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Here’s what you should know for today.

1. Rocket Internet’s home services marketplace Helpling raises $11m

This latest funding round is led by APACIG, a joint venture between the German startup investor and Qatari telco Ooredoo. It’s a downround, however, which means that its valuation decreased as compared to the previous funding round.

 Helpling has also announced it’ll bring window cleaning, furniture assembling, and paint work to all its markets.

Helpling’s business model is asset-light. However, this type of model is easy to replicate. How can it beat out local and regional competition to become a dominant player?

What are people saying about it? “I think it’s a tough model because clients don’t have loyalty to the middleman platform,” says Poh Chen Wei, founder of Pegaxis, a B2B platform that connects service providers to properties.

 

2. World Bank’s IFC investment firm invests $2M in Southeast Asian fund SeedPlus

IFC confirmed today that it has invested $2 million in the SeedPlus fund, the size of which has not been disclosed.

Its portfolio includes B2B repairs platform Moglix, Mimetic.ai, which manages an AI assistant platform, and mobile security firm AppKnox.

“Ultimately we want to curate and carefully select our investor base, that goes back to our focus to support our startups beyond Singapore and Southeast Asia,” said Tiang Lim Foo, operating partner at SeedPlus.

Read the rest of the story here.

 

3. Recommended Reading: Fast fashion fading as H&M, Zara show strain

Retailers’ recent results illustrate the difficulties facing the fashion industry as consumers divert spending to leisure activities and buy more of their apparel from a rising number of online suppliers.

Richard Chamberlain, analyst at RBC Capital estimates that H&M’s same-store sales fell 3% in the month, weighed down by the tough industry conditions and as initiatives to expand online options for customers and improve methods of supply take time to feed through to sales.

Read the rest of the story here.

 

4. Community Chatter: Malaysians are savers

Source: Nielsen’s Twitter account

Malaysia now has one of the lowest consumer confidence ratings in Southeast Asia, which does not bode well for local demand in the country for 2017, according to Nielsen’s findings.

Read the rest of the story here.

Here’s what you need to know this Friday morning.

 

1.  Alibaba and SingPost strengthen ties

Singapore Post’s (SingPost) ties with Alibaba were strengthened today as the Chinese online giant’s S$86.2m investment in SingPost’s logistics subsidiary Quantium Solutions International (QSI) was completed.

Read the rest of the story here

 

2. World Bank says its easier to do business in Indonesia

The significant jump is reported to be based on improvements made in starting a business, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, paying taxes, trading across borders and enforcing contracts.

Read the rest of the story here

 

3. Singaporean startup Stendard helps small medtech companies reach global standards

The website helps companies generate the documentation they need for the compliance process by answering a series of questions about a company’s internal procedures, staff, and products. Available on a subscription basis.

Read the rest of the story here

Indonesia policy reform

Source: Google images

The World Bank praised Indonesia’s recent reforms, including higher public infrastructure spending and deregulation measures to lessen strict trade and investment policies, for maintaining the country’s resilience and allowing the government to diversify economically.

Since September 2015, the government’s has announced numerous policy reforms. Some sectors — in particular, trade and investment policy — witnessing a shift towards deregulation and have helped to maintain investor confidence in the country, hence Indonesia’s resilience against limited investment due to slowing global demand and volatility in the global financial market.

Moving to Manufacturing

Rodrigo Chaves, the World Bank’s Country Director for Indonesia, said global economic headwinds, including the consistently low commodity prices and the sluggish global trade, have forced Indonesia — a commodity exporter country — to expand into sectors other than mining and commodity, such as the manufacturing and service sectors.

Indonesia’s manufacturing operations are dominated by assembling and blending, which makes the country vulnerable to changes in multinational corporations’ global strategies. The country’s global share of manufacturing has remained at around 0.6 percent over the last 15 years.

“This is the right time to improve Indonesia’s manufacturing sector,” said Ndiame Diop, the World Bank’s Lead Economist for Indonesia. “Now is a critical moment for Indonesia to implement further reforms that will enhance the competitiveness of its manufacturing and services sectors, especially tourism.”

The World Bank kept its March prediction that the Indonesian economy will grow 5.1 percent this year.

Earlier this month, the Bank downgraded its global growth forecast to 2.4 percent from the previous 2.9 percent. Private consumption and public capital spending are projected to support Indonesia’s growth this year.

“Indonesia’s policy reform is the foundation of our economic resilience. I can’t stress this enough,” said Trade Minister Thomas Lembong.

A version of this appeared in Jakarta Globe on June 20. Read the full article here.