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NEWS & RESOURCES

TymeBank CEO on digital banking success and expansion plans

July 12, 2024

Simon Brown of MoneywebNOW chats with new TymeBank CEO, Karl Westvig about the strategies and philosophies that led to the digital bank's success since launching in 2019. With a user base of 9.5 million in 5 years, they were confident that the model can also cater to consumers outside their main South African market. The podcast tackles Tymebank's expansion plans to the Philippine and Vietnamese markets, in which Westvig highlights the key strategies made to understand each country's demographics and how they can adapt their products to cater to local needs. 

Listen to the full podcast here.

TymeBank promotes former Retail Capital chief Karl Westvig to CEO

July 9, 2024

The CEO transition will come into effect from 1 October, coinciding with the challenger’s plans to raise $150 million through a Series D funding round in Q4, as first reported by Bloomberg last month.

Aside from its intention to use the funds to expand into the Philippine and Vietnamese markets, as per the report, TymeBank is also hoping to list on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) by 2028.

Jonker previously disclosed that this initial stock market debut in the US will “most likely” be followed by a secondary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), a move projected to appease its majority shareholder, Sandton-based African Rainbow Capital.

 

Read the full article here.

Empowering farmers through renewable energy: The ACEN and SariSuki collaboration

July 8, 2024

ACEN and SariSuki have joined forces to launch the Agro-Circularity in Renewable Energy (ACRE) program, a visionary initiative aimed at uplifting local farmers in ACEN’s host communities. This collaboration is not just a testament to the power of synergy between agriculture and renewable energy but also a model  for sustainable development and food security in the Philippines.


The ACRE program is set to revolutionize the agricultural landscape by providing farmers with essential training and support.

 

Read the full article here.

ADIB joins forces with Silent Eight

July 1, 2024

The Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) has entered a strategic collaboration with Silent Eight to automate its alert screening investigation process and improve its capabilities. 

 

The partnership between ADIB and Silent Eight, a regtech company focusing on providing solutions across the compliance workflow via artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning platform developed to identify and prevent financial crime, aims to enable the former to automate the alert screening investigation process to enhance the accuracy of its compliance operations. By implementing the platform, ADIB is set to minimize the volume of false positive alerts without human intervention.

Read the full article here.

BotMD Founder and CEO, Dorothea "Dot" Koh, Featured in BackScoop

June 28, 2024

Dorothea Koh is the Founder and CEO of Bot MD. They are an AI Assistant for Doctors. [They] integrate with hospital information systems to help doctors automate workflows through WhatsApp and other popular chat platforms.

Since 2018, Bot MD has been used by over 20,000 doctors around the world and has helped reach 50,000 patients across the region.

Read the full interview here.

BotMD Featured in Channel News Asia

June 28, 2024

Catch the upside of AI through BotMD, in which Channel News Asia explores how an AI Chatbot is able to improve hospital information management, remote patient care and monitoring, and so much more.

Featured hospitals include Tan Tock Seng Hospital in Singapore with Dr. Ng Yih Yng, Director for Digital & Smarth Health Office Centre for Health Innovation, and National Kidney Transplant Institute in the Philippines with Dr. Donnah De Leon, Head of the Peritoneal Dialysis Unit, and Dr Romina Danguilan Deputy Executive Director for Medical Services.

Watch the full episode here.

Igloo, Growsari partner to support MSMES

June 27, 2024

Regional insurtech Igloo together with Growsari, a business-to-business MSME enabler that powers Philippines sari-sari stores, introduced the Personal + Business Protection Plan that provides financial assistance to these neighborhood convenience stores in case of unwanted incidents arising from natural calamities such as floods due to heavy rain.

Read full article here.

TymeBank to take a bite of the Big Apple with NY listing

June 19, 2024

Jonker confirmed there would most likely be another capital raise round in 2026 before the company looked to list in 2028. 

TymeBank will list simultaneously on the New York Stock Exchange and the local JSE, with New York as the primary listing and the JSE as a secondary listing. Jonker said the decision to have a primary listing abroad rather than in South Africa was not a reflection on the JSE.


“In the five years since we launched TymeBank, we have seen much more interest in the business from international investors than from South African investors – with the exception of African Rainbow Capital (ARC) and the Ethos AI Fund, which is our second investor.

Read full article here.

Etaily launches AI-Powered Review Management Tool

June 18, 2024

This tool leverages OpenAI’s GPT models to automate responses to customer reviews, significantly reducing manual effort and enhancing efficiency.

The product will be available to its customers across Singapore and the Philippines and is part of Etaily’s suite of digital commerce managed services. 

Handling the e-commerce operations of more than 70 global brands in the lifestyle and FMCG categories, the tool helps Etaily’s brands to handle large volumes of product reviews in online marketplaces, ultimately reducing manual efforts to 0. 

Read full article here.

Darwinbox named as a Customers' Choice in the 2024 Gartner® Peer Insights™ Voice of the Customer for Cloud HCM Suites Report for Enterprises with 1,000+ Employees 

June 17, 2024

Darwinbox, a global leader in cloud-based HCM solutions, today announced that it has been distinguished as a Customers' Choice in the 2024 Gartner® Peer Insights™ Voice of the Customer for Cloud HCM Suites for 1,000+ Employee Enterprises.

The Gartner® Peer Insights™ Customers' Choice distinction is based on feedback and ratings from end-user professionals with experience using the product or service. As of 31 January 2024, Darwinbox received an overall rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars across 141 reviews.

"We believe this distinction, for the third consecutive year, reflects our unwavering commitment to our customers and their success, as well as our dedication to excellence and innovation in the HCM space," says Jayant Paleti, co-founder, Darwinbox.

Read full article here.

TymeBank Raising $150 Million as It Prepares for IPO

June 12, 2024

“We are currently valued at close to $1 billion and busy with our series D capital raise at unicorn valuation,” Coenraad Jonker told Bloomberg News on Wednesday (June 12), noting that the company is preparing for an initial public offering (IPO).

“Our target is to list TymeBank in New York by 2028, and we will most likely also do a secondary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange for our South African shareholders,” Jonker added.

The digital bank hopes to conclude the funding round by the fourth quarter, he said, using the funds to pay for expansion to places like Indonesia by the year’s end.

Read full article here.

Tyme Group Expands Its Customer Base To 12.4 Million Across SA And The Philippines

June 7, 2024

The Tyme Group boasts a combined customer base of 12.4 million in South Africa and the Philippines, comprising 9.2 million TymeBank customers and 3.2 million GoTymeBank customers.

The group consistently onboards around 450,000 new customers monthly, with 250,000 joining GoTymeBank  in the  Philippines,and 200,000 opting for TymeBank in South Africa.

TymeBank anticipates achieving sustained profitability by June 2024, having broken even in December 2023, which sets the stage for further growth and enhanced profitability, leveraging its robust operating leverage.

Read full article here.

TymeBank has partnered with Flash to allow customers to withdraw cash at over 172,000 spaza shops and traders nationwide.

May 30, 2024

TymeBank has partnered with Flash, a South African payment solutions provider, to allow customers to withdraw cash at over 172,000 spaza shops and traders nationwide.the most extensive cash withdrawal network in South Africa as customers can now easily access their money. This partnership not only expands TymeBank’s reach but also provides convenience and accessibility to customers.

Read full article here.

