Captain’s Log, August 8: Alibaba launches joint venture with Marriott to target affluent Chinese consumers

Also, aCommerce eyes US$30 million Series B, a Singaporean pet supplies platform raises funding, Bank Negara Indonesia wants to set up a VC, and more


Alibaba Group and Marriott International announce joint venture

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has announced a partnership with luxury hotel chain Marriott to launch a joint venture.

In this JV, Chinese consumers on Alibaba’s travel service platform, Fliggy, will be able to access Marriott’s storefront services including its loyalty programmes. Additionally, customers will be able to use Alibaba’s e-payment platform Alipay to transact with Marriott.

This is a big win for Marriott as Alibaba will be able to tailor the hotel chain’s content, programmes and promotions for the rising affluent Chinese demographic.

“We have long admired Alibaba’s digital expertise and deep understanding of Chinese consumers’ needs and behaviours,” said Arne Sorenson, President and CEO, Marriott International, in an official press statement. “With the growing number of Chinese consumers exploring new destinations, this venture will introduce our hotels worldwide to this new and growing traveling class.”

aCommerce eyes a US$30 million Series B funding round

Thailand-based end-to-end e-commerce enabler aCommerce is eyeing a US$30 million Series B funding round, according to a report by DealStreetAsia.

It is said to be talking to about 2 to 3 private equity firms and plans to raise the money by the fourth quarter this year.

Also Read: Masayoshi Son confirms SoftBank in talks to invest in Flipkart, says respects Snapdeal decision to call off merger

Last July, aCommerce raised an “eight-figure venture round” led by MDI Ventures, state-owned telco Telkom Indonesia’s corporate venture capital arm.

Australian investment company Blue Sky Funds and Switzerland-based global market expansion service company DiethelmKellerSiberHegner (DKSH) also participated in that round.

MOBY’s Petshop raises S$300,000 (US$220,500) in funding

Singapore-based pet supplies e-commerce platform MOBY’s Petshop has raised S$300,000 (US$220,500) from angel investors hailing from Singapore, Finland and Luxembourg.

The startup will use the newly-raised funding to hire new staff in the operations and marketing departments, expand its product portfolio, increase marketing efforts and ramp up development for its site and app.

MOBY’S Petshop was founded by Teemu Kainulainen, a Finnish-born Singaporean PR who has had 11 years of experiences working with top tech companies including Nokia and Samsung. For the past 4 years, Kainulainen has been heading a startup advisory & investment company Go-To-Market Asia.

The e-commerce platform specialises in private-label pet goods, such as dog & cat toys, beds and clothes. It offers free daily island-wide deliveries and real-time support chat.

“We want to deliver a fast, fun and engaging mobile shopping experience, and also do some good while at it: We’re giving back to the Singapore pet community by donating $1 (US$0.70) of every purchase to local animal charities,” said Kainulainen, in an official press statement.

MOBY’s Petshop aims to expand to regional markets by 2018.

Shopmatic partners global e-commerce shopping platform Easyship

Singapore-based e-commerce enabler Shopmatic has announced a strategic partnership with global e-commerce shipping firm Easyship.

This deal will open up global markets to Shopmatic’s merchants. According to a press release, EasyShip is integrated with over 100 different shipping services including the companies such as DHL, FedEx, and UPS, and facilitates instant shipping of orders with up to 70 per cent discount.

Also Read: Go-Jek acquires Loket to further dominate event management and ticketing space in Indonesia

For every order, EasyShip provides all the relevant shipping information, such as shipping costs, delivery time, and taxes and duties, upfront.

“With Easyship’s comprehensive services at very economical rates, online merchants with Shopmatic no longer have to worry about the unnecessary complexities of international shipping,” said Anurag Avula, CEO of Shopmatic, in an official press statement.

“We believe that this alliance will give a greater boost to our value proposition and enable our online sellers to enhance their customers’ experience and leverage the larger overseas markets.”

In June this year, Shopmatic raised S$5.7 million (US$4.1 million) in a Series AA funding led by ACP and SPRING SEEDS Capital.

Bank Negara Indonesia is setting up a VC to invest in fintech

Indonesian state-owned bank Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI) is considering setting up a VC arm to invest in fintech startups, according to a report by DealStreetAsia.

BNI director Rico Rizal Budidarmo said that he is currently looking at a proposal to roll this out.

BNI has been active in pushing for fintech innovation and inclusion. Early this year, it teamed up with three other major Indonesian banks to integrate their cashless payment services under one network.

Disclaimer: aCommerce is part of the Ardent Capital portfolio. Ardent Capital is an investor in Optimatic Pte Ltd, the parent company of e27.

Image Credit: joeppoulssen / 123RF Stock Photo

The post Captain’s Log, August 8: Alibaba launches joint venture with Marriott to target affluent Chinese consumers appeared first on e27.

Author: Yon Heong Tung,
Puslished Date: August 8, 2017,
Published Time: 1:00 pm