Malaysia’s Supahands pivots, raises pre-A funding round

Supahands, a company that allows people to ‘crowdsource’ outsourced employees has announced some changes in its business.

It has pivoted to a B2B model and is now selling its products called ‘DIANE’, a product that uses an algorithm to help managers rapidly kick off projects by automating the process of building an outsourced team. The company compares the DIANE to Facebook’s “People you may know” feature except for outsourcing

The goal is to help people outsource the day-to-day menial tasks and free up time for them to work on more important work. Supahands has about 1,500 people it calls SupaAgents, which act as the pool for DIANE.

The company has also raised a pre-Series A round led by Axiata Digital Innovation Fund with participation from Cradle Seed Ventures.

Video game ‘Fight of Gods’ could face ban in Indonesia

A few days ago, the launch of ‘Fight of Gods’ got the entire Steam platform temporarily banned in Malaysia and the video game might be creating a similar problem in Indonesia. According to Detik, the Ministry of Communications and Informatics in Indonesia has petitioned Steam to remove the game from its platform in the country.

The reason is because users have complained about the theme of the game — which involves deity figures like Buddha, a post-crucifixion Jesus and ancient gods battling in a Mortal Kombat-style video game.

Steam has two days to comply or could face a total ban as it did in Malaysia.

Malaysia securities commission to create fintech ‘bridges’

The statutory board in charge of regulating the Malaysian finance industry, Securities Commission Malaysia, announced today it has signed a series of cooperation agreements with foreign financial agencies to better integrate the fintech sectors.

Dubbed ‘fintech bridges’ the idea is to facilitate information sharing, trends and regulatory development. The commission signed these agreements with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission, the Dubai Financial Services Authority and the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Also Read: EV Hive raises US$3.5M from Yinglan Tan’s Insignia Ventures to compete with Indonesian co-working spaces

The agreements are meant to help shape Malaysia’s fintech regulatory environment moving forward.

Google may launch payments app in India called ‘Tez’

Google is reportedly set to enter a crowded space when it launches a mobile payments platform in India next Monday, according to The Ken. The report says the product will be called ‘Tez’ — the word for ‘fast’ in Hindi.

The product is said to be more powerful than Android Pay. It also brings Google into direct competition with WhatsApp (Facebook), Flipkart, Truecaller and the entire banking industry. The launch of payments in Google is reported to be build around content, applications, data and devices.

Alibaba set for rapid offline expansion

The Chinese e-commerce giant, Alibaba, plans to buy up 10,000 small shops to build a massive O2O network to service Tmall.com, according to China Money Network. The brick-and-mortar shops would allow Tmall customers to both make and pick up orders, shop and possibly even apply for small loans.

To get an idea, the flagship shop is only about 140 square metres (about as big as an average fast-food restaurant). The shop gets to keep its original name (Weijun) and can largely sell what it wants. However, the store is, according to China Money Network, covered in Tmall advertising and there is a dedicated isle for goods that can only be bought through Tmall.com.

Also Read: Temasek reportedly eyeing investment in augmented reality company Magic Leap

Alibaba has 529 million monthly active users, so pushing them towards an offline network could dramatically impact how the Chinese consumer shops.