Category Archives: News

Retail Tech Consumer Analytics Startup Shooper Raises US$130k

Indonesian Retail Tech platform Shooper has raised US$130,000 from undisclosed private angel investors during a pre-seed round. The Shooper app helps families save money on shopping with smart location enabled AI technology, and provides real-time big-data consumer analytics solutions to FMCGs.

Shooper is a consumer analytics startup in the retail tech space, providing data-driven, real-time shopper and consumer insights for brands and retailers. It collects purchase data and gives shoppers value back for scanning their receipts on the app. The receipts are then analysed by the firm’s proprietary technology based on artificial intelligence (AI). Shooper also adds value for consumers by acting as a location-enabled augmented reality layer for real-world price discovery, similar to a “Pokemon Go for shopping” according to Founder CEO Oka Simanjuntak.

This entry into South East Asia’s biggest grocery market is perfectly timed on the heels of the recession brought by Coronavirus. Shooper helps families save money on groceries at the supermarkets by providing crowdsourced price information so that everyone knows which store is cheaper. And FMCGs have access to real-time consumer data that could enhance their competitive advantage during these difficult times.

95% of Indonesia’s US$230 Billion retail grocery segment currently transacts in the real world, meaning Shooper targets a much larger opportunity than pureplay ecommerce players. A recent Mckinsey & Company survey revealed that 82% of respondents stated they would be more frugal, and over 73% continue to prefer offline shopping. Realising that for the grocery segment this number is even bigger, Shooper is serving the need to save money for the vastly bigger chunk of consumers.

Shooper, which was developed when Oka was studying at the MIT Sloan – Columbia University joint Post-Graduate Program in Digital Business, combines IoT with the Indonesian gotong royong habit- a community undertaking to solve a common problem- by crowdsourcing the data for the benefits of many. It is quite simple: users upload their store receipts to get point-rewards, Shooper extract the receipts data creating a massive grocery database engine that all users can search, browse or simply create a long list of groceries for Shooper to find which supermarket is cheapest.

Companies seeking Big Data solutions subscribe on a SaaS basis to allow analytics and data-driven engagement of these consumers. Shooper is unique because of the completeness of the data it gathers compared to others. The key is in its ability to capture many on-app interactions during searching and browsing, allowing Shooper to generate intent to buy data and compare to the actual buy data from receipts. This makes the platform very valuable to companies not just for the data but also for the various engagement possibilities with consumers such as for brand switching and loyalty management.

“In just a few months since we officially launched, Shooper has indexed over 15,000 physical supermarkets and minimarkets across Indonesia. You can now compare prices of over 28,000 unique products. The possibilities this app can offer in terms of monetisation is amazing,” said Oka Simanjuntak.

Indonesia Shooper Founder Oka Simanjuntak with the Shooper Team

The feature rich app offers users detailed monthly spending report to help manage the family budget more efficiently down to the detail sub-categories such as fresh-fruits, processed meat, snacks, cleaning products and more. With the universal point-reward feature, users get incentives from receipts of any supermarkets. The points collected can be exchanged for many attractive prizes such as Samsung mobile phones and shopping vouchers. While the recipe feature offers many delicious dishes shared by fellow users, and the ingredients are turned into shopping-lists for Shooper will find the store with lowest prices.

AdColony And Anzu.io Join Forces To Bring Blended In-Game Ads To APAC

AdColony, the in-app advertising marketplace for brands, with a focus on gaming, has signed an exclusive partnership with global in-game advertising platform, Anzu. AdColony will now offer Anzu’s market-leading blended in-game advertising solutions across both display and video to brands and agencies in Asia Pacific.

In-game advertising platform Anzu seamlessly blends real-world brand ads into gameplay across PC, console, and mobile games, while offering advertisers comprehensive ad viewability and programmatic capabilities. A brand’s ads can now appear literally within the game – on the virtual perimeter boards around the football stadium, on a billboard in the street of an open world classic, or on custom-painted Formula One racing cars.

