Why YouTrip Mastercard is a hype?

In the hope of maintaining Singapore as the regional financial hub, the government has been encouraging Singapore banks to adopt technology in improving business operations. Ever since Singapore Prime Minister Mr Lee Hsien Loong highlighted that banks should adopt blockchain technology in bank settlements in 2015, fintech  start-ups from all around the world flew into Singapore. In 2018, YouTrip, an e-wallet start-up, left its home ground – Hong Kong – one of the world’s largest financial hubs to launch their venture in Singapore.

YouTrip positioned itself as a multicurrency e-wallet for travellers. It has developed technical infrastructure for multicurrency exchanges with a network of FX providers. The uniqueness of its technology is to offer FX exchanges to individual at a competitive rate that banks cannot provide. However, that itself is not going to give YouTrip an edge against the traditional money changers as their rates are almost the same. Furthermore, storing money digitally in the e-wallet is useless if travellers can’t use that to make payment in stores.

As such, YouTrip partners Mastercard (stock quote:MA) . Intuitively, this makes the YouTrip card more “useable” as users could make their payment if the respective merchants accept Mastercard. The strategy works. Months after their launch, number of users has surpassed 50,000. That caught investors’ attention. In May 2019, YouTrip raised USD 25.5M in Pre-Series A funding which is quite impressive for a Singapore-based company that is barely a year old.

YouTrip is a Bank Disruptor?  

The recent capital injection is useful in helping YouTrip to improve their technology infrastructure which is the backbone for all financial institutions. In fact, this is the challenge that YouTrip must overcome. Normal people deposit money digitally in their saving accounts with the belief that the bank’s technology could safeguard their savings. Let’s extend the idea further. When we top up money in YouTrip e-wallet, can we expect from them the same security level that bank is offering? If you have read my earlier blog post, YouTrip is trying to assure the public that they have the same level of technology that bank has in terms of risk management and anti-money laundering capability. However, building up the infrastructure equates to building faith among users which takes time. By and large, YouTrip, as a company, is still too young for the public to put their trust (saving) with them.

To succeed in the fintech space, a fintech start-up has to offer the same level of services (or even better) that the bank is offering. As a matter of fact, that’s the value that fintech start-up is offering to the market. YouTrip has identified that digitalizing the existing business model of money changer is the way to enter the market which undeniably, they have succeeded and even convince major payment solution company like Mastercard and locally, Ezlink to participate in their growth stories.

They have great partners and now, it is for them to shape the market behaviour.  

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Friends have been asking me about @youtripsg MasterCard. My reply is always the same it is a good for travel. You get better exchange rate and for some major currencies, you could even buy and keep them in the E-wallet and that’s good for traveller who like to plan their trip ahead to capture the best possible rates. Travellers should give this a try. Now you could even get an additional $10 if you sign up and do your first top up via my referral link http://bit.do/youtrip-weewu P.s. it is also a #ezlink card if that matters to you. #instatravel #travelphotography #travelgram #instalifestyle #mastercard #youtrip #instafinance #discountcodes #discount #referralcode #reward #instareward #singapore #fintech #startup #ewallet

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E-wallet business – More Than Just a Debit Card

E-wallet, as the name suggested, should work like a WALLET. It should be able to keep fiat currencies, credit cards and reward cards etc.  YouTrip positioned themselves as a wallet for travellers only provides the entry to the market but personally, I don’t think it is going to be sustainable. Singaporeans love travels but their time are mostly spent in Singapore. Although YouTrip card holders could use their cards to pay for public transports, there are other players rolling up similar services that gives better discounts. In short, the YouTrip card has not much use in Singapore given so many other options available.

There must be strong enough reasons for users to continue keeping YouTrip card in their wallet

Where are the merchants?

Banks refuses to lower rates as it hurts profitability. Offering low fees is a good penetration strategy but that is not going to be the barrier for new entrants. YouTrip needs to bring in more partners into their ecosystem. For a start, they should just be focusing on bringing more values to travellers. For instance, a reward system in the form of discount for travel insurance or hotel booking for heavy YouTrip users (frequent travellers) that will encourage card usage.

