Here’s what you should know today.

1. Carousell now features startup jobs

The ads are laid out in Carousell’s familiar format and seem to point mostly toward part-time positions and odd jobs. In its quest to become the go-to destination for classifieds, Carousell has been steadily adding new features and services. In February, it launched Carousell Motors, a standalone app for buying and selling used cars.

Considering that job listings have always been part of newspaper classified ads, it’s not too much of a stretch to have them on Carousell. However, they mark a big departure from its ecommerce offerings.

Read the rest of the story here.


2. In China, live streaming is thrashing gaming and TV combined

Source: Tech in Asia

Live streaming is doing so well in China because phone payment apps like WeChat and Alipay are so commonplace, making it easy to send that virtual teddy bear to the random woman making you laugh as you ride the subway.

Read the rest of the story here


3. Recommended Reading: The best Meeker 2017 slides and what they mean

For those who want a “key takeaways” version of Mary Meeker’s annual internet trends report, look no further.

  • Smartphone sales growth is slowing
  • There should be more ad spend on mobile
  • Hyper local ads drive foot traffic
  • Direct to consumer brands with less choice: by focusing on community, content marketing or a narrow selection of great products, new brands are disrupting old industries in pet care, beauty, shoes and more.

Read the rest of the story here.


Here’s what you should know today.

1. Amazon is hiring people to break into the multibillion-dollar pharmacy market

Amazon is hiring a business lead to figure out how the company can break into the multibillion-dollar pharmacy market.

But this year, with the rise of high-deductible plans and the trend toward consumers paying for health care, it is ready to get more serious.

The company recently started selling medical supplies and equipment in the U.S., and is hiring for its “professional health care program” to ensure that the company is meeting regulatory requirements.

For Amazon, it’s a lucrative market that would require navigating a variety of existing players. For consumers with a high dollar deductible, Amazon could someday be a go-to destination to shop for drugs.

Read the rest of the story here.


2. WeChat just launched a search engine

WeChat launched a new feature conspicuously named “Search.” Created just for the app’s search engine, it lets users trawl through WeChat brand accounts, articles, music, and more.

Though it’s simply a new entry point for search queries for now, it signals commitment from Tencent – and perhaps new features to come.

The combination of social data, plus payment data, plus search query, will kill Baidu.

By investing more in its own in-app search engine, it’s clear that WeChat isn’t planning to open itself to other parties anytime soon. If you want to publish on WeChat’s platform, you have to register an account with WeChat. You have to play by the app’s rules.

Read the rest of the story here.


3. Singaporeans prefer electronic payments to cash

A Visa study has revealed that Singaporeans have the highest preference for electronic payments the in Southeast Asian region.

87% of Singaporeans prefer making electronic payments to using cash, indicating the highest preference for electronic payments in the region.

Nearly half (48%) of respondents stated they have more payment cards in their wallets now, compared to five years ago. The main reasons for not carrying large amounts of cash include an increased habit of using payment cards, mobile wallets and contactless cards.

Read the rest of the story here.


 4. Carousell is finally trying to monetize by allowing users to boost listings for a fee

For $2.14, users can bump their listing to the top of the relevant category for three consecutive days. Meaning that the listing will be pushed to the top (then move down as more listings are added), then move to the top again after 24 hours.

The feature, called ‘Bump’, also has a free option. Listings that are at least a week old can be boosted to the top once per week. The caveat is that sellers have to reduce their item’s price by at least 10 per cent.

Read the rest of the story here.

Here’s what you should know today.

1. Carousell wants to help you sell a product in 3 seconds

“Can we, now having five years of experience, data, and learnings, create the next evolution of classifieds? Can we make selling a three-second process – snap a photo and that’s it?” ponders Quek Siu Rui, Carousell’s CEO and co-founder at Tech in Asia Singapore 2017.

Machine vision – the ability for computers to see and recognize objects like humans do – will give Carousell the ability to match a photo uploaded by a user to its database of items. Combine this with its pricing data from tens of millions of transactions, and the app could recommend to users what price to set for a product.

Carousell has grown from its humble beginnings, starting with a 3 persons team, which has since expanded to over a hundred. It has also made a series of acquisitions:

Its purchase of used cars marketplace Caarly is noteworthy because it announced Carousell’s intent of conquering car classifieds. Carousell’s move into cars is simply the result of its users growing up. It observed more users buying and selling cars, baby and kids items, furniture, and home appliances.

Read the rest of the story here.


2. Hong Kong’s Qupital raises $2M led by Alibaba to finance invoice loans for SMES

Qupital, a one-year-old Hong Kong-based startup that addresses cash flow issues for SMEs, has closed a $2 million seed funding round.

