eCommerce & Fintech in SEA, Private search grows | Trusted Bytes News

This week, eCommerce and Fintech news in Southeast Asia, also, why private search is becoming our favourite thing to watch.



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eCommerce and Fintech news are making the headlines in Southeast Asia this week, with Alibaba and Goto making land grabs across the region. Alibaba and Lazada have set their sights on Vietnam, and Goto looking at solidifying their base in Indonesia. One of the verticals up for grabs is groceries, as the pandemic increased demand for home deliveries during prolonged lockdowns.

Groceries used to be a tricky business, as most consumers in Southeast Asia still prefer wet markets to deliveries. However, trends do seem to be in eCommerce’s favour, as consumers nearly doubled their online grocery shopping spends, with 75% saying that they would stick with it even after the lockdowns are lifted.

Fintech is seeing strong momentum across the region with many payments, neobanks, insurtech, cryptocurrency exchanges, and buy-now-pay-later players getting fresh capital. Indonesian BNPL player Kredivo secured an additional $100m debt facility to scale, and India’s Progcap raised $25m to grow its business, which provides financing solutions for retail startups. That’s how fintech startups really thrive, by targeting very specific segments.

Tech in Asia recently noted that Southeast Asian financial apps spent $244m on user acquisition in 2020, which accounts for 8% of the total global marketing spend in the industry. That’s a sizable chunk considering the whole of Asia spent $672m on user acquisition. It’s likely that the trend of financial apps will continue to grow, as Southeast Asia still has significantly high rates of unbanked individuals, which Nikkei says may be as many as 290 million people.

Something that we’ve been looking at here at Trusted Bytes is the not-so-quiet revolution that’s coming from the world of search. Search is a space dominated by the tech giants like Google, Amazon, Baidu, Microsoft – but more players are emerging offering private search that doesn’t record your personal data, nor does it monetise on selling your data to companies for ads.

Companies like Brave, Neeva, Duck Duck Go, and Singapore-based Ahrefs are doing interesting work to challenge the dominance of Google, but how that plays out will indeed be interesting – I mean, could paying for search ever become mainstream? We’ll see.

So that's all the time we have for now. Check in with us again next week for more highlights from the news from Trusted Bytes. I’m Adrian Koh, and Trusted Bytes is a production of Trusted Services.

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