Basically, virtual money is only useful in 2 ways – One, I can use that to buy into services or products at greater discount. Two, I can grow it so that I could use that in the future. In principle, any fintech company that can achieve both can basically be called a bank. ANT Financial is one classic example. However, most fintech start-ups are only able to deliver services or products at greater discount than credit cards companies (which is exactly what YouTrip is trying to do!). However, keeping up with this in a longer term costs money and it may not be sustainable. YouTrip has to “engineer” a new form users’ reliance to your services to keep themselves afloat in the competitive fintech business. In my opinion, better forex rate?Nah!

Grab, a South-East Asian fintech and transport services company, has established a strong network of merchants in the region. Grab Pay, e-wallet services by Grab, can be used to pay for any goods in their marketplace and delivered to users’ doorsteps. Outside Singapore, you could even use Grab to pay off your transportation in other South East Asia countries. Grab is also following footsteps of ANT Financial. They are hiring consultant and it is rumoured that they are preparing to be a virtual bank in the event that Singapore is issuing virtual bank license like what Hong Kong did

Getting merchants into ecosystem is crucial in developing use cases and I am sure there are a lot more to be explored. Grab’s way of linking transportation and merchant seems to be working in South East Asia market. YouTrip is not Grab. They have to offer use cases that are different from what their counterparts are offering. They could study what their closest competitor, Singtel Dash is doing. For a start, why not just tap on existing e-commerce players? That might be faster for YouTrip.

In short, YouTrip has a good start but it is still a hype that I am doubtful it could sustain as a travel card. As of now, I am keeping my YouTrip card in my drawer.

ConnecTechAsia Returns This Year – IMDA is positive of Singapore 5G rollout.

Huawei 5G saga with US Commerce Department is a global concern. Asia market has reignited the interest of cyber security and 5G connectivity. This year, 5G takes the centre of the stage of this year’s ConnecTechAsia.

Mr Tan Kiat How, Chief Executive, Infocomm Media Development Authority, is present to give the opening address for the launch of the event. Bringing connectivity to all is Singapore’s primary goal. Currently, Singapore is able to deliver the 4G mobile services to all Singaporean at SGD29.99/month (approx. USD 21.90)

The incoming 5G technology will create a competitive mobile market that will eventually bring more values to the customers. Consumers are not the only one benefits from the technology. Enterprises and government could also reap benefits from the deployment of 5G technology.

It is more than high speed delivery. Singapore envisions 5G as an enabler to support development of new applications and services in this new digital economy. Low-latency and high bandwidth support massive number of connected devices and that will bring Singapore closer to smart nation initiatives.

5G as a standalone network architecture is crucial to Singapore development. To do so, IMDA is allocating 3.5Ghz to two nationwide networks through call for proposals. IMDA also assures that that more spectrum availability to be deployed in the coming years.

Commenting about global economy uncertainty, Mr Tan opined that despite this trade tension, technology advancement will continue. However, he stressed the importance of collaboration between public and private sectors. In his opening address, he further elaborated, “This is why platforms like ConnecTechAsia are important. Such platforms bring together industry leaders, solution providers, entrepreneurs and policy makers to focus our minds on the key issues of the day.”   

You may watch his speech at ConnecTechAsia via my facebook post below

ConnecTechAsia, comprising BroadcastAsia, CommunicAsia and NXTAsia officially opens on 18th June at Marina Bay Sands and Suntec Singapore. Held from 18-20 June 2019, the three-day event showcases the latest smart technologies and trends that are shaping Asia’s digital future.

New Appointment of Managing Director for Epson Singapore and country manager for Epson Thailand and Epson Philippines

SINGAPORE, May 2019 Mr. Ando Munenori has been appointed as the new Managing Director of Epson Singapore overseeing Southeast Asia region, and concurrently country manager for Epson Thailand and Epson Philippines. He is also concurrently holding the role of Executive Officer at Seiko Epson Corporation (herein referred to as SEC) Epson’s global headquarters in Japan.


