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Here are today’s top ecommerce headlines.

1. Shopping glee during Harbolnas anticipated despite Indonesia’s slowdown

The three-day event, scheduled from Dec. 12 to Dec. 14, has driven 205 online stores to confirm their participation out of 237 stores that previously expressed interest. Several online giants are among them, such as Lazada, Zalora, Traveloka, ShopBack and Elevenia.

Read the rest of the story here

 

2. Facebook picks Indian fashion platform CoutLoot for FbStart program

The FbStart initiative from the company helps the users to grow their startups by leveraging valuable tools and services, worldwide events and opportunities to engage with the Facebook team.

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3. Ride-hailing app Grab ventures into mobile payments

Ride-hailing-app operator Grab debuted a cashless mobile payment service Tuesday that taps the Singaporean company’s customer base in Southeast Asia to try to capture a slice of the region’s highly competitive e-money market.

The new GrabPay Credits service lets users store cash credits on the Grab app. The offering is being rolled out in Singapore and Indonesia and eventually will appear in other Southeast Asian markets where Grab already operates, such as Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Read the rest of the story here

 

 

Google has added Grab and Go-Jek to its Google Maps platform in Southeast Asia to fuel the heated ride-hailing market, reports Tech Crunch.

Uber’s advantage over its competition was the fact that it was being integrated into Google Maps. However, this year, Google Maps added a slew of non Uber options onto its platform, with the latest being Grab and Go-Jek in Southeast Asia.

The option appears when a user has asked for directions to a place inside apps. The app will show the distance, location of the nearest vehicle and a price estimate. Clicking for the ride option will redirect the user to the Grab or Go-Jek application.

Google Maps has been helping people navigate the world for over a decade, and we’re excited to be able to make Southeast Asia more accessible through Grab’s affordable, on-demand local transport options. – Grab’s Press Release.

These new integrations comes at a very interesting time for Southeast Asia’s ride-hailing apps. Grab is raising a new round of funding at a valuation of $2.3 billion, with China’s Didi Chuxing and Softbank leading the investment of $600 million into the company. Go-Jek has also recently raised $550 million in funding. Although the latter is less globally known, it is the leading motorbike on demand app in Indonesia. The integration into Google Maps may also suggest that the startup is considering a further expansion into Southeast Asia.

The Google Maps app still prioritizes Uber over other options. However, this monopoly is very much like Google’s relationship with Uber itself, complicated. Uber has been dependent on Google Maps, but the company is reportedly spending $500 million to develop its own solution, which is reflected in its acquisition of a small US based maps startup. There have also been many reports that Google is working on an Uber rival of its own.

Perhaps by adding Uber’s Southeast Asia rivals, Grab and Go-Jek to its maps platform, Google is sending out a message of its own.

A version of this appeared in Tech Crunch on August 9. Read the full version here.