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e-Wallet OVO partners with Taralite, Bareksa, Do-It to further financial inclusion [Press Release]

OVO, Indonesia’s e-wallet app, has announced strategic partnerships with online mutual funds marketplace Bareksa, and lending platform Taralite and Do-It. The purpose of the collaboration is to expand the open ecosystem for financial services and to accelerate financial inclusion.

The partnership with Bareksa will allow OVO’s users to get investment access directly with 5 to 6 per cent interest.

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With Do-It as partner, OVO will improve its user experience for both platforms where users can access the financial products and get credit approvals under a minute.

Taralite, who has partnered for a while with OVO, will help improving the ecosystem with OVOPayLater in e-commerce platform Tokopedia.

OVO’s move is tied to its mission to expand its service outside online payment and to meet the country’s demand for faster and reliable funding, especially equity loan for SMEs. “As one of the pioneers in integrated fintech platform, OVO continues to focus on making financial inclusion a reality in Indonesia,” said Jason Thompson, CEO, OVO.

Customer engagement software Freshworks enters Southeast Asia through Singapore [Press Release]

Software-as-a-Service (SAAS) startup Freshworks has expanded to Southeast Asia with the recent setup of its regional hub in Singapore. The company said that it received support from the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB).

Freshworks aims to expand adoption of its customer engagement suite and increase its network of partner resources as it has quite a demand with 45 per cent year-on-year growth in the region.

Headquartered in San Bruno, USA, Freshworks products are used by businesses in Consulting, Retail, and Shipping industries from the region. It includes cloud-based customer support, CRM, call centre software, internal collaboration tools, marketing automation solutions, Freshworks 360; a customer engagement suite that encompasses sales, support, and marketing needs, and Freddy, its AI engine that enables businesses to carry out smart interactions with their customers.

SolarHome welcomes new CEO and COO from retail finance sector [Press Release]

Burmese Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) solar energy provider for Southeast Asia’s off-grid households SolarHome has appointed Greg Krasnov, SolarHome’s chairman and founder, as chief executive officer (CEO) and Geert-Jan ten Hoonte as president and chief operating officer (COO).

Greg Krasnov is the founder and chairman of SolarHome, and also concurrently the CEO of FORUM, the venture-builder that supports SolarHome. Greg has in his pocket over 20 years of international experience in consumer finance and early-stage investing across over 50 countries, and successfully exiting a major retail bank in Eastern Europe.

Geert-Jan ten Hoonte, the new COO, will bring to the table over 30 years of senior experience in the retail and consumer finance sectors with the likes of Ahold retail group, Home Credit Vietnam and EasyCredit Vietnam.

Greg and Geert succeed Ted Martynov who will continue to support SolarHome as a senior adviser.

SolarHome was founded in 2017 and has since raised over US$5 million in equity from some of Southeast Asia’s leading impact VCs and angel investors that has gone into serving over 30,000 homes across 201 hubs in Myanmar.

Singapore’s VC sells its stake in India’s Qwikcilver to Pine Labs [Press Release]

Sistema Asia Fund by Sistema Asia Capital, Singapore-based fund managing firm has sold its stake in Qwikcilver, India-based technology company that offers end-to-end gift card solution. The stake is bought by Pine Labs, Indian point-of-sales solution company, as a part of the acquisition deal it has with Qwikcilver.

This deal would be Sistema Asia Fund’s first exit since investing in Qwikcilver in 2016. The company claimed it exited the company with multiple returns within three years of its investment.

Qwikcilver is an Indian company that develops the gift card business and has made itself available across 16 countries and 15,000 e-commerce portals and mobile application.

Sistema Asia Fund is a venture capital fund sponsored by Sistema PJSFC, a publicly-traded diversified Russian holding company and primarily focussed on investing in technology-enabled, consumer and business-oriented startups in India and Southeast Asia.

RedMart is officially available on Lazada app [Press Release]

In a bid to become a one-stop solution shopping app, Lazada has welcomed the completed move of RedMart into its platform. Any groceries purchase online via RedMart is now integrated to more than 400,000 retailers in Lazada’s ecosystem, all within the same app and at redmart.lazada.sg.

“Bringing Lazada and RedMart together is a project aimed at offering Singapore customers a platform where customers can compare similar products across all the retailers in our ecosystem, shop for complementary offerings and benefit from having more payment options, such as the Lazada Wallet,” said James Chang, CEO of Lazada Singapore.

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Lazada will be rolling out a series of app updates over the next few months to further enhance the shopping experience for customers with features as follow:

  • Order Amend – allowing customers to add more items to an existing placed order;
  • Delivery Slot Incentives – incentivising customers to consolidate deliveries within the same area and timeframe to reduce our carbon footprint;
  • My List Features – including managing lists and stock up reminders.