Guest article: Dave McClure on Japan’s slow startup dawn: ‘What the f*** is the problem?’

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It was a 500 Startups extravaganza as no fewer than four people from the international venture capital firm took the stage at a recent technology conference in Tokyo. The VC that started out in 2010 by Dave McClure and Christine Tsai with the ambition of helping build 500 businesses now has a global portfolio of 1,600 companies. “Maybe 500 VCs is …


Guest article: Going high touch in a tech world

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By: Ganesh Rengaswamy & Jackson Scher At Quona, we’re very excited about the prospects of technology enabling business models that can offer financial services to previously underserved segments.  We call it FinTech for the Underbanked, but the word “FinTech” might be misleading.  Yes, we’re talking about financial technology, but that isn’t the whole story.  In the markets our portfolio companies are …


Are we entering into an age of e-commerce consolidation in Indonesia?

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The e-commerce landscape in many of the emerging markets in Southeast Asia has, through until 2016, been a story of fragmentation. Whereas in markets like China and the US we have seen consolidation through the emergence of clearly dominant players (Alibaba and Amazon respectively), in Southeast Asia there are a host of players in each market fighting it out for dominance. In …

White Paper: Does Mobile Money Impact Lives?

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By Dr. John Vong, Chief Technical Adviser, UNDP / Founder, Balipay Abstract Mobile money is in vogue. Everyone heard of it. World Bank publishes it. Asian Development Bank engages in it. University research teams even showcase it. But what is mobile money’s economic or social impact on micro businesses? This thought leadership article is written based on a 3-month pilot study …

Guest article: Why is digital retailing in Southeast Asia unlike any other region?

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By Ankiti Bose & Peerapol (Chain) Vayakornvichit, Zilingo Ecommerce in Southeast Asia is undoubtedly a big opportunity.  In particular, every retail start up with proof of concept is flocking to Indonesia, Thailand, and Singapore – your usual suspects.  But as we have seen in the companies that have won in the internet economy, just having an idea and a fast-growing market …

Consumer protection is the core of the new fintech guideline: Indonesia’s financial services authority

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According to OJK, a guideline will ensure consumer protection, liability and integration of three main actors of the industry: banking, capital market and NBFIs. The Indonesian Financial Services Authority (OJK) first mentioned its plans to come up with a regulation for the local fintech industry (venture capitals, angel investors and startups) last year. Today, OJK revealed an outline of the regulation at the BankTech Asia 2016 event in Gandaria in …

Announcing Cards & Payments Indonesia 2016

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From the rise of omnichannel retail to the big bang of mobile enabled payments, 2016 is set to be the most disrupted, exciting and challenging year for Indonesia in recent memory. Here at Cards & Payments Indonesia 2016, we are bringing to you 2 days of conferences  jam packedwith content delivered by some of the leading lights of the payments industry …

It’s a wrap – the Philippines show epilogue from the producer

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We were delighted to welcome 1,800 attendees to the 2nd edition of Cards & Payments Philippines at the SMX Convention Centre in Manila from the 6th to 7th September. Collocated with the conference, we brought back the hugely successful E-Commerce Show and debuted a conference, focusing on retail strategy in the Philippines, Retail World Philippines. Alongside the conferences, was an exhibition packed with …


“Winter” in US & Valley need not mean shakedown in emerging markets

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Start-ups in India and parts of Asia catch cold when US unicorns sneeze. They don’t have to but even century old habits well past their expiry dates die hard . Enough has been said about the downturn that has descended on start-ups in 2016, primarily led by melting of unicorns (about time!). In this regard, I came across two thoughtful …