One of the advantages of having exposure to a large e-commerce company and the incredible talent within its walls is that you learn from some of the top minds in the industry. It was just a few months into my tenure at CafePress that I started to dive deep into learning from the team that runs one of the largest Internet retail operations in the world. And boy, have I learned.
A common theme you’ll find in the discussions among the top engineers, technicians and marketers of these types of sites is with their metrics and analytics. Everything revolves around traffic, action rates, conversion rates and the like. Dealing with these numbers on a regular basis inspired me to put some thoughts into a white paper to help any business person or marketer understand how this analytics-first approach can be applied to social marketing.
Yesterday, Social Media Explorer in partnership with Exact Target published The Mathematics of Social Marketing, a free white-paper available over at the ET website. In it, I explain how you can build smart marketing on Facebook, Twitter or any other social network, by working backwards from your financial goals and applying a little mathematics thinking to your marketing. I can assure you, it’s useful and worth the download.
The paper will help you understand the difference between action rate and conversion rate, how to account for each and how to put real financial metrics to your social marketing efforts. Give it a read and drop me some feedback. I’d love to hear how you either have or plan to apply the mathematics advice to your marketing.
Download the white paper here. Then tell me what you think in the comments. Here’s to happy math!
Australian startup, Airtasker, is keen to expand out of its home country into Southeast Asia, which it says hasn’t been touched by large competitors yet.
The year-old startup provides job matching for freelancers and employers, similar to what oDesk and Elance do. For its first steps outside of Australia, its first port of call will be Singapore, where it wants to hire two country managers.
Airtasker joins a scene that already has a few huge competitors. oDesk, for example, has been around since 2005. Last year, the company raised $15 million, making its total funding $45 million to date. The site processes $300 million in jobs on an annual basis.
Another big competitor, Elance, raised $16 million in funding early last year as well, as its business has continued to grow in the past two years. 650,000 new job postings were listed on the site in 2011, it said.
But big as these sites are, they don’t seem to have made a huge impact on freelancers in Southeast Asia. A quick search for freelancers in Singapore on oDesk showed 248 listings out of 742,113. Hong Kong showed a dismal 84, Kuala Lumpur 7 and Bangkok 31.
While it appears indeed untouched by the large sites, it could just mean that the freelancing scene is a lot less vibrant in Asia, with the majority of workers preferring full-time jobs. It could also be that fewer freelancers rely on online matching sites to get their jobs, as well.
Airtasker’s founder and CEO, Tim Fung, said temp jobs in the region are less organized into verticals. He said some common jobs in Asia include handing out flyers at a train station, or a one-day PA. These can’t really be categorized by industry, and Airtasker has organized its job ads and job seeker profiles in a broader fashion, so that more matches can be made by both sides.
The bulk of Airtasker’s workers, for now, are based in Australia, and its upward trajectory does indicate some sort of pent-up demand on the freelancing scene. Airtasker now processes about $120,000 worth of jobs per month.
Fung hinted that Airtasker will announce a partnership with a global jobs network soon. “I think that’s an indication that the larger ‘mainstream’ job scene is taking part-time job listings more seriously,” he said.
The site will also roll out a new design in about a months’ time, with a “responsive design” adapting to mobile interfaces when accessed through tablets and phones. This is going to make a lot of sense as it expands into Southeast Asia, where mobiles are more popular in emerging markets compared with PCs. About 40 percent of users accessing Airtasker’s site are already coming in on mobile devices, said Fung.
Airtasker has seven people, including co-founders Fung and Jonathan Lui. It’s raised $1.5 million so far.
Between WhatsApp, Viber, Google+ Hangouts and a raft of others, the mobile messaging app space is crowded, but recent entrant MessageMe has still managed to make notable headway. After a mere 75 days since its launch, the application has amassed 5 million registered users, up from 1 million in its first ten days. Now, the software is churning out an average of 1,500 notifications per second and handling approximately eight image uploads each second.
