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Technology Featured Global

Kargo acquires Ziggeo to bolster video offering capabilities

New York, USA – Adtech company Kargo has acquired cloud-based video technology SaaS company Ziggeo. This move will see Ziggeo bringing a suite of products to Kargo’s growing omnichannel platform, including a video player, video recording capabilities, and numerous APIs. 

The acquisition will also enable Kargo to quickly expand its video offering with exclusive products that deliver value for audiences, brands, and publishers alike.

Over the coming months, Kargo will be focusing on building a next-generation ad-supported video player for publishers with the ultimate goal of creating a marketplace of advertising opportunities and content from content creators. 

Moreover, Ziggeo’s award-winning API and mobile-friendly design make it the ideal platform for next-generation video products, as Kargo looks to set a new standard for future digital video innovation within the industry. The Ziggeo developer team will also be joining Kargo to set the strategic direction for the combined organisations’ video player roadmap in order to deliver differentiated video ad products for advertisers.

Oliver Friedmann, founder and CTO at Ziggeo, commented that the Ziggeo team is thrilled to join Kargo, a company that shares our vision to deliver innovative and breakthrough experiences for their customers that grab attention.

“Together, we plan to launch new video products that will benefit from our combination of video player, video recording technology and sophisticated transcoding pipeline, which will be integrated into Kargo’s new and existing publisher partners and clients,” said 

Meanwhile, Harry Kargman, founder & CEO at Kargo, said that video is the fastest growing channel where consumers spend time to consume and create content, and they will innovate within this channel bringing new solutions to the open web. 

“Video innovation across the open web has been stagnant and we plan to disrupt the industry with new ideas and formats for advertisers and content creators. With Ziggeo, we can level up video advertising with unique, disruptive and industry-changing video formats and capabilities that meet consumers where they are and drive impactful experiences,” added Kargman.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Grab PH acquires motorcycle taxi firm MOVE IT

Manila, Philippines – Grab in the Philippines has announced recently the acquisition of MOVE IT, a local motorcycle taxi firm. Through the acquisition, Grab aims to create at least 6,000 meaningful income opportunities for more driver-partners within 3 months.

Grab Philippines will help MOVE IT further scale its existing motorcycle taxi fleet and improve the efficiency of its platform to help serve more commuters, as well as working with MOVE IT to further enhance its safety and service quality standards – to be at par with Grab’s motorcycle taxi services across Southeast Asia.

MOVE IT will be independently operated using the existing technology and app, and it will continue to comply with the standards set by the DOTr’s Motorcycle Taxi Pilot Program. Francis Juan will continue to lead MOVE IT in his capacity as chairman – leveraging his deep knowledge of the motorcycle taxi industry to better address market gaps and leverage untapped market opportunities.

Juan said, “We appreciate the support and trust that Grab has given us – it’s a testament to MOVE IT’s excellence in recent years. And in this new phase: we will serve more riders who have great difficulty commuting, we will provide more Filipinos with a livelihood, and we will provide our countrymen with a proudly Pinoy motorcycle taxi service that they can be proud of to our Southeast Asian neighbours.”

Meanwhile, Grace Vera Cruz, country head at Grab Philippines, said, “As we turn a new chapter for our country, Grab Philippines will continue to play an active role in bringing forward the spirit of bayanihan and value-creation – and this milestone that we humbly share with MOVE IT clearly expresses that.” 

She added, “As one of the first tech platforms that firmly believed in the potential and value of the Philippine market ten years ago, we’re doubling down on our commitment to outserving the needs of the Filipino people, and we are optimistic that through MOVE IT, we will create more livelihood opportunities, spur greater economic activity, and help improve every Filipino’s daily commute.”

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Accenture to acquire Indonesia-based brand, experience agency Romp

Jakarta, Indonesia – Global professional services Accenture has agreed to acquire Romp, a brand and experience agency in Indonesia renowned for its creative talent and innovative services across branding, creative and, performance marketing. This move will strengthen Accenture Song’s (formerly Accenture Interactive) ability to deliver creative and tech-driven brand experiences for clients across SEA. 

According to Accenture, the terms of the transaction have not been disclosed, and the completion of the acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions.

The acquisition of Romp will enhance Accenture Song’s brand and marketing expertise, reinforcing its ability to help clients embrace new frontiers such as the metaverse and become relevant experience-led organisations. It also strategically aligns with Accenture’s business strategy to help businesses in Indonesia capture opportunities in a post-pandemic economy that’s poised for substantial growth.

