Go-Jek is set to leave Indonesia, eyes regional expansion

After growing into one of the more culturally transformative startups in Indonesia, Go-Jek seems ready to leave the domestic market and head abroad, according to Bloomberg.

In an interview with CEO Nadiem Makarim, he told the news agency the potential locations will be cash-heavy societies with large populations. He also suggested that the financial services product Go-Pay is going to be key for the international push.

Makarim told Bloomberg that it is time to go on the offensive after the company has been in a consistent battle with Grab and Uber for marketshare in Indonesia.

However, one factor Go-Jek will have to contend with is growing motorbike regulations across Southeast Asia. The economic growth in Southeast Asia has allowed for more people to be able afford vehicles, which has simultaneously created traffic so bad that it is actively harming the economy. Authorities are now working on plans for how to adjust their transportation infrastructure.

AdAsia Holdings acquires Japanese publishing trading platform FourM

AdAsia Holdings, the fast-moving Singaporean adtech company, announced today it has acquired FourM.

FourM is a publishing trading desk — essentially a company that targets their own audience but through a third-party platform. For example, American media companies use this strategy to increase their advertising revenue. The idea is that people want to reach the publisher’s audience, but do not actually care if they do so via the original website. So, the publisher targets their audience (based on data analytics) on other websites — which they then sell to their clients.

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FourM was founded in 2009 and has over one hundred publishers on its platform and claims 5 billion impressions per month.

“The acquisition provides our clients with immediate access to private marketplace deals with premium publishers in Japan. Additionally, FourM’s publisher solutions will allow us to better match advertisers to publishers across the region,” said, Kosuke Sogo the CEO and Co-founder of AdAsia Holdings in a statement.

Thailand e-commerce industry valued at US$84 billion, a nearly 10 per cent increase year-on-year

The growth of B2C e-commerce in Thailand resulted in an industry valued at THB2.8 trillion (US$84 billion), according to the Bangkok Post.

The entire industry grew by 9.8 per cent from 2016 and for the first time ever, Thailand’s B2C industry was the largest amongst the ASEAN countries. Malaysia was second, Vietnam third, Indonesia fourth and Singapore came in fifth.

B2C commerce in Thailand was worth THB652 Billion (US$19.6 billion) while only amounting to 1 per cent of the total retail market.

That being said, B2B still dominates the Thai e-commerce industry, accounting for 60 per cent of the total market.

For the first time, ‘online shopping’ entered the top-5 for most popular online activities amongst those surveyed. It appears alongside social media, email, watching TV and listening to music.

Meet TideBit, the Hong Kong Bitcoin exchange raking in dough from China crypto-crackdown

One man’s trash is another’s treasure — and for the Hong Kong-based Bitcoin exchange named TideBit, the Chinese crackdown on cryptocurrency has been a boon, according to the South China Morning Post.

According to the article, the ban that lead to the halting of Chinese exchanges like OkCoin, did not actually stop Chinese citizens from buying cryptocurrencies — it simply diverted them to foreign exchanges.

Terence Tsang, the Chief Operating Officer of TideBit, told the Post people still want to “play the game” and pointed to Hong Kong and Singapore as cities that should directly benefit from the Chinese ban.

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Tidebit is not involved in ICOs but did not rule it out of the future. One of the interesting quirks of the company is that its customer service is operated almost entirely via WhatsApp.

Data channeling startup Synchro raises US$214,000

Indonesian data distribution startup Synchro has raised a US$214,000 funding round led by PT Multidata Rancana Prima, as reported by DailySocial.

Synchro builds a data connectivity foundation to assist seamless communication between IoT devices.

Its clients includes government institutions like Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism as well as corporations such as Telkom Group and Bank Permata.

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Founded in 2014 by Sindarta Gemilang, Argon Usman, and Eko Sukaryanto, the startup is a graduate of Indigo Creative Nation, an incubation programme owned by state-owned telco operator Telkom.