APPRO & Silent Eight team to boost its existing compliance offerings

May 03, 2024

“APPRO is thrilled to expand our partnership with Silent Eight. The early adoption of AI-driven automation is a testament to our dedication to robust yet agile management of our financial crime programs in the UAE’s fintech landscape. Preventing financial crime is of utmost importance to us and this strategic move positions us to deliver even more value to our clients,” shared Iftekhar Salim, CEO, APPRO.

“Silent Eight is proud of our continued collaboration with APPRO and are honoured to be a part of their mission. We look forward to continuing to enable them for many years to come,” said Matthew Leaney, CRO, Silent Eight.  , and hassle-free way of solving financial problems and getting access to the funds needed. 

Partnered with banks such as Standard Chartered, HSBC and Arab Bank, APPRO offers a quick credit application process that makes the onboarding journey easy.

Read full article here.

TymeBank takes the podium as top bank in 2024 Forbes list of banks

Apr 23, 2024

TymeBank has been earmarked to be one of South Africa’s well-performing banks according to the Forbes list of the world’s best banks for 2024. The Forbes List was based on a survey of 49,000 individuals in 33 countries, conducted in partnership with market research firm Statista. According to Forbes, the annual rankings identify banks that have managed to maintain consumer trust and meet their client’s financial needs in this economic climate.”

While the target may seem ambitious, the bank’s growth record indicates it is one that is achievable. With more than nine million customers, TymeBank is already recognized as one of the fastest growing digital banks globally, and the first African digital bank to break even, having reached its first month of profitability in December 2023.

Read full article here.

GrowSari CMO Maimai Punzalan on modernizing sari-sari stores and empowering owners both in physical and digital spaces

Mar 27, 2024

Sari-sari stores are residential street staples in the Philippines. The Tagalog word sari-sari directly translates to “variety” as it distributes a catalogue of basic necessities, and then some: Snacks, drinks, toiletries, condiments, and the like. Traditionally, they are storefronts attached to a neighborhood house, with just a window where the buyer and seller transact. Low-to-medium-income families often own these stores in areas where bigger commercial establishments like convenience stores and groceries are too far and often too pricey. 

 

“As a marketer, my objective was always to drive Market Share and Household Penetration for my brands. This meant I needed to drive distribution in the country’s deepest and widest retail network — the sari-sari stores. I have spent a lot of time insighting and working with sari-sari store owners. I needed to understand their psyche, what made them choose to carry one brand over the other,” she recalled. 

Read full article here.

HR technology boosts productivity

Mar 12, 2024

Jayant Paleti, co-founder of Darwinbox, said  the platform helped clients like the Gokongwei Group (JG Summit), Bank of Philippine Islands, Manila Electric Co., SM Prime Holdings, Shakey’s Philippines, Maxicare, Security Bank  Corp. among others retain employees by enhancing the overall employee experience that is personalized and mobile-first.

Paleti said the platform’s advanced talent and performance management modules enable the creation of personalized career plans, access internal opportunities with the talent marketplace, and transparent and bias-free performance management with 360-degree feedback mechanisms.

Paleti said Gokongwei Group which has  11 companies and over 21,000 employees previously had only 40 percent employee adoption of performance management processes across the organization. However with Darwinbox, Gokongwei group has been able to achieve 100 percent employee adoption, thereby propagating a culture of digitization and process adherence and acceptance throughout the organization.

called. 

Read full article here.

TymeBank, iKhokha unlock SME digital business solutions

Feb 29, 2024

TymeBank has migrated its tap-on-phone customer base to the iKhokha tap-on-phone platform.   The move will enable TymeBank’s business banking customers to have access to iKhokha’s suite of business tools, including cash advance products, sales reports, business insights and online payment acceptance solutions.

The ability for small businesses to accept payments on a smartphone has been a boon for companies of all sizes. Tap-on-phone technology, although in its early days, has the potential to play a key transformative role in driving financial inclusion throughout Africa, says TymeBank.

Read full article here.

SariSuki partners with Super8

Feb 28, 2024

Agri-Tech startup SariSuki has partnered with Super8 retail grocery to sell locally-procured farm produce, such as vegetables, at a price that is 40 percent lower than prevailing supermarket prices.

 

SariSuki said in a statement the tie-up seeks to sell 100 varieties of more affordable fresh produce across 30 Super8 stores in Bulacan, Baesa, Antipolo and Laguna.  “Our goal is to create a seamless agricultural highway, connecting our vertically integrated supply chain to an omni-channel demand network, an approach that allows us to provide fresh produce to Super8 stores at a lower price,” SariSuki co-founder and CEO Brian Cu said.

Read full article here.

Meet the banking disruptor whose Tyme is now

Feb 23, 2024

Leadership Magazine’s Ralph Staniforth sat down for a chat with Coenraad Jonker, the CEO and co-founder of TymeBank, to find out more about how and why this relatively new kid on the block is making such big waves in the sector.

 

Read full article here.

SariSuki and micro-online entrepreneurs

Feb 4, 2024

The SariSuki platform now proudly hosts nearly a million Ka-Sari community leaders who have become micro-entrepreneurs.  

Not only do they support their families by providing fresh produce and grocery items to neighbors, but SariSuki's impact also extends to local farmers, as the platform directly sources its fresh produce from them, contributing to the growth of the domestic agricultural industry.  Setting itself apart with its accessibility, SariSuki requires no capital or joining fee to launch an online grocery.

Read full article here.

January 22, 2024

Growsari launches Tranko logistics platform

Growsari Enterprise, a B2B ordering and store solution platform, has unveiled its latest venture for the new year — Tranko, a dedicated logistics business unit focused on downstream distribution logistics. 

Tranko seeks to fill the void for Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) companies and businesses seeking to reach remote areas, including sari-sari stores and micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).  With a point-to-many (P2M) dimension, Tranko facilitates cross-docking at designated warehouses for businesses, streamlining the delivery process. This offers FMCG companies and other enterprises access to cost-effective logistics, providing affordable trucking and warehousing solutions below industry benchmarks.

 

Read full article here.

TymeBank becomes South Africa’s first profitable digital bank

January 19, 2024

South Africa’s TymeBank reached its first month of profitability in December 2023, less than five years since its launch in February 2019. It is the first digital bank in South Africa to achieve profitability, and qualifies as one of the world’s fastest-growing digital banks, securing 8.5 million customers since its launch. In 2023, it achieved 30% growth in its lending portfolio for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).   It’s parent company Tyme, a Singapore-based global digital banking business, reached a yearly revenue run rate of $215 million in 2023. 

 

Listen to co-founder and CEO Coen Jonker's interview highlighting the company’s success in South Africa and the Philippines while outlining its expansion strategy in Vietnam and Indonesia.  Click to watch video here.

Tyme Group attains world’s fastest digital bank, with $160M annual revenue

January 16, 2024

Singapore-based global digital banking group Tyme has achieved an annualised revenue run rate of SGD 215 million ($160 million) in 2023, as its flagship South African operation TymeBank becomes one of the world’s fastest profitable standalone digital banks.

This puts TymeBank in the top 5% of digital banks globally, with a study by global consultancy Simon-Kucher finding that fewer than 5% of digital banks around the world are profitable.

TymeBank also qualifies as one of the world’s fastest-growing digital banks, as it secured 8.5 million customers since its launch in February 2019 and achieved 30% growth in its SME lending portfolio in 2023.

Read the full article here.

ETAILY RAISES $17.8 MILLION TO DRIVE ECOMMERCE IN SOUTHEAST ASIA

November 13, 2023

ETaily announced it has completed a $17.8 million Series A funding round as it targets annual revenues of $100 million by 2025.

