SingTel’s mWallet: Hype or substance?
There’s a lot of noise recently about the wonders of mobile money and how smartphones will bring about a dawn of the cashless society. Google Wallet has been at the forefront of this push in the United States, and here in Singapore, SingTel’s recently launched mCash is touted as a reinvention of money.
Facetious claim indeed, considering how credit cards and cash are still how people prefer to pay — even online.
But a lot of resources have been pumped into making mobile wallets work. The NFC Forum has the backing of some of the world’s top technology companies, and it’s quite possible that the technology will become ubiquitous in smartphones. Read more
Note: The company has clarified that its monthly unique visitors is still a six-digit figure. It has not crossed one million yet.
Qiito, a Singapore-based travel discovery and planning site, has become a popular destination for travelers seeking information about destinations. The platform, which crowdsources photos and tips about places of interest from users, claims it has more than a million monthly unique visitors — with most of them coming from Singapore, followed by United States and Taiwan.
Now, the company hopes to build on its hard-won traffic by launching a new bed-and-breakfast booking feature which will allow users to book from a selection of over 200 ‘minsu’ places — the Taiwanese equivalent of bed-and-breakfast — on the website (although only about 116 are available for now). Japanese hotels are also available for reservations. Read more
East Ventures, a Singapore and Indonesia based early stage investment firm, has revealed that it has invested in RedMart, an online grocer serving the Singapore market.
The investment firm’s founder and managing partner Willson Cuaca is unable to disclose the exact investment sum at this point, although he did state this is still a seed round. Read more
Klik Eat has announced yesterday that it has received an investment from Yume no Machi, a JASDAQ-listed Japanese firm that operates online food ordering service demae-can.com, which lists more than 11,200 restaurants in Japan. Terms of the deal were undisclosed.
Following this investment, Rie Nakamura, president of Yume no Machi, and Masateru Kaneko, its Financial Accounting Manager, will join Klik Eat’s board of directors. The founders, Michael Saputra, Andrew Pangestan and Willy Haryanto, will continue to assume control of the site.
Launched in January 2012, Klik Eat enables customers to order food online, by phone, or using instant messaging services. So far, it has sent IDR 1.8B (USD 185K) to its 175 restaurant partners in the span of a year.
One of Klik Eat’s competitors is FoodPanda, a well-funded food ordering service by Rocket Internet that operates in 9 countries in Asia. Room Service Deliveries is also a major player: It operates in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, and recently merged with Dealguru to consolidate its services.
Japanese firms have been actively investing in Southeast Asia in 2012, and it looks like this trend is set to continue this year. GREE Ventures, GMO Venture Partners, CyberAgent Ventures, and Global Brain are just some of the companies that have made advancements into the region.
Targeted towards aspiring social entrepreneurs aged 26 and below across all nationalities, Singapore International Foundation (SIF) is currently accepting applications for its Young Social Entrepreneurs (YSE) Programme.
If you believe you have a valuable idea for a social enterprise and want to have an opportunity to make that dream a reality, this programme is for you. Read more
Start-Up@Singapore, the nation’s largest start-up challenge has always been designed as more than just another business plan competition.
It is also aimed at shedding light on what entrepreneurship is about. Keeping with this objective, Start-Up@Singapore, over the month of November, organized a set of three Speaker Series where prominent Singaporean entrepreneurs dished out advice to aspiring entrepreneurs.
The first edition was themed on “Product Innovation and Development”, and held at Plug-In@Blk 71. Read more
Rockmoon‘s battle against worksheets continues in Thailand. The Singapore startup, which has created a platform that lets anyone create interactive educational games for student field trips, has scored a partnership with Chiang Mai University’s Knowledge and Innovation Center to create a technology learning hub.
The new center, which is called THINK (acronym for Technology Hub for Innovation & Knowledge), aims to find ways to incorporate ICT into children’s education and assist schools in piloting these technologies.
Rockmoon kickstarted the new intiative by holding a mobile learning seminar and Chiang Mai Zoo iTrail competition on 30 November. About 100 primary school students participated in the competition, where they used the company’s Trail Shuttle iPad app to answer quizzes, take photos and videos, and explore its augmented reality features.
The company says that this is the first time mobile technology has been used on such scale in a field trip in Chiang Mai. It hopes that through this partnership, more doors will open for its platform to be adopted as a tool for education and learning among students in Thailand.
Read: Trail Shuttle lets students create their own interactive learning trails
BlackBerry 10 is set to be launched globally on 30th January 2013.
These are the other key dates for application developers:
December 11th 2012 – BlackBerry 10 Gold SDK launch which will allow final testing to ensure your application will run on the commercial release of BlackBerry 10 smartphone OS.
January 11th 2013 – Deadline for submission for BlackBerry App World (now BlackBerry World) approval.
January 21st 2012 – Deadline for submission to the Built for BlackBerry Program and eligibility for the 10k Developer Commitment. Also deadline for submission to BlackBerry App World (now BlackBerry World) to have your application available at launch.
The latest Startup Genome report, which ranks startup ecosystems around the world, released a deluge of numbers, facts, and statistics. But what do they actually mean for entrepreneurs belonging to the cities involved?
In Singapore’s case, the report could validate an observation that has often been made about the country: While there is plenty of startup money from the government and private sector sloshing around, dealflow has not been as forthcoming.
So unless there is drastic improvement, Singapore’s innovation output, relative to its investments, will continue to underperform. Think of it as a major infrastructural project — perhaps a highway — that becomes underused and hence a massive waste of money.
The Startup Genome, a company that aims to transform tech entrepreneurship from a gut-driven into a data-driven endeavor, has today released its global ranking of top 20 startup ecosystems in a research report. Representing Asia is Singapore (17th) and Bangalore (19th), who are the the only ecosystems from Asia in the top 20. Australia fared well, with Sydney (12th) and Melbourne (18th) making the shortlist.
This version of the rankings is updated from the one that was released in April this year, which included less variables and didn’t account for population size. Read more