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Here’s what you should know today:

1. Amazon Prime Now launched in Singapore offering two-hours delivery

Amazon officially launched its service in Southeast Asia starting with Singapore. The company is also rolling out its express, same-day delivery Prime Now services.

The service will see Singaporeans get their orders delivered as fast as one-hour in some areas. The app is available for download in Singapore both on Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App store.

Prime Now is a part of Amazon Prime membership but Amazon is making this available for non-members in Singapore for a limited period of time.

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2. Didi combined valuation with its allies in Asia is likely worth more than Uber’s

Valued at $68 billion, Uber still holds the title of the world’s most valuable private tech company. But the number two Didi Chuxing is catching up, especially with its latest investment in Grab.

Didi and Grab latest valuations combined are worth $48.5 billion.

If you add the latest valuation of Didi’s allies in Asia like India’s Ola ($3.6 billion) and Lyft ($6.9 billion) the combined value of the firms already exceeds Uber’s.

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3. Visa opens new data center in Singapore

Global payments company Visa is expanding its transaction processing capabilities by opening the new data centers in Singapore and the U.K.

The new global processing hubs will increase the speed, resilience and geo-diversity of Visa’s infrastructure. The Singapore and UK data centers will complement Visa’s existing processing facilities in North America.

“With our technology investments in Asia and Europe, we’re scaling up our infrastructure to meet the explosive growth in digital and mobile payments, while maintaining the secure, convenient and always-on service that our clients and partners expect.” said Rajat Taneja, executive vice president of technology at Visa.

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Here’s what you should know today:

1. Amazon’s launch in Southeast Asia could happen this week

The news about Amazon’s expansion to Southeast Asia has been circulating for the past year. Latest report from TechCrunch said the launch to Southeast Asia via Singapore could finally happen as soon as this week.

The plan for Singapore launch was first revealed last November with original window in Q1 2017, but it got pushed back following complications.

Amazon might already begun its promotional activity through online influencers as some high-profile Instagram users in Singapore have posted sponsored teasers with Amazon’s distinctive tick on the packaging.

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2. Softbank might go after Uber after freshly investing in its Southeast Asian rival

Not a week after the news of its $2 billion investment in Grab alongside Didi Chuxing was out, Softbank is reported to have also approached Uber about taking a multi-billion dollar stake in the company.

However, the talks are said to be preliminary and nothing is expected to happen until Uber names a CEO to replaced Travis Kalanick.

SoftBank already commands a pretty significant share of the ride-hailing market in Asia. In addition to its most recent investment in Grab, it also owns stakes in ride-sharing companies Ola and Didi Chuxing.

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3. Grab can now spots unsafe drivers

Ride-hailing app Grab incorporated telematics into its app to automatically spot drivers behaving unsafely. It also now has emergency 191 button for passengers in Thailand.

The feature can spots behavior such as speeding, swerving and hard braking and accelerating, and “educate” the driver about safer ways to drive.

The company ran the successful trial in Singapore last June where it helped reduce driver speeding by 15%, instances of hard braking by 11% and instances of sudden hard acceleration by 18%.

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Here’s what you should know today:

1. Grab raises $2 billion from Didi Chuxing and Softbank

Southeast Asian ride-hailing company Grab announced today that it’s raising $2 billion from existing investors Didi Chuxing and Softbank, Grab is also anticipating an additional $500 million from the others.

If the investment rounds up to $2.5 billion, it will be the largest single financing in the region.

“With their support Grab will achieve an unassailable market lead in ridesharing, and build on this to make GrabPay the payment solution of choice for Southeast Asia,” said Founder Anthony Tan.

The company claims to holds 95% market share in Southeast Asia for third-party taxi-hailing and 71% in private vehicle hailing, with nearly 3 million daily rides.

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2. Malaysian GetDoc is allowing clinics to accept e-payment

Doctor-booking platform GetDoc is launching its e-payment service GetDocPay that allows patients to integrate their credit cards and debit cards into the platform.

To pay, all they have to do is select the clinic they are visiting, enter their medical bill amount and submit. This means that anyone can make payments on behalf of the patients as long as they have the necessary information.

Jerry Hang, Founder and CEO of GetDoc, said the launch of GetDocPay is timely given the increasing popularity of mobile payment services. Most clinics are also still reliant on payments via cash or insurance cards, so there is a need to disrupt the space.

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3. Mobile payment adoption in Singapore is slow despite its ease of use

Mobile payment options are continuously growing in Singapore but the adoption has been slow despite their ease of use. ‎

According to PwC, developed economies consumers do not feel as compelled to make the switch to mobile payments due to the well-established system in place, unlike in emerging markets.

There are also concerns over the security of such payment modes. This, and a lack of incentives to move away from their comfort zone, are other reasons why mobile wallet payments are taking off slowly in Singapore.

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Here’s what you should know today:

1. Go-Jek is enabling Go-Pay for transactions outside its ecosystem

Indonesian ride-hailing Go-Jek confirmed that it soon will allow its users to do cashless payment with Go-Pay to merchants outside of the Go-Jek ecosystem.

