Here’s what you should know:

1. raises seed funding to disrupt customer loyalty program in Indonesia

Customer loyalty platform has raised an undisclosed seed funding round led by East Ventures to expand its team and support product development. designs, builds, and operates loyalty program as a third-party provider for its clients. The company currently only targets large enterprises.

In the long run, users can exchange points across different brands via the platform. If you prefer the rewards from another brand, you can buy into that network by trading points.

Read the full story here.

2. reported more loss in Q2 2017 than the same period last year reported a widened net loss in the second quarter of 496.4 million yuan ($74.43 million), from 252.3 million yuan in the same period a year earlier.
The losses is mostly caused by the marketing costs as it rose 63% to 4.1 billion yuan ($614 million), mostly due to sales events in June.

However, the company’s revenue also grew 43.6% to 93.2 billion yuan (almost $14 billion), well above its forecast range of 88 billion yuan to 90.5 billion yuan ($13 billion to $13.5 billion).

Read the full story here.

3. Uber appeals to LTFRB’s one month suspension order

Uber said it had appealed to the Philippine authorities to reconsider a one-month suspension order that was issued a day earlier, while resuming services as it waits for a decision.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) decided on Monday night to halt the service over Uber’s defiance of an order to cease accepting new driver applications.

The suspension led to an outpouring protest by Filipinos on social media as Uber is hugely popular and regarded as more reliable than the public transport services.

Read the full story here.


Here’s what you should know today.

1. Indonesia’s cosmetics startup Sociolla raises series B 

The startup’s series B comes from Istyle, a Tokyo  fashion company that operates, among other  popular beauty website @cosme in Japan. East Ventures also participated in the round. The terms weren’t disclosed.

Istyle plans to expand its business operations to Indonesia through its partnership with Sociolla. Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Thailand will follow later this year.

Read the rest of the story here


2. Amazon, eBay and Alibaba account for two-thirds of cross-border purchases

The second edition of the International Post Corporation (IPC) cross-border e-commerce shopper survey has confirmed the leading role played by Amazon, eBay and Alibaba.

The IPC survey found that consumer preferences in China differed from other developed markets. Chinese consumers are more likely to shop online than consumers in any other country, said IPC, with 36% shopping online at least once a week.

Read the rest of the story here.


3. Recommended reading: New luxury lies in untapped markets, business models and mindsets

Major changes are coming to luxury with new markets likely to emerge such as cannabis and pets, and new business models such as following products through their lifecycle instead of separating ties after the sale.

Read the rest of the story here

Here’s what you should know for today.

1. East Ventures announces new $28M fund for Southeast Asia

Despite recent writeups about the lack of funding in Southeast Asia, Singapore-based VC East Ventures today announced its fifth fund worth $27.5 million for investment in early-stage Southeast Asian startups. With the new capital from unnamed prominent families and entrepreneurs, the VC says it will invest in more than 20 startups in the region.

Read the rest of the story here.


2. Alibaba bids to privatize China’s department store, Intime

Alibaba Group has offered to privatize Intime Retail, a leading China department store and mall operator.

It will help pave way for the digitization of old school retailing.

Alibaba currently owns 28% of Intime following an initial investment in the retailer in 2014. If shareholders approve the deal, Alibaba would become the controlling shareholder of Intime with an expected stake of approximately 74%.

Read the rest of the story here.


3. KBZ and Kasikorn Banks introduce remittance services in Rangoon

Burma’s Kanbawza Bank (KBZ) signed a memorandum of understanding with Thailand’s Kasikorn Bank in Rangoon on Wednesday to introduce remittance services for migrant workers in both countries. There are an estimated 3 million Burmese migrant workers in Thailand. Many of those workers currently use informal channels to send money home, bank officials said.

Currently, various financial institutions are rolling out remittance services, such as TrueMoney. Kasikorn bank will therefore be tapping into a competitive market to provide transaction aid for developing economies.

Read the rest of the story here.

Southeast Asia’s most prominent and active venture capital firms like Gobi Partners, East Ventures, and Convergence Ventures have formed a lobby group called ASEAN Venture Council to develop the venture capital industry in the region, reports Tech in Asia.

The new group was started by Indonesian venture capital association Amvesindo and its pendant in Singapore, SVCA.

VC associations in Malaysia and Thailand are expected to join at a later date.

Southeast Asia’s startup industry is enjoying a high, $799 million has been pumped into growing tech firms across the region.

ASEAN Venture Council goals

One aim of the group, which was announced today at a fintech conference in Jakarta, is to learn from each other’s experience and to lobby respective governments for favorable conditions. An important aspect to fintech services and products is taxation.

For example, Singapore can teach a lot about creating regulations that differentiate accredited and retail investors. This distinction has not been made clear in Indonesia.

Ku Kay Mok of Gobi Partners has also raised a point about crowdfunding, another area that the council aims to address as it has the potential to disrupt venture capital.

The council will assist each country’s associations with regulatory issues, which will be updated regularly. The council will also organize events and share best practices, as well as assist firms with deal flow.

A version of this appeared in Tech in Asia on August 30. Read the rest of the version here