Here’s what you should know today:

1. Singapore banks go digital to help SMEs and startups

DBS Bank and OCBC Bank have launched digital services to help startups and small-medium enterprises (SMEs) with their administrative process.

One bank claimed it has cut down the process of opening a business to 30 minutes. Both DBS Bank and OCBC Bank have gone paperless with their banking efforts targeted at businesses.

At DBS, through the platform DBS Get Set, entrepreneurs can set up their business within a day. Small business owners can appoint a company secretary to help incorporate their business with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) and open a bank account at the same time.

Over at OCBC, the process has been digitalised with the use of iPads, which does away with the use of paper forms and creates an end-to-end digitalised process that saves time.

Read the full story here

2. Bhinneka plans to sell 30% shares on IPO in 2020

Indonesia’s oldest online store, Bhinneka, plans to sell 30% of its shares in an initial public offering (IPO) in 2020, and raise funds to expand the business.

The company is now pushing for a healthy grow to prepare for the IPO, they initially planned the IPO for 2018 but decided to postpone. The company has raised $22 million from local venture capital firm Ideosource.

Bhinneka sells computers, cell phones, and IT-related products to its 1.5 million customers, including 4,000 small and medium business, ministries and provincial governments. It employs 6,000 merchants.

Read the full story here.

3. is in a dispute with two major Chinese courier companies

Chinese ecommerce platform is locked in a war with two of the country’s major courier companies, TTK Express and  YTO Express. has excluded the two companies on its list of recommended couriers for all vendors on its platform, citing poor service as the reason.

However, both couriers beg to differ and point out the most likely reason is the competition between the shareholders of TTK Express and YTO Express; Sunning Commerce Group and Alibaba respectively.

Read the full story here.

Here’s what you should know.

1. In China, Amazon’s ‘store of the future’ is already open

One Chinese startup, however, is steaming ahead with its own version – and has already opened a handful of staffless convenience stores where customers open the door and pay the bill with their phone.

This is a typical Bingobox store. Last month, the startup opened its first outlet in Shanghai after a few months of testing in its home city, Zhongshan.

Although small, the Bingobox store stocks hundreds of items – including a small selection of fresh foods.

The startup has already partnered with French supermarket giant Auchan – which is huge in China – to handle store inventory.

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2. Cross-border payment startup InstaRem eyes IPO in 2020 after closing $13M Series B

Cross-border payment startup InstaRem has raised $13 million in new financing as it looks to expand its business, which is rooted in Asia, into Europe and North America ahead of an eventual public listing as soon as 2020.

The Singapore-based startup said the raise was led by China’s GSR Ventures, an early investor in Didi among others.

InstaRem operates a cross-border payment service that is targeted at business users, including banks and retailers, although it does operate a consumer service. By working with banks and using wholesale rates, the firm is able to get good cross-border rates for its retail customers, too.

Read the rest of the story here.


3. Tencent’s online publishing arm files for IPO in Hong Kong

China Literature is akin to Amazon’s Kindle service, with 8.4 million pieces of content from more than five million writers. It counts 175.3 million monthly users across all services, of which more than 90 percent are on mobile.

The service is being spun out of Tencent, Asia’s highest valued tech firm, which currently owns a 65 percent share of the business. Tencent plans to sell part of its equity for the listing, but it seeking to retain at least 50 percent control as China Literature becomes a subsidiary.

Read the rest of the story here.

Here’s what you should know today.

1. Nike confirms it’s opening up an Amazon shop

CEO Mark Parker has confirmed the companies are currently testing out a partnership.

 “We’re in the early stages but we really look forward to evaluating the results of the pilot,” Parker said.

Nike’s products can already be found on Amazon via unlicensed and licensed third-party vendors.

But with a direct partnership, Nike will be able to “elevate the way the brand is presented” by gaining more control over how its products are marketed on the site, Parker said.

Parker added that Nike plans to make “big shifts in the year ahead to our business,” indicating Nike’s partnership with Amazon is part of an effort to revamp its sales tactics as brick-and-mortar retail continues to suffer.

The partnership could mean bad news for sporting good retail stores, such as Dick’s Sporting Goods and Hibbett Sports. An Amazon strategy could also mean that Nike has to accommodate the online retailer’s price cuts.