The financing is led by the Chinese and Taiwanese private equity firm SKS Capital and Singapore’s Pavilion Capital. It also features the Magsaysay Family, Gokongwei Investment (JGDEV), Kaya Founders, Japan’s SBI ICCP Fund, the Chan family and Foxmont Capital.

Read the full article here.

DIGITAL BANK TYMEBANK TOPS 8 MILLION CLIENTS

October 10, 2023

TymeBank has “onboarded” its eight millionth client last week.  This means that one in every five “eligible” South Africans now has a TymeBank account. This comes just four-and-a-half years after TymeBank’s February 2019 launch.

“Our performance reinforces our position as one of the world’s fastest-growing digital banks and a credible alternative to the legacy banks for South Africans,” said CEO Coen Jonker in a statement.  Jonker said TymeBank’s customer acquisition rate is accelerating, with more than 200 000 customers signing up every month.

Read the full article here.

CO-FOUNDER & CEO OF ETAILY, ALEXANDER FRIEDHOFF SETS UP E-COMMERCE SUCCESS

October 5, 2023

Get to know Etaily's Alex Friedhoff in this interview by LUXUO.  Friedhoff shares his career background prior to founding ETaily, how ETaily is able to meet demand so quickly with every brand rushing to go online and the challenges in building such a business in Southeast Asia, among others.

Read the LUXUO interview here.

TYMEBANK HITS 7.4 MILLION CUSTOMERS IN SOUTH AFRICA – WITH PROFITABILITY RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER

September 14, 2023

Digital banking group TymeBank has expanded rapidly since its launch in 2019 – with its customer base on par with the likes of Nedbank.

The bank launched in February 2019 and hit the milestone of 1 million customers in November that same year.  In 2020, its customer base quadrupled to 4 million, boosted by targeting relatively untapped markets, including a partnership with the Zion Christian Church (ZCC).  By 2021, it was comfortably adding around 130,000 new customers per month, and by the end of 2022, it had hit the 6 million customer mark.

Reporting its full-year results for the year ended June 2023, African Rainbow Capital Investments – the 50% shareholder of TymeBank – said the digital banking giant has now surpassed 7.4 million customers in South Africa.  This has been driven by another partnership with The Fochini Group (TFG), where 600 kiosks were installed across 22 brands within the TFG stable – almost doubling TymeBank’s distribution across South Africa, the group said.

Read the full article here.

TYMEBANK'S RETAIL CAPITAL EASY FUNDING SOLUTION FOR SOUTH AFRICAN SMES

September 13, 2023

Retail Capital, a division of TymeBank, is a one stop, one click funding solution for SMEs who need an instant cash injection. The platform has cut out all the complicated administration that often accompanies procuring funding and simplified the process – making it easier for businesses to get the financing they need within 24 hours.  Before, and during Covid the company was also monumental in ensuring business continuity for businesses across the country.

In an in-person interview with Luca Merlo, Retail Capital’s Product Manager delves deeper into how the lending service differs from banking services, and how the company has leveraged technology to simplify the money lending process making it easier for businesses to access the funding they need.

Read the full article here.

MASAFI PICKS DARWINBOX TO STREAMLINE HR FUNCTIONS ACROSS BORDERS

September 12, 2023

Dubai, UAE: Masafi, the UAE-headquartered consumer goods conglomerate, has selected Darwinbox, a global HR tech unicorn, to automate its HR function and enhance the employee experience using a new-age, AI-powered Human Capital Management (HCM) platform. The new implementation incorporates some of Darwinbox’s leading products and features like hiring, onboarding, payroll and performance management for Masafi’s 1,000+ cross-border workforce spread across UAE and Oman.

Read the full article here.

HOW SOONICORN GROWSARI PLANS TO EXPAND ITS REACH TO 300K SARI-SARI STORES IN PHILIPPINES

September 11, 2023

e27's Sainul Abudheen K chats with Growsari co-founder Shiv Choudhury on how the startup is helping stores digitally procure goods & services, improve efficiencies, maintain strong relationships between stores & suppliers, and its aspirations as it moves toward unicorn status.  

Read the interview here.

Security Bank empowers workforce with Darwinbox

September 7, 2023

SECURITY Bank Corp., a leading universal bank in the Philippines, has recently launched HeRO, powered by Darwinbox, as its human capital management (HCM) platform. This elevates the employee experience of the bank's more than 7,000-strong workforce. 

 

The bank has integrated its systems into one end-to-end HCM platform, covering the entire employee life cycle from hiring to retirement. Security Bank's goal with the partnership is to provide employees with a mobile-first human resources (HR) solution that is simple, progressive and serving as a one-stop-shop tool for HCM data and service needs.

Read the interview here.

BUKALAPAK-BACKED ECOMMERCE FIRM IPRICE EXPANDS TO AUSTRALIA

August 31, 2023

Malaysia-based shopping aggregator iPrice Group has launched iPrice.au, its price comparison platform in Australia.  This marks its first “significant expansion” beyond Southeast Asia, the company said in a statement. Outside Malaysia and Australia, iPrice also operates in Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Hong Kong.

“As inflationary pressure make shoppers more cautious about spending, we are pleased to provide the convenience of Southeast Asia’s largest price comparison platform to Australia,” said Karl Loo, senior vice president in business development and internationalization at iPrice.

Read the full article here.

TYMEBANK JOINS PAYSHAP REVOLUTION

August 29, 2023

TymeBank, South Africa’s fastest-growing digital bank, pioneers the integration of PayShap.  As the first South African bank to provide this real-time interbank digital payments service, TymeBank offers its 7.6 million customers free access to payments up to the R3,000 limit using cellphone numbers (ShapID). This emphasizes the bank’s dedication to delivering affordable banking solutions to a diverse range of South Africans.

PayShap aims to decrease reliance on cash and instill trust in digital payment methods, offering enhanced safety, swiftness, and cost-efficiency.

Cheslyn Jacobs, TymeBank’s Chief Commercial Officer, notes, “We have been actively providing customers with various low-cost instant payment options as we strive to digitize cash transactions. By making PayShap to mobile numbers free, we empower both individual and business customers to reap the benefits of real-time digital payments across banks without the concern of transaction fees.”

Read the full article here.

GROWSARI CELEBRATES 7TH YEAR, AIMS TO IMPACT MORE MSMES THROUGH TWO NEW BUSINESS UNITS

August 7, 2023

Business-to-business tech company Growsari commemorates its 7th year of empowering micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) nationwide.

Since its inception in 2016, Growsari has been revolutionizing the retail ecosystem of mom-and-pop stores, more known as sari-sari stores, by providing comprehensive tech solutions to transform them into efficient and competitive retail establishments. Growsari’s vision started with a noble mission — to uplift the lives of local store owners and bridge the gap between traditional retail and modern technology.

Through their innovative platform, Growsari has been instrumental in enabling over 250,000 sari-saristores across the country, spanning 24 key cities and 400 municipalities. Recently, Growsari has expanded its reach to previously untapped regions, including the provinces of Isabela in North Luzon and Bais, Dumaguete in Visayas, making their impactful presence felt in even more communities.

Read the full article here.

ETAILY ACHIEVES GROWTH IN 6.6 MEGA CAMPAIGN AND UNVEILS LATEST ECOMMERCE TRENDS

July 3, 2023

etaily has announced its exceptional achievements and unveiled the latest trends observed during its highly successful 6.6 Mega Campaign. Despite the conclusion of the campaign, the insights gained and outstanding performance in specific product categories continue to provide valuable information for etaily’s brand partners.

