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Here’s what you should know today.

1. SoCash raises angel funding of $600K 

SoCash, the startup that allows you to withdraw cash from any merchant just like an ATM, announced today it has raised a new round of angel funding worth $600,000. The funding comes from unnamed “veteran bankers and technologists.”

The startup uses your bank’s mobile app to let you transfer an amount to the merchant’s bank account. Then you can pick up the amount in cash from the merchant. As for merchants, SoCash provides them with extra traffic in their stores and a new revenue source.

The funding will be used to grow SoCash’s sales team so it can get more banks in Southeast Asia on board.

In total, the startup has secured $925,000 in angel funding and is looking to raise its first institutional round.

Read the rest of the story here.

 

2. Ho Chi Minh City may tax online sales in April

Ho Chi Minh City’s tax department has said it will work with related departments to impose sales taxes on businesses running on Facebook and other online shopping sites.

Last month, the trade department proposed the city work with Facebook on measures to collect tax from businesses running on the site. The General Department of Taxation is now working on measures to tax the businesses operating on social media channels.

But it may be challenging because many online retailers use anonymous accounts for transactions, and the majority of transactions are cash based.

 

3. Amazon to shut down Diapers.com and other Quidsi sites

Amazon.com . is closing Diapers.com, Soap.com and other sites it purchased for about $545 million in 2011. The online retailer said it’s shutting Quidsi, the unit that ran the websites, because it couldn’t make a profit.

 the company’s renewed grocery push is an ideal time to consolidate brands
Quidsi specialized in certain categories, like baby products and household goods, while Amazon was trying to offer infinite inventory. But the draw of sites like Diapers.com has faded since Amazon became the go-to place for online shopping.
Read the rest of the story here.

 

4. Community Chatter: FMCG growth in Southeast Asia

Souce: Nielsen’s Twitter page

The two countries’ rapid FMCG growth could provide more opportunities in both online and offline retail. As spending power increases, shoppers can also begin to afford more luxury upgrades of everyday items.

Read eIQ’s insights on everyday premium products, here.

Before you dive into today’s work, here are the headlines you should know.

1. Amazon takes counterfeit sellers to court for first time

On Monday, Amazon filed suit against a group of sellers for infringing on athletic training equipment developed by TRX. In a second case, Amazon sued sellers who are offering fake versions of a patented moving product called Forearm Forklift. There’s no way Amazon can litigate away the problem. The company generates over $75 billion a year in commerce, and about half the volume now comes from third-party sellers.

Read the rest of the story here

 

2. Malaysian Beauty tips startup, Favful gets $500,000 funding from Gobi Partners

It says it will use the investment to expand to other parts of Southeast Asia and ramp up its marketing. The app offers price comparisons and ratings for beauty products based on skin type, and features reviews from users to make the shopping experience less overwhelming.

Read the rest of the story here

 

3. SoCash gets grant from Singapore’s MAS to setup offline retail cash withdrawl hubs

The grant aims to help Singapore-based financial institutions and/or technology providers work on the early stage development of their products, this Proof of Concept is approved under Financial Sector Technology & Innovation (FTSI) Scheme.

The idea behind soCash is letting the customers have cash without going to an ATM, and the merchant gets money credited into their account without going to the bank.

Read the rest of the story here

soCash, a Singapore-based fintech startup, has snatched a seed round of $400,000 to become the ‘last mile’ for banking services and ecommerce. The startup will release an app aimed to connect small shops into a scalable network for cash withdrawals as part of a product roadmap that is aimed at working with banks to extend cash distribution beyond ATMs.

The proceeds from global angel investors will fund the acceleration of their product development and expansion of their network to 1000 ‘cashpoints’ within the city-state.

In Singapore, demand for cash is growing at 9%.

“Contrary to the prevalent narrative, data from central banks show that cash usage is growing globally. Consumer preference poses an expensive challenge for banks to meet this increase in demand for cash. soCash’s platform is a superior digital alternative for efficient access to cash,” said Rekha Hari, Managing Director of soCash.

The company claimed to be at various stages of engagement with leading banks in Asia and the US to integrate the software into their digital banking platforms.

“Our business model – transaction fees and network monetization. soCash is significantly cheaper than ATM transaction, so banks pay us a transaction fee, which we share with the cashpoint. As we build our network of cashpoints across cities, we are building a last mile capability to banks and ecommerce companies, ” said Hari.

“Our pitch to banks is this. For large banks with existing ATM network, we can offload 25% of their ATM volumes, especially in residential areas. For banks betting on fully digital banking models, our pitch is to make cash ubiquitous via soCash platform rather than investing in their ATM infrastructure,” she added.

The company will be expanding the venture to either Hong Kong or Malaysia, with long-term plans to expand to India and Indonesia once they have sufficient critical mass.

A version of this appeared in Deal Street Asia on July 10. Read the full article here.