Screenshot of an in-game ad from 7-Eleven mobile campaign on Gravity Rider Zero
Screenshot of an in-game ad from 7-Eleven mobile campaign on Gravity Rider Zero

The AdColony and Anzu partnership also brings a suite of trusted industry tools, including campaign effectiveness measurement, fraud prevention and ad verification for the first time to blended in-game advertising across APAC – inventory is also available programmatically via the AdColony SSP. Put together, this opens up new ways for brands to reach gamers globally by making gaming and esports advertising opportunities more accessible, locally.

The launch of Anzu via AdColony means brands across the Asia Pacific region will be able to generate deeper levels of engagement with audiences via advertising within games. More than 1.5 billion consumers in Asia Pacific are gamers, and 70 per cent play games daily on their mobiles. Furthermore, 40 per cent claim to play more games since the COVID-19 outbreak.

Anzu’s CEO and Co-Founder, Itamar Benedy commented, “APAC is really the epicenter of worldwide gaming, and Anzu is thrilled to bring the combination of our programmatic in-game advertising experience with AdColony’s offerings to the region. This partnership represents a major opportunity for advertisers who are ready and eager to reach these ultra-engaged audiences.”

Tom Simpson, AdColony’s SVP for APAC said, “We passionately believe that gaming is the new and improved social media for marketers in terms of connecting with consumers at scale. This opportunity has been accelerated in recent months with the pandemic, and 2020 has seen an enormous uplift in the demand for new solutions for brands to reach gaming audiences. This partnership allows AdColony’s expertise in APAC markets to combine with Anzu’s global-leading blended in-game ad technology to offer a unique solution for brands to connect with consumers seamlessly in and around their favourite games. We look forward to pioneering new marketing offerings for our clients and delivering great work across APAC.”

Launching Growjek – ASEAN Tech, Digital, Startup & VC Newsletter

A quick note to readers of this site, I’ve started a biweekly email newsletter called Growjek.

Link to the latest issue here.

Sign up if you’re interested in a digest of ASEAN (with an Indonesia focus) tech, digital, startups, VC, internet, fintech, gaming, ecommerce, adtech and lots of other stuff related to the ‘new economy’ every other Friday.

There are already 124 other people on the list, so you’re in good company.

The Growjek thesis is this:

  1. ASEAN is the biggest and most exciting multi-decade growth and investment opportunity in the world right now — driven by ‘new economy’ tech
  2. Indonesia is — by size alone — the natural centre of gravity for ASEAN (sorry Singapore, but you have a crucial role to play as THE open-source regional aggregator platform!)
  3. ‘New economy’ investment and innovation flows first into ASEAN, and by extension Indonesia, but increasingly in the years (and decades) ahead out of Indonesia and across ASEAN

The Growjek newsletter will be more VC and investment focused than Digital in Asia, which covers a broader region, and a wider range of topics.

Enjoy!

Gaming and Esports Spotlight on Indonesia

Indonesia is a dynamic market for mobile games and esports, especially given its ever-increasing rate of internet and smartphone users.

With an online population size of 171 million, favourable demographics with 60% of the population aged between 15-54, and a government that supports the development of gaming and esports, Indonesia is an emerging gaming powerhouse.

This spotlight report from Niko covers the detail.

The Game-Streaming Market in China

China’s streaming ecosystem is a far cry from what’s going on in the West, in terms of content, monetization, and how the audience interacts with the content.

While platforms such as Twitch and YouTube generate the majority of their revenues through subscriptions, China’s biggest platforms, including YY Live, Huya, and Douyu, predominantly make money from user donations to streamers.

China is a mobile-first country and this is reflected in its game-streaming market. The collective nature of traditional Chinese culture also means that its viewers engage with content differently to Western viewers. Interactions between viewers and the streamers are far more prominent in China, thanks to innovative platform features such as bullet chats.

Chinese streaming platforms are also generally less toxic toward women, as gender balance is very important in Chinese culture. In fact, there is less toxicity all round, as gaming and streaming are considered social activities in China

This report from NewZoo looks at the game-streaming market in China in detail.

