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September 2015

Forget Generic – Target Individual Users by Tailoring Your Website

We all know that no user is the same. Aside from the very basics such as age, gender, socio-economic background and so on–every person differs in their life experiences, interests, and preferences. Since this is the case, why do marketers continue to use the same tired methodology to reach a diverse customer base? There are lots of excuses: Little man power, not enough resources, and of course—time constraints. But, with …Read More

Too lazy to go get your own food in Bangladesh? HungryNaki will bring it to your doorstep

In early 2013, a group of five entrepreneurs based in Dhaka, Bangladesh, found themselves brainstorming ideas for a viable, scalable online business. They were determined to take advantage of the burgeoning online population in the country, but were stuck on the idea itself. As most of them had prior exposure to the textile and fashion industry, their first instinct was to set up an ecommerce store selling clothes and accessories. …Read More

A YouTube for rural India puts the people first

For most of the world, there is absolutely nothing to do on the internet. While translation services are a good way to communicate with non-English speakers, most online content continues to target a specific group of people. If a man in a rural village in Andhra Pradesh, India watches a Telugu-translated TED talk titled “10 Reasons Waking Up Early Can Gamify Your Life,” none of the advice will be useful. “It’s not up …Read More

#SellOnTwitter with Shopify

Over the last year, we’ve made it possible for you to sell directly on two of the biggest social media platforms on the planet—Facebook and Pinterest. Today, we’re adding Twitter to that list, making Shopify the first and only ecommerce platform to allow merchants to sell across all three major social networks. Twitter and Shopify have partnered to make “Buy now” buttons available to Shopify merchants, making it easier for …Read More

Rocket financials: Lazada on course for $1B in sales this year, 58% of shoppers now on mobile

(Image: unmodified version of photo by Flickr user Steve Jurvetson) Rocket Internet released its H1 2015 financial report this afternoon, showing that the Germany-based startup factory saw strong growth from most of its global network of sites. Rocket’s 13 core sites – the ones it dubs “proven winners,” including the likes of Foodpanda, Lazada, and Zalora – hit revenue of EUR 1.37 billion (US$1.53 billion) in H1, up from EUR …Read More

Philippines’ PLDT launches VC that eyes Silicon Valley, global investments

Philippine telecommunications giant PLDT has created a venture capital firm that will invest in companies from Silicon Valley and the rest of the world. PLDT Capital, which has started operations in Los Angeles County in California, expects to make US$50 million in investments this year alone. The investments could be in “mobile engagement platforms, content, mcommerce, and digital services.” The firm’s managing director Winston Damarillo, who’s also PLDT’s chief strategy …Read More

Evernote to close Singapore office as it fires 13% of global staff

Evernote, the startup behind the popular note-taking tool of the same name, is witnessing turbulent times. It is laying off 47 workers, piling on to the 20 it let go earlier this year. Its Singapore office is one of three global offices the startup will be shutting down. The latest layoffs were announced by new CEO Chris O’Neill, soon after he took over the role from founder Phil Libin, who cited a …Read More

Office visit: take a look at Facebook’s fancy new digs in Singapore

Moving into a new place is always exciting and stressful in equal measure. Will everyone in the family like it there? Will there be a weird neighbor upstairs playing the trombone at 4am? Facebook probably has little reason to complain about its new Singapore HQ. Located at the South Beach Tower, just minutes away from the Suntec City commercial hub, the social media behemoth has commandeered four floors of this …Read More

This Indonesian micro-finance startup wants to put loan sharks out of business

In Indonesia, 203 million people are classified as poor, living on less than US$4.50 per day. This group of consumers is not the section of the economic pyramid that conventional banks and insurance companies tend to prioritize, despite their making up the majority of the archipelago’s population. This is a problem Aidil Zulkifli, co-founder and CEO of UangTeman, hopes to solve. According to a 2014 study from the KPMG global network …Read More

He is a hotelier at heart. And his startups aim to ensure that you enjoy your stay

Amit Saberwal, a management grad, built the online hotel booking division of MakeMyTrip in 2005. He was instrumental in making it the market leader in India and growing the turnover to US$200 million. After that, he wanted to help hotels develop their own direct booking systems – so he quit MakeMyTrip as its chief business officer to launch Commeasure. Commeasure has tech tools for hotels to manage their digital presence …Read More

Yes, AirAsia just called itself an internet company

Asia’s leading low-cost carrier AirAsia will spread its wings to fully embrace ecommerce soon, saying it’s an internet company after all. AirAsia’s chief and co-founder Tony Fernandes told a recent conference sponsored by Digital News Asia in Malaysia that the airline was forming an ecommerce arm, whose core areas would include online shopping and social gaming. “We aim to be the largest and most profitable interactive commerce company in Asia, …Read More

Why Jack Ma isn’t worried about China’s slowing economy

China’s economy is slowing. That much, everybody knows. But how bearish (or bullish) you feel about that probably depends on your perspective. And Jack Ma? It should come as no surprise to anyone that he’s bullish. At a recent interview at Stanford University with Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang, Ma explained his personal take on China’s economic situation right now. What follows is a transcript of his remarks compiled and slightly …Read More

These smart toy cars teach kids programming and robotics, and schools are snapping them up

It takes a robocar to shoot past a crowdfunding target on Kickstarter in two hours flat. Cannybots did that yesterday. It’s a build-your-own robot kit that lets kids aged six to 12 assemble smart cars and race them. Unlike a slot car guided in grooves by remote control, the Cannybots can be controlled by smartphones or tablets. They have “eyes” [optical sensors] on their bellies to follow black lines on …Read More

Apple Music rolls out in China, priced at less than $2 per month

Chinese users now have access to Apple Music, iBooks, and iTunes Movies, all of which were previously inaccessible in the mainland, according to a statement released by Apple today. Apple Music, the company’s Spotify-like streaming service, was launched in the US on June 30. It probably isn’t a coincidence that today’s announcement comes on the exact day that early adopters’ three-month free trial period is set to expire. Music will …Read More

Netflix has already missed its China window

Rumors are circulating in the Chinese press that today Netflix plans to announce a China service, offered through a partnership with Wanda. Given that there’s no real source for this information cited in the reports, it’s probably not true. But even though a Netflix China launch likely isn’t in the offing today, we do know that Netflix is interested in China. Over the past year, Netflix has moved with increasing …Read More