Here’s what you should know:

1. raises seed funding to disrupt customer loyalty program in Indonesia

Customer loyalty platform has raised an undisclosed seed funding round led by East Ventures to expand its team and support product development. designs, builds, and operates loyalty program as a third-party provider for its clients. The company currently only targets large enterprises.

In the long run, users can exchange points across different brands via the platform. If you prefer the rewards from another brand, you can buy into that network by trading points.

Read the full story here.

2. reported more loss in Q2 2017 than the same period last year reported a widened net loss in the second quarter of 496.4 million yuan ($74.43 million), from 252.3 million yuan in the same period a year earlier.
The losses is mostly caused by the marketing costs as it rose 63% to 4.1 billion yuan ($614 million), mostly due to sales events in June.

However, the company’s revenue also grew 43.6% to 93.2 billion yuan (almost $14 billion), well above its forecast range of 88 billion yuan to 90.5 billion yuan ($13 billion to $13.5 billion).

Read the full story here.

3. Uber appeals to LTFRB’s one month suspension order

Uber said it had appealed to the Philippine authorities to reconsider a one-month suspension order that was issued a day earlier, while resuming services as it waits for a decision.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) decided on Monday night to halt the service over Uber’s defiance of an order to cease accepting new driver applications.

The suspension led to an outpouring protest by Filipinos on social media as Uber is hugely popular and regarded as more reliable than the public transport services.

Read the full story here.


Here’s what you should know today:

1. Uber is suspended for one month in the Philippines

The Philippines’ Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has suspended Uber’s operation for one month.

The suspension order came after Uber violated the order to not accept and activate new drivers into its platform that issued on July 26 as the agency ironed out issues concerning the ride-sharing industry.

The suspension took effect on Monday night and affecting thousands of Uber’s drivers. The LTFRB recommended that Uber extend financial assistance to its affected drivers as a “form of good faith.”

Read the full story here.

2. Singapore’s SingX raises $4.5M to expand in APAC

Online remittance startup SingX has raised $4.5 million in a pre-Series A round led by angel investors from Singapore and Hong Kong.

The fintech company will use the fund to scale up customer acquisition in Singapore and develop its platform, also expand its services to Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Australia.

SingX bypasses banks and offer cheaper and more intuitive costs to do remittance transactions. It targets white collar workers and SMEs, who have more leverage and are savvier financially.

Read the full story here

3. Recommended reading: Traditional retailers in the Philippines prepare for ecommerce trend

The traditional brick-and-mortar retailers’ position as a key node in the Philippines’ consumption-driven economy, they are in danger of being supplanted by ecommerce.

Although ecommerce only contributed 2% of the total retail, it’s getting a lot of buzz and continues growing because of a lot of innovation in the sector. However, this doesn’t mean the traditional retailers are completely in disadvantage.

“Shopping has always been a sensory experience. This is what we’ve always been good at. What we want [local retailers] to realize is that if you meld this expertise with the kind of information that people get from ecommerce, where all the information on a product is readily available from price to reviews, then they can do very well,” said Paul Santos, president of the Philippines Retailers Association (PRA).

Read the full story here.


Here’s what you should know:

1. Vietnam’s online travel market is valued at $9 billion in 2020

Up to 45% of Vietnamese internet users book hotel services or air tickets, with the figure increasing by 11% annually, according to Vietnam’s deputy director of the Ecommerce and Information Technology Agency, Lai Viet Anh.

The number of travelers booking tours online has increased considerably in the last two years. About 4,000 travelers booked tours online in 2015 and it increased by threefold last year (12,000 travelers). In the first half of 2017, the number of travelers booking tours online was equal to that of the entire year of 2016.

Forecasts say Vietnam’s online tourism market’s value may reach $9 billion in the next three years.

Read the full story here.

2. Didi Chuxing partners with car booking company Careem

Chinese ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing has announced a new partnership with Middle East transportation company Careem to further its expansion in North Africa and the Middle East.

With 12 million customers, Dubai based Careem has overtaken Uber within the Middle East since its launch five years ago, with investors such as Germany auto company Daimler, and Japan’s Rakuten.

Didi’s expansion into the Middle East will put it head-to-head with Uber, who have already gained ground within the region.

Read the full story here.

3. Payless emerges from bankruptcy

Payless is set to emerge from bankruptcy after disposing of half of $847 million of debt it had built up under its private-equity ownership.

Payless has closed roughly 700 mostly mall-based US stores, but is opening four mega stores here to add to some 3,200 post-bankruptcy locations in the US and abroad, and plans to invest $234 million over five years.

The company is banking on a strategy focused primarily on brick-and-mortar sales at a time and can withstand the onslaught of ecommerce.

