Here’s what you should know:

1. Indonesia’s ecommerce transactions reach $5.6 billion in 2016

Bank Indonesia Governor Agus Martowardojo revealed that ecommerce transactions in the country amounted to $5.6 billion in 2016.

The immense growth potential of digital economy in the country was also indicated by 78% growth of the fintech industry in the last two years.

However, many things needed to be addressed to make business online more efficient. Internet penetration rate in Indonesia is still low if compared to neighbour countries. According to Statista, there 24.74 million of internet users in Indonesia.

Read the full story here

2. Amazon has joined Tencents to back new smartphone brand created by ex-Googler

Amazon has joined major Asian companies in backing Essential, the startup co-founded by Android-creator Andy Rubin that’s getting ready to sell a new smartphone.

Tencent and Foxconn Group took part in a $300 million funding round for Essential alongside Amazon’s Alexa Fund and Access Technology Ventures. Other backers included Redpoint Ventures, Altimeter Capital and Vy Capital.

Essential is looking to break into the increasingly competitive field of consumer electronics. The startup is said to be valued at $900 million to $1 billion.

Read the full story here.

3. Singapore DBS Bank launches online car portal

DBS Bank entered the car sales industry with the launch of its online consumer marketplace for car buyers and sellers dubbed as DBS Car Marketplace.

The move came after the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) announcement to make it easier for banks to invest in non-financial sector.

Partnering with other car marketplaces sgCarMart and Carro, sellers who use DBS’ platform will be able to list on both marketplace for free.

Read the full story here.

Carro Raises Funding

Carro raises funding of $5.3 million for its online marketplace for buying and selling cars. The Singapore-based platform will use the Series A to expand in Southeast Asia. The company launched only in November 2015 and has welcomed ten different investors from across Indonesia, Singapore, Japan and China.

There are plenty of classifieds that help car owners sell their vehicles online, but Carro aims to stand out from the crowd with a services-focused offering. That’s to say that it doesn’t simply focus on sales,

Carro calculates the price and likely time to sell a vehicle — a nice hook to nab potential sellers — a virtual showroom option for dealers and a consumer-to-consumer marketplace.

Looking to next year, Carro CEO Aaron Tan admits that the company will have to decide whether to continue its focus on Southeast Asia, a nascent but high-potential digital market with over 600 million consumers, or battle for market share in more established Western markets.

“Classified sites are more like channels,” he said. “We use them to promote [our own sales.] When you look at classifieds versus marketplaces, [there’s] not that much in terms of competition.”

Approximately three-quarters of Carro’s traffic comes from mobile. However, with tens of thousands of dollars in purchases at stake, mobile tends to be for browsing with most consumers preferring to buy on a tablet or laptop after doing more research before parting with their hard-earned cash.

A version of this appeared in Tech Crunch on June 13. Read the full article here.