Currently, the Go-Pay feature can only be used to pay for Go-Jek services.

Go-Jek is also updating their in-app food delivery service to enable customers paying directly to the merchants with Go-Pay, instead of pay it for them in advance like the current system.

The company is recently awarded by Bank Indonesia for their achievement in “promoting cashless society, financial inclusions, and small-medium enterprises (SMEs) empowerment.”

Read the full story here.

2. Grab driving cashless payments in Singapore

Although the company faces a tough challenge in Indonesia, Grab is leading the innovation of cashless payments in homeland Singapore.

The country is likely to soon become Grab’s largest market in terms of cashless payments as more Singaporeans recognizes the value of cashless payments.

Grab has the ambitious goal to make GrabPay the regional mobile wallet and payments services. They are also planning to include more financial services including loans, electronic money transfer and money-market funds.

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3. More Filipino men shop online for clothing

According to Singapore-based ecommerce app Shopee, men in the Philippines have emerged as a high growth market. They are staying longer and buying more through Shopee mobile app.

The trend for Filipino men is they spend more but buy less frequently than women.

Mostly, these men are buying fashion apparels, consumer electronics, and sports and outdoor equipments. But the top preference vary across age group.

Shopee also see the number of male buyers in Health and Beauty category surging by 228% in the last year.

Read the full story here.

Here’s what you should know today:

1. DHL deploys electric motorbike for ecommerce delivery in Vietnam

Ecommerce division of DHL Group, DHL eCommerce, has launched its nationwide domestic delivery operations in Vietnam, managed by hubs and depots strategically located throughout the country.

The network also support cash-on-delivery (CoD) service and consumers will also be able to open, check and return goods at the point of receipt thanks to DHL’s Open Box Delivery service.

“Only 15% of Vietnam’s ecommerce shoppers paid online in 2016,” said Thomas Harris, Managing Director, DHL eCommerce Vietnam.

In line with its recent announcement to reduce all logistics-related emissions to zero by 2050, DHL eCommerce has begun deploying the use of electric motorbikes in its domestic delivery operations in Vietnam.

Read the full story here.

2. Cambodia ad agency MSA join forces with Malaysia-based VLT

Malaysia-based VLT, one of Southeast Asia’s leading independent digital advertising agencies, has formed a joint venture with Cambodia-owned advertising firm MSA to take advantage of the growth in Cambodia’s digital advertising, media and services market.

Adrian Lim, CEO of VLT, said Cambodia was one of the young and dynamic business growth areas in Asia, and there was a huge need of digital advertising solutions here.

“I’d like to say, what no one has dared to say. Digital is a mainstream,” Phirun Kao, CEO of MSA said. “Digital is at the core of all advertising in every communication we do for our clients.” he added.

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3. Uber and Grab are set to pay P5 million fine in the Philippines

Online ride-hailing companies, Grab and Uber are set to finalize their payments for the P5 million fine ordered by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) of the Philippines.

According to Grab Philippines Public Affairs Head Leo Emmanuel Gonzales the company will complete the payment of its fine on Wednesday, July 19. Meanwhile, Uber Philippines Communications Head Cat Avelino said its payment is already on its way to the LTFRB.

The LTFRB slapped both Grab and Uber with a P5-million fine on July 11 for various violations, such as allowing drivers to operate without the necessary permits from the regulatory body.

Read the full story here.

 

Here’s what you should know today:

1. Restaurant booking platform Eatigo expands to India

Bangkok-headquartered startup Eatigo announced the expansion of its services to users in Indian cities, Mumbai and Pune. The company, which offers time-based discounts, already has presence in Thailand, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Malaysia.

Eatigo has partnered with 300 restaurant partners in both Mumbai and Pune, including Grand Hyatt and Renaissance Mumbai. Users can use Eatigo website or mobile app to reserve a table and avail of discounts of up to 50%.

Eatigo plans to have 700-1,000 restaurant partners across Mumbai and Pune by the end of the year and hopes to breakeven in India in the next 12-18 months.

“This will not be a two-city play. We will look to expand pan-India once we have developed Mumbai and Pune,” said Siddhanta Kothari, CFO of Eatigo.

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2. Grab raises $2 billion from Softbank and Didi Chuxing

Uber’s biggest rival in Southeast Asia, Grab, is raising $2 billion in funding from Japan’s Softbank and China’s Didi Chuxing. The deal is expected to close in the next few weeks and would value Grab more than $5 billion.

The news came amid efforts made by Grab to transform into a consumer technology firms that also offer loans, electronic money transfer and money market funds.

Grab is present in more than 55 cities across seven countries.

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3. Indonesia’s BlackGarlic closes as market is not familiar with the concept

Meal ingredient catering startup, BlackGarlic, decided to cease operations as of Friday as the company experienced a difficult time in retaining the customers.

The company is founded in 2015, providing individually packaged MSG-free ingredients complete with step-by-step recipes. The recipes were developed under the local culinary expert William Wongso.

The concept is similar like US-based company Blue Apron, that went public last month.

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