Mr. Ando Munenori. Source: Epson Singapore

He is taking over from Mr. Tanaka Toshimitsu, who will be returning to a senior role in Sales Planning & Marcom Department in SEC.

Mr. Ando was Head of SEC’s Sales & Marketing Division, where he was responsible for developing the sales infrastructure and strategy for all of Epson’s products globally.

He has held multiple leadership positions in Asia and internationally, and brings a depth of understanding of the region and decades of management experience to his role. He took on the leadership role as President of Epson China from 2014 to 2017, where he led with Epson’s “technology plus localisation” strategy, growing the business and increasing the company’s share in key markets including printers, projectors and robotics.

From 2003 to 2008, Mr. Ando was assigned to the Southeast Asia regional headquarters in Singapore, where he was in charge of market development for Epson’s printers and other information-related products.

Mr. Ando has also led the POS printer business in Europe from 1994 to 1998, where during which he successfully grew the POS printer business through the introduction of new technologies to bring the company to the No. 1 position.

Businesses in Singapore must invest in their people for digital transformation success

• Telstra study finds business leaders lean too heavily on technology in digital transformation decisions
• Singapore companies cite gap between digital transformation priorities and performance
• Digital transformation driven financial rewards difficult to show
• Businesses need whole-of-business approach for digital transformation success

March 2019: The success of digital transformation initiatives undertaken by organisations in Singapore fall short of expectations due to their heavy emphasis on technology and lack of focus on people and processes.

This was one of the main findings of Telstra’s Disruptive Decision-Making research, which surveyed 3,810 senior decision-makers from 12 industries in 14 markets around the world to uncover insights into strengths and weaknesses around their digital transformation programs.

Focus on technology undermining success
When rating decision-making across four factors for success – people, processes, technology understanding and partnerships – businesses in Singapore ranked ‘technology understanding’ as the area where they feel by far most confident.

Seventy six per cent of Singapore respondents felt their organisation makes technology decisions ‘well’ or ‘extremely well’. While the understanding of technology and its performance is important, other factors are equally significant.

Telstra Managing Director APAC, Ms Marjet Andriesse

Telstra’s Managing Director, APAC, Marjet Andriesse, said that organisations that are highly digitally mature (20% in Singapore, compared to 21% globally) show greater focus on people and processes.

“The research shows that successful digital transformation relies on more than the right technology, it requires the right culture, the right people – and the right processes to support them,” Ms Andriesse said.

“Digital transformation must be a company journey that involves upskilling and changing employee mindsets, adapting structures and ways of working, and creating teams that can take advantage of new technologies.”

Whole-company approach needed
The research found that a company-wide approach to digital transformation is significantly more likely to result in success, yet 66% of Singapore organisations are allowing business departments drive individual digital initiatives, compared to 51% globally.

A further 8% said they outsource as much as possible (vs 15% globally), and only 25% say they have an integrated, whole-of-company digital transformation strategy (vs 31% globally).

“Globally, organisations that have a whole-of-business digital transformation strategy are significantly more likely to be highly digitally mature, make extremely good digital decisions, and see the impact of digital transformation across the business,” Ms Andriesse said.

“The research demonstrates that Singapore organisations have an opportunity to integrate digital transformation activity across all areas of the business, but this needs to be led by a clear company strategy from the C-suite and board level down.”

Businesses in Singapore not delivering on digital priorities
The report also found there was a substantial gap between digital transformation priorities and performance.

Organisations in Singapore rated their top digital transformation priorities as (1) optimising technology to move faster, (2) protecting digital assets from cyber threats, and (=3) optimising security investments to reduce time and resource management, and (=3) protecting, detecting and responding in real time to events.
However, when it came to decision-making performance, these priorities ranked poorly.

“One of the red flags we saw in this research was the gap between the areas businesses in Singapore chose as their highest priorities, and their performance in these areas,” Ms Andriesse said.

