Here’s what you should know today.

1. Indonesian micro-lender Amartha scores funding from major bank

Indonesian peer-to-peer lending firm Amartha said today it’s raised a series A investment led by Mandiri Capital Indonesia (MCI), the VC fund of Indonesia’s largest bank by assets, Bank Mandiri.

In 2016, Amartha changed its business model to P2P lending, allowing individuals, not only banks, to become investors on the site.

Read the rest of the story here.


2. Supply chain firm Tigers launches ecommerce 

Supply chain company Tigers has launched an online shopping portal that allows companies to sell their products in China and Southeast Asia. As well as listing products, Tigers’ eShop takes payments, offers supply chain management, order fulfillment and returns.

“We can provide fiscal representation to SMEs wanting to enter the Chinese market, especially those without a presence there,” said Andrew Jillings, Tigers CEO.

Read the rest of the story here.


3. Recommended Reading: How an army of postmen is turning China’s rural stores into the world’s largest retail network

Let’s say you’re a beer firm wanting to optimize distribution when demand rises on an unusually hot April day. Ecommerce platform Ule knows where to send your trucks. Or imagine you’re Chanel and you want to know which 44- to 48-year-old women, in villages a few hours from the nearest city, have today bought a Dior product.

Ule’s data can potentially identify them, perhaps allowing you to send a Chanel discount voucher to their phone.

Read the rest of the story here.

Here are today’s top ecommerce news.

1. Payment innovation continues to drive growth in Thailand

Demand for innovative payment solutions is on the rise in Thailand, according to global payments technology company Visa, as the value of transactions made by Thai cardholders continues its high-growth trajectory.

Visa is also expanding the acceptance of electronic payments across the country. The number of merchant outlets that accept Visa cards has grown to almost half a million in 2016, particularly outside of Bangkok. The number of active mobile point of sale (mPOS) devices is almost close to fifty thousand.

Read the rest of the story here.


2. App Annie predicts 2017 mobile trends

Not only will apps become primary revenue drivers for digital businesses, but it will also play critical role in strengthening traditional business models in industries like retail and food service.

The report gives an example of food delivery services such as UberEats, Deliveroo, and Foodpanda, which are predicted to experience an uptick in 2017 (despite Foodpanda exiting earlier this month). Junde Yu, Managing Director, App Annie Asia Pacific, comments,

“By the end of the year, we expect $52 billion in gross consumer spend on mobile app stores and a staggering $77 billion in gross spend on mobile in-app advertising.”

Read the rest of the story here.


3. Recommended Reading: Supply chain trends in 2017

When it comes to ecommerce and logistics, when ecommerce goes from 9% of retail to 30%, how feasible will it be to deliver all those packages? This problem is also an opportunity. Large 3PLs, like DHL, are investing in drones and crowdsourcing solutions; and large automakers, such as Mercedes Benz, are investing in some very interesting last mile delivery vans.

Read the rest of the story here.


Interested in finding out more about Southeast Asia’s mobile landscape and more? Check out eIQ’s insights on the region’s ecommerce roadmap here.

Here are the ecommerce headlines you should know for today.

1. Tmall integrates flash sales site to make it easier for merchants

Juhuasuan, Alibaba Group’s flash-sales marketplace, is being integrated with, the company’s flagship B2C shopping site, in a business reorganization aimed at making it easier for merchants to transition to digital retailing.

Formed in 2010 as an independent Alibaba business similar to U.S.-based Groupon, Juhuasuan has over the last six years evolved into a marketing platform for flash sales and daily deals used by merchants with virtual storefronts on Tmall and Taobao Marketplace, Alibaba’s giant C2C site.

Read the rest of the story here


2. New technologies to enable greater supply chain efficiencies in Singapore

Singapore is set to enjoy greater supply chain efficiencies in near future, thanks to the Urban Logistics technology roadmap for 2020 that was unveiled by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) on 28 November 2016.

The Urban Logistics programme is dedicated to analysing challenges in the logistics sector, identify technologies that can significantly improve Singapore’s supply chain processes, and improve efficiencies.

