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
My friend Jon Russell from The Next Web has recently penned that there are four issues challenging Southeast Asia’s startup ecosystem: risk aversion, fear of failure, lack of big firm presence and immature ecosystem.
To his credit, he has spotted some inherent weaknesses of a diverse market fragmented not just by geography but also business culture. In a similar reflection, Michael Smith Jr from Spuul focused on the lack of enough big firms.
While there is a lot of hurrah with the arrival of 500 Startups to the region, there are several trends that might deter the growth of the ecosystem — the purpose of this article is to open a discussion on what these might be. Read more
SingTel, Singapore’s largest mobile operator, has launched a development center in Israel called LifeLabs. Through the center, SingTel will invest in Israeli startups, fund academic and commercial research, and collaborate with incubators and angel investors to spot promising new technology. Read more
Amobee, a mobile advertising company acquired by SingTel for USD 321M, has announced today an exclusive partnership with four mobile operators: Philippines’ Globe, Australia’s Optus, Indonesia’s Telkomsel, and SingTel from Singapore.
The partnership will involve Amobee integrating its publisher-side mobile advertising platform, PULSE for Publishers, with mobile inventory belonging to the four telcos. Read more
Singapore’s top two mobile operators SingTel and StarHub have made known today that they are taking the fight to WhatsApp, which has become the dominant messaging service in many parts of the world. Faced with declining revenues from SMS, both telcos are developing their own chat apps that they hope to launch within the next few months.
While the Today article is vague about SingTel’s plans, it reports that StarHub will be working with Vodafone to create an ‘interoperable’ service that includes instant messaging, video calls, and file sharing.
But here’s the problem: what StarHub has described sounds exactly like WhatsApp.
Sure, it would have been feasible to develop a WhatsApp killer one or two years ago, but the fact is that market conditions have shifted dramatically in one important way: They’re no longer battling against just Whatsapp or Vibe, but also Kakaotalk, Wechat, Line, and many others. Read more
SingTel, Southeast Asia’s biggest telco, and ST Telemedia, a unit of Temasek Holdings, have indicated their interest in the telecommunications licenses that Myanmar will issue to boost its phone penetration rates, one of the lowest in Asia, reported Bloomberg.
Axiata Group, Malaysia’s largest mobile operator by market value, and Norway’s Telenor ASA have also submitted expressions of interest before the deadline on 25th January. Read more
For a social network about fashion, Clozette isn’t exactly a looker, especially when compared to the sprightlier and hipper #OOTDX, an upstart that appears to be drawing the Instagrammer crowd.
But while my first impression may be less than positive, Clozette actually turns out to be more interesting than it lets on.
It certainly has enough cache to seal a partnership with SingTel’s lifestyle portal inSing.com, an arrangement that has given Clozette front page placement — on the portal’s dropdown menu. Clicking on that link will bring you to insing.clozette.com, an e-commerce site that sells goods from Clozette’s partners.
While I’m not sure how many percent of inSing’s purported 2 million monthly active users will actually land on Clozette, it’s a positive start. The partnership between these Singapore companies appears to be the right one too: Clozette, after all, has ambitions to be a one-stop shop for women’s fashion and beauty needs.
Sure, you might have heard it all before. It would seem that every online fashion and beauty retailer, your Zaloras, Luxolas, and Asoses, wants to be that first-stop for fashionable women.
But here’s the difference between Clozette and the rest: It isn’t a traditional e-commerce site at all. In fact, it fulfills an entirely different role in the online fashion ecosystem, that of discovery. Read more
TinyTrunk's flea market feature lets you set up a store with friends.
TinyTrunk, an e-commerce platform that connects virtual tenants to consumers, announced that it has entered into a partnership with SingTel Digital Media (STDM), a subsidiary of SingTel.
STDM will promote TinyTrunk on its digital platforms, including lifestyle portal inSing.com. The startup hopes to capitalize on this opportunity to boost its user base and merchant sign-ups.
TinyTrunk also unveiled a ‘flea market’ feature that enables up to 5 friends to conveniently create an online store on the platform. The online store has a shopping cart that consolidates payments into one bill and splits it up for the store owners. Read more
GREE, a leading mobile social gaming company in Japan, has just announced a partnership with SingTel to distribute its games in Singapore. In addition, SingTel will offer direct carrier billing for these titles. This sort of partnership is a first for GREE outside Japan.
The deal makes a lot of sense for both companies.
SingTel, as one of the largest telcos in the world, holds the key to the rest of Asia. It has 462 million mobile users as of last year, spread out across 8 countries, including Philippines, Indonesia, and Australia. It owns, or partially owns, a telco in each of these markets. Read more
SingTel’s NewsLoop, a Flipboard-like news reader app for the iPad, is off to a strong start. Since its launch in July 2012, it has been downloaded 17,000 times and obtained strong reviews. For a time, it was also number 3 for free iPad apps in Singapore.
Now, it has just launched an iPhone app in the hopes of capturing more users in the country. The smartphone version of NewsLoop, optimized for the iPhone 5, has the following features:
- Synchronised profiles between iPad and iPhone
- Preview of hot topics on iPad and iPhone
- Add LinkedIn and Tumblr feeds
- Share articles via SMS Read more