The 6.6 Mega Campaign marked a significant milestone for etaily, showcasing a remarkable 20% growth compared to the previous 3.3 campaign held in March. This substantial increase can be attributed to the resurgence of offices, schools, and retail operations, along with the reopening of several countries for tourism, resulting in heightened mobility. The groceries, fashion, and motors categories exhibited exceptional performance, while the surge in revenge travel contributed to the soaring demand for travel-related categories, further boosting the campaign’s success. Several etaily-managed brands, including Anta, Century Pacific, Crocs, Enfagrow, Goodest, Lactum, Landmark, Levi’s, Motoworld, and Sustagen, emerged as top performers in their respective categories.

Read the full article here.

ZUZU HOSPITALITY RAISES US$9M IN A SERIES B FUNDING ROUND LED BY SOFTBANK VENTURES ASIA

May 26, 2023

ZUZU Hospitality, a revenue platform provider for independent hotels, today announced an oversubscribed US$9 million (SG$12 million) Series B funding round led by SoftBank Ventures Asia, with participation from Atinum Partners and existing investors Wooshin Venture Investment, Visor Ventures and JG Digital Equity Ventures.

The startup plans to double its hotel partner count across the region with a keen focus on India and reach an impressive milestone of 5,000 partners by the end of 2024. Furthermore, it also plans to make strategic investments in AI tools to improve pricing, automate guest management, and improve partner experience.

These advancements aim to enhance ZUZU Hospitality’s offerings and revolutionise how independent hotels operate in today’s competitive market.

Read the full article here.

DIGITAL BANKING GROUP TYME LANDS $77.8M IN PRE-SERIES C FUNDING

May 23, 2023

Digital banking group Tyme has secured $77.8 million in a pre-Series C funding round led by Norrsken22 and Blue Earth Capital.

Founded in 2012, Tyme operates a multi-country digital bank focused on emerging markets in Asia and Africa, with locations in South Africa, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Vietnam. It launched its flagship offering TymeBank, a fully digital bank, in South Africa in February 2019.

With the new funding, Tyme intends to accelerate its operations in South Africa and the Philippines (where it operates GoTyme Bank, a new digital bank), and plot its expansion across Southeast Asia. The company intends to close its Series C funding later in the year.

Read full article here.

OVER 2000 PEOPLE JOINED THE FUN AND CELEBRATION AT SARISUKI SUPER FIESTA 2023

May 11, 2023

Sarisuki is an online shopping platform that encourages a new generation of Community Leaders to explore the potential of selling affordable farm-fresh goods and other essential items. 

Now in its second year, Sarisuki aims to provide consistent farm fresh products at affordable prices, supply a convenient channel for e-commerce, and create sustainable financial opportunities for communities and farmers. Additionally, Sarisuki lets consumers have a rewarding experience of grocery shopping. By providing affordable prices of produce and essential goods, Sarisuki creates a ‘wais’ way for consumers to spend their hard earned money, thus the term, ‘Winner Pag Madiskarte.’   

Last May 5, 2023, Sarisuki showed its gratitude to its Ka-Sangga farmers, Ka-Saripreneurs, and SariSuki’s partners during its 2nd Year Anniversary with its Sarusuki Super Fiesta 2023.


Read full article here.

SINGAPORE-BASED WAVEMAKER IMPACT NEARING FINAL CLOSE OF DEBUT FUND

May 8, 2023

Singapore-based Wavemaker Impact, a fund of Wavemaker Partners designed to help build climate technology ventures, is nearing the final close of its first vehicle, the firm's founding partner, Marie Cheong, told DealStreetAsia. "The [debut] fund is slated to close by mid-2023. It is already oversubscribed and is likely to exceed its target," Cheong said. 

Wavemaker Impact, which calls itself a "VC-backed climate tech venture builder," has introduced four new startups through its venture-building model. This includes WasteX, which provides waste management solutions for agriculture producers across Southeast Asia.

Other investments include Helios Solar, which sells solar energy solutions to households in Southeast Asia by packaging solar panels within home mortgages.

Another investee of Wavemaker Impact is Singapore-based Agros Global, which helps farmers to decarbonize through solutions like soil restoration.

Read the full article here.

ECOMMERCE ENABLER ETAILY SURPASSES GROWTH TARGETS

May 7, 2023

LEADING B2B eCommerce enabler, etaily, achieved positive unit economics or profit contribution 3 (PC3) in its second full year of operations. The performance across the year exceeded each quarter's target in 2022.

The company realized year-on-year growth of 3x in gross merchandise value (GMV) and 6x in revenue. The tremendous scale has been powered by the growth of its legacy partner brands and the onboarding of several enterprise brands, most notably Reckitt Benckiser, Whole Earth Brands, Levi's and Skechers.

"Our PC3 positive status is a major accomplishment and a testament to the strength of our business model," said Alexander Friedhoff, CEO of etaily.

The financial feat signals the scalability and profitability of etaily's operating platform, where the company envisions to anchor its next stage of growth. 

Read full article here.

IPRICE GETS ACQUIRED BY UNICORN BUKALAPAK

April 4, 2023

Indonesian company Bukalapak has acquired a majority stake in iPrice Group, the Kuala Lumpur-based price comparison platform.  The company believes iPrice has been building a niche marketplace - aligned with its new focus of building & acquiring niche marketplaces & accelerating their growth. 


“With Bukalapak’s extensive expertise in ecommerce and iPrice’s loyal userbase and proprietary technology, we are confident that we can unlock the platform’s full potential,” said Willix Halim, the CEO of Bukalapak. 


Read full article here.

GROWSARI LAUNCHES NEW BUSINESS UNITS

February 27, 2023

Philippine's leading B2B ordering and store solution platform, Growsari Enterprise has recently unveiled its new business units SariMart and SariPay. 


With this, there have been new leadership appointments to run these business units.  Maimai Madrid-Punzalan, currently Growsari Enterprise Chief Growth & Marketing Officer, will take the position of General Manager for SariMart, which is the B2B Ecommerce business arm of platform. SariMart will have the mandate to be the country's largest B2B Ecommerce wholesaler for neighborhood MSMEs (e.g. sari-sari stores, Carinderias and bakeshops) and will operate independently from Growsari’s platform, including partnering with other offline and online players.

Sandeep Bhalla will elevate his role as the General Manager of SariPay. SariPay is the independently run financial services company which aims to support the MSME network with working capital loans, cash management, remittances and similar products.  They have been already working with multiple partners (retailers, wholesalers, distributors) outside the Growsari network to offer credit to their customers and support their cash management.

Read full article here.

LOCAD RAISES $11 MILLION TO BUILD ASIA-PACIFIC’S LARGEST WAREHOUSE NETWORK

January 16, 2023

E-commerce logistics startup Locad raised $11 million in Series A funding and is said to be on track toward building Asia-Pacific’s “largest fulfillment network.”

In a briefing on Monday, January 16, Locad said the round was led by Reefknot Investments, a fund anchored by Temasek, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, and Swiss logistics company Kuehne & Nagel.

The Series A funding round also saw participation from returning investors Sequoia Capital India and Southeast Asia’s Surge, Febe Ventures, Antler, Foxmont, and Kaya Founders, as well as new investors Access Ventures and JG Digital Equity Ventures.

Read full article here.