“Cyber security was identified as a particular focus area in Singapore. But despite protecting digital assets from cyber threats rating as the second highest priority – it achieved the lowest performance score in terms of ability to deliver.”

Ms Andriesse said there were a few factors to consider when analysing this finding.

“It is notable that three of Singapore’s top four priorities are related to security, even though performance in these areas is poor. This performance gap is symptomatic of the fact that security requires a whole-of-business approach incorporating people, processes, and technology working in concert together,” Ms Andriesse said.

Hard financial outcomes difficult to show
The research found that while organisations in Singapore are increasing their investment in digital transformation, many businesses had yet to realise the financial impact of their efforts.

More than a third of businesses in Singapore invested more than US$1 million in digital transformation products and services over the past year (34%), while almost one in 10 spent more than US$5 million (8%).

This figure is set to increase as 30% of respondents said their company’s total spend on digital transformation would grow by more than 10% in the next three years.

However, when it came to measuring the impact of digital transformation, showing hard outcomes such as financial returns of this investment was difficult.

“Measuring the progress and success of any digital transformation strategy or individual project is an absolute essential. But the metrics in which we measure success are just as important,” Ms Andriesse said.

“Organisations in Singapore found it particularly hard to demonstrate financial results from digital transformation. In fact, of all the business outcomes surveyed, increasing profit margins saw the lowest levels of achievement in Singapore.

“Successful companies are clear on what digital transformation means for their organisation, they have empowered their people, strengthened their processes and identified their key partners.”

Source: Telstra Singapore

Singapore Fund Raiser Shares Business Tips

I was once invited to Singapore Polytechnic to address a business class and talk about Corporate Finance. It was a talk that was supposed to show or demonstrate how companies raise money through public listings. I did sense that the topic was going dry and it was really a bunch of students who already knew what I was talking about. As such, I stopped the talk midway and asked if the students would prefer a Q and A and not see the rest of my slides. To my surprise, they all raised their hands and agreed to my suggestion. And the number one question on everyone’s lips – “How do you find deals?” And “How do you close them?”

It was a question I was a little unprepared for because I had no slides to support this question.

Indeed, I was caught a little flat footed but as I summoned my confidence to speak and it came out quite naturally.

I said it all boiled down to one word – Luck. Before someone accuses me of copying Doug Leonie from Sequoia Partners in his talk to the Stanford Business School graduating class, I made my talk more than 5 years ago. While I may not be able to hold a candle to Doug on his deal closing and fund-raising, I could hold my head and say the world is big enough for opportunities to come and in all shapes and sizes. But in an old cliché – luck favors the prepared and the ready. Ronaldo always knew that when he should stick his leg out, where the ball will go to better positioned himself to strike a goal. Be at the right place at the right time.

Getting prepared means you had to know your facts, your domain knowledge or at least know where and how to get it. Being widely read and widely connected were also components of being ready. Being a genius helps but if you’re not a genius (I certainly wasn’t) then it helps to know who the geniuses are and where they usually hang out. Go and connect with them. Nurturing your circle and practicing top EQ techniques in that circle will certainly give you an edge.

Looking for deals is about fishing in the right ocean. If you are looking for a Great White, then you’d probably want to be somewhere near the Great Barrier Reef. If you are looking for small fish and plenty of them then the Straits of Malacca will do but look out for pirates. Having identified your fishing spot, all you need is to equip yourself with knowledge and tools to do your fishing. (You can’t catch tuna without a proper fishing rod, right?) Hang out in the right places and be ready.

I am hard pressed to name the deals I have struck due to privacy and confidentiality concerns, but I have closed my fair share of deals. Debt or equity. PE or VC. Project or Specifics. Demand and Supply. Derivative or Structures. It’s a rich gamut.

Luck is all about being ready and sticking out your foot at the right time. Be thankful for education especially one that teaches you to read well and speak well and ultimately relate well.