The State Of Influencer Marketing in APAC

The influencer marketing space has heated up over the past few years, across Asia Pacific with platforms and resources readily available to both marketers and influencers.

Driven by strong market advancement, digitalization and capable industry players, influencer marketing has gone from strength to strength in Asia, and has become a part of most marketer’s arsenals today.

This new influencer marketing report from CastingAsia leverages data points from over 170,000 influencers and over 1,300 influencer marketing campaigns conducted across Asia over the past year.

What’s On The Line For Malaysia With Telecoms DNS Security

Digital transformation is expected to have the single biggest impact on Malaysia’s economy in the near future, contributing at least 20% to the country’s GDP by 2020. But what does this mean for Malaysia’s telecom industry – and its consumers?

Thanks to the government’s sustained investment in telecommunications infrastructure over the last 20 years, Malaysians are now more connected than ever – through social media networks, mobile and other digital services – with broadband penetration approaching 90%, according to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC). The telecommunications industry has been the biggest beneficiary of this investment. Today, Axiata Group, Malaysia’s largest telecommunications company, has over 350 million subscribers across multiple Asian countries.

On the other hand, growth in connectivity has also spurred an increase in cyber attacks. While Malaysia ranks 3rd in the 2017 Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI), a Microsoft survey estimates that economic costs to the Malaysian economy due to cyber attacks can reach as high as US$12.2 billion.

A common target for cyber-criminals is the Domain Name System (DNS)– a first line of protection for a company’s network. Businesses that are targeted face the prospects of lost revenue as well as reputational damage due to breaches of customer trust. The consequences are perhaps most damaging for the telecom industry; EfficientIP’s 2018 DNS Threat Report found that the telecom industry had the most sensitive customer information stolen across all sectors from DNS attacks, with nearly a third of companies in Asia-Pacific becoming victims of data theft.

Following DNS attacks, Malaysian political party websites went down on the day of last year’s general election. In response, Malaysia’s National Cyber Security Agency (NACSA) issued an advisory to all government and private organizations that improving their network security is critically important in safeguarding the continued growth of the digital economy. At around the same time, the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation partnered with the Axiata Group to develop greater capabilities for Malaysia’s cybersecurity industry.

While EfficientIP’s report found that the rate of DNS attacks is steadily on the rise, the news isn’t all bleak – many telecom companies already monitor and analyze DNS traffic in real time to detect data exfiltration attempts. Businesses can further improve their cybersecurity capabilities by adopting simple measures such as optimizing IT infrastructures with high-performance DNS servers and decentralizing the DNS architecture. These measures build resiliency to withstand attacks and more often than not, also improve the user experience.

At this critical juncture point in Malaysia’s development, the telecom industry has a critical role to play in ensuring the continuity and success of the nation’s digital transformation. The challenges being faced are high and the stakes are even higher – but such challenges can be overcome and safeguarded with a holistic approach to cybersecurity, starting with DNS.

Data-driven Singapore Fintech Startup Delivers AI Credit Scoring

Rely, a Singapore fintech company that provides shoppers with an interest-free ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ service for online retail, recently announced a seven-figure Pre-Series A funding round led by Goldbell Financial Services. Additional funding comes from Octava, a family office based in Singapore and strategic investors from the financial and technology sector.

Rely will use the fresh funding for regional expansion, to scale up their team, as well as support more partnerships across the region with leading retailers.

According to a study conducted by Google and Temasek, the Southeast Asian e-commerce industry is expected to exceed US$100 billion over the next couple of years. Singapore, one of the fastest growing players in the e-commerce industry, is predicted to grow to US$5 billion by 2025.

Tapping on this immense growth in the e-commerce industry, Rely offers retailers and shoppers a way to manage their spending and access credit, without using traditional credit cards.

Rely uses its proprietary decision engine, which harnesses the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning, to help determine shoppers’ repayment capabilities for each transaction. With the use of this technology, spending limits are determined for each consumer. Safeguards are also put in place to ensure that shoppers repay on time, and further purchases cannot be made if payments are not made on time.