HRTECH UNICORN DARWINBOX BAGS $5 MN FUNDING FROM STATE BANK OF INDIA

January 5, 2023

HRtech unicorn Darwinbox has reportedly secured $5 Mn in an extended Series D funding round from State Bank of India (SBI).


Darwinbox will use the fresh funds for marketing, capital expenditure and other business operations. Including the current fundraising, the startup has raised a total of $115 Mn to date.

Read full article here.

DARWINBOX APPOINTS PANUWAT BENROHMAN AS MANAGING DIRECTOR FOR THAILAND

January 2, 2023

Tech unicorn Darwinbox announces the appointment of Panuwat Benrohman as Managing Director for Thailand.  

As HR digital transformation takes center stage in Thailand, Darwinbox is ramping up its local team along with product capabilities to offer advanced end-to-end human resource management solutions to organisations in the country. 

“Darwinbox has already partnered with a few marquee brands in the region to enable their HR digital transformation journey and is looking to expand further under Ben’s leadership,” the startup said in statement.


Read full article here.

WAVEMAKER IMPACT HAS RAISED THE FIRST US$13M FOR ITS DEBUT CLIMATETECH FUND

November 10, 2022

Singapore-based venture builder Wavemaker Impact has secured US$13 million at the first close of its planned US$25 million debut fund from investors such as JG Digital Equity Ventures, Kajima Ventures and Pavilion Capital.

The company was launched by venture capital firm Wavemaker Partners in 2021 and is focused on co-founding climate technology startups across Southeast Asia and scaling them. Wavemaker Impact aims to contribute to a 10 percent reduction in global carbon emissions by 2035 through building 10,000 companies that target issues from transforming industrial processes to evolving land use.

Read full article here.

LOCAD UNVEILS ‘LOGISTICS ENGINE’ TO SUPPORT OMNICHANNEL APPROACH

October 21, 2022

To strengthen its commitment in leading the logistics and e-commerce space, Locad is introducing a new industry category which it calls the “logistics engine.”  This move of Locad aligns with the growing awareness and need of many online merchants for a partner that could help them grow through a logistics solution that goes beyond order fulfillment.

“Locad is the logistics engine enabling e-commerce brands to scale without worrying about order fulfillment because our network of warehouses and shipping partners allow them to store products closer to customers and deliver orders faster at the fraction of the cost,” Constantin Robertz, Locad CEO and co-founder said.

Read full article here.

DARWINBOX DISRUPTS GLOBAL HR TECH SPACE WITH TOP RANKING IN GARTNER'S CUSTOMER SURVEY

September 13, 2022

Darwinbox secured a score of 4.7 out of 5, the highest rating on Gartner Peer Insights, ahead of established vendors such as Oracle, SAP, and Workday. The report notes that 96% of customers recommend the Darwinbox experience to their peers, the highest among all global HR technology solutions.    

Gartner Peer Insights is a customer review and rating platform for enterprise software and services decision makers. Reviews go through a strict validation and moderation process to ensure authenticity.

Read full article here.

ETAILY MAKES IT TO FORBES ASIA 100 TO WATCH IN 2022

August 29, 2022

etaily has landed in Forbes Asia’s “100 to Watch” list in 2022 out of the 650 small companies and startups evaluated by the magazine.

Etaily aims to digitalize retail in Southeast Asia by helping stores embrace e-commerce. Its smart services for shops include tech support, operations, branding and data management. 

To check out Forbes' complete list, read here.

TYMEBANK ANNOUNCES RETAIL CAPITAL BUYOUT

August 3, 2022

TymeBank has reached an agreement with Retail Capital and its shareholders to acquire 100% of the fintech SME funder’s shares, subject to regulatory approval.

TymeBank CEO Coen Jonker said the acquisition will see Retail Capital become a division of TymeBank and the foundation of the bank’s expanded business banking offering.

Jonker believes the intended acquisition is an important step in addressing the gap in the digital-only bank’s proposition to customers. This gap, he noted, is providing businesses with working capital solutions and the ability to buy the stock and resources they need to keep growing and developing their business. “This is where Retail Capital fills that gap for us uniquely.”


Read full article here.

ETAILY TAPPED AS PH TIKTOK SHOP ENABLER

July 18, 2022

etaily entered into a partnership with the TikTok Shop to capitalize and build its brand partners’ presence through this channel, delivering end-to-end e-commerce solutions including community management, video production, live streaming, collaborations with content creators, store management, and warehousing and fulfillment.

According to etaily co-founder and CEO Alexander Friedhoff: “We progressively find ways to advance our brands’ awareness and turn discovery into purchases – now with TikTok’s new feature. There is a lot of untapped potential in this new era of shopping online. We are constantly promoting increased online retail visibility and growth for our brand partners, guiding them through all available e-commerce platforms.”

Read full article here.

JG DIGITAL EQUITY VENTURES INVESTS IN COMMUNITY GROCERY STARTUP SARISUKI

July 5, 2022

JG Digital Equity Ventures (JGDEV), the corporate venture capital arm of JG Summit Holdings, is supporting the development of the country’s e-commerce sector by participating in the latest funding round for SariSuki, an online community selling platform co-founded and led by Brian Cu, the former president of Grab Philippines.

SariSuki aims to uplift communities throughout the Philippines by providing an online platform where citizens can create earning opportunities for themselves. “SariSuki offers Filipinos value grocery products at extremely affordable prices that meet their daily needs. We are also empowering community leaders to be strong microentrepreneurs that will help propel the country’s economic growth from the grassroots level,” said Cu in a statement.


While the Philippines’ e-commerce market has the potential to reach $15 billion in gross merchandise value by 2025, the adoption of e-commerce in the grocery and retail industry remains low, with under 3% of businesses in the sector being online.

Supportive of SariSuki’s advocacy to break down the barriers preventing greater e-commerce adoption in the country, JGDEV alongside other local and foreign investors including Openspace Ventures, Susquehanna International Group (SIG), Global Founders Capital (GFC), Saison Capital, and Foxmont Capital Partners helped raise US$7.1 million in the latest funding round for the startup, bringing its total fund raised to US$10.7 million as of March 2022.

With the infusion of new funds, SariSuki aims to expand its product assortment and operations to reach more Filipino consumers. According to JGDEV President and CEO Jojo Malolos, “We believe in SariSuki’s potential to drive e-commerce adoption in the country, particularly in areas underserved by traditional players. SariSuki’s business model empowers everyday Filipinos to become Community Leaders and helps uplift local farmers, all while delivering high quality, affordable groceries to consumers.

The idea behind SariSuki came a few months after the pandemic broke out in 2020, when Cu’s wife Kate began selling fresh fruit and vegetables to fellow residents in their community through a social media app. By consolidating her customers’ orders, she was able to order produce from suppliers in bulk and, in turn, passed on the discounts to her buyers.

SariSuki’s founders later discovered that this type of business model was taking off all over the country, where community sellers provided for the needs of their neighbors. The team, which includes CEO Cu, COO Philippe Lorenzo, Chief Commercial Officer Manuel Mejia, and Head of Strategy and Fundraising Angelo Lee, also learned that community group buying has long been a common practice in China and Indonesia.

Since its launch in May 2021, SariSuki has grown 36 times in terms of gross merchandise value in the past nine months. Starting with the selling of fruits and vegetables sourced directly from local farmers, SariSuki has since partnered with companies such as Universal Robina Corporation, P&G, NutriAsia, Unilever, Mondelez, Nestle, and Bounty Farms to better serve its customers. The business has now served more than 60,000 consumers through its growing number of community leaders called “KaSari.” The company’s operations currently extend across the Greater Metro Manila Area, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and some parts of Rizal and Pampanga.