To conclude, you only need to take home one thing and that will make your day or your deal – “Right place, right time, right words and right people”

About The Article Contributor 

Mr. Chiang Kwok Shong has a life-time experience in banking, private equity, FMCG and fund management. A coach certified by Marshall Goldsmith SCC, Kwok Shong brings a new skill to his people-centred and humorous style of supporting CEOs and corporate leaders to perform at their best. Kwok Shong is now an Executive Director for CYC Company, a famous tailor in Singapore. He received his Bachelor of Commerce from The University of Alberta in 1984 and recently received his certification with the Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Centered Coaching in 2014.

SINGAPORE NAMED AS HOT INVESTMENT DESTINATIONS; MORE CONSOLIDATION AMONG REITS

Singapore CBD

Singapore is ranked as second top real estate investment city in Asia Pacific right behind Melbourne according to the Emerging Trends in Real Estate Asia Pacific® 2019, a real estate forecast jointly published by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and PwC.

The cyclical rebound for Singapore is mainly driven by the revival of office rental market. This year, co-working or shared office space operators is the major contributor for the Singapore real estate sectors.

The revival of the Singapore office is observed in the number of deals for the past 12 months. One notable deal is the sales of OUE Downtown office components for SGD 908 million. However, during the survey done by ULI, one fund manager active in the market notes, “It is possible the market is overly bullish towards the office sector, as 2019 could be a challenging year for the Singapore economy and new supply is expected in 2020 and 2021”

The report also shows that the residential market in Singapore continues to be resilient, despite cooling measures in place for several years. Meanwhile, solid economic growth and high visitor numbers have supported rents and yields for prime retail space in 2018, following years of poor performance as Singapore landlords struggle to adapt to new models of retailing. Meanwhile, the logistics market remains plagued by oversupply. This has suppressed rents, although there are signs excess space is now being taken up, with rents are predicted to improve slightly in 2019.

The Singapore REIT market, on the other hand, has exhibited relatively weaker performance in 2018. In the first 9 months, S&P REITS lost 1.2% in local currency terms. Although annual returns were still positive at approx. 6%, it is relatively lower when benchmarked to the broader Singapore’s STI index which returned 10% in the same period.

Smaller REITs in Singapore have been trading at substantial discounts to net asset value (NAV). Market observer has started to foresee more consolidation amongst the smaller REITS which what investors could be looking for – fewer sponsors equal to stronger sponsors.

The Emerging Trends report, which is being released at a series of events across Asia over the next several weeks, provides an outlook on Asia Pacific real estate investment and development trends, real estate finance and capital markets, and trends by property sector and metropolitan area. It is based on the opinions of 350 real estate professionals, including investors, developers, property company representatives, lenders, brokers and consultants.

 


The top five markets for investment and development in 2019:

• Melbourne (first in investment, first in development) – Melbourne has just managed to best Sydney this year. It offers a constrained office supply pipeline, a good yield spread over the cost of debt and sovereign bonds, a deep, liquid, core market and good prospects for rental growth.

• Singapore (second in investment, eighth in development) – An improvement in Singapore’s office market has caused the city to take second spot in investment rankings, as it continues to rebound from cyclical lows.

• Sydney (Third in investment, third in development) – Sydney remains near the top of the rankings for the same reasons as Melbourne. The city is a favourite of global investors due to relatively high returns and as a safe-haven play. Competition for assets has helped sustain pricing, while low vacancies and growing demand for space suggest rents will continue to rise.

• Tokyo (fourth in investment, fourth in development) – Tokyo’s move to fourth this year is somewhat surprising after last year’s drop, but probably reflects what has always made it a favourite for institutional buyers: cheap finance, attractive leverage, a good spread over interest rates, and a large stock of investment-grade assets.

• Osaka (fifth in investment, sixth in development) – The lack of reasonably priced core assets in Tokyo continues to push investors into regional Japan, where local economies are now increasingly mature and stable. With supply tight in both residential and office sectors, the city is now probably the top market outside the capital.