For the uninitiated, the app is attempting to woo chatty folks on Android and iOS away from its rivals with the ability to send pictures, doodles, videos, audio, music and location information between two people or a group of friends. Sticker- and money-sending features are poised to bring home the bacon for the firm, but CEO and co-founder Arjun Sethi recently told The Next Web that it doesn't plan to activate them just yet, as it's focusing on attracting more users first. If you're itching for another outlet to dispatch notes to pals, hit the bordering more coverage links to grab MessageMe.
Via: The Next Web
Source: MessageMe Blog
By the time the phone rings, there's already trouble. When that manager is called or this department is reached, it's because someone is disappointed, angry or stuck. Illness, broken promises or a real urgency have led to this new conversation even taking place.
So don't start with, "[Name of company] mumble mumble" as if there's a blank slate just waiting to be written on. There's already a lot of writing on that slate. Don't demand to know the record number or begin with doubt and an edge of dismissal. Be on our team.
"It sounds like we've got a situation on our hands..." is a fine way to disarm the person you're about to talk with. He won't have to spend the first six sentences expressing his anger and urgency, because in less than ten words, you've done it for him. Or perhaps, "I'd like to help, if you'll bring me up to speed..."
It's not easy being on the receiving end of a days'-long parade of blame, but no one said it was easy. We asked you to do it because you're good and because it's important, not because it's fun.
SumUp, One Of Europe's Many Mobile Payments Startups, Launches In Russia - Now Operating In 11 Markets
SumUp, one of the myriad European Square-style mobile card reader startups, has expanded its coverage footprint by rolling into an eleventh European market: Russia. SumUp is now operational in the U.K., Germany, Ireland, Austria, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, France, Portugal, Belgium and now Russia, giving it a larger international geographical footprint than other European mobile point-of-sales rivals including iZettle and Rocket Internet-backed Payleven.
To support its Russia launch SumUp has opened a local office in Moscow, and partnered with Svyaznoy Group, a Russian retail and financial conglomerate, which will distribute SumUp’s card readers through its nationwide consumer electronics retail network of close to 3,000 stores.
Svyaznoy stores will also be using SumUp’s solution to accept card payments from its customers — giving SumUp another leg up in the market. The retailer, which specialises in the sale of phones, digital equipment and portable electronics, sells close to a third (30%) of all the smartphones in Russia, according to SumUp.
SumUp said Russian businesses can now sign up to its service in Svyaznoy stores as well as on its own website, and are able to receive native language assistance from its Moscow-based support team. Daniel Klein, SumUp CEO, said it’s targeting the more than 6 million small businesses in Russia, and also aiming to grow off rising smartphone usage.
“We see a real need for an easy and secure solution for card payment acceptance in the Russian market. We are excited to work with the strongest possible partner in Russia right from the start,” he said in a statement.
SumUp has been using a partnering strategy to build out its European payments business, including partnering with a women’s plumbers organisation, Stopcocks Women Plumbers, in the U.K.; a maker of iPad POS software in Europe; and with a taxi hailing app and an odd job software platform provider in Germany.
As with the myriad mobile payments players targeting small businesses, SumUp does not charge a monthly fee to businesses using its system but rather takes a 2.75% per card reader transaction charge. It accepts Visa, Mastercard and recently added support for Amex in the majority of its markets.
We all have those Facebook friends who seem to make a living posting pictures and video clips of their kids
How cute is little Johnny eating a banana?
Here’s Johnny at the playground going down the slide!
Oh, poor Johnny is upset because mommy won’t give him another cookie.