“SariSuki’s increasing sector dominance has resulted from addressing key pain points and barriers to e-commerce adoption with a model that builds confidence amongst, and value for, consumers. We recognized that the trust that those communities are putting in their Community Leader, who consistently delivers high-quality local produce, will help to rapidly accelerate vital e-commerce adoption” said Hian Goh, co-founder of Openspace.

“We are honored to back a stellar team bringing convenience and a world-class customer experience to groceries shopping in the Philippines. In our view, the high density, growing disposable income, maturing digital connectivity and sheer population size in key urban areas in the Philippines, finally set the stage for the next cohort of large consumer-facing tech businesses in the country,” said Tito Costa, partner at Global Founders Capital.

Foxmont Capital Partners Director of Portfolio Management Nico Sibal added, “We strongly believe in the digitalization of the Philippines, and especially how SariSuki provides a wide-ranging platform that allows many communities new and meaningful access to that future. They have found a uniquely Filipino way to empower the local community at scale, both as buyers and sellers. SariSuki has a dynamic, experienced set of founders and a leading organization that can deliver on the promise of the next generation of e-commerce in the country.”

For more information on SariSuki, visit https://sarisuki.com

GOTYME BANK AIMS TO BRING DIGITAL BANKING TO MORE FILIPINOS

June 14, 2022

Companies under the Gokongwei Group, namely JG Summit Holdings’ business units Robinsons Bank and Robinsons Land Corporation, and Robinsons Retail Holdings, Inc. ,have invested and collaborated with Singapore-based digital banking group Tyme to create GoTyme Bank, which offers financial solutions and products.

GoTyme also aims to provide rewards for purchases, priority access to sales, and promos. This will also include investment products.  GoTyme Bank will launch in Q3 this year.

Read full article here.

FILIPINO B2B STARTUP RAMPS UP SARI-SARI STORES TRANSFORMATION

June 10, 2022

Filipino B2B startup Growsari said it will use the $77.5 million from its recent Series C round of fund raising to accelerate its plans to transform the country’s small physical retail stores, such as sari-sari stores, carinderias, eateries, pharmacies, and other roadside shops into comprehensive service hubs of their communities.


Growsari CEO and co-founder Reymund ‘ER’ Rollan said they are set to triple the number of store partners that will benefit from using their platform within two years, with an estimate of 300,000 store partners by 2023.

Growsari’s expansion in Visayas and Mindanao include key cities such as Iloilo, Bacolod, Cebu, Davao, and General Santos. Growsari is now present in 20 key cities and 400 municipalities nationwide.

Read full article here.

TYMEBANK TO LAUNCH IN THE PHILIPPINES IN OCTOBER

June 10, 2022

TymeBank's largest shareholder African Rainbow Capital (ARC) says the bank will launch GOtyme in the Philippines in October 2022.   It also said that TymeBank continues to add 130 000 new customers a month, and at that rate it's closer to reaching 5 million clients.

Read full article here.

GROWSARI RAISES P4B FROM SERIES C FUNDING

June 9, 2022

Business-to-business startup Growsari said Thursday it plans to triple the number of store partners after raising P4 billion from a Series C round of funding, or capital raising activity.

Growsari co-founder and chief executive Reymund Rollan said the expansion is part of the plans to accelerate the transformation of small physical retail stores, such as sari-sari stores, carinderias, eateries, pharmacies and other roadside shops into comprehensive service hubs.


“We are proud to share that we are on track in fulfilling our mission of creating a positive socio-economic impact to the lives of more MSME owners and the communities they serve nationwide,” he said. 


The platform aims to grow the number of store partners to 300,000 by 2023. Growsari’s expansion in Visayas and Mindanao include key cities such as Iloilo, Bacolod, Cebu, Davao, and General Santos. Growsari’s presence is now in 20 key cities and 400 municipalities nationwide.

Read full article here.

ETAILY GETS 'GREAT PLACE TO WORK' CERTIFICATION

May 25, 2022

SOUTHEAST Asian e-commerce enabler etaily recently has been recognized as a "Great Place to Work" for its commitment on building a safe and positive employee-first culture.

"On Certification Nation Day, we are proud to celebrate our amazing employees, our main driver of success and the most important asset of our company. It is truly an honor to be recognized as a Great Place to Work-certified company because it shows how much we value our people," said etaily Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Alexander Friedhoff.

He said etaily has been at the forefront of transforming e-commerce in Southeast Asia, and they could not have done this without their amazing team that truly embodies their values of "One Team, Customer Obsession, Dive Deep, Ownership, and Invent and Simplify."  Read full article here.

LEADERSHIP CHANGES AT TYMEBANK AS IT NEARS 5M CUSTOMERS

May 24, 2022

Tyme Group has appointed co-founder Coen Jonker as new CEO of digital-only bank TymeBank, while current CEO Tauriq Keraan will be group executive: growth projects for Tyme Group.   Keraan will be responsible for leading the group’s establishment in new territories, as part of Tyme Group’s geographic diversification strategy.

The new announcement comes amid a series of leadership changes, as the digital contender embarks on the next chapter of its growth strategy.   Other appointments are: David Pfaff, Tyme Group’s current CFO, will take over from Jonker as Tyme Group CEO, and Cheslyn Jacobs, who is currently responsible for TymeBank’s sales and service function, will be appointed chief commercial officer, accountable for revenue generation.

The new appointments come after TymeBank’s rapid growth in SA, with the bank racking up almost five million customers, and having rolled out a slew of services since inception. Read full article here.

SOCIAL COMMERCE STARTUP SARISUKI: ENRICHING THE LIVES OF FILIPINOS, ONE COMMUNITY AT A TIME

May 17, 2022

SariSuki is the largest social commerce startup in the Philippines. It provides income opportunities for community leaders, gives consumers access to fresh groceries and everyday needs at rates lower than supermarket prices, and also supports local farmers and producers. Through SariSuki’s platform, Ka-Sari Community Leaders serve as grocery dealers, who consolidate and fulfill the orders of their customers, known as Ka-Suki.

The idea for SariSuki came after the pandemic broke out in 2020, when the wife of its CEO and co-founder, Brian Cu, began selling fresh fruits and vegetables to members of her community. She would order the produce in bulk, and was then able to sell these products to her buyers at discounted prices. SariSuki’s founders later discovered that many other sellers around the country were engaging in this behavior of community group buying, and when they dug deeper, they learned that this was an actual business model in countries like China and Indonesia.

Believing that technology should be used for the good, Brian and the team developed the SariSuki app, which would eventually enable countless Ka-Sari Community Leaders to earn extra income through online selling, and allow Ka-Suki customers to safely and conveniently purchase their daily needs at affordable prices, without having to leave home.

SariSuki Co-Founder and CEO Brian Cu said, “SariSuki is a game changer in the Philippine social commerce industry as it uplifts and empowers Filipino communities to recover from the global pandemic by supporting each other. Thousands of our Ka-Sari Community Leaders are micro-entrepreneurs that are now able to support their families while they offer safe, convenient, and extremely affordable fresh produce and grocery products to their next-door neighbors. We also consistently and directly source the fresh produce from local farmers to support our domestic agricultural industry.”

Join SariSuki as a Ka-Sari Community Leader

To become a Ka-Sari Community Leader, you simply need to download the SariSuki app from Google Play or the Apple App Store, then register for your own virtual store. Successful Community Leaders have the potential to earn anywhere from Php 30,000 to Php 50,000 every month.