Read the rest of the story here.


2. Delivery Hero’s valuation surpasses $5B following successful IPO

Delivery Hero’s valuation topped $5 billion after the food delivery firm went public in a listing on the Frankfurt stock exchange.

Delivery Hero earned around €465 million ($530 million) from the IPO, which it plans to use to repay loans and invest in growth. That’s in contrast to US food delivery outfit Blue Apron, which endured a rocky start to life on the NSYE less than 24 hours earlier.

 Despite a successful public debut, Delivery Hero is not profitable.

Read the rest of the story here.


3. Recommended Reading: The retail apocalypse might just mean the reinvention of the shopping experience

While the giants are falling, smaller players are figuring out how to reinvent the store experience for the 21st century, focusing on authenticity and community while, in many ways, thinking about sales second.

“I’m not seeing the retail apocalypse in the world of creative, small entrepreneurs,” says Sarah Filley, a co-founder of Popuphood, a residency program for retail helping small businesses in the Bay Area. “There’s such an incredible spirit here. People are looking at suburban malls and calling it the end of an era. If you look at the startup scene in retail, there’s so much energy.”

What unites these three concepts is their focus on the human factor. While many big retailers are cutting staff, smaller-scale startups believe that in the race to “out-Amazon” the online giant, focusing only on digital forfeits their competitive advantage.

Read the rest of the story here.

Here’s what you should know today.

1. Alibaba spending $1b to boost Lazada stake to 83%

Jack Ma’s Alibaba is hiking its stake in prominent Southeast Asian online retailer Lazada to 83% for roughly $1 billion.

The fresh infusion comes a little more than a year after the Chinese ecommerce behemoth snapped up a controlling 51 percent stake in Lazada for the same amount, bringing its total investment so far to over $2 billion.

Lazada will continue to operate under the same brand following the investment.

Lazada gives Alibaba a door into a nascent but populous market amid slowing growth and increasing competition, largely from JD, in China.

Ma previously gave a tall order of generating at least 50% of the group’s revenue from overseas. Lazada’s acquisition was a big step in that direction.

“The ecommerce markets in the region are still relatively untapped, and we see a very positive upward trajectory ahead of us,” Alibaba Group CEO Daniel Zhang said in today’s press statement on the additional purchase.

Read the rest of the story here.


2. Alibaba-supported logistic firm files for IPO in the US

Chinese delivery firm Best Inc, backed by ecommerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, has filed for an initial public offering in the US.

Best’s biggest business line by revenue is its express-delivery unit, followed by its freight-delivery division and supply-chain management services.

Alibaba, whose 23% stake makes it the biggest existing shareholder, accounted for about 70%  of Best’s express deliveries in the three months through March.

Best posted a net loss of US$198.1 million on revenue of US$1.28 billion last year. The company warned that it expects costs to continue to increase, extending its trend of net losses. Best plans to use the proceeds from the offering for general corporate purposes.

Read the rest of the story here.


3. Recommended Reading: Net-a-Porter owner opens tech hub in London

The owner of the Net-a-Porter luxury fashion website is to hire at least 100 more IT experts over the next two years as it shrugs off the impact of the Brexit vote to open a tech hub in the UK.

Yoox Net-a-Porter, the Milan-listed parent group, plans to invest more than €500m (£440m) in technology, warehouses and delivery systems in London and elsewhere to double the size of the business by 2020.

With a turnover of nearly €2bn, about half from orders made via mobile phones, YNAP is the world’s biggest online luxury fashion retailer. Shares in the group jumped more than 8% on Monday amid rumours that Alibaba, the giant Chinese internet marketplace, was considering buying a stake.

The two companies had merged their different cultures well and had shown they were able to sell $130,000 (£100,000)-plus watches via Whatsapp or a £35,000 Valentino dress via a mobile phone.

Read the rest of the story here.




Here’s what you should know today.

1. Indonesia’s payments startup Kioson raises funding from gadget distributor

Kioson, a direct competitor of Grab owned Kudo has raised a round of investment from MKNT, an Indonesian stock exchange listed firm that distributes gadgets, prepaid phone vouchers and SIM cards.