Leading buy/hold/sell ratings for the various asset classes are as follows:
• Office — buy Ho Chi Minh City and Tokyo, sell Taipei and Auckland.
• Residential — buy Ho Chi Minh City and Bangalore, sell Kuala Lumpur and Auckland.
• Retail — buy Ho Chi Min City and Mumbai, sell Taipei and Kuala Lumpur.
• Industrial/distribution — buy Bangalore and Mumbai, sell Taipei and Kuala Lumpur.
• Hotels – buy Tokyo and Ho Chi Minh City, sell Taipei and Beijing.

The full report is available here.

SINGAPORE-BASED TC ACOUSTIC LAUNCHES SONOS-ON-DEMAND SERVICE

Audio equipment business has always been perceived to be lacking innovation and personally, I think it is true at least to a certain extent – how much can you change when comes to sound which you can’t touch, see and feel. However, my perception is starting to change in recent years. The Singapore-based Creative Super X-Fi, for instance, has impressed me with their personalized sound map. Now, another Singapore company Tat Chuan Acoustic (TC Acoustic) is rolling up new services hoping to lure more customers in this highly competitive audio equipment.

 

TC Acoustic has announced the launch of Sonos-On-Demand, a unique online service that offers music lovers and their families a fifteen-day free trial1 of the new gamechanging smart speaker Sonos Beam (RRP S$699). Consumers can simply place a refundable deposit of S$99 for the Sonos Beam at South-east Asia’s leading e-commerce platform Lazada, with the option of completing or cancelling the purchase fifteen days from the date of delivery.

 

Marching to the Beat of an On-Demand Generation

Catering to a new generation of tech savvy consumers who are used to on-demand services such as Netflix and Spotify, Sonos-On-Demand is a creative way to provide the same kind of convenience and access, allowing them to test and buy a music system at a touch of a button, without ever setting foot out of the house.

 

Sonos Makes it Home 

Based on a study that surveyed 30,000 people across the world, Sonos discovered that when music is played out loud in the house, it transforms relationships. Families are 25% more inspired, have 50% more hang-out time, and say “I love you” 18% more. Truly, Sonos makes it home.

Sonos-On-Demand aspires to deliver this promise right to the doorsteps of homeowners, quite literally. The aim is to usher them into their first foray of filling their homes with music and what it can do for them – more warmth, love, bonding, creativity, conversations and connections – and enable them to create the best sonic culture and atmosphere in their own homes.

Delivering a rich, in-home sound experience, the Sonos Beam is designed for the unparalleled listening of virtually any streaming content, from movies and TV shows to music and podcasts. Touted as the world’s most versatile smart speaker, the Sonos Beam supports over 80 music services, multiple voice assistants and Apple AirPlay 2.

“As technology continues to push the boundaries of how we live, work and play; a seamless customer journey means ensuring that consumers get what they want, when they want it. Through Sonos-OnDemand we’re giving our consumers complete control to create the perfect listening environment, whenever the desire takes hold”, said Christian Honegger, Chief Executive Officer of TC Acoustic, the official distributor of Sonos in Singapore.

 

About TC Acoustic 

The exclusive regional distributor for Sonos and Klipsch, TC Acoustic has been the leading player in audio distribution since 1966. It underwent a change of management and strategic restructuring in 2010 and has since become one of the fastest-growing and highly innovative lifestyle technology distributors in Singapore and rest of Asia. Currently TC Acoustic has close to 500 distribution points across the region. Under its new management, its key brands have also garnered several awards from major tech media.

 

 

Lazada Pledges to Cultivate Eight Million eCommerce Entrepreneurs and SMEs by 2030

“Our vision is to help small businesses globally.”

Jack Ma, Founder of Alibaba

Lazada Group, an South-East Asia based e-commerce company that Alibaba acquired, has pledged to support eight million eCommerce entrepreneurs and small-medium enterprises (SMEs) in Southeast Asia to grow and thrive by 2030. The company also announced its commitment to create an inclusive and sustainable eCommerce ecosystem in the region and champion opportunities in technology and logistics infrastructure to benefit its ecosystem of sellers, consumers and local communities.


