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Singapore based media site e27 has raised $2.2 million Series A round led by TechTemple Group, the company announced on its website. Other investors include Linear Venture, Convergence Ventures. Venturecraft and Spacemob.

Mainly known as a tech focused media outlet, co-founder and CEO Mohan Belani insists that media is only a small part of what e27 represents.

From day one, e27 has always been an ecosystem builder. We’ve always had a vision of creating products offline and online that would help us achieve that vision. 

The company has launched jobs platforms, a startup and investor database, and a B2B marketplace. e27 is also the company behind the Echelon series of startup and investor conferences. Belani clarifies,

“At this point, the natural direction for us is to weave the online and offline functions in order to create a full-fledged, interactive ecosystem product, not just an uni-directional digital media.”

Bridging the gap between China and Southeast Asia is crucial

China has impressive market opportunities, made up of companies and people who have accomplished what Southeast Asia is currently trying to do. e27 aims to collaborate with its new investors, who are based in China, and provide more know-how towards the landscape, the language, network and professional interest barriers.

Currently, there are mid-sized and growth sized startups in China that are interested in expanding into Southeast Asia. The trend is being led by tech titans such as Tencent, Baidu and Alibaba, who have successfully paved ways into the booming market. e27 wishes to drive the growth of Chinese startups into the region by providing them with the right tools.

Indonesia’s role in driving Southeast Asia’s growth

e27 plans to collaborate with Convergence Ventures, one of the investors from this round, and leverage their strong investment network in Indonesia. This ties in with the company’s goal to facilitate stronger cross-border ties between key players in the region and China.

Jerry Wang, Founder of TechTemple comments,

“China’s rapid development of the internet industry brings important lessons to Southeast Asian entrepreneurs, as well as opportunities for cross-border collaboration. Localisation is also very important, hence investing in e27 would bring a wealth of local knowledge and connections for China.”

A version of this appeared in e27 on July 27. Read the full version here.

A year ago, Jet.com launched its ecommerce business with a large amount of hype after getting hundreds of millions in funding and nearly $600 million valuation before selling a single product, reports Fortune.

Despite the solid start, the company faced several challenges this past year – forced to shift strategies, faced rumors of bleeding cash and turbulence with big brands. However, founder Marc Lore doesn’t seem fazed,

This has never been a winner takes all market. There will be a really large number 2, 3 and 4, Jet can be one of those.

According to Lore, Jet’s sales have tripled in the past six months. In December 2015, it sold $33 million in merchandise compared with $90 million in May.

Jet originally launched its membership based ecommerce site in July 2015 to take on brick and mortar warehouse clubs like Costco, while also competing against Amazon’s bulk products business. For a $50 annual membership, Jet members could buy diapers, cleaning supplies and sporting goods, 10-15% below anywhere else online. In October, Jet dropped its $50 membership fee – the only source of profit. However, the company said that customers were still happy with 5% discount, which also allowed Jet to make some profits from sales.

Another key differentiation from Amazon is Jet’s bet on dynamic pricing. This means that the price of items change depending on what shoppers buy. For example, if shoppers buy multiple items that are in different warehouses, they end up paying more because merchants spend more on packaging and shipping.

The company has also been quietly testing groceries delivery, testing the model in New York, New Jersey, Washington DC and Connecticut, where consumers can order milk, cereal and vegetables among other things. The reason for expanding into groceries, a low margin business, is because the model tends to draw repeat customers. Jet has also been committed to sourcing food that is harder to find such as Kosher food and gluten free items.

Jet is also planning to follow Amazon’s footsteps of producing its own products such as diapers and groceries.

Despite the optimism from Lore, there is still the question of how quickly Jet is burning cash, and when it will become profitable. Lore projects profitability in 2020, three and a half years from now. In November, Jet raised $618 million and plans to raise another round later this year. Sucharita Mulpuru, analyst at Forrester Research comments that it will take a lot of capital and experimentation to come close to Amazon’s scale.

They are so far behind Amazon, they are not even in the same playing field. – Sucharita Mulpuru, Analyst at Forrester Research.

Jet still needs more time to test out its business model. Fortunately for them, it seems to have the backing of deep pocketed investors for now. It also has no plans to expand as of now, unlike its much larger counterpart.

A version of this appeared in Fortune on July 22. Read the full version here.