Read the full story here

Here’s what you should know today:

1.  MOBY’s Petshop raises fund to expand in Singapore

Singapore-based pet supplies ecommerce MOBY’s Petshop has raised $220,500 (S$300,000) from angel investors.

The company is planning to put the new fund to expand its operations and marketing team, product portfolios, and improving its site and app.

MOBY’s Petshop specialises in private-label pet goods, such as toys, bed and clothes. It offers free delivery and real-time support chat. The company is planning a regional expansion in 2018.

Read the full story here.

2. Softbank mulls over Uber or Lyft investment 

Having backed Grab in the past, Softbank has announced its interest to invest in more ride-hailing companies in the future.

The firm is mulling its option between Uber or Lyft. Last month, a media report said Uber is considering a stock sale to Softbank and other investors.

In its last quarterly report, Softbank revealed the increase of its operating profit to 50% from a year ago.

Read the full story here.

3. Indonesia’s Telkom eyes 10 potential M&A leads in digital companies

Indonesian state-owned telco company Telkom is reviewing 10 potential merger and acquisitions involving fintech, ecommerce, and ICT startups.

The company is also setting aside up to $2 billion for capital expenditure, or almost 25% of its $8.7 billion revenues last year.

Through its VC firm MDI Ventures that’s set up in 2014, the company committed $100 million to invest in global and domestics startups within the span of four years.

Read the full story here.

Here’s what you should know today:

1. Kerry Logistics invests $30 million in Thailand 

Logistic provider Kerry Express plans to spend at least 1 billion baht or $30 million in Thailand to expand its networks and meet growing demand of ecommerce delivery.

It plans to open 100 new distribution centres nationwide, bringing the total to 500 next year, as well as on new facilities, including 1,000 more trucks and motorcycles.

Last month, Kerry Express set up a new logistics hub with sorting capacity of 200,000 parcels a day and expand its Bang Na hub is to reach sorting capacity of 500,000 parcels per day.

Read the full story here.

2. Uber is under scrutiny in Singapore for safety issue 

Uber is under scrutiny for its auto-lending program after the company leased cars prone to fires in Singapore.

The ride-hailing company borrowed capital from Goldman Sachs and other banks used to purchase more than 1,000 defective Honda vehicles from importers. Uber managers in Singapore were aware of the problem when it bought and leased them to drivers.

Uber said it took “swift action to fix the problem” after learning of the auto fire and worked with Singapore officials on its response.

Read the full story here.

3. TV still the main advertising media in Indonesia 

Television will still remain the main advertising media in Indonesia until 2021 according to latest report from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

TV maintain 53.8% market share, up from 53.6% in 2016. Indonesian media and entertainment would see a 10.3% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) in the period between 2016 and 2021.

However, during the same period, PwC estimated that the CAGR of Internet advertising would reach 21.8%, higher than TV that was predicted to have a 10.4% CAGR.

Read the full story here

Here’s what you should know:

1. Grab starts full operations in Myanmar

After four-month trial period, Grab has begun full operations in Myanmar by launching localised apps with new safety and technology features.

Myanmar is the seventh market for Grab where it already has 5,000 drivers registered in its Myanmar’s network. The drivers is said to have seen 30% growth in their average income during the trial period.

Grab is also rolling out GrabVenue terminals at major shopping malls in Yangon that will allow customers without a smartphone to access the service.

The company claimed to have more than 1.1 million drivers in 65 cities across the seven countries and has recently raised $2 billion to strengthen its operations in Southeast Asia.

Read the full story here.

2. Malaysia’s parliament passed two bills legalizing e-hailing services 

Malaysia’s parliament passed two bills that will legalize the e-hailing services like Grab and Uber in the country.

The amendments will allow the services to operate on an “intermediation business license”, a new category specific for the service.

The new license will regulate “the business of facilitating arrangements, bookings or transactions of an e-hailing vehicle whether for any valuable consideration or money’s worth or otherwise”, according to Malaysia’s Land Public Transport Act and the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board (CVLB) bill.

The bill is supported by the cabinet even as taxi driver associations protested. The CVLB had previously declared that both Uber and Grab drivers were operating illegally in the country.

Read the full story here.

3. Amazon’s entry into Singapore marred by delivery problem

The company is unable to deliver goods to customers in Singapore after introducing its Prime Now two-hour delivery service in the state-country.

As of Friday afternoon, its Prime Now app was telling users that “delivery is currently sold out. Check back soon.” The service appeared to go down hours after its official launch on Thursday, according to media reports.

The company launched Prime Now app for customers in Singapore where they can shop and get tens of thousands of items delivered to their door with free delivery on orders of more than S$40 ($29). The service is available for trial for free for a limited time in Singapore, before the company rolls out its Prime membership program.

Read the full story here.