Startup news to catch up on before the weekend!
Empowering the middle class
- 500-backed Philippines-based online service provider Ayannah has partnered up with India’s payments firm Electronic Cash and Payment Solutions (S), or ECAPS, to form Ayannah Global. The merge will provide affordable and accessible digital financial services to the growing middle-class in South Asia and Southeast Asia.
- Ayannah Global’s headquarters will be located in Singapore, but its reach will benefit over 10 million people, mainly in the Philippines and India. It plans to expand to Vietnam and Indonesia, according to The Business Times.
- Experienced financier Ray Ferguson, who comes from three decades of banking experience, has been appointed as the chairman of Ayannah Global. The group will also expand its staff count and form more strategic partnerships as it looks toward raising $30 million to $50 million in a Series B round.
- Ayannah was established in 2010 and was offering services ranging from payments, remittance, insurance, and telemedicine. ECAPS, on the other hand, was solely focused on domestic money transfers including utility bill payments, recharges, and travel ticketing.
- Half of the world’s population is offline. Getting everyone connected is a huge undertaking that is costly and time-consuming. 500-backed spacetech startup Transcelestial is doing things differently; by utilizing a space laser network to potentially replace wireless networks and deliver high-speed internet access anywhere on earth.
- Speaking to HackerNoon, CEO and co-founder Rohit Jha says their wireless laser technology is developed for the long-term, specifically to address the internet distribution challenges in the next 50 years.
- The Singapore-based startup has launched CENTAURI to tackle the last-mile delivery section, which is historically done through a mix of fiber and wireless technologies.
- There are two models of CENTAURI; one for 4G and the other for 5G. So far, Transcelestial has expanded to five countries and is working with leading telecommunication companies to implement its technologies.
Vietnam’s e-commerce boom
- Over the last four years, it’s been estimated that $1 billion has been poured into Vietnam’s e-commerce sector. This shows that despite obstacles in physical, digital, and legal infrastructure, Vietnam is one of the region’s most promising e-commerce markets.
- 500-backed Parcel Perform released a piece detailing the different segments that make up Vietnam’s current e-commerce landscape.
- Some interesting insights: Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi only make up 23% of the entire population, yet they are responsible for 78% of parcels in Vietnam. Amazon, which entered Vietnam just last year, is already within the top 10 most used platforms in the country. Download the infographic here.
- Established in 2016, Parcel Perform offers comprehensive parcel tracking data for e-commerce businesses to track, analyze and optimize their e-commerce delivery experience. Although based in Singapore, Parcel Perform has offices in Vietnam and Germany
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Born in Silicon Valley. Raised in Southeast Asia.