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Here’s what you need to know today.

1. Carousell launches new app for buying-selling cars

Carousell Motors was born out of Carousell’s acquisition of Caarly, a startup that connects customers with used car dealerships. The Carousell Motors app sports more detailed product listings than Carousell, which usually features a product and seller name, a photo, and a price.

Carousell Motors was built by Caarly’s team, which transitioned into Carousell Motors.

The new app will let buyers search specifics like make and model, specific dealers, financing options, and car depreciation. Car seekers can also compare different car listings and use chat to get in touch with dealerships directly.

Read the rest of the story here.

 

2.  SK Planet and Samsung enter an ecommerce partnership in Southeast Asia

The MoU, signed in Singapore, aims to promote Samsung’s brand presence and provide increased convenience and access to the Korean company’s products in Southeast Asia through 11street Malaysia, 11street Thailand and Elevenia in Indonesia.

The Samsung Shop-in-Shop page enables consumers to search, browse and purchase Samsung products easily, as well as gain access to exclusive online-only products and presale offerings.

Read the rest of the story here.

 

3. Malaysia’s Delivereat secures funding from Gobi Partners to expand to new cities

The startup scored US$450,000 in pre-series A funding from the Gobi MAVCAP ASEAN SuperSeed Fund, Gobi’s collaboration with Malaysia Venture Capital Management Berhad.

With the funding, it plans to expand to other cities in Malaysia and increase its marketing efforts toward merchants to boost sales. Delivereat doesn’t offer a new business model, and still faces competition from Food Panda, recently sold to Delivery Hero. However, the funding derived from the team’s ability to execute.

Read the rest of the story here.

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!

 

Here are the key ecommerce headlines you should know from today.

 

1. Foodpanda shuts down operations in Indonesia

Rocket Internet-backed food delivery startup Foodpanda announced that it is officially closing down its operations in Indonesia, less than three months after it first announced that the company is up for sale in August. Read the rest of the story here.

 

2. More than 50% of shoppers turn first to Amazon in product search

This means that leading into the busy holiday season, the company is advancing its lead over major retailers like Wal-Mart and search engines as the starting point for online shopping. Read the rest of the story here.

 

3. Criteo and Ovum’s new whitepaper: ecommerce startups must evolve now or fall by the wayside

Millennials and Generation Z consumers, for example, will be demanding more from e-commerce providers, such as the ability to discover, in real-time, unique goods they will not find in big-box retail chains. Read the rest of the story here.

 

4. India based Betaout is cloud-based marketing software provider that enables all the marketing channels of an ecommerce company to work together.

Some of its prominent clients are Paytm, Goibibo, GOQii, and Tokopedia. “We are working with over 150 ecommerce companies worldwide,” says Nandini. Read the rest of the story here.

 

5. Alipay and Wechat is changing the way Chinese travelers shop in Thailand

Porameth Rungrongtanin, chief executive of Asset Bright Plc (ABC), a Thai real estate and e-commerce business, said the company is expanding into cross-border retail payment service offering clearing and settlement services. ABC expects to enter into an agreement with Tencent by this year-end to support Chinese mobile-based cross-border payment services. Read the rest of the story here

Been busy? Here is a quick roundup of news you should know from this weekend.

1. Thailand Post Launches Four New Services, Embraces The Digital Age

Thailand Post introduces Prompt Post, Messenger Post, the THP card and cross-border delivery service. Read more about it here.

 

2. Digital Media Company Migme Raises $6.2M in Funding

The fresh funds will be used to finance expenditures and attain cash flow positive operations by 2017. Read more about it here.

 

3. Food Panda Is Pulling Out of Indonesia

The business is reportedly up for acquisition, for less than $1 million. However, the online food delivery company still plans to stay in Southeast Asia. Read more about it here.

 

4. Rakuten Acquires Bitcoin Wallet Startup, Bitnet

Rakuten will leverage the acquisition and launch a ‘bitcoin lab’. The transaction financial figures were undisclosed. Read more about it here.

 

5. Worldwide Retail Ecommerce Sales Will Reach $1.915T This Year

daily news

Double Digit growth will continue through 2020, with the bulk of retail ecommerce coming from China, where sales are expected to represent 47% of all such sales worldwide. Read more about it here.

UberEATS logistics problem

In Southeast Asia, will UberEATS have any issue sourcing new riders?