We get it, your kid is cute. But truth is, no one is really interested
Useless kid information is one of the many reasons I quit Facebook over a year ago. Of course I care about my friends’ kids and want to see pictures of them, but unbelievable inventions like email and SMS help me access all the updates I want Read more...More about Social Media, Features, Contributor, Lifestyle, and Family Parenting
Samsung has bought a 10-percent stake in Pantech, a South Korean mobile phone maker known primarily for its huge, feature-packed handsets, Yonhap News reports
The deal is valued at around 53 billion won ($47.6 million). With this move, Samsung will become Pantech's third-largest stake holder, following chip maker Qualcomm, which owns 11.96% of Pantech, and Korea's Development Bank, which owns a 11.81% of the company
Domestically, Pantech is the third-largest mobile phone maker, behind Samsung and LG. In the U.S., it's producing branded mobile phones for Verizon and AT&T. Still, the company is struggling with debt, which is exactly how Qualcomm became the company's largest stakeholder — by converting $75 million of royalty debt into equity Read more...More about Acquisition, Samsung, Business, Mobile, and Pantech
Just as we knew it would, MSI has formally announced pricing for its newfangled GX70 and GX60 gaming laptops -- the world's first machines to ship with AMD's Richland A10-5750M (2.5GHz - 3.5GHz) within. The 17.3-inch GX70 offers up a 1,920 x 1,080 native display resolution, AMD's Radeon HD 8970M on the graphics front, a 750GB hard drive, 8GB of DDR3 memory, a Blu-ray Disc drive, Bluetooth 4.0 and Killer's E2200 networking technology. You'll also get a SDXC card slot, HDMI 1.4 socket, 720p webcam, a 9-cell battery -- likely good for about 89 seconds of use -- a backlit keyboard and a frame that's 2.17-inches thick and 8.6 pounds. If none of that frightens you, you can plan on parting ways with $1,399.99 to call one your own. The (slightly) more petite GX60 boasts a 15.6-inch panel (still 1080p, though), a 7.7 pound frame and a $1,299.99 price tag. Otherwise, the specifications are essentially identical from its big brother, and both should be shipping any moment now.
Filed under: Laptops
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
In recent years, Sony's state of the union report has made for wince-inducing reading, but one year into Kaz Hirai's "One Sony" strategy we seem to be seeing hints of a turnaround. The company is trumpeting its return to profitability after several loss-making quarters, thanks to boosts in its film and financial services units -- not to mention some aggressive asset sales. Unfortunately, Sony still has the weak heart of its consumer electronics business to nurse, but promises that aggressive cost-cutting in its TV department will see it back in the black shortly.
Sony has also announced plans to "significantly expand" its business model around the PlayStation 4 and promises to speed up smartphone development to incorporate the company's hardware and imaging know-how. With one eye on those dwindling PC market figures, Sony will look to make profitable machines rather than chasing market share. The company has also said that, aside from its successful Mirrorless ILC division, will shift focus on its imaging business from consumer electronics to medical and security. With all of this change, let's just hope that no-one forgets to buy someone in the PR department a wider camera lens.
Filed under: Sony
Chalk this up as one to watch closely in the world of consumer fintech. Numbrs, a mobile-first banking app founded out of Swiss company builder Centralway, has raised 7.5 million Swiss francs (~$7.7 million) from its parent, capital it will use to build on its pending German launch, with the UK and Swiss markets up next, followed by Singapore and Hong Kong.
The startup, which also hails from Switzerland (a country known for its “innovative” banking) bills itself as a mobile banking app to rule them all, offering a financial dashboard similar to something like Intuit-owned Mint.com, which enables a user to intelligently track and predict their spending, but with the added functionality of being able to actually make transactions and pay bills from within the app, too. That’s something that most, if not all, of its competitors lack.
Longer term, however, Numbrs’ ambition is to get this working across all countries and all banks, which would be some feat. Tackling Germany first makes sense, where I understand there exists a single and independent protocol over which Numbrs connects to banks locally.
In contrast, the UK — where Numbrs is gunning for a Summer/Fall launch — lacks a common B2C standard. Instead, the startup is working with a “leading” but unnamed API vendor (though I understand it’s not Yodlee, the U.S. company that powers a number of competing dashboards) which has already already done the heavy lifting of creating connectors to all the major UK banks. This will enable Numbrs to authenticate the user with their bank accounts, import and conduct transactions, and present all data in the same aggregated view already present within the German version of the app. It also makes it harder for the banks to pull the plug on Numbrs, since its the same system they use for their own consumer apps.