At the opening speech of a panel discussion hosted by Lazada on the state of eCommerce in Southeast Asia, Lucy Peng, Executive Chairwoman and Chief Executive Officer, Lazada Group, said: “Having overcome the early challenges of building up the business and industry in a nascent landscape, we now want to lead our ecosystem through the era of robust digital transformation. Our focus is on creating a trusted platform connecting sellers to the Southeast Asian consumers. By enabling sellers with our technology and logistics capabilities, we want to help sellers flourish, to become sustainable businesses that will contribute to Southeast Asia economic growth in the long run.”

 

Building entrepreneurs into thriving businesses in the digital economy 

 

As the region’s leading online shopping and selling platform, Lazada is committed to establishing eCommerce as a prolific facet of the evolving digital economy. Healthy and flourishing SMEs are key components of a thriving eCommerce ecosystem – their existence helps unlock the full potential of Southeast Asian nations, allowing the region to digitize.

 

An area that came under spotlight during the panel discussion was SMEs’ eCommerce knowhow and access to local consumers. To help sellers reach more customers, Lazada has developed various initiatives, comprehensive tools and dedicated trainings that enable sellers of all sizes to attract, engage and convert more consumers into sales.

 

That being said, Lazada continues to aspire to do more. “New generation of sellers no longer view eCommerce as a good-to-have, but a necessity in order to drive success. And eCommerce players like Lazada can be strategic partners to sellers who are committed to their professional and business growth.

 

 

On cross-border trade, another common challenge faced by SMEs raised at the panel, Simon Baptist, Global Chief Economist and Managing Director, Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) in Asia, said, “Singapore has led the way in actively pursuing an agenda for open trade borders. However, there are still challenges for SMEs, especially in Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, due to a lack of access to financial and support services, as well as a need to develop capacity in e-payments and eCommerce.”

 

Supporting digital consumer growth with improved infrastructure

 

Faced with limited fulfilment players, a small and fragmented transportation sector, as well as vastly different infrastructure landscapes, logistics remains a huge challenge for eCommerce players big and small across Southeast Asia.

 

“Our research showed that logistics is a challenge, particularly in archipelagos like Indonesia and the Philippines. Road networks, as well as the retail and distribution network, came up as higher-risk areas for eCommerce firms,” said Baptist.

 

On customer experience, data and technology are the two key factors that will dynamically evolve the experience for online shoppers, due to Southeast Asia’s heterogeneity.

 

eCommerce businesses that can leverage data to navigate specific local consumer tastes and direct consumers to take desired actions are well-poised to succeed.

 

 

Singapore-based Speedoc Wants To Disrupt House Call Services

A House Call is a visit to the patient’s home by a doctor and this practice used to be very popular in the early 20th century. However, betterment in transportation and more availability of medical services have led to a decline for the needs of such service in recent years. Ironically, this has not deterred a Singapore-based startup to bring this practice back.

 

Prided itself as a health-tech company, Speedoc aims to build a complete end-to-end system for doctors and patients, so that house call doctor services can be provided with ease and minimal burden to people in the community.

How it works

The Speedoc mobile app brings a house call doctor directly to the location of

A standard medical tool kit issued by Speedoc which GP will bring along during a house call.

your choice, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Doctors can be requested via the app, or by calling the patient support line. Speedoc offers a full suite of affiliated patient care services, including fast access to Farrer Park Hospital’s (FPH) Emergency Clinic and immediate consult with their specialists. Users can benefit from online, synced patient medical records for all visits, trustworthy home medical care when it is inconvenient to visit a GP clinic or hospital, and priority access to partner clinics.

 

During a patient call, patients are matched with a Speedoc doctor, an SMC registered medical practitioner, whose name and picture will appear on the app. Patients can contact the doctor through in-app messaging and calls, to communicate questions, concerns and relevant medical information. During a Speedoc house call, the doctor will diagnose a patient’s condition, and prescribe medication on the spot or provide a prescription to pick up at a pharmacy of choice.

