Missed out on ecommerce headlines over the weekend? Catch up with today’s round up.

1. Alibaba’s Hong Kong fund invests in three food, fashion startups

The three startups that just received undisclosed sums of funding were online clothing retailer Grana, food delivery firm Nosh, and cooking recipe video site DayDayCook. Read the rest of the story here.


2. Online shoppers prefer control to speed, says Deutsche Post DHL study

Successful delivery is no longer solely determined by the speed of the last mile – it requires a whole new level of digital infrastructure, from real-time fleet tracking to SMS alerts and mobile apps. Read the rest of the story here.


3. CekAja and eCompareMo get series B funding from Telstra Ventures to grow fintech empire

C88 will use the money to “scale” market leadership by boosting mass market branding, according to co-founder and CEO JP Ellis. Read the rest of the story here.

1. Chat app Line backs VC funds to unlock global growth opportunities

 In an announcement, the company said these investments are designed to pave the way for it to move beyond its focus on Asia and grow its current 218 million monthly active user base. Read the rest of the story here.


2. Why Indonesia’s mobile market is attracting international companies and talent

E Market Research estimates that revenue from the mobile entertainment market will grow to a staggering US$845 million in 2016. The mobile boom has also fuelled Indonesia’s ecommerce growth, making it rise from US$12 billion in 2014 to US$18 billion last year. Read the rest of the story here.


3. Thailand, China to cooperate in five new areas to drive growth

The new areas are basic infrastructure with technology, new industries, information technology and communications, science and technology, and alternative energy. Read the rest of the story here.


4. How Sephora’s new Android shopping app expands its education-driven monetization

Sephora’s latest mobile offering is an Android application that enables users to shop its inventory, scan products in-store to access how-to tutorials and watch videos, underscoring the beauty giant’s efforts to drive commerce with education-based content. Read the rest of the story here.

Here are the key headlines for today:

1. Apple Pay and Android Pay purchases may hit $8 billion by 2018

In-app purchases and website retail payments are projected to drive annual spend via Apple Pay and Android Pay up to $8 billion in 2018, up from $540 million this year. Read the rest of the story here.


2. Frost & Sullivan: Southeast Asia’s ecommerce market to surpass $25 billion by 2020 

Despite the region’s market challenges, Frost & Sullivan has forecasted that Southeast Asia will continue on the path of rapid growth, with B2C ecommerce to lead the way. Read the rest of the story here.


3. Indonesia’s Fintech investments to reach $8 billion in two years

According to The Indonesian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (KADIN), transactions through fintech in have escalated along with the number of people going online. Read the rest of the story here.


4. Google takes on Uber with the launch of its new ride-sharing service

Google is moving onto Uber’s turf with a ride-sharing service to help San Francisco commuters join carpools through Alphabet, at a cheaper rate. Read the rest of the story here.


5. Southeast Asia’s VCs join forces to boost startups

The new group was started by Indonesian venture capital association Amvesindo and its pendant in Singapore, SVCA. Read the rest of the story here.

Southeast Asia’s most prominent and active venture capital firms like Gobi Partners, East Ventures, and Convergence Ventures have formed a lobby group called ASEAN Venture Council to develop the venture capital industry in the region, reports Tech in Asia.

The new group was started by Indonesian venture capital association Amvesindo and its pendant in Singapore, SVCA.

VC associations in Malaysia and Thailand are expected to join at a later date.

Southeast Asia’s startup industry is enjoying a high, $799 million has been pumped into growing tech firms across the region.

ASEAN Venture Council goals

One aim of the group, which was announced today at a fintech conference in Jakarta, is to learn from each other’s experience and to lobby respective governments for favorable conditions. An important aspect to fintech services and products is taxation.

For example, Singapore can teach a lot about creating regulations that differentiate accredited and retail investors. This distinction has not been made clear in Indonesia.

Ku Kay Mok of Gobi Partners has also raised a point about crowdfunding, another area that the council aims to address as it has the potential to disrupt venture capital.

The council will assist each country’s associations with regulatory issues, which will be updated regularly. The council will also organize events and share best practices, as well as assist firms with deal flow.

A version of this appeared in Tech in Asia on August 30. Read the rest of the version here

Red Dot Payment, a Singaporean online payments company, announced today that it received a seven figure investment round led by MDI Ventures, reports Tech in Asia. MDI Ventures is the corporate venture arm of Indonesia’s largest telco, Telkom.

The startup’s existing investors, such as Japan’s GMO Venture Partners, Wavemaker Partners and Skype Co-Founder Toivo Annus, also participated in this round.

What is Red Dot Payments?

What differentiates Red Dot Payments from other similar providers such as Singapore’s 2C2P, is the fact that it caters to specialized, industry specific payments needs. For example, it has a suite of tools just for hotels. Other key areas it specializes in are insurance providers and charities.

“With an increasing adoption of ecommerce and online transactions in the region, different types of industries will need a solution more focused toward their specific need,” says Nicko Widjaja, MDI Ventures CEO.

The online payments company provides online payment gateway systems, payment consulting and merchant acquisition services for businesses, and supports various different methods of payment such as Visa, MasterCard, TenPay and Alipay.

It offers various services such as InstanPromo, which provides customers with the option to choose from a list of available promotions before making payment, and InstanCollect, an e-invoicing solution for businesses with no online presence.

Red Dot Payments is currently already active in markets outside of Singapore, such as Thailand and Singapore. The new funds are meant to be allocated for further regional expansion.

Telkom’s VC, MDI Ventures is heavily focused on fueling the ecommerce growth in Southeast Asia. They also announced a $10 million funding round for aCommerce, a leading ecommerce service provider in the region.

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

Krungthai Bank (KTB) is launching a venture capital fund worth $65.7 million (THB 2.3 billion) in collaboration with the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) and the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) to help small and medium-sized enterprises and startups expand their businesses.

The SME Private Equity Trust Fund will be managed by Krungthai Bank and One Asset Management Ltd. Out of the total investment,

  • $57.1 million (THB 2 billion) will come from Krungthai Bank
  • $5.7 million (THB 200 million) from the Stock Exchange
  • $2.8 million (THB 100 million) from NSTDA

It is expected to officially launch in the third quarter of 2016.

The trust fund plans to invest in three groups – high growth startups, technology-based SMEs and large-sized suppliers – that drive the country’s economic growth.  “We would like to make Thai companies healthier and help them to grow and eventually raise funding from the stock market,” says Kesara Manchusree, President of the Stock Exchange of Thailand. She estimated the fund could help around 100 SMEs and boost Thai economy eventually. 

Mr. Songpol Chevapanyaroj, senior vice-president in charge of the global transaction banking group at KTB, said that the venture fund will put in the money as a partner of the SMEs and invest between $572K- $4.3 million (THB 20-150 million) per business. The fund also aims to focus on SMEs that are in a strong position, those with a revenue of $11.4 – $17.2 million (THB 400-600 million) a year.

Apart from the financing, the fund will also provide the chosen companies financial advisory services, investment consultancy, and pre-listing management for those who plan to list on the stock market. In addition, NSTDA will provide other incentives such as tax exemption for research and development-based or technology-based businesses.

A version of this appeared in Deal Street Asia and Bangkok Post on July 25/26. Read the full version here and here.