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Here’s what you need to know.

1. On demand startup Lalamove gets $30M for expansion to 100 cities

Hong Kong based Lalamove announced it has secured $30 million from investors. Xianghe Capital, a relatively new firm, led the round, while Blackhole Capital and previous investors MindWorks Ventures and Crystal Stream contributed. Now active in 40 cities in mainland China, plus Hong Kong, Taipei, Singapore, Bangkok, and Manila, Lalamove wants to be in 100 cities by the end of the year.

Read the rest of the story here.

 

2. Amazon Go: Open for business to employees only 

Image credit: Taylor Anderson linkedin

There are five ways that Amazon will disrupt a typical American neighborhood before Amazon Go becomes readily available for the public. This includes the digitization of home services and voice enabled digital commerce.

In other news, Amazon Go may open in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.

Read the rest of the story here.

 

3. Indonesia’s Tokopedia will explore more fintech services

In the past one year Tokopedia has been aggressively launching new features starting from payment channels to services such as mobile phone and home electricity credits purchase

Throughout 2017, Tokopedia still aims to present more new payments channels to ease transaction for every Indonesian. The company will also open access to more financial services such as loans, insurance, savings, and investment for users in different ends of the country.

Read the rest of the story here.

 

Seven years after its launch, Tokopedia now has one million registered sellers on its platform, reports Tech in Asia.

The total number of products sold on the platform rose to 16.5 million a month this year.

tokopedia merchants

Source: Tech in Asia

Co-Founder and CEO, William Tanuwijaya said in a statement that the total value of items purchased on the platform is now ‘on the trillions of rupiah’ per month. Five trillion Indonesian rupiah would roughly equal $380 million.

These somewhat casual numbers are not to be taken for fact, but for the sake of comparison. Lazada’s GMV was just above $1 million in 2015, and that is the total number for all of Southeast Asia.

With the GMV hitting the hundreds of millions in USD monthly, it puts Tokopedia in the same league as Lazada.

Shift in shopping behavior

Tanuwijaya also pointed out that Tokopedia is the most popular home-grown site in Indonesia, with a total of 1.3 billion page views per month.

This reflects a big shift in shopping behavior among Indonesians. Two years ago, 56% of shoppers accessed Tokopedia from mobile devices and mobile transactions was only at 29%. Now, 80% of visits are from mobile, and mobile transactions rose to 74%.

Tokopedia’s rival, Bukalapak, also reportedly hit the 1 million merchants mark, but did not reveal any numbers. The ecommerce company revealed its figures to Tech in Asia, but because it is not a public company, there is no way of fact-checking the numbers.

A version of this appeared in Tech in Asia on August 18. Read the full version here

Indonesian ecommerce site Tokopedia is not planning to go public anytime soon. The company believes is still has enough funding to support expansion. Indeed, Tokopedia has recently raised $147.7 million funding, bringing the total funding of $247.7 million which sets the company as the best-funded startup in Indonesia.

Tokopedia operates in an increasingly tight competition in the Indonesian ecommerce market, with rivals like Lippo Group-backed Mataharimall.com, Bukalapak, or Djarum’s Blibli and Alibaba’s Lazada also vying to dominate a market worth an estimated $130 billion by 2020.

Meanwhile, Bhinneka.com, one of the country’s oldest ecommerce companies, has set a plan to sell shares to the public in 2018 to raise more capital. But Tokopedia remains confident that the fund that they got from various investors like Softbank, Sequoia Capital and other undisclosed investors is enough to support growth in the next few years.

“A startup’s target is not just fundraising or IPO. It’s just one of many ways to raise capital. The most important thing is how we can bring value to the community,” said Leontinus Alpha Edison, Tokopedia’s co-founder.

Leontinus admitted that an IPO can boost capital and offer early investors in the company to cash in their gain but he insisted that Tokopedia’s current investors are in no rush to do so.

“An IPO is still very far away for us. It will need a lot of consideration and is not going to happen anytime soon,” Leontinus said.