Thomas Mouritzen, Accenture Song’s head of Southeast Asia, shared that their deep understanding of consumers and businesses, combined with Romp’s outstanding brand capabilities, will broaden their ability to harness the ongoing technology revolution for consumers and brands. 

“This is a powerful proposition for our clients seeking to win with innovative thinking and connected capabilities in Southeast Asia,” said Mouritzen.

Meanwhile, Divyesh Vithlani, senior managing director and Southeast Asia market unit lead at Accenture, noted that the growth of the digital economy in SEA is pushing brands to create meaningful experiences to meet customers’ needs. 

“Companies are increasingly looking to tap artificial intelligence, data and technology to drive creative content. Romp’s expertise with Accenture’s scale will enable us to deliver this excellence in a way that’s unique to the region,” said Vithlani.

Joseph Tan, Romp’s CEO, commented they have always believed in harnessing the power of creativity and helping clients build strong and long-lasting relationships with their customers. 

“We also constantly elevate ourselves through new thinking methods and approaches. Joining Accenture Song will fully converge the brand storytelling that we love with Accenture’s tech innovation, enabling us to help our clients truly deliver against limitless opportunities with global impact,” said Tan.

Accenture said it continues to invest in capabilities to help its clients drive growth through relevance. In 2021, Accenture Song also acquired Kuala Lumpur-based creative agency, Entropia, to deepen its capabilities in customer experience, design, and creative communications.

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Technology Featured Southeast Asia

Ascential acquires digital solutions provider Intrepid

Singapore – Global business-to-business media company Ascential has acquired regional e-commerce and digital solutions provider Intrepid. This drives Ascential’s expansion, further establishing the company as a truly global leader in e-commerce optimization by providing a strategic entry point into the high-growth South-East Asian market.

For Intrepid, the acquisition will provide access to a wider network of resources and knowledge, which will allow it to cement its position as a technology leader in South-East Asia, further accelerating its growth.

In addition, Intrepid will become part of Ascential’s Digital Commerce division, which enables consumer product companies to maximise their sales, share, and profitability across the world’s leading consumer marketplaces.

Duncan Painter, CEO of Ascential, said, “We are delighted to welcome Intrepid to the Ascential team. Intrepid’s strong presence in South East Asia and proven expertise operating across the major marketplaces in this important region further enhances the capabilities and global reach of our Digital Commerce business.”

Meanwhile, Jasper Knoben, CEO of Intrepid, said that the acquisition is a natural strategic fit for the continued success of both Intrepid and Ascential. 

“Our vision, strategy and cultures are very well aligned and we look forward to working closely with the Ascential team. Joining Ascential offers Intrepid a strong platform for future growth, full of exciting opportunities to accelerate our business and leverage global best practices for our analytics and marketing technology to deliver truly cutting-edge service and tools for our clients across our e-commerce, marketing and insights business units,” Knoben commented.

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Marketing Featured ANZ

WPP to acquire marketing technology agency Bower House Digital

Australia – Global creative transformation company WPP has agreed to acquire the business of Bower House Digital, a marketing technology services agency located in Australia. Through the acquisition, Bower House Digital will be joining Ogilvy’s global network, further strengthening its ability to deliver technology-driven marketing solutions for clients.

Bower House Digital designs, builds, and deploys digital experiences for clients including Aesop, Bunnings, and Bupa, as well as Target, and Myer. It specialises in implementing Salesforce Marketing Cloud solutions.

The acquisition is aligned with WPP’s accelerated growth strategy and focused M&A approach to building on existing digital experience capabilities.

Rose Herceg, WPP’s president for Australia and New Zealand, said, “Companies are seeking one integrated communications solution that combines creativity, technology and data. Bower House Digital’s knowledge in marketing technology will further strengthen our digital expertise in Australia and New Zealand. I’m excited to welcome the Bower House Digital team and clients to WPP.”

Meanwhile, Andy Main, Ogilvy’s global CEO, noted that Bower House Digital has a dynamic team of experts with a track record of delivering truly personalised digital experiences for some of the world’s most recognisable brands. 

“We look forward to driving impact and fueling growth for our clients by scaling Bower House Digital’s capabilities at the intersection of creativity, consultancy, production and operational services across our global network,” said Main.

Bryan Dobson and Meg Quinn, Bower House Digital’s co-founders, commented, “Joining WPP and Ogilvy’s global network represents the next stage in our growth. We are so proud of what our company has achieved, the culture we have created and the team we have assembled over the past five years. Fusing our digital marketing knowledge with the creative powers of Ogilvy will build even bigger and better opportunities for our people and clients.”

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SME Featured Southeast Asia

Funding Societies acquires CardUp to boost financial experience for