Daily Markup #168: Carsome sets up its first training academy, offering guaranteed jobs, loans, and refundable fees; Seamless cross-border transactions have arrived in this vibrant digital economy, says fintech founder; More cities UK and New Zealand to get new transportation options

From trading to training

  • 500-backed used car trading platform Carsome announced it has set up Carsome Academy, its first technical institution in Malaysia. According to its press release, this makes the startup the first integrated car e-commerce platform to provide skill set courses and certification.
  • Accredited by the Ministry of Human Resources, the institution offers Malaysian youths technical education and guaranteed career opportunities.
Credit: CarSifu
  • According to Carsome co-founder and Carsome Academy Director Teoh Jiun Ee, Carsome Academy is a human capital development initiative that aims to create positive social impact in the local communities where Carsome operates.
  • “We want to build a technical workforce that strives for the best standards in professionalism and ethics to move the Southeast Asian used car industry forward in a meaningful way and to serve our customers better,” he said.
  • What does the training entail? Featuring 30% theoretical lessons and 70% workplace training at any Carsome Inspection Centers in Malaysia, students will go through 1,840 hours of learning over one year. Graduates can also look forward to jobs in Carsome upon completing the program.
  • Its inaugural intake, which starts in February 2021, is now open for registration to eligible Malaysians.
  • The one-year course costs ~US$2,000 and is fully refundable upon a graduate’s successful placement and tenure with Carsome. Study loans are also available for students who wish to further their studies at the Academy.
  • Read the full announcement here.

Crossing over to South Korea

  • 500-backed cross-border financial settlement startup EMQ announced it has expanded its operations into the South Korean market.
  • The startup develops network infrastructure to offer the benefits of faster, transparent, and more efficient cross-border payments.
  • “South Korea has one of the most vibrant digital economies in the world with its retail e-commerce volume estimated at $90.5 billion by 2024, and global business would require access to an agile network infrastructure like EMQ that facilitates seamless cross-border payouts in local currencies without multiple intermediaries,” said Max Liu, co-founder and CEO of EMQ.
Credit: Tech in Asia
  • Already live in South Korea, the startup can now provide global businesses with the full breadth of its services, including foreign exchange capabilities and real-time anti-money laundering screening.
  • The latest development follows a recent series of expansions to bolster the startup’s network infrastructure globally, which spans over 80 global markets throughout Asia Pacific, Africa, Europe, and North America.
  • According to a press release, EMQ has also enhanced its product portfolio to offer cross-border payments across China, Singapore, South Korea, India, Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Nepal, Philippines, the United Kingdom, and 19 markets in Africa, with more markets underway for near real-time capabilities by Q1 2021.

Paving the path to sustainability

Credit: Neuron Mobility
  • Both cities can expect to welcome the startup’s latest N3 e-scooters, which have been purpose-built for safety and renting.
  • Safety features will be available on the e-scooters, including the app-controlled helmet lock, a 000 emergency button, voice guidance, topple detection, and a “Follow my Ride” function enabling users to share their real-time location with friends and family.
  • Geofencing — a virtual perimeter set up within the app — will ensure the e-scooters are being used in the riding areas and parked at designated stations.
  • In Newcastle, each e-scooter will be fitted with a unique license plate for easy identification and to promote responsible use. The startup is also launching a range of ‘smart parking’ initiatives to control and encourage safe parking, many of which are a first for the UK.
  • Newcastle was recently highlighted as the British city most prepared to benefit from the e-scooter revolution, thanks to its excellent road and cycle infrastructure. The trial will see an initial roll-out of 250 e-scooters in the first month of operation, with the number significantly increasing throughout the 12-month trial.

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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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