In London, UberEATS riders get a $130 bonus just for signing up to be its courier. Food Panda recently sent two drivers on an all-expenses paid trip to watch the Eurocup in France.

As UberEATS expands into Singapore, Melbourne, Australia to go head to head with incumbents such as Deliveroo in Australia and Food Panda in Southeast Asia, it appears they are finding that the toughest part of market domination is not customer acquisition or restaurants interested but in getting enough drivers to meet the overwhelming demand of food orders.

The high demand for riders is reflected in the wages some ecommerce food riders can earn. Food Panda said some of its riders make up to $6,000 a month.

Muhammad Fazly, 29, joined UberEats full-time after his wife saw an advertisement in Singapore and now earns $1105 per week, when previously he earned less than $1000 a month.

“Uber is a good company to work for. We don’t sit down and wait for orders,” he told TNP.

According to TNP, Online marketplace Qoo10’s brand manager Jacob Yu said there has been a significant increase in delivery services recently as  Southeast Asian consumers are getting more comfortable with ordering online and their expectations for fast service are increasing.

The firm has its own delivery company, Qexpress, which deploys an average of 200 to 300 delivery men a day from their two depots at Serangoon North and at the Singapore Press Holdings Print Centre.

Each delivery van delivers about 100 parcels a day.

Another challenge will be how UberEats and other food delivery services contend with unsatisfied customers until supply meets demand.

“I’m not convinced Uber will be great for food delivery,” said Lena Sokolic, a young lawyer that lives in one of the  suburbs of Melbourne, “Our order took so long because I am not sure the new drivers are familiar with the fastest routes yet.”

Getting riders on board for UberEats will be much easier than Uber taxi services due to less constraints and requirements. For one, riders do not need to own a vehicle to deliver food parcels. This opens up cyclists, motorbike riders and even public transportation users as a whole new pool to tap into. Second, riders don’t have to interact much with people, which is a major appeal for certain personality types.

“You don’t have to deal with strangers, security issues or drunk people throwing up in  your car. You don’t even need to have a clean new car,” said James Carmichael, a freelance designer in Toronto, who surveyed the UberEats employment opportunities.

Retirees may even be a rider source. Michael Ng, a 63 year old Singaporean resident uses public transportation to deliver packages.

However urgent the problem is now, UberEATS will not face the food rider sourcing bottleneck for long. With the newly available talent pools for couriers, harnessed to the the massive high-end brand power of Uber, the food delivery venture  is in the unique position to convert ordinary people, who never would have dreamed of hopping on their bike and delivering food, into active and successful riders.

By Felicia Moursalien

Tweet @LilFel and @ecomIQ

Food Panda's Profitability

Food Panda’s riders. Source: Skyscrapercity.com

Rocket Internet’s food delivery startup, Foodpanda, is projected to make profit in most of its Southeast Asian markets reports Digital News Asia.

The company has presence in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. It states Singapore as the key market in the region, but also states that other countries are catching up.

The startup also says that it grew 400% in terms of orders and revenue in 2015, but declined to provide any figures. Jakob Angele, Senior Vice President & CEO, Foodpanda Singapore

In 2016, Foodpanda is continuing to grow 25% month-on-month in orders and revenue, which is considered rapid growth for emerging markets.

Despite the positive outlook on Foodpanda’s growth potential and profitability, the startup is not without its hurdles.

The food delivery scene growth challenge

One of the biggest challenges is maintaining restaurant quality as new restaurants that join the platform are often overwhelmed by their Foodpanda orders in addition to their everyday customers in the establishments.

The Foodpanda team has taken initiative to screen the quality in order to maintain customer satisfaction.

Currently, Foodpanda fulfills 90% of all deliveries from the restaurants on its platform, this is a significant increase from 2015’s 60%. In Singapore, the startup has approximately 2,500 riders, but increased competition and labor shortage has made it tough on further recruitment.

The landscape food delivery startups in Southeast Asia is getting crowded, recent entries such as UK based Deliveroo have become key competitors for local players in the region. However, in Singapore, Foodpanda still claims its market leader position.

The main priority for Foodpanda is to maintain its path to profitability and concentrate on turning markets such as Thailand and Malaysia profitable as well.

This is good news for Rocket Internet as media speculation has been brewing regarding its companies’ profitability, following various news of possible M&A’s.

A version of this article appeared in Digital News Asia on July 5. Read the full version here.