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Here’s what you should know today.

1. After bank takeover, Indonesia’s Salim Group plans push in digital payments

Indonesia’s largest conglomerate, Salim Group, has acquired a majority stake in a local bank.

Through various affiliated entities, the group bought at least 51% of Bank Ina Perdana by subscribing to new shares issued by the Indonesia-listed lender. The acquisition value is estimated at $42 million.

In recent years, the smartphone boom has created a new wave of demand for financial services such as electronic payments and peer-to-peer lending. Salim decided that operating its own bank and building a financial backbone would be crucial for running an end-to-end digital business, which it has been developing since 2013.

“It makes sense for us to refocus on banking because the transactions carried out by the banks are becoming quite big,” said a Salim executive.

The group is also eyeing peer-to-peer money transfers and loans using Indomaret stores as a bank branch. Edy Kuntardjo, Bank Ina’s president, said the bank expects to roll out some of these services in 2018, subject to regulatory approval.

Read the rest of the story here.

 

2. US firm Vemanti to acquire Vietnam’s tech conglomerate Two Group

The deal is seen as a first step for the American firm towards making strategic investments in Vietnam and the rest of Southeast Asia.
Two Group, founded in 2013, owns four ventures in e-commerce, location navigation, content streaming and social media verticals, all “operational and revenue-generating”, Vemanti said. Vemanti, founded by overseas Vietnamese Tan Tran, said the transaction, once ratified and finalized, will create a framework to capitalize on the fast growing internet economy of Vietnam, especially in ecommerce and online advertising.

Two Group ventures include Kay.vn, a platform that enables merchants to set up online stores; Diadiem.com, a B2B data mapping provider serving customers including Google Maps and Navteq; Yume.vn, a content curation social network with over 3 million users; and YouTube channel 16Plus for bloggers and social media influencers.

Read the rest of the story here

 

3. Recommended Reading: Why is Wal-Mart betting big on ecommerce acquisitions

The brick-and-mortar giant has been gobbling up online retail startups at a record pace.

The payoff has been swift: In its most recent quarter, Wal-Mart’s e-commerce sales ballooned 63% with an attendant 69% rise in digital gross merchandise volume, as same-store sales increased 1.4% and traffic to stores rose 1.5%

For a retailer that has staked its enduring success on the physical landscape, this pace has garnered kudos from many analysts. Moody’s Investors Service Lead Retail Analyst Charlie O’Shea called the post-Jet acquisitions “small, but tactically-important.

“Retailers need someone to run the business and secure their assets, but they also that disrupter to agitate a bit and spark that renewal. That’s the Marc Lore play at Wal-Mart,” says Greg Portell, lead partner in the retail practice of A.T. Kearney.

Read the rest of the story here

Here’s what you should know today.

1. Lotte Department Stores take in Korean online retailers

Online retailers in Korea are set to open 13 outlets at Lotte Department Store branches in the next three months.

“Online brands are continuously expanding into offline stores to raise their brand value and to receive real-time feedback from consumers,” says Lotte Department Store.

As these brands gain traction against traditional fashion houses, they start opening brick-and-mortar outlets as well, first as showrooms then as stores.

Lotte Department Store’s first offline store was for Style Nanda in 2012. Now about 100 online brands have offline outlets at Lotte’s department stores.

Read the rest of the story here.

 

2. Nestle Malaysia partners with Shopee to target growth

Nestle Malaysia has picked Shopee, a mobile-first marketplace, as its latest online shopping partner in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, targeting $225 thousand growth (RM1 million).

The company’s gross profit for the year saw an increase of 7.1% which contributed to the higher turnover resulting in favourable commodity prices and stronger operational efficiency in the factories and supply chain. The company cited ecommerce as one of the most powerful growth engines.

Read the rest of the story here.

 

3. Japanese department store Matsuya to open Chinese online shop

The department store operator will partner with Chinese businesses having know-how about the local e-commerce sector. Until now, Matsuya’s only ecommerce presence in China had been on platforms such as online malls. Products will be shipped from Japan. Matsuya will also increase advertising and promotions in China.

E-commerce sales from Japan to China are forecast to reach $20.4 billion by 2019, according to Japan’s trade ministry.

Read the rest of the story here.

 

4. Community Chatter: E-Payments and Wal-Mart

Source: Walmart ecommerce’s Mark Lore. Posted on Twitter             

India’s streetside sellers are now accepting e-payment. Source: Here

Here’s what you should know.

1. Walmart’s Jet.com to buy fashion retailer ModCloth for less than $75m

The deal, which had already been rumored, is almost finalized and will fetch a price tag between $50 million and $75 million.

Walmart has been snapping up smaller online retailers in recent months

The acquisition comes after a series of struggles for ModCloth, including several rounds of layoffs. The company saw little growth in 2014, and reduced its engineering team to just over half a dozen.

Walmart explained that it’s increasingly interested in the apparel category, given it’s now one of the largest for online retail.

Read the rest of the story here.

 

2. fast fashion brand Zara to launch ecommerce in Thailand

It seems that Zara is doubling down on ecommerce in Asia, having launched its online website in Singapore and Malaysia earlier this month. Thailand and Vietnam’s stores will launch within the next few weeks, with India following later this year.

Zara’s  business model allows it to get clothes to stores much faster than its rivals, who prioritize low-production costs and outsource manufacturing to China, and can react more quickly to shifting consumer tastes without holding excess inventory.

Read the rest of the story here.