A version of this appeared in Jakarta Globe on July 31. Read the full article here

Venture-backed companies in Asia raised a total of $7.4 billion through 343 investment deals in Q2 of this year, reports Deal Street Asia. China outperformed the rest of the region. The amount raised accounts for approximately 25% of the VC funded deals globally, which stood at $27.4 billion from the same period. Irene Chu, Partner and Head of High Growth Tech and Innovation Group at KPMG, Hong Kong, comments,

It’s harder now to ask for a big valuation if you aren’t able to show the ability to become profitable or at least cash flow positive. 

Investors seem to be becoming more selective and increasingly focused on the core fundamentals of the company. Divided by stage, the proportion of early-stage deals in Asia rose to a 5 quarter high of 39% in Q2 of 2016, up from 33% from Q1. However, the share of most other stages fell, which dropped from 27% in Q1 to 21% in Q2.

Late stage deals from companies such as Didi Chuxing and Tokopedia gave boost to the average figure of Q2 to $100 million. Which means that bigger startups received more favorable funding rounds.

34% of the investments were made by corporate venture capital arms, such as Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu and Rakuten.

However, corporate investors are being more cautious with their investments, only investing in those that show clear strategic value add to their organization. The top VC firms in the region were Blume Ventures, 500 Startups and Sequoia Capital.

China’s investment performance vs Southeast Asia

China topped Asia in funding value with $5.6 billion for 74 deals – among the 10 biggest funding rounds to Asian startups, nine out of ten happened to be Chinese firms. Although investment edged over Q1, it is still far from the peak of 136 deals in Q3-2015. This is partly due to stiffer exit climate as Chinese regulators intensify scrutiny of potential IPO filings.

Southeast Asia is also witnessing a downturn in the number of deals over the last two quarters.

Singapore topped the region in terms of deal count, with 15 deals at $54.6 million, followed by Indonesia with 13 deals at $158.3 million.

Series E financing round for Indonesian based Tokopedia alone accounted for $147 million, which makes the total number appear slightly less sunny. Other major deals in the region were $30 million series B funding to logistics startup Ninja Van. This cements Singapore as the Southeast Asian ecommerce leader, with Indonesia still showing the most potential among the emerging markets.

In general, VC investment has cooled down in Asia as the return on investment, eroded by a potential interest rate increase in the US, is no longer as lucrative. Investors in Asia are predicted to remain cautious over the next quarter due to several economic certainties. However, sectors such as insurance tech and healthcare are predicted to have promising growth rate as investment increased over the last three quarters.

A version of this appeared in Deal Street Asia on July 20. Read the full version here.

Media shy shopping app Sale Stock is making its mark in the online shopping sector reports Tech In Asia. The app is currently ranked at number 10 in Indonesia’s Play Store, which puts it up in the same league as ecommerce incumbents such as Lazada and Tokopedia, despite having launched less than a year ago.

Despite its success, Sale Stock is very understated because the founders, husband and wife duo Lingga Madu and Ariza Novianti, prefer to keep a low profile. The founding team is made up of three other co-founders, one a former engineer at Facebook.

Funding Situation

Sale Stock is listed as a company under Ardent Ventures, and thus is now managed under Wavemaker, as the two funds recently merged earlier this year. According to Tech In Asia’s speculations, Sinar Mas Digital Ventures (SMDV) could have a larger stake in Sale Stock as the startup has an office in SMDV’s space in downtown Jakarta.

The Sale Stock Philosophy

Sale Stock is strictly mobile only to leverage Indonesia’s growing mobile commerce sector, where mobile growth rate is at 55.5%, according to MasterCard’s Mobile Shopping Survey. The startup sells affordable, unbranded women’s fashion.

No dress, watch or shoe cost over $15.24 making Sale Stock affordable for everyone. The company’s ‘No Discount’ policy also means that prices remain consistently low so there is not a need to wait for sale season to purchase.

The company does not charge a delivery fee and accepts cash on delivery as a method of payment to appeal to Indonesia’s mass shoppers who have low credit card penetration. The startup’s supply chain and logistics is operated by aCommerce, also under Ardent/SMDV.

Because Sale Stock is not a C2C player like its closest competitors Shoppee or Carousell, and sells only its own inventory, the startup has managed to cultivate a niche of its own. Sale Stock’s main roadblock is a comparatively asset-heavy model as it curates its own inventory meaning that it needs to operate on a consistently large scale due to slim margins from low prices.

A version of this appeared in Tech In Asia on July 12. Read the full version here.