the moves are in line with a new roadmap.

In December, Rocket Internet declared that it was selling online food delivery startup Foodpanda to rival, Delivery Hero for $150 million. This announcement came after a string of rumors regarding the service provider’s performance.

The series of chain reactions that occurred have shaped Southeast Asia’s potential ecommerce boom. If these developments were anything to go by, we should be seeing all the puzzle pieces being placed together within 2017. For now, it’s a wrap for 2016!

 

Wrapping up for the day? Check out today’s biggest headlines first.

 

1.Ant Financial invests in Thailand’s Ascend Money as part of global expansion play

The companies said in statement that the deal would help Ascend Money grow its digital and offline payments and financial services business in Thailand, while opening doors for Ant Financial to expand into the broader Southeast Asian market.

Read the rest of the story here

 

2. SingPost launches ‘Center of Innovation’, opens ecommerce logistics hub

 The COI will deliver significant enhancements to the ecommerce logistics platform, and also roll out a new version of the Self-service Automated Machine (SAM) platform to enhance customer experience. It will also focus on robotics services.
Read the rest of the story here

 

 

3. Angel networks from 7 SE Asian countries partner for cross-border investing

The alliance is aimed to promote cross-border syndication and co-investment support, as well as intra-ASEAN investment in startups, particularly tech-based companies and high growth business.

Read the rest of the story here

Southeast Asia fintech opportunity

Source : Bidness etc

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s financial affiliate is planning to purchase a 20 percent stake in Thailand’s Ascend Money in a bid to seize Southeast Asia fintech opportunity. Investment in fintech startups in Asia reached US$797 million in 2014.

An investment into Ascend Money, parent of True Money and Ascend Nano, would help Ant Financial expand its online payments and small loans business in Southeast Asia.

Ant Financial, which is said to be valued at about $60 billion, is following billionaire Ma’s aspirations for global expansion. The Ascend Nano unit is a microfinance and personal loans provider with staff throughout Southeast Asia. True Money provides cash cards and electronic wallets, and holds financial-services licenses in key Southeast Asian markets. The division’s goal is to spread ecommerce and electronic payments services to places where many users lack bank accounts such as Myanmar and Indonesia. This could pave the way for Alipay to dominate Southeast Asia’s payment problem.

A version of this appeared in Bloomberg on June 18. Read the full article here.