Starting your own online grocery on SariSuki requires no capital, and no joining fee, and you can easily set up shop in an instant. SariSuki will take care of delivering products to your area in

bulk, so you can focus on catering to the needs of your local community. Selling on SariSuki is easy because the products listed on the platform comprises daily necessities like fruits and vegetables, rice, eggs, meat, and other standard supermaket products. SariSuki’s offerings are both high-quality and extremely affordable, too.

Shop on SariSuki Today

Visit SariSuki.com to find a Ka-Suki near you, and begin purchasing supermarket-quality goods at wet market prices. Order anytime, and from anywhere, with no minimum spend required. SariSuki sources fresh produce from local farmers, and with every purchase made, shoppers are able to support and help these farmers with their livelihood. Along with fresh produce, SariSuki carries a wide variety products from top local brands, too, so you can do all your grocery shopping in just one place.

To learn more about SariSuki, go to SariSuki.com.

IPRICE GROUP RAISES $5M FROM JAPANESE CONGLOMERATES ITOCHU CORPORATION AND KDDI CORPORATION

Mar 22, 2022

iPrice Group, Southeast Asia's leading price comparison platform helping online shoppers save money, announced that it has raised $5 million of additional funding.  The capital was raised from Japan-based firms Itochu Corporation and the KDDI Open Innovation Fund III (operated by Global Brain Corporation).

The additional funding will bolster iPrice's role in finding shoppers the best deals as Southeast Asia's e-commerce market becomes increasingly difficult to navigate.  

To read the full article, click here.

EX-GRAB PHILIPPINES PRESIDENT RAISES US$10.7M FROM REGIONAL AND GLOBAL INVESTORS TO EXPAND SARISUKI’S COVERAGE AND PRODUCT PORTFOLIO

Mar 3, 2022

SariSuki, the Philippines’ rapidly growing start up in the e-commerce grocery sector, is strengthening its leading position in the social commerce segment by breaking down the barriers to e-commerce adoption.

SariSuki is backed by significant fundraising that counts Openspace, Susquehanna International Group (SIG), Global Founders Capital (GFC), Saison Capital, JG Digital Equity Ventures, and Foxmont Capital Partners among those who participated. The latest US$7.1 million round took total funding for the company to US$10.7 million in 2021. With the new funds, SariSuki aims to deepen the breadth and depth of its operations to serve more Filipino consumers.

SariSuki was founded by an impressive team emerging from within Southeast Asia’s scale-up tech giants led by Brian Cu, co-founder of Zalora Philippines and Grab Philippines, where he was country head for 7 years.

Introduced in May 2021, SariSuki grew 36 times in terms of gross merchandise value (GMV) in the past 9 months. The business has now served more than 60,000 consumers through its growing number of community leaders called KaSari. SariSuki operations extend across Greater Metro Manila Area, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and some parts of both Rizal and Pampanga.

SariSuki adopts a Community Group Buy model. Members of communities who set up their business as a Community Leader or KaSari, are able to earn a healthy profit from directly selling produce and goods whilst performing the last mile fulfillment. This model has enabled SariSuki to offer supermarket quality products at wet market prices. SariSuki acts as a consolidator of grocery items for their KaSari who in turn own virtual “sari-sari stores” that sell the goods to consumers.

While the Philippines’ e-commerce potential market size is estimated to reach $15 billion by 2025 (Statista), the adoption of e-commerce into grocery and retail industry remains at less than 3-percent of businesses being online. With the pandemic further exposing these issues, SariSuki started in 2021 with a mission to empower the community by buying fresh produce in bulk from local farmers and offering them to the local community at a discounted price.

Those interested to earn and be a KaSari Community Leader may sign up by downloading the SariSuki application from the App Store and Google Play.

“We are a set of founders that grew up in the Philippines and have an understanding of our market. This combined with our background in scaling up large tech companies in the region

made us realize we can do more by increasing efficiencies in our supply chain infrastructure. SariSuki offers Filipinos value grocery products at extremely affordable prices that meet their daily needs. We are also empowering community leaders to be strong microentrepreneurs that will help propel the country’s economic growth from the grassroots level ” said Cu.

“SariSuki’s increasing sector dominance has resulted from addressing key pain points and barriers to e-commerce adoption with a model that builds confidence amongst, and value for, consumers. We recognised that the trust that those communities are putting in their Community Leader, who consistently delivers high-quality local produce, will help to rapidly accelerate vital e-commerce adoption” said Hian Goh, co-founder of Openspace.

“We were always deeply impressed with the team at SariSuki, and believe the depth of talent they now have at all levels of the business will be key as they continue to grow, expand and consolidate their early leadership position,” said Gervin Yang, Executive Director at Openspace.

“We are honored to back a stellar team bringing convenience and a world-class customer experience to groceries shopping in the Philippines. In our view, the high density, growing disposable income, maturing digital connectivity and sheer population size in key urban areas in the Philippines, finally set the stage for the next cohort of large consumer-facing tech businesses in the country.” concluded Tito Costa, Partner at Global Founders Capital.

Foxmont Capital Partners Director of Portfolio Management Nico Sibal added, “We strongly believe in the digitalization of the Philippines, and especially how Sarisuki provides a wide-ranging platform that allows many communities new and meaningful access to that future. They have found a uniquely Filipino way to empower the local community at scale, both as buyers and sellers. Sarisuki has a dynamic, experienced set of founders and a leading organization that can deliver on the promise of the next generation of e-commerce in the country.”

SAAS STARTUP DARWINBOX TURNS UNICORN AFTER RAISING USD72MN

Jan 26, 2022

The latest round of funding was led by Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV) along with participation from existing investors Salesforce Ventures, Sequoia, Lightspeed, SCB 10X, JG Digital Equity Ventures (JGDEV), Endiya Partners and 3One4Capital.

Founded in late 2015, Darwinbox’s cloud based human capital management platform caters to human resources needs across the entire employee lifecycle. Its new product is powering digital HR for more than 1.5 million employees from 650 enterprises across the globe.

The new funding will be used for the company’s global expansion plan by allowing it to accelerate its platform innovation, strengthen its product, engineering and customer success teams along with scaling their go-to-market presence in multiple geographies. The company is set to triple its team within a year aiming to add more than 100 employees in southeast Asia across its Manila, Singapore and Jakarta offices.

To read the full article, click here.

KKR LEADS SERIES C ROUND IN PHILIPPINE B2B PLATFORM GROWSARI WITH US$45 MILLION INVESTMENT

Jan 26, 2022

KKR’s investment in GrowSari will support the Company’s expansion into more regions across the Philippines and strengthen its financial services capabilities.  

Founded in 2016, GrowSari is a leading tech-enabled B2B platform that helps the Philippines’ small physical retail stores, including neighborhood retail shops (sari-sari stores), roadside and market shops (carinderia), and pharmacies, enhance their service levels and access a wider range of products and value-adding services. This allows the stores to provide local communities with more comprehensive offerings, including digital services.

Today, GrowSari is present in 220 municipalities across the regions of Luzon and offers over a hundred types of different services including making bill payments, telco reloads, and wallet top-ups, as well as procurement services for common retail goods and pharmaceutical medicines.

To read the full article, click here.

ECOMMERCE ENABLER ETAILY BANKS $4.3M IN SEED EXTENSION

Jan 26, 2022

Philippine-based ecommerce enabler Etaily has added US$4.3 million in seed funding in an extension round led by JG Digital Equity Ventures, the investment arm of local conglomerate Gokongwei Group.

