Here’s what you need to know today.

1. Gobi Partners sells stake in Malaysian startup Hermo to Tokyo-listed Istyle

enture capital firm Gobi Partners has sold its stake in Malaysian ecommerce startup Hermo to Japanese company Istyle.

Hermo works directly with brand owners and distributors to sell affordable cosmetics and skincare products to women, while offering fashion insights and beauty tips.

 Gobi didn’t disclose the details of the deal, except that it exited the company for an internal rate of return of 91 percent. Gobi said it decided to strike a deal with Istyle seeing the latter’s track record in creating successful international companies and its strategic positioning for the North Asian market.

Read the rest of the story here.

2. Spotify may have plans to launch in Vietnam and Thailand

Two sources close to the company told TechCrunch that the firm is working to launch its music streaming business in Vietnam and Thailand, two countries with a combined population of over 160 million.

>In a tell-tale sign, it is hiring for “music editor” positions for both Vietnam and Thailand. Both jobs are based at the company’s Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore, but the creation of that role is a common pre-cursor to a full country launch.

We reported last year that the Swedish firm was looking into the possibilities in India and that remains the case, albeit that so-called “easier” markets like Indonesia, Japan, Vietnam and Thailand have been prioritized since then.

Read the rest of the story here.

3. Amazon patents shipping label with built-in parachute for dropping packages from drones

The online retail giant this morning received a patent for a shipping label with a built in parachute to help packages make a soft landing when dropped out of the air by drone or other airborne craft.

According to the newly issued patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the parachute label could look and act just like any other shipping label, but underneath is a system of cords, a parachute, a breakaway cover and possibly a harness to keep everything in place.

The package could also be loaded with sensors to make sure the package hits its landing zone and a shock absorber in case the cargo is coming in a little too hot.

Read the rest of the story here.

DHL Express Japan expaanding its warehouse


DHL Express unveiled a new $74 million, 215,278 square foot warehouse at Shin-Kiba in Tokyo, more than double its space in the city, to fill in the gap in the modern warehousing in Japan following the fast-growth of ecommerce industry in the country.

This is also to anticipate the increasing demand for international shipping, particularly from China and Southeast Asia.

There was also a pressing need to support [Japan] domestic companies focusing on international markets.

“Business expansion in overseas markets, especially in emerging countries, has now become the critical part of growth strategies for many Japanese companies,” Taketo Yamakawa, president and representative director of DHL Japan added.

This rising demand has led to strong sustained volume growth in DHL Express Japan over the last few years — the previous Tokyo Distribution Center facility had already reached full capacity. With the relocation, the DHL Express Tokyo distribution center will be converted into the DHL Express Tokyo central service center. This service center will subsequently become DHL’s largest in Japan.

Japan’s Footprint in Southeast Asia Ecommerce

Both Southeast Asia and Japan are experiencing fast-growth in their respective commerce industries, both favoring the marketplace model, but the similarities end there. The track record of Japanese companies in Southeast Asia is not a sterling one.

While Japanese electronic commerce and Internet company based ecommerce marketplace Rakuten successfully dominated its home market, the same could not be said to its presence in Southeast Asia as the company shut down its operation in three countries earlier this year. Sumitomo Corp, a Japanese trading company, also started the year by selling its ecommerce site to Malaysian company Hermo.

A version of this appeared in Journal of Commerce on June 29. Read the full article here.