MKNT now owns 4.94% of Kiosan.

The online-to-offline model established by startups like Kioson and Kudo in Indonesia is seeing some traction. They both work in a similar way. Kioson equip local store owners with an app through which they can order and resell phone credit or physical goods from online stores. The store owners become ‘agents’ that bridge the online-offline gap, and make money on commission.

Kioson’s app offers a wide range of services. It integrates with online shopping portals like Tokopedia, Elevenia, and Berrybenka, lets customers settle bills for electricity and water, order TV subscriptions, apply for loans, or make money transfers.

Through its partnership with MKNT, Kioson will boost its inventory of telecommunication products and services.

Read the rest of the story here.


2.  Delivery Hero seeks $4.9 billion valuation as IPO price set

The company and current owners will sell as much as 996 million euros in stock for 22 euros to 25.50 euros apiece, according to a statement. Rocket Internet owns about 35% of the company.

Shares of Rocket Internet have been rebounding in recent months on expectations of a successful IPO of Delivery Hero, which seeks more funds to compete in the cut-throat restaurant-meal delivery market.

Delivery Hero expects trading to begin on the Frankfurt stock exchange on June 30. The offering is for about 39 million shares, including an over-allotment, and the company said it will have about 172 million shares outstanding after the IPO.

Delivery Hero operates a variety of brands including Lieferheld, Foodora and Foodpanda, through which it either brokers deliveries from restaurants or brings the food to customers’ homes itself, by bicycle.

The food delivery sector is notorious for stiff competition, with rivals spending big on marketing to dominate a country because usually, the winner takes all.

Read the rest of the story here.


3. Recommended Reading: The direct to consumer landscape

So what’s the direct to consumer model. Well it’s an innovation in supply chain which typically involves skipping out the middle man, so stock goes from factory to consumer. Traditional retailers being skipped out, which is just music to their ears. Not. This theoretically results in better prices for consumers and higher margins for startups.

The world is changing and the big boys are still waiting for the bus while everyone’s ordering a diverse and inclusive Uber. In short, they need to stay relevant and buying kids is a safer strategy.

Read the rest of the story here.



Here’s what you should know today.

1. Indonesia’s Blibli acquires online travel agent Tiket

Indonesian online travel agent Tiket has been acquired by Blibli, an ecommerce site backed by Indonesian tobacco conglomerate Djarum. It’s a 100 percent takeover, but no further details on the deal were disclosed.

Tiket is a popular ticket booking site that offers flights, train tickets, hotels, car rentals, and concert tickets. Blibli, an ecommerce site with a diverse range of products, began branching out into travel at the end of last year. With this acquisition, it can fast-track growth in this segment.

Read the rest of the story here.


2. Snap shares close at IPO price of $17

Shares sank 4.9 percent in intraday trade, and are down 42 percent from their high of $29.44 on March 3, the second day of trading.

The instant messaging and photo application began trading in early March. Its IPO price was $17 a share, and shares surged 44 percent during their first day of trade.

Several analysts’ sell ratings have cast doubt over the longevity of the company. The stock will face more price pressure when 1.2 billion shares become available for sale at the end of July.

Read the rest of the story here.


3. Amazon reportedly eyeing BigBasket buy in India

Amazon is in preliminary talks to buy the Indian grocery site BigBasket, as the American company steps up efforts to gain ground in the fast-growing market.

BigBasket, run by SuperMarket Grocery Supplies Pvt, is India’s largest online grocer and operates in about 25 cities across the country. A spokesman for BigBasket said that it’s untrue that Amazon is in talks to buy the firm. A representative for Amazon declined to comment.

Amazon has been expanding in online food and grocery sales as it seeks to increase its product offerings. This year, it opened drive-in grocery locations in Seattle, its home town, as part of a renewed effort in the business.

The Bloomberg story also suggests that BigBasket could be talking to other parties, including private equity firms, about a deal, even though the company raised about $150 million from investors last year and another $7 million in venture debt just three months ago.

That may be another sign of how fast the market is growing, as even a well-funded, fast-growing online grocery firm appears to need even more money help to keep up.

Read the rest of the story here and here