Read the rest of the story here


3. Indonesia’s KinerjaPay announces the launch of KinerjaMall as it expands its ecommerce platform

KinerjaPay has a particular focus on the middle- and low-income markets, which management believes represent a largely untapped opportunity. To that end, management has developed a targeted launch strategy for KinerjaMall, including a focus on everyday needs and premium locally produced items and a manageable inventory featuring around 150,000 unique products by a few thousand merchants.

Read the rest of the story here.

XPO Logistics has reported its first profitable quarter in at least four years, as the company has gained new customers and moved forward in acquisition, reports Wall Street Journal.

The Greenwich, Conn.-based company has rolled up businesses from different corners of the logistics industry including multi-billion dollar acquisitions of transportation providers in the US and Europe.

They posted a record $42.6 million profit for the second quarter. This is a very impressive comeback following its $75 million loss only a year earlier.

XPO is growing revenue by offering end-to-end logistics solutions, from arranging freight transportation to managing warehouses to delivering goods to customers’ doors.

Ecommerce continues to be one of the most important tailwinds for margin expansion in last mile on both sides of the Atlantic. – Brad Jacobs, Chief Executive of XPO. 

XPO’s transition to profitability comes amid weak demand for freight transportation, which has hit many of XPO’s competitors in the trucking industry. The company has profited like DHL and UPS in excellent Q2 reports due to the surge in ecommerce.

A version of this appeared in The Wall Street Journal on August 3. Read the full version here

eApeiron is a new startup backed by Kodak that aims to use a tagging system to identify counterfeit products, reports Deal Street Asia. Kodak and Alibaba Group are working with the startup to combat counterfeiting with a technology that places an invisible, digitally traceable marker on products to ensure that they are authentic.

eApeiron, launched in June and is targeting common ecommerce problem, pirated products that mostly occurs in China and Hong Kong. According to a recent report by the Organization For Economic Cooperation and Development, fake products accounted for almost half a trillion in 2013.

“Everyone knows this is a problem,” said Kodak Chief Executive Officer Jeff Clarke, who cited the complex supply chains at many companies. “If you’re in charge of brand protection or you’re a security officer of a major brand, this means you’ve got a new tool.”

The company is based in Miami and will locate its research, engineering and manufacturing operations within Kodak’s business park in Rochester, New York.

Alibaba is concentrating on cleaning up its image following the string of counterfeit controversy.

The company wants to be seen as a viable partner that can help identify sources of fake goods and play a part in tackling the problem not enabling it by owning a marketplace where cheap knock-offs flourish. Alibaba’s president, Michael Evans will sit on eAperiron’s board.

eApeiron’s tagging system for identifying and tracking products through its supply chain is likely what attracted Alibaba, given the complexity of its supply chain and the need for a unique product signature due to the number of carriers.

The startup currently has 50 employees with plans for a rapid expansion. CEO Charles Fernandez declined to provide a valuation for the company, but he did comment that the use of Alibaba’s multiple platforms will present them with vast opportunities, with predictions of 3x revenue in the next two years.

Alibaba’s on-going battle against counterfeit items and Kodak’s effort to join the startup scene following its bankruptcy in 2012 will surely make interesting partnership.

A version of this appeared in Deal Street Asia on July 18. Read the full version here.

China Post Group, China’s state owned postal service provider and Lazada Group have entered a strategic agreement to enhance cross-border logistics solutions for Chinese sellers on the ecommerce platform, reports Yahoo Finance.

The collaboration will simplify the cross-border processes for Chinese sellers who want to expand their consumer market to the Southeast Asian region.

By specifically targeting Chinese sellers who wish to deliver lighter parcels, this partnership could trim down certain logistics costs for smaller merchants on Lazada and simplify the cross-border delivery process.

The partnership will also see the two companies collaborating on enhancing current delivery options for merchants selling small and light items. The companies hope to develop financial solutions such as micro-credit loans and online payment options for logistics fees.

Both China Post Group and Lazada have also expressed an interest in collaborating to find cross-border warehousing solutions, providing logistics training and seller-on boarding in the long term.

As Lazada looks to attract more brands and online merchants in the Southeast Asian region to bring a wider product assortment to consumers, China Post’s extensive network in the region will enhance the cross border partnership.

A version of this appeared in Yahoo Finance on July 12. Read the full version here.