Monthly Archives: September 2015


30
Sep 2015

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 today’s technology, customization, segmentation and individualized targeting can be done efficiently without utilizing too many resources. The importance of individualized messaging for......

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30
Sep 2015

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. However, one problem that constantly irritated them during these sessions was the unavailability of food. Curiously, restaurants in Dhaka rarely had dedicated......

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30
Sep 2015

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 to us to decide what everyone else wants to see,” explains Rikin Gandhi, founder of Digital Green, a YouTube for rural India......

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30
Sep 2015

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 them to get their products into their followers’ hands. The social media giant started testing their buy buttons late last year with......

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30
Sep 2015

(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 567 million (US$636 million) the same period a year ago. The company is not revealing net profit or net losses for any......

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30
Sep 2015

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 officer, told Tech in Asia: “The allotment is for Silicon Valley companies and other companies overseas. That means, if we find good......

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30
Sep 2015

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 lack of passion in being the CEO that will take the company public. Tiang Lim Foo, market development lead for Asia-Pacific, confirms......

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30
Sep 2015

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 latest addition to Singapore’s skyline. It’s probably not too much of a surprise to say that the office is all sorts of......

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30
Sep 2015

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 of firms providing audit, tax, and financial advisory services, roughly 105 million Indonesians still need access to formal or semiformal credit and......

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30
Sep 2015

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 to increase direct reservations. It also provides a booking engine. In just over a year since launch, the startup has brought 500......

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30
Sep 2015

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, by building a diversified portfolio of leading, specialized, and global ecommerce brands,” he was quoted as saying. Tony didn’t say much about......

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30
Sep 2015

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 edited by Tech in Asia. First, I think people in the States and the West worry about China. I think it’s a......

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30
Sep 2015

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” on their bellies to follow black lines on a race track, as well as a third eye to discern color patterns for the start and finish lines or other game......

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30
Sep 2015

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 also be offered with a free three-month trial to Chinese users, after which it will cost RMB 10 per month (US$1.57) –......

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30
Sep 2015

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 speed towards Asia. In March, the company launched in Australia and New Zealand. This month, it’s launching in Japan. It has already......

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