Cashback News – May 19: What’s new in SE Asia e-commerce?

VCs in SE AsiaDeveloping markets of SE Asia are challenging, growing fast and filled with potential for companies who understand how to lead with mobile and tailor products and services to meet each of more than a dozen unique markets. Let’s look at the latest news highlights. After revisiting China, VC Cyriac Roeding reflects on China as Silicon Valley’s only true market competition. How big a threat is Amazon India to homegrown e-commerce leaders Flipkart and Snapdeal? Big! TaoBao Dianying, the ticketing subsidiary of Alibaba Pictures is now valued at more than $2 billion after a new financing round of $260 million. India’s all-in-one e-commerce and B2C marketing software platform Betaout is partnering with Indonesia’s market leader Tokopedia.

According to Criteo Managing Director Yuko Saito, in SE Asia countries, especially Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam, e-commerce is all about mobile-first. An Appier research report suggests Asia is a “post-mobile” market with big implications for marketers in the region. E-commerce in Taiwan is growing fast and now represents 11% of retail sales. MH&L forecasts intra-Asia containerized trade to grow at 5.1% per year to 2018.

After three weeks in China, it’s clear Beijing is Silicon Valley’s only true competitor selling my startup, Shopkick, to SK Planet in 2014, and handing over my CEO role a year later, I packed up my 1- and 3-year-old sons and my wife Angel, and flew to Beijing, Shenzhen and Hong Kong for three weeks, hoping to better understand the Chinese startup world and its entrepreneurs and VCs.

I hadn’t been to China in several years, but had almost moved there 12 years ago, so I was very curious what I would find. I met with two dozen startups, from very late-stage — including valuations of $20 billion — to pre-seed stages. I also met with a dozen VCs, two dozen startup entrepreneurs and successful angel investors.

I started at 30,000 feet with late-stage startups and investors, including a long breakfast meeting with the founder Xing Wang of Meituan — a highly valued Chinese startup at about $20 billion. Then I went to Series B and A, and met with startups like VIPkid and 700bike and VCs like Matrix and BlueRun. Via

Amazon India’s growth threatens to unsettle ecommerce firms like Flipkart and Snapdeal India has gained significant growth momentum this year that threatens to unsettle domestic giants Flipkart and Snapdeal , with the online retailer’s shipments having increased 150% in the first calendar quarter from a year earlier.

Amazon India Managing Director Amit Agarwal said in an interview to ET that the company continued to grow at an “extremely fast” pace compared with the rest of the industry and that he expects the aggressive growth momentum to continue through the year.

“We were growing at 3-4 times the rate (the overall) landscape was growing. So we exited 2015 with a very high bar for growth in 2016,” said Agarwal, who was recently inducted into Amazon Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos’ global leadership team. “What we saw in the first quarter of 2016 was that momentum has not slowed.”

 Amazon India is locked in a battle for market leadership with Flipkart and Snapdeal, and all three have aggressively spent billions of dollars on marketing, strengthening their supply chains and acquiring customers with predatory discounts. But while Flipkart and Snapdeal are struggling to raise money and grappling with spending cuts, Amazon’s US parent has pumped in hundreds of millions of dollars into its India operations. Via

Alibaba’s movie ticketing business is now worth over US $2 Billion Dianying, the ticketing subsidiary of Alibaba Pictures, has raised a RMB1.7 billion (US$260 million) A series, valuing the company at over RMB13.7 billion (US$2.09 billion).

According to a filing made by Hong Kong-listed Alibaba Pictures on Sunday, the CDH Investments led the round, followed by Alibaba finance affiliate Ant Financial and Chinese web portal

Alibaba has been shoring up resources across the entire film production and distribution chain, capitalizing on China’s growing appetite for blockbuster movies. Last week Alibaba Pictures announced their first ever investment in physical cinemas, purchasing a 4.76 percent stake in Dadi Cinemas for 1 billion yuan ($150 million USD).

