Daily Markup #204: Supa-charging data on Carousell; EMQ reaches Canadian shores; Fintech joins the fight against COVID-19

A drive for data

  • What started as a conversation with 500 Durians led to a partnership between two 500-backed startups. Artificial intelligence trainer Supahands and e-commerce platform Carousell have joined forces to offer personalized online shopping services in Asia.
  • Carousell will work with Supahands to evaluate search relevance algorithms for its machine learning models. According to Carousell, this will improve the marketplace’s search and recommendation functions on its platform.
Credit: Forbes
  • “In ecommerce, search is everything — if you can’t find it, you can’t buy it,” said Puneet Garg, head of data science and data engineering at Carousell. “Supahands’ evaluations of our search results have added significant clarity and value to our search and recommendation models.”

A seamless service

  • Vancouver Bullion & Currency Exchange (VBCE), a foreign exchange and payment services provider in Canada, has partnered with 500-backed financial settlement startup EMQ to provide near real-time cross-border payments and a broader international reach for businesses and consumers in Canada.
Credit: Fintech Finance
  • This partnership means that businesses and consumers in Canada can now send money seamlessly to their recipients and gain access to a wide range of pay-out options across Europe and major markets in Asia including China, Japan and India.
  • “Digital transformation is driving rapid change in customer expectations across the payments ecosystem…[this] requires a more flexible and high performance network infrastructure like EMQ to deliver speed, certainty and a consistent international payments experience,” said Max Liu, co-founder and CEO of EMQ.
  • “With customers at the heart of our business, we are constantly optimizing our network with real-time service levels to address their needs in this fast-changing landscape. We are delighted to partner with VBCE to expand its digital and customer capabilities across our global network,” he added.

From credit to COVID-19

Credit: Kredivo
  • The donation will fund more than 2,000 PCR tests for beneficiaries for the vulnerable and most in need.
  • This partnership is expected to contribute to the government’s effort in handling COVID-19, specifically to accelerate the testing rates up to a standard recommended by the World Health Organization.

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500 Startups is a venture capital firm on a mission to discover and back the world’s most talented entrepreneurs, help them create successful companies at scale, and build thriving global ecosystems. In Southeast Asia, 500 Startups invests through the pioneering 500 Southeast Asia family of funds. The 500 Southeast Asia funds have backed over 240 companies across multiple sectors from internet to consumer to deep technology. It continues to connect founders with capital, expertise and powerful regional and global networks to help them succeed.

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