With Rely, shoppers can use the ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ service upon checkout and enjoy their products without having to pay the full sum upfront. By linking a debit card to their Rely account, shoppers can split their purchases into three equal, interest-free monthly payments. The initial payment is collected at checkout, and the remaining sum is collected over the next two months.

Based on initial data, this service appeals especially to Millennials, who have distinctive spending habits from past generations. They know what they want, and they seek instant gratification when it comes to their purchases. At the same time, they are cautious when it comes to their spending, and are wary of falling into credit card debt. Rely caters to this audience and the relationship between what they want and what they think they ought to do, allowing them to stay in control of the way they chose to handle their finances.

Exciting times for the fintech and e-commerce sector in Singapore.

56% of Business Tech Environments More Complex Than 2 Years Ago

Citrix recently announced the release of research into The State of IT Complexity in Asia-Pacific and Japan that revealed over half of businesses in Singapore are struggling with complexity, coming in third behind Indonesia (most complex) and Korea.

Key study findings:

  • 56% of Singaporean businesses believe their IT environments are more or significantly more complex than two years ago.
  • 95% of employees are using non-business approved applications to get work done.
  • 42% of Singaporean businesses report using over 100 cloud and on-premise business applications.
  • 93% of Singaporean businesses believe that their organization is missing out on the full benefits of analytics due to the complex and disperse nature of their data and applications.
  • 86% of Singaporean businesses are already adopting cloud technology, higher than the regional average
  • 85% of Singaporean businesses are concerned that they would not be able to respond to a data breach required by law (such as GDPR). Of those concerned, the top reasons include:
    • 48% due to data located in different systems and applications
    • 37% due to time concerns
    • 34% due to a drain on resources

Overlapping systems, applications, and new and old infrastructure cost time, money, and affects innovation. The rise in complexity felt by Singapore’s organizations is holding back digital transformation efforts and restricting cloud adoption.

Full studies below.

The State of IT Complexity in Asia-Pacific and Japan [PDF]

The State of IT Complexity in Singapore [PDF]

APAC Leads Global App Ad Growth with 44% Increase in Ad Requests

Leading app platform Smaato recently announced results from its Global Trends in Mobile Advertising H2 2018 report. The report reveals significant growth across key advertising metrics, including ad request volume and eCPMs.

As advertisers direct more money into mobile advertising and consumers continue to adopt smartphones around the world, demand and supply both increased year-over-year, indicating a healthy mobile ad market.

The highest growth region across all metrics was APAC. India stood out from the pack with a 425% growth in mobile ad requests. This was more than twice the growth rate of the fastest growing markets in EMEA and the Americas, which were led by Spain at 152% and the USA at 170% respectively. India’s meteoric ad request growth is characteristic of an emerging mobile market in which the number of mobile device owners, their time spent on mobile, and overall app downloads all rise quickly.

Ad Request Growth on the Smaato Platform

APAC – 44% Growth EMEA – 23% Growth Americas – 23% Growth
India – 425% Spain – 152% USA – 170%
South Korea – 177% Netherlands – 87% Colombia – 150%
Thailand – 77% France – 82% Argentina – 141%
Japan – 53% UK – 70% Mexico – 83%
Vietnam – 50% Italy – 61% Brazil – 54%

Asia Pacific also saw significant eCPM growth in addition to ad request growth. The top five countries in the region in terms of eCPM growth were:

  1. Singapore -154%
  2. Japan – 125%
  3. Australia – 111%
  4. Hong Kong – 99%
  5. Indonesia – 96%

Alex Khan, Managing Director, APAC at Smaato explains, “The impressive ad request and eCPM growth in APAC are driven by app developers finding new ways to better monetize their content even as consumers are spending more time on apps. Advertisers from all verticals are realizing that apps are where consumers are — and they are directing more funds into this channel.”

He adds, “With app usage increasing across the region, there will also be more monetization opportunities for mobile publishers.”

To learn more, download Smaato’s H2 2018 Global Trends in Mobile Advertising report here.