Another key feature of the Numbrs app, and something that is central to its planned advertising-based revenue model, is what the startup calls the Future Timeline, a technology that predicts what a user’s finances will be like in the future by analysing historical patterns of incoming and outgoing payments, thus enabling financial targets to be met. It’s also the sort of data that I’m guessing advertisers would, indirectly, kill for.
Finally, as part of Numbrs’ UK launch, TechCrunch has learned that Centralway is opening a London office, scheduled to open in September, where the Numbrs UK country manager and other marketing personnel will also be based.
Rando only launched in March but the anti-social photo-sharing app that deliberately eschews the standard social network clutter of likes and comments and connections – simply letting users share random photos with random strangers and get random snaps in return — has blasted past five million photo shares after a little over two months in the wild. It is now averaging around 200,000 shares per day, says its creator ustwo.
For half that time Rando was iOS only, with its Android app not launching til April. Platform spread aside, the huge point here is that Rando has ditched all the self-congratulatory, endorphin-boosting hooks that apparently keep people tethered to their social networks. Yet managed to grow regardless. As Rando’s tagline pithily put it: ‘You have no friends’. The photos you share here will never be liked, never be favourited, and if they are shared outside Rando to other social networks, a feature Rando most definitely does not enable within its app, you likely won’t ever know anything about it. It’s a very rare digital social blackhole — but one that’s proving surprisingly popular (and all without any embedded social shares to grow virally), even while it’s refreshingly ego-free.
Rando has been downloaded almost 230,000 times since its March 10 launch, with nearly 35,000 downloads in the past seven days, according to data shared with TechCrunch by ustwo‘s Matt Miller (aka Mills). The platform breakdown is pretty even right now — with only slightly more iOS app downloads than Android (roughly 120,000 vs 107,000), showing how Android users are adopting Rando even faster than their iPhone owning counterparts, having had a month less to send strangers strange shots. There are, of course, many more Android owners than iPhone owners out there so there’s a lot more scope for growth on Google’s platform.
Rando’s top five countries by downloads are as follows:South Korea 82,224 downloads 37% of total downloads United States 41,120 downloads 19% of total downloads Russia 25,553 downloads 12% of total downloads UK 12,173 downloads 6% of total downloads Brazil 7,795 downloads 4%
Even though Rando does not enable social sharing within its app, users can take screengrabs and share shots manually — and that’s happening a little. ustwo notes there have been more than 25,000 #rando Instagram shares, for instance, despite the app not giving users any simple path to do that. Searching for #rando on Twitter also typically brings up a handful of organic daily shares.
The single piece of contextual information that Rando does allow its users to retain — the general location where a photo was taken — is also removed by close to a fifth of users (17%). While less than 1% of shared images have been marked as inappropriate so you can’t accuse Rando’s growth of being fuelled by sexting. You could perhaps argue it’s a bit of a curiosity that’s appealing to a small minority of people, even while most folk find it baffling. ustwo’s data shows that the app’s most active users (top 10% in terms of uploaded randos) have uploaded more than half (57%) of all the shared randos. But the app retention rate (50% in the past week) does sound strong. Specifically that means half of Rando’s users logged in within that week, which isn’t bad as an active user type stat.
A little bird tells me that ustwo, the London-based studio which decided to find out what would happen when it made an anti-social photo-sharing app, is preparing to push Rando onto a third mobile platform in the not too distant future too — so expect Rando’s growth trajectory to continue stepping upwards, as it has been since launch. ustwo says one million randos are being shared every four to five days now, at current usage rates. ”You are literally looking at the next $1billion Yahoo! Acquisition,” jokes Mills.