The startup wants to free small companies on tight budgets from the restraints of unpaid invoices. That’s to say that a large chunk of an SME’s working cash flow is locked up in invoices that may take up to 90 days to actually pay out.

Qupital tackles that issue by getting companies to take a loan to cover 80-95 percent of the value of the invoice

With an estimated 300,000 SMEs located in Hong Kong, there’s an attractive initial market to be tackled. The link with Alibaba will help Qupital reach traders and SMEs — which represent its core focus . While the startup said there’s no precise plan on new locations yet, they hinted that countries with strong export sectors, such as Vietnam, Taiwan or Thailand would be among the obvious choices.

Read the rest of the story here.


3. Go-Jek integrates Go-Med into HaloDoc app

Previously a part of the original Go-Jek app, the Go-Med service now complements HaloDoc’s online consultation service, turning it into an end-to-end health platform.

The partnership between the two companies began when Go-Jek took part in HaloDoc’s undisclosed pre-Series A round in April 2016.

The companies said that they have made efforts to simplify the booking and transaction process, which results in its ability to cut down a typical order time from 88 minutes to 40 minutes. HaloDoc has to renew partnership will local pharmacists as part of an effort to ensure the accuracy of their inventory.

For the time being, users also have to stick to cash payments for the service as Go-Jek’s e-wallet feature Go-Pay is not yet integrated into the platform.

Read the rest of the story here.

Here’s what you need to know for today:


1. Carousell is getting serious about making money, acquires used-car app

 Carousell announced today it has acquired Singaporean mobile-first used car marketplace and dealership tool Caarly. The terms of the deal are undisclosed. The Caarly team will join Carousell in its entirety and its product will continue as normal.
Read the rest of the story here.

2. Groupon is buying LivingSocial, plans to downsize business to 15 markets from 27

Groupon today also said it plans more downsizing of its overall business, on top of the several closures and layoffs of the last few quarters. In Q2 the company was operational in 27 markets; the plan will be to bring that down to 15.
Read the rest of the story here.

3. Thai fashion e-tailer Pomelo raises funding from Jungle Ventures, brings series A funding to $11 million

Pomelo said it will use the funds to continue to their expansion in Southeast Asia. Currently, the company is focused on Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia but has customers in over 44 countries across the globe.

Read the rest of the story here

Check here for your ecommerce round up:


1. Jack Ma visits Thailand, says the next 30 years will define Asia

Mr Ma spoke Monday about technological trends at a meeting of Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) leaders and private sector representatives. The session was held during the 2nd ACD Summit in Thailand. Read the rest of the story here.


2. Carousell officially launches in Philippines, passes 41M listings globally

The platform was first introduced to the Philippines in May this year. Carousell claims that, since then, it has experienced a 110 per cent month-over-month (MoM) growth in listings and 240 per cent MoM growth. Read the rest of the story here.


3. WeChat drone is ready for take-off

The maker of WeChat, China’s most popular messaging app with over 800 million active users, is set to launch a drone that live streams video directly to your WeChat buddies. Read the rest of the story here.

Singaporean e-marketplace Carousell, announced a $35 million in series B funding today. The investment is lead by Rakuten Ventures, with Sequoia India, Golden Gate Ventures, and 500 Startups also contributing some of the cash.

The Singapore-based team has already taken the app, which blends new and used items sort of like a classified listings site except that it’s all done in a streamlined mobile app, to six other locations. The latest is Hong Kong.

“A big part of this round will be just accelerating our international expansion,” says Siu Rui Quek, Carousell’s CEO, speaking over Skype from the startup’s HQ.

Carousell’s birth story

From the way Siu Rui Quek describes it, you know his startup hasn’t produced the usual kind of shopping app. He talks of the community, of users staying up well past midnight browsing the new stuff that flies in, of people using it each day for even longer than Instagram. He doesn’t compare it to Amazon.

The three co-founders set up Carousell in 2012, but its genesis goes back a year earlier to when the friends went to Silicon Valley to serve as tech interns while squeezing in some classes at Stanford.

Once back in Singapore, they went to a Startup Weekend event and came up with the bare bones of what would later become the shopping app based on issues they themselves faced when trying to sell odds-and-ends on the web. The trio won the event, but that wasn’t what persuaded them to build it into a business, Siu Rui says.

“The biggest motivation was having people tweet us, like our Facebook page, saying they really want to use this for themselves. So that really gave us the confidence to take it forward.”

Now with 35 million product listings put up by its community, the team is coy about revealing the number of active users. Siu Rui concedes it’s not pulling in a profit, but that’s because the crew is focusing on growing its user base rather than implementing some things they have in mind, like premium listings or some other paid services.

A version of this appeared in Tech in Asia on August 2. Read full story here