 

Speedoc services are available island-wide in Singapore. Consultation fees are $150 from 8am-8pm, $200 from 8pm-12am, and $250 from 12am-8am. These prices exclude the cost of prescribed medication. There is also a $30 surcharge for house calls to locations like Jurong Island, Sentosa and Changi Airport.

 

Ever since its soft launch on1 Jan, 2018, the startup has seen 3,490 downloads, with 3,051 users, 671 consultations, and 524 unique patients, and sees an average of 8 patients per day.

The future of Speedoc

On September 11, Speedoc announced that it is now part of the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) regulatory sandbox – Licensing Experimentation and Adaptation Programme (LEAP). As one of the first mobile medicine providers to participate in the regulatory sandbox, Speedoc will work closely with MOH to review workflows, understand service models, and work through risk identification and mitigation strategies in healthcare, while promoting innovation in Singapore’s healthcare landscape.

 

Under the regulatory sandbox, Speedoc patients and caregivers will benefit from early access to new healthcare models consistent with the regulatory ethos of MOH. Speedoc will also be able to introduce new healthcare models or evolve its current models in a safe manner, with early visibility over the eventual regulatory environment. This will also help them to meet patient safety and welfare requirements, and transition more seamlessly into the eventual regulatory framework.

 

“In the future, we want to make Speedoc into a medical super-app; besides being a platform for booking house calls, we are working to implement in-app follow ups, and have plans to open up a chat and video-call module by early 2019,” says Dr Shravan Verma, MD & Founder of Speedoc. “For now, our main priority is to grow our customer base through hospital and insurance partnerships, and to prepare to scale up our business when more customers come on board, as we plan to grow by two or three times by the middle of next year.”

Singapore Company goGame Collaborates With The Walt Disney Company; Developed Mobile Game Disney Epic Quest

 

At GameStart Asia 2018, goGame and The Walt Disney Company (Stock Quote: NYSE.DIS) Southeast Asia revealed a first look at the gameplay of Disney Epic Quest, an original mobile title that brings Disney and Pixar characters into one action-packed digital experience for all ages. Developed and published by the Singapore-headquartered goGame, Disney Epic Quest is the first Disney mobile game to debut in Southeast Asia. The free-to-play game will be available on both Android and iOS devices and will launch across the region in 2019.

David Ng, Founder and CEO, goGame

David Ng, founder and CEO of goGame, said “As a mobile game company with a strong Asian presence, it’s a great honour to work on a Disney game that’s developed by, hosted in and published for our fastgrowing Southeast Asia region. And as fans of Disney and Pixar, we’re proud to be able to bring the magic of their characters from the movie screens to mobile screens and ultimately, to the heart of our players.”

 

Dan Dossa, VP & GM, Consumer Products Commercialisation The Walt Disney Company South Asia

“At the heart of everything we do at Disney is great storytelling, and we draw upon the most beloved stories and characters from Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars to create high-quality interactive game experiences for fans of all ages,” said Dan Dossa, Vice President & General Manager, Consumer Products Commercialization, The Walt Disney Company South Asia. “Our collaboration with goGame underpins our commitment to our Southeast Asian fans to deliver games unique to local tastes and preferences”.

 

Disney Epic Quest is an action role-playing mobile game that brings together Disney and Pixar characters in a digital universe. Players will assemble a squad of three Disney and Pixar characters who embark on a journey to save their digital realm from a menacing virus that has infected the land.

 

The game will launch in 2019 in Southeast Asia, and will be available in English, Bahasa Indonesia, Simplified Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese.

 

Starting today, fans from around the world can pre-register their interest on the official website at www.playdisneyepicquest.com to be notified when Disney Epic Quest is available in their region. Those who are eager to try the demo for themselves may also visit the Disney booth at GameStart Asia 2018, Suntec Convention Centre from 13–14 October 2018.