Etaily, which was founded by CEO Alex Friedhoff in 2020, addresses the ecommerce needs of brands by providing content production, channel creation, and warehousing and fulfillment services. Some of its clients include Landmark, Toshiba, and Terranova.

The fresh funds will go toward its regional expansion efforts and the development of solutions such as offline-to-online cloud software for sales integration.

To read the full article, click here.

EUROMONITOR CITES MANILA-BASED E-COMMERCE ENABLER ETAILY AS GLOBAL MEGATREND FIRM

December 31, 2021

Euromonitor’s recent Megatrends Report has recognized Manila-based ecommerce enabler Etaily as among the Philippine companies that are shaping the top eight global Megatrends that indicate major shifts in consumer values and behavior.

The 2021 edition of the Euromonitor Megatrends Report cited in Etaily as a solutions provider that is uniquely positioned to help Filipino retailers achieve their full digital potential even – or especially – during the pandemic. 

“Etaily’s expansion is expected to drive the growth and development of e-Commerce among local businesses, giving them the chance to create an omnichannel experience and expand their customer base in the face of growing competition from international e-commerce giants,” read the report.

To read the full story, click here.

DIGITAL BANK TYMEBANK REACHES 4 MILLION CUSTOMER MILESTONE WITHIN 32 MONTHS

November 5, 2021

Tyme users reached the 4 million milestone within about 32 months.  “We’ve expanded our offering and enhanced product functionality to ensure we can give customers everything they need in a single banking account, while empowering them to pay nothing – or next to nothing – on banking fees, depending on their banking behaviour," TymeBank chief executive Tauriq Keraan said. 

TymeBank’s partnership model with two retailers, Pick n Pay and Boxer, has been an integral part of its strategy to acquire customers and drive usage and had significantly contributed to the bank’s success since its February 2019 launch.

To read the full story, visit https://www.iol.co.za/business-report/companies/digital-bank-tymebank-reaches-4-million-customer-milestone-within-32-months-b3073ede-5724-476d-bed9-0acbdea61501

DARWINBOX BECOMES THE YOUNGEST AND ONLY ASIAN PLAYER TO FEATURE ON GARTNER'S MAGIC QUADRANT FOR CLOUD HCM SUITES 2021

October 26, 2021

Darwinbox, a JGDEV Investee, is the youngest entrant to Gartner’s MQ since its inception in 2016 and is the only Asian origin player that sits on the Quadrant. Darwinbox assumes it position alongside major players such as like SAP, Oracle, and Workday.  

Darwinbox has more than 600 global enterprise customers such as JG Summit Group, Zalora, Zilingo and Tokopedia. Darwinbox retains its position as the best rated solution by customers in Gartner's Peer Insights with an average platform rating of 4.8.  To read the full article, please visit https://finance.yahoo.com/news/darwinbox-becomes-youngest-only-asian-054900575.html.

GROWSARI RAISES $30-M FROM TENCENT, IFC, GOKONGWEI GROUP

July 7, 2021

GrowSari, a Philippine B2B E-commerce player, has raised US$30 million in funding to date from global marquee investors including China’s Tencent, International Finance Corporation, and the Gokongwei Group.

Founded in 2016, GrowSari is a tech-enabled B2B platform that outfits Philippine sari-sari store owners with inventory, infrastructure, and tools to manage and grow their business while generating crucial data and market insights for manufacturers and distributors.

GrowSari has grown from a base of 1,000 sari-sari stores in three cities in 2018 to more than 50,000 stores in over 100 municipalities across Luzon as of 2020.  To read the full article, please visit https://mb.com.ph/2021/07/07/growsari-raises-30-m-from-marquee-investors-tencent-ifc-gokongwei-group/

GROWSARI, A B2B PLATFORM FOR SMALL STORES IN THE PHILIPPINES

June 17, 2021

According to GrowSari, there are more than 1.1 million sari-sari stores in the Philippines, and they account for 60% of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sold in the country, making them a valuable distribution channel for wholesalers. In addition to its supplier marketplace, GrowSari says it is able to give sari-sari store operators better pricing for products from about a thousand FMCG brands, including Unilever, P&G and Nestle, which it claims can help stores double their earnings. Other services in the app include online telecom and utility bill payments, remittance and microfinancing for working capital loans.

To read the full article and find out more about Growsari's Series B round, please visit https://techcrunch.com/2021/06/21/growsari-a-b2b-platform-for-small-stores-in-the-philippines-adds-investors-like-temaseks-pavilion-capital-and-tencent/.

JG SUMMIT, JGDEV INVEST IN TYME

February 26, 2021

JG Summit Holdings and its corporate VC arm, JG Digital Equity Ventures (JGDEV), are taking part in the $110 million investment round of Tyme, together with private equity fund, Apis Growth Fund II, and South African investment holding company, African Rainbow Capital (ARC).  Tyme, whose international management arm, TymeGlobal, is headquartered in Singapore, is considered as one of the world’s leading digital banking network for emerging markets.


With the move, JG Summit, through JGDEV, reinforces its foray into global Innovations and Fintech as part of its vision of becoming one of the biggest digital conglomerates in the country and in the ASEAN. With Tyme in its portfolio of investments, JGDEV brings to the JG Summit ecosystem a deeper understanding of the success of digital banking in developing economies such as South Africa, with the aim of replicating it in a similar setting such as the Philippines. 

Read the full article here.

Photo credit:  Tyme Global

WHAT DO INVESTORS LOOK FOR WHEN INVESTING IN STARTUPS?

October 22, 2020

EsquireMag.ph talks to JGDEV CEO, Jojo Malolos, to find out. 

Among other things, business should not just be a matter of getting what you need from the client and moving on. The big picture should be to impact people beyond your primary customers and grow your network.

“The only way you can prove that you're really transforming digitally is if you have an economic impact on the landscapes by which you play,” said Malolos. “We harness our capability to achieve our objectives to have an impact on every Filipinos life. We are able to have an impact on our other shareholders, [which] creates an impetus for our employees to benefit from this type of system. We want to make sure that all of our customers also benefit from this by not only giving them what they asked for, but by giving them their daily needs or being able to create opportunities for them to put up their own businesses.”  Read the full article in EsquireMag.ph.

HOW LARGE COMPANIES EMBRACE INNOVATION

October 8, 2020

During PCCI's 46th Philippine Business Conference & Expo, JGDEV and DAVI CEO Jojo Malolos, participated in the panel discussion on "How Large Companies Embrace Innovation". Together with other corporate VCs namely, ACTive Fund and f(dev), the panel moderated by Jojo Flores looked into the vital role large companies play in creating the ecosystem for innovation to flourish. During the session, Malolos shared how innovation is prioritized within the Gokongwei Group and cited some examples on how the various units were able to adapt given the sudden behavior shifts during the pandemic.

JGDEV INVESTS IN IPRICE GROUP

September 18, 2020

JGDEV's latest investment is ecommerce aggregator iPrice Group. Currently operating in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Hong Kong, iPrice has billions of product listings on its platform. “iPrice has a unique approach. It doesn’t aim to compete with other players, but instead, it enables these players to have more channels. As a result, it connects them to more consumers. iPrice enables consumer transactions to be deeper and wider through its comprehensive understanding of the digital economy,” JGDEV President and CEO Jojo Malolos is quoted from Deal Street Asia's article.  Read the full article in this link.

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