Joking aside, there is something seriously interesting about Rando’s takeoff. Not to read too much into a single app, of course, but as an experiment in social-less networking it’s fascinating to watch. Not to mention ironic, since on Rando no one is watching you — which is entirely the point. But factor in the rumblings about teens’ declining interest in traditional social networks and Rando could be something of a canary in the social networking coalmine, picking up subtle traces of Facebook fatigue, and identifying a growing appetite among mobile owners at least to take back some control and reintroduce a little private space by slamming shut those social doors.
The rise of mobile messaging apps is another key trend to factor in here, apps which put private communication first, and social comms as a secondary add on. Certain age groups’ attention is arguably increasingly shifting to these more contained communications mediums — channels which offer both private and public comms within the one app, as Facebook does, but which aren’t centrally focused on publicly broadcast personal content. Rather they put the intimacy of one-to-one messaging at their core. Some, like China’s WeChat, even include serendipitous discovery features that are similar to Rando — like its Drift Bottle stranger messaging feature.
Mobile usage is certainly fuelling this messaging-centric shift. There’s no doubt younger social network users have shifted focus away from relying on the workhorse PC in the corner, and on to apps on mobile devices — aka, the device that’s always with its owner. But the mobile is not only highly portable it’s inherently personal, containing an address book of your friends’ phone numbers. Which may be another reason why mobile social networking feels a little different, demands a little more privacy than the old web portal gateway to the social city.
There are certainly various trends at play here. Photo/image-sharing dominating text-based status updates being another, which explains Facebook’s recent focus on photos. But, if Rando’s rise proves anything it proves that humans communicate in more subtle ways than you might imagine, and need less social reinforcement than you might think. And when you think in those terms, it’s not such a huge leap to imagine the shifting sands of communication eroding the foundations of huge walled social strongholds after all. Lots of little apps, all taking away a portion of people’s attention, could eventually add up to a collective social exodus from the old networks. At least of key youth demographics.
Let’s face it, when the ex-owner of former teen-favourite social network MySpace feels capable of some very public Schadenfreude at Facebook’s expense — taking the trouble to dine out on the perception of members’ growing disinterest in Zuckerberg’s empire — something is definitely looking a little wonky in that gigantic electronic country.
MySpace hasn’t expired entirely but exists today, Ozymandias-esque, as a much diminished version of its past all-powerful self. And Murdoch’s Newscorp famously lost a bucket load of cash on the acquisition and sell off. You’d think he’d be too embarrassed to mention it — but instead he’s finding time to chuckle at Facebook’s imagined expense…
Look out Facebook!Hours spent participating per member dropping seriously.First really bad sign as seen by crappy MySpace years ago.
— Rupert Murdoch(@rupertmurdoch) May 17, 2013
Read that again, and it’s the same timeless warning as is contained in Shelley’s poem. Murdoch might as well have tweeted: ‘Look on my past works, Mark Zuckerberg, and despair!’
So while Rando’s relatively modest growth trajectory (vs Facebook or mobile messaging giants) is unlikely to make it onto Zuckerberg’s radar, it’s something any developer working in the social space would do well to take note of. Because even Facebook can’t overlook the wider forces at play in mobile – forces that appear to be reconfiguring the rules of the social game. And Rando is a small but telling member of that movement.
One of the early pioneers in the Quantified Self movement has quietly gone out of business. Zeo, a leading maker of hardware and software used by consumers to track sleep and improve their health, has not been operating since the end of last year. A trustee has nearly completed the sale of all company assets. Zeo has been very quiet about the news up until now. In fact, Zeo’s website is still up and doesn’t mention the news.
Zeo was founded by three students at Brown University who had a passion for using the science of sleep and technology to improve people’s lives. The company introduced its first product, the Zeo Personal Sleep Coach in June 2009.
The following week, the first article mentioning the term “Quantified Self” was published in Wired magazine. While the article didn’t mention Zeo, it did claim “a new culture of personal data was taking shape.” And that every facet of life from sleep to mood to pain was becoming trackable. “Even sleep – a challenge to self-track, obviously, since you’re unconscious – is yielding to the skill of the widget maker.”
