Plus, Go-Jek and Nets made big moves in the cashless payments space
Money movers Monday
aCommerce, one of Southeast Asia’s most successful startups, announced today it has raised US$65 million Series B round led by Emerald Media. The money will be used to enhance its “plug-in” logistics model, scale strategic partnerships and facilitate client expansion to new countries in the region.
The company has 1,400 staff and fulfilment centers in Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines.
This big move is part of Alibaba’s “new retail” strategy, which involves a heavy investment into offline retail to augment its online juggernaut. This move also provides Alibaba with a deep partnership with a French company — similar to a similar relationship between JD.com and Walmart. The deal brings together a Chinese—Hong Kong—France alliance.
Not to be outdone by Grab, the Singaporean payment system, Nets, will allow for cashless payments in 600 stalls across 20 Hawker Centres in the city. As long as the user has a NFC-enabled smartphone, users will be able to us QR-code technology to pay for their food. In the larger context, the move comes amid a multiple-party battle for poll position in Singapore’s national push to go cashless.
Indonesians can now pay for bills using Go-Jek [DailySocial]
Indonesian ride-hailing giant Go-Jek introduced Go-Bills, a new feature on its mobile app that allows users to pay various bills. The service is currently available to pay for pre- and post-paid electricity bills, as well as universal healthcare plan bills.
The launch of the new feature is part of Go-Jek’s effort to expand the functions of its cashless payment feature Go-Pay; the company has been aiming to introduce Go-Pay for offline transactions outside of the Go-Jek ecosystem.
Bitcoin price crosses US$8,000 mark[Coinbase]
After a reasonable-sized slump that began 10 days ago, the price of Bitcoin has surged to [another] all-time high and has crossed the US$8,000 mark. It also seems to have recovered from a “Bitcoin Civil War” in which a spin-off currency called Bitcoin Cash (BCH) was potentially threatening Bitcoin’s market share. Instead, both currencies are doing well as BCH was priced at US$1,200 at publishing.
Ethereum was priced at US$360 at publishing.
Regulatory uncertainty, and a fear that a Chinese government cryptocurrency crackdown could extend to mining, has led the community to look beyond China to consider setting up shop abroad. This could be a big deal for both cryptocurrencies and China because the country has turned into the world’s undisputed leader in mining.
Miners have taken advantage of cheap electricity in rural China to build up mines, but often, they can spend US$15,000 a day to run their machines and have a hard time recouping that cost in Bitcoins.
Happening this week
Startup Grind Hosts Cal Henderson (Slack) — November 21 — [e27]
Cal Henderson is the co-founder and CTO of Slack, he is a pioneer in the use of APIs and created the basis for oAuth and oEmbed, now used by YouTube, Twitter, and many others.
Women who code Manila hackathon — November 24-26 — [e27]
For many years, there has been a lack of women attending hackathons and we want to change that. This year, Women who code Manila wants to open the community’s eyes to the world of hackathons.
Designpreneurs Meetup — November 23 — [e27]
Head on over to .elia and make new like-minded friends. Sip on some homemade iced tea, enjoy the finger food and get a free book co-authored by Mark Phooi. The organisers will share more insights into our latest initiative; Designpreneur Accelerator Programme (DAP).
The post Captain’s Log, November 20: Go-Jek launches bill payments, Bitcoin crosses US$8,000 mark appeared first on e27.