Daily Markup #123: Microsoft makes strategic investment in Bukalapak; Pomelo goes through…

To empower e-commerce in Indonesia

  • Tech conglomerate Microsoft has announced a partnership with Bukalapak, the 500-backed Indonesian online marketplace, to reshape the e-commerce landscape in the country.
  • Bukalapak’s current backers include Jack Ma’s Ant Group Co. and South Korea’s Mirae Asset-Naver Asia Growth Fund.
  • As part of the partnership, Bukalapak will adopt Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform to build a robust digital infrastructure to support its more than 6 million online merchants, 6 million offline merchants, and 100 million customers.
Credit: Microsoft
  • “This partnership signals a deep collaboration with Microsoft on an array of technology projects that will transform the technology-driven commerce solutions and operations solution and operations in Indonesia,” said Bukalapak CEO, Rachmat Kaimuddin.
  • Under the deal, Bukalapak will also provide digital skills training for their staff and merchants.
  • More on the partnership deal here.

A new look

  • 500-backed leading omnichannel fashion brand Pomelo is going through a rebranding initiative with the launch of a redesigned online platform and app featuring over 100 brands, including global names like Vans, Converse, and L’Occitane
  • The app now has an intuitive search function for better product and brand visibility, and specific columns for in-app exclusive live streaming. A new logo also fronts the app.
  • “With over 100 brands currently on our platform — including global brands like Vans and Converse, local heroes like Rally Movement and Matter Makers, and beauty brands like L’Occitane — we’re continuing to build a diverse brand portfolio to provide the best omnichannel experience for our users,” said David Jou, Pomelo’s CEO and Co-founder.
Credit: TechSauce
  • The rebrand plays a significant role in the company’s expansion plans for 2021, as it moves beyond Thailand into other countries in Southeast Asia. Alexandra Schonfrucht, who was the Head Buyer at JD Sports, has recently joined the company to drive brand partnerships.
  • Pomelo’s broader omnichannel strategy also involves a feature called Tap, Try, Buy, which allows customers to order items online through the app or website, select a store or partner location to try on their selected items, and pay for only what they choose to keep.
  • Tap Try Buy orders already make up almost half of the retailer’s online orders, a percentage that has grown during the Covid-19 crisis.
  • Check out the Pomelo app on the App Store or Google Play.

Work, for all

  • In an interview with e27, Francesca Chia, co-founder, and CEO of 500-backed GoGet, shared a story about a mother who had reached out to her for job opportunities, despite being considered as qualified and well-spoken.
  • “She was someone who spoke fluent English and had graduated from university and seemed like someone who did not need the service. But she answered that as a mother she had been out of the workforce to take care of her child but now wanted to get back in and find a job. But she had not worked for so long that she couldn’t find work,” Francesca said.
  • To Francesca, the encounter was “crazy” because “these people are honest, hardworking individuals that want to get back into the economy and they can’t.”
Credit: GoGet
  • GoGet champions a work culture of the future, in which people can choose how and when they work.
  • The Malaysian platform now has 20,000 GoGetters providing a suite of ad-hoc services to 300,000 independent users and 5,000 business partners, including IKEA and L’Oréal.
  • GoGet believes it’s important to offer them a sense of security. Francesca said they’re the first company that provides its part-time workers with benefits similar to full-time workers, such as on-demand insurance and saving options.
  • On average, a GoGetter can earn between RM2,500 and RM3,000 a month, with top earners getting about RM6,000, according to Francesca.
  • More about GoGet on e27 here.

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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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