In June last year Alibaba Pictures sold US$1.57 billion in shares to fund their expansion into new media projects. Via

Betaout bullish on Indonesian e-commerce market’s all-in-one e-commerce and B2C marketing software platform Betaout remains bullish on the Indonesian market it entered last year. The company is now working with the country’s biggest marketplace platform Tokopedia, as well as a few other Indonesian startups, to enhance. marketing engagements across all marketing channels.

Betaout said it sees Indonesia as a growing market. The country, with over 300 million population and over 30 per cent internet penetration, has attracted foreign investors and players.

Founder of Betaout – Ankit Maheshwari – said his company was keen in partnering with startups in online-retail, and support their journey by providing them expertise and next-gen technology to engage their customers with a highly personalised experience. Via

In SE Asia, e-commerce is largely going to be mobile, Criteo says people in the emerging markets of South-east Asia are getting their first taste of the Internet through their mobile devices, so no surprise: Mobile is going to dominate the region’s e-commerce landscape too.

In the fourth quarter of 2015, the global average of transactions on mobile was 35 per cent; in South-east Asia it was 38.5 per cent, according to Criteo’s South-east Asia managing director Yuko Saito.

The Paris-based digital advertising company publishes a quarterly State of Mobile Commerce Report with data from over 10,000 advertisers. South-east Asia is ahead of the mobile curve, driven by the region’s emerging markets. “Countries like Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam are mobile-first; the penetration of the Internet population is still pretty low,” Saito told Digital News Asia (DNA) in Singapore recently. Via

Asia isn’t mobile-first, it’s post-mobile, says report by adtech startup Appier

multiple devicesThe report found that more and more people around Asia have access to and use three devices or more. The trend includes countries where it’s more or less the norm, with 78 percent of people using three devices or more in Australia, 77 percent in Taiwan, 74 percent in the Philippines, 70 percent in South Korea, 69 percent in Singapore, and 66 percent in Japan.

Other countries are catching on, with 44 percent in Indonesia, 43 percent in Vietnam, and 42 percent in India.

The dominant device in terms of usage is the smartphone, and that, of course, is where the notion of Asia as a mobile-first region comes from. For every active PC on a weekday, there are about 6.8 reachable phones, and 7.8 during weekends, according to the report. For every active tablet, there are 17.2 phones, and 16 during weekends. Via

Ecommerce in Taiwan: Thriving Market, Huge

Taiwan e-commerceTaiwan might be a small island but it is big on ecommerce. Taiwan is among the world leaders in terms of ecommerce penetration — the percentage of residents that have purchased products online. Roughly 62 percent of residents in Taiwan have purchased online, according to published reports. This compares to 77 percent for the U.K., the world leader in terms of ecommerce penetration. The U.S. comes in at 66 percent.

Ecommerce now holds an 11-percent share in the Taiwan’s total retail sales.

The three largest ecommerce sites in Taiwan sell broad-based consumer goods. The sites are PCHome, Momoshop, and Rakuten Ichiba Taiwan. PChome and Momoshop are local sites that sell directly to consumers — they are not marketplaces — without the backing of large international players. Rakuten Ichiba Taiwan, a marketplace, is owned by Rakuten, Inc., the Japan-based Internet conglomerate. Via

eCommerce Drives Intra-Asia Logistics trade will increasingly benefit from the rapid growth of consumption in Asia as a higher percentage of cargo is shipped to end markets within the region versus destinations in other parts of the world, according to a new study from HIS Global Insight.

China and India’s share of world consumption is set to rise from 12% in 2016 to 27% by 2035. IHS predicts very rapid growth in consumption in emerging Asian markets over the next two to three decades, with Asia Pacific consumption as a share of world consumption forecast to rise from 27% in 2016 to 39% by 2035. This will translate into continued rapid growth in intra-Asia trade.

Intra-Asia containerized trade dominates all other container trade lanes in terms of volume, and is forecast to grow at 5.1% per year over the medium term outlook to 2018. Via