 

3. Recommended Reading: The 2017 Indonesian startup popular sector forecast

DailySocial conducted a survey with a number of investors about which sectors are going to be hot, and what their focus in 2017 will be. Along with predictions, ecommerce influencers also share their two cents:

“From year to year, ecommerce services and online transactions will become part of Indonesians’ day-to-day activities,” says William Tanuwijaya, CEO of Tokopedia.

Read the rest of the story here.

 

Here’s what you should know.

1. Zalora Philippines gets funding from Ayala group

The Philippines’ Ayala Corporation has moved into ecommerce with the purchase of a large stake in Zalora Philippines. The group owns 49% of Zalora. The value of the investment was not disclosed.

 According to a 2014 study by Ken Research, the Philippines’ ecommerce market can expect a stupendous compound annual growth rate of 101.4%  from 2013 until 2018, thanks to rising internet and social media adoption.

 

Read the rest of the story here

2. Kejora targets growth-stage startups with $80m fund for Southeast Asia

Kejora, a VC firm and startup hub in Indonesia has announced a new venture fund for Southeast Asian startups. Its target size is $80 million and about a third of it has been secured at this point.

Among Kejora Star Capital II’s backers are Barito Pacific Group, an Indonesian conglomerate; the Charoen Pokphand family, who owns CP food True Corporation. Germany’s Hubert Burda Media is also listed as a backer.

Kejora has strengthened its regional reach with a new focus on Thailand. The team has also opened a new office in Bangkok.

Read the rest of the story here.

 

3. Wal-Mart’s online surge may help it challenge Amazon

Wal-Mart posted its third straight quarter of double-digit online growth, which helped its holiday results top estimates. Clearly, the retailer is benefiting from its Jet.com acquisition. Online sales gained 29% in the fourth quarter, which ended Jan. 31.

Wal-Mart is finally “playing offense,” said Peter Benedict, an analyst at Baird Equity Research.

Even with Wal-Mart’s recent resurgence, it won’t be an easy battle. Almost three out of four Wal-Mart shoppers bought something on Amazon during the holiday quarter, according to data tracker Prosper Insights & Analytics. This means that the retailer is on the right track, but they still have some work to do.

Read the rest of the story here.

 

4. Community Chatter from Quora: What’s it like to be a Chief Marketing Officer? 

Michael Lewis’ Moneyball chronicles how baseball teams evolved to embrace new and more sophisticated metrics to achieve success.

Today’s Moneyballer CMO plans her marketing initiatives the way Billy Beane built the Oakland A’s.  She leverages granular data on customer actions to expand beyond the traditional CMO role, influencing product strategy, customer service, and optimized sales pitches.

The Moneyballer CMO still uses smart agencies and consultants, but insources the core marketing strategy using the increased visibility her technology allows.

Read the rest of the story here.

Here’s what you need to know today.

1. Fintech startup LatiPay raises funding to expand to Singapore & US

What is LatiPay? Auckland based LatiPay allows Chinese consumers to pay for goods and services using Yuan whilst merchants receive full payment for goods or services direct to their local bank account in their local currency. Chinese payers can make payment through their preferred bank payment or Alipay, WeChat pay and more.

The platform has raised $3 million in Series A funding from Singapore-based venture capital firm Jubilee Capital Management. The expansion will tap into the increasing popularity of cross-border payments.

Read the rest of the story here.

 

2. Walmart launches free, 2-day shipping

Starting today, Walmart will begin offering free, two-day shipping on over 2 million items, with no need for a membership fee for ‘everyday essentials’. Walmart owned Jet.com Jet.com also offers 2-day delivery on hundreds of thousands of common items, and ships for free on orders over $35.00.

This could be seen as a response to the Amazon threat.

Read the rest of the story here.

3. US eyewear startup Warby Parker will launch 25 new stores this year

Warby Parker plans to open at least 25 retail locations this year, a rare brick-and-mortar expansion amid store closures at several chains. The eyeglasses seller said it would open stores in Miami, Los Angeles and other cities, bringing its total store count to about 70 this year.

The brand is often used as a key example for pureplay ecommerce players who have since adopted an offline strategy, bringing up observations about the changing phase of retail.

Read the rest of the story here.

Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, is set to acquire two-year-old online retailer Jet.com in what appears to be the largest-ever acquisition of an ecommerce company reports Recode. This is according to multiple sources familiar with the transaction.

Walmart-Jet.com acquisition details

The deal is expected to value Jet at approximately $3 billion. Some senior Jet executives, including co-founder and CEO Marc Lore, will have incentive bonuses on top of that – Lore stands to make as much as $750 million in the deal as he owns 25%.

Lore will continue to run Jet as well as Walmart’s US ecommerce operations after the acquisition closes.

Why is Walmart buying Jet?

The Jet acquisition is acknowledgement by Walmart CEO Doug McMillon that his company needs outside help if it’s going to ever close the giant gap with Amazon.

Walmart’s $14 billion in annual ecommerce sales is a fraction of Amazon’s $99 billion and is growing slower than the industry average.

Its growth rate has decelerated for five consecutive quarters.

Jet sells more than 12 million products ranging from TVs to toys to cereal, and even milk and other fresh groceries in some markets. A little less than a third of its sales volume comes from items that Jet stores in its own warehouses and sells directly to customers, an exec recently said.

Even with Walmart acquiring the strong Jet leadership team and proprietary technology, the deal still will be viewed as a rich, if not desperate one, by some industry observers.

A version of this article appeared in Recode on August 7. Read the full version here.