In 2011, the widget maker Zeo introduced a mobile version to its Sleep Manager product line. By wearing a special headband, with sensors to measure electrical current, the Zeo could track different phases of sleep, such as Light, Deep and REM sleep, in addition to awake time. This data was then sent to an iPhone, iPod, or Android phone, and could be automatically uploaded to a personal and private online sleep database. This data along with some analytical tools could then be used to help improve your sleep and health.What Went Wrong
Former CEO, Dave Dickinson, who lead the company for the past 5 years, tells TechCrunch the problem was not the brand or the product. In fact, the company was growing before it shut down.
Dickinson says the problem was the business model. “The business model is more important than the brand. Consumer health devices are a very capital intensive business. You have to find enough money to address the consumer, funds to address the physicians, and also the retailers, and that’s up and above the device business having to fund inventory.”
Zeo had two business model options on the revenue side. Become a SAAS-like business with subscriptions and recurring revenue or make enough money from a customer who bought just one unit. But that was very difficult when the company started pricing its mobile product at $99, with ‘sub-optimal’ profit margins.
The Newton, Massachusetts-based company had raised more than $30 million over eight years. Dickinson says raising capital was not the problem.Sleep Tracking As A Commodity
Another problem for Zeo was that sleep tracking became a commodity. Devices like the FitBit, lark, and Jawbone Up use an accelerometer to determine sleep and awake cycles, using wrist actigraphy. These products brand their products as sleep trackers just like Zeo.
Dickinson says Zeo had peer reviewed scientific studies, including one published in the Journal of Sleep Research, showing his technology was 7/8th as accurate as data from the a sleep lab, considered to be the gold standard for measuring sleep. The study also says data from wrist actigraphy to measure tiny motions in devices are much less accurate. But that didn’t seem to matter for enough consumers.The Competition
Dickinson says he admires what the Fitbit and others like it have done. Those devices are not limited to one health issue like sleep, which was another problem for Zeo. Those other products work for different health and wellness areas, such as the well established desire to lose weight and become physically fit. Consumers already spend billions of dollars to achieve those goals. And they are already educated and motivated to improve their weight and fitness.
Part of Zeo’s business model required it to educate the consumer on the importance of sleep and how sleep awareness and data can improve your health. Arianna Huffington, Editor-in-Chief of the Huffington Post, our AOL sister site, has been a crusader on the importance of sleep to your health. But according to Dickinson, “sleep is still lagging behind as important to your wellness. So in that respect, Zeo was early in terms of its mission.”The Product
I used the device for several months last year and thought it was amazing. While wearing the headband took some getting used to, for me and my wife, the data it revealed was eye-popping. In addition to learning that I wasn’t getting enough sleep, which I knew already, I learned about the different types of sleep I was getting.
Most nights, I would get a half hour to an hour of “Deep Sleep” (dark green in the chart below) after going to bed. This is the phase of sleep the helps you feel restored and refreshed.
I would also see several periods of REM sleep, important for overall mental health, mood, and the ability to retain knowledge. The bulk of my time asleep, like most people, was spent in “Light Sleep,” which is better than not sleeping but doesn’t do as much for my health as Deep or REM sleep.
I was able to see graphics like this on my iPhone in the morning.
Here’s a good night with a sleep score of 90 out of 100 and more than 8 hours of sleep.
And here’s a bad night, with a score of 47 with just 4 and a half hours of total sleep.
If I woke up in the morning during REM sleep, it was hard to get out of bed. If I didn’t get enough Deep Sleep, I didn’t feel I had a good night sleep.
Zeo claimed the real value of the program was I could get personalized online sleep coaching. But this required logging in to the website and entering more information about my sleep and other variables I wanted to track. If I could have entered the data right on my iPhone, I would have likely used it more. Since it required logging in on the website, it proved too much friction for me.
I also stopped wearing the headband after awhile because it does feel a bit awkward. The former CEO says the company was aware the device was too invasive for some customers.
But if a less invasive sensor was made and it was easier to enter custom data and get actionable information, I would have used it every night.What’s Next
Dickinson can’t comment on exactly what’s next for Zeo, after all the assets are sold. But he is hopeful that there may be an opportunity for the company to re-emerge in the future.
An article appeared in the MobiHealthNews in March, that reported the Better Business Bureau had listed Zeo as being “out of business” but with no official announcement by the company, the news hasn’t been widely known.
It is still possible to log-in to Zeo’s “My Sleep” site that contains your sleep data. An article on the Quantified Self website today tells users how they can download their data in case the site goes offline.
As word about Zeo’s status has spread, Dickinson says they have received tremendous support and inquires from all over the world from disappointed customers and sleep researchers who had planned to use the units for the research.
He wrote a post on the MobiHealthNews site last week that included some additional lessons learned. He concluded by writing “motivating behavioral change through data visualization can be very powerful, but it is more of an art than a science. We will need far more artists, user interface experts and psychologists to help make our data work harder to motivate better health.”
Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.
Zalora, a Zappos-style fashion e-commerce site in South East Asia backed by the Samwer brothers’ Rocket Internet incubator in Germany, is today announcing its latest investment — $100 million, led by Rocket Internet itself, along with regular Samwer investing partners Summit Partners, Investment AB Kinnevik, Verlinvest and Tengelmann Group. The is the largest investment in Zalora to date, and one of the biggest in an e-commerce startup in the region.
Zalora has operations in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan and Hong Kong, and this round comes amid a new flush of money for fashion e-commerce companies: just yesterday it was reported that Fab is raising $250 million at a $1 billion valuation (a deal that only one month ago appeared to be for a $100 million raise).
This is not the first flush of money to come to Zalora. The startup had raised at least two other rounds since launching in March 2012, a “significant double-digit million” investment from JP Morgan in September 2012, and $26 million from Tengelmann in March 2013. It’s been using the funds to build out its footprint into more countries, invest in its logistics and also in R&D, out of its HQ in Singapore, and new platforms — among those, the launch of a iOS app.
As seems to be par for the course with Rocket Internet portfolio companies, Zalora has been no stranger to being subject to the negative rumor mill. In March 2013, Zalora was reported to be shutting down its regional operations in Taiwan, although the company said that it was streamlining and moving some functions to Singapore. That comes after other reports that Oliver Samwer had to go hands-on soon after Zalora’s launch for a little staff motivation. The company appears to already have changed MDs at the company. Today it is being run by Michele Farrario; in September 2012 the MD was Mato Peric.
But any signs of turmoil seem to be behind the company, for now at least. The company is claiming “months of steady growth,” recently delivering its one millionth order, although it doesn’t spell out what those revenues are specifically, noting just “double-digit million USD revenues.” It says that mobile sales make up 25% of all of its sales, which cover 500 brands and some 20,000 products per country site.
“Our company is one of the fastest growing e-commerce companies in South-East Asia and has bright prospects,” said Ferrario in a statement. “It is an honor for us that investors of such great repute have invested into an e-commerce company as young as ZALORA. Our goal is to continue serving up world-class products and services, so everyone in South-East Asia can benefit.”
Rocket Internet got its beginnings building out e-commerce startups across Europe. Mimicking the functions of well-funded e-commerce startups in the U.S., some of those Rocket Internet startups even got acquired as part of the Americans’ inorganic growth strategies.
Rocket Internet still has a strong presence in Europe, but the Samwer brothers have been putting a lot more of their efforts lately into emerging markets like those in South East Asia, Eastern Europe, South America and further afield (case in point: Azmalo, a new Amazon-style online marketplace site in Pakistan launched just this week). The idea is to try to reach a swathe of consumers that represent a new middle class who are only starting to go online to shop, and therefore represent a faster growing user base than consumers in more mature, and more penetrated, markets.
Often the Samwers’ movements are in countries that Rocket’s U.S. counterparts have yet to tackle, making companies like Zalora into potential acquisition targets. In the meantime, adding more Rocket Internet e-commerce startups in each country to bolster existing ones means that they can share backend systems, logistics and get faster economies of scale, essential in getting e-commerce businesses to profit. You can see the full extent of the Rocket Internet empire here.
Samsung's Exynos 5-based Chromebook may have been available since last October, but how about one equipped with WiMAX radio? Graced with the presence of Google and Samsung reps in Kuala Lumpur (including a video message from Google SVP Sundar Pichai), today Malaysian carrier Yes 4G unveiled this rather special laptop for the local consumers. In fact, we should have seen this coming as Google's official blog did hint this last month, but we failed to catch that blurred "Yes 4G" logo on the laptop in the blog's photo.
As Google mentioned, the ultimate goal here is to help transform Malaysia's education using the Chromebook. And now we know that this ambition will be backed by Yes 4G's rapidly growing WiMAX network -- from the initial 1,200 base stations in 2010 to today's 4,000, covering 85 percent of the peninsula; and the carrier will expand into the eastern side with 700 more sites by the end of this year. This is especially important for the rural areas, where many schools still lack access to water and electricity. As a partner of the Malaysian Ministry of Education's 1BestariNet project, Yes 4G's parent company YTL Communications has so far ensured that 7,000 local state schools are covered by its WiMAX network, with the remaining 3,000 to be connected over the next six months.
Is Social Media Anxiety Disorder, known as SMAD, the newest affliction resulting from our love affair with Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites? Researchers have stopped short of actually classifying SMAD as a disorder, but it's no doubt a problem.
Sure, you could quit using your social sites altogether — but then you’d be, well, bored and lonely. Science may someday shed more light on social media stress, but in the meantime, we've gathered the most common problems associated with popular social networks so that you know what to watch out for.Creative Flop
Are you one of the thousands of women suffering from Mason Jar Envy, the creeping sense of self-loathing that comes from feeling you're just not as crafty as the other women on Pinterest? The “Today” show recently surveyed 7,000 American mothers and found that 42% worry they're not crafty or creative enough. Some stayed up all night pouring through Pinterest photos, unable to stop the negative comparisons. Read more...More about Health, Social Media, Psychology, Health Fitness, and Work Play
TomTom is looking to beef up its location based services portal by joining forces with TrafficLand to bring real time traffic video to its developers. TomTom's LBS will now incorporate TrafficLand's network of over 13,000 roadside webcams, enabling developers to integrate live footage into their location-enabled apps via the Traffic Camera API. TrafficLand's real-time video will join the other cloud-based location services TomTom provides to devs, like map content, routing and geocoding. For right now, TrafficLand covers only the US, UK and Canada, and it's not clear if the company plans to expand beyond those three countries anytime soon. For more information, you can take a gander at TomTom's full press release, embedded after the break.
Filed under: GPS
He is proud of the GIF, but remains annoyed that there is still any debate over the pronunciation of the format.
“The Oxford English Dictionary accepts both pronunciations,” Mr. Wilhite said. “They are wrong. It is a soft ‘G,’ pronounced ‘jif.’ End of story.”
Gizmodo’s Casey Chan pretty much sums up my view on this, in an article so elaborately ridiculous it brings joy, “He’s saying we, the people of America, are wrong. It is a soft ‘G’, pronounced ‘jif’. Sir, why did you not name it JIF like the peanut butter then! End of story. I have long thought the story was over too, but I’m guessing we’re reading different books.”
Chan and I and the US President are just going to ignore Wilhite and just continue pronounce it with a hard ‘G,’ like ‘gift’ without the ‘T.’ Because no one on the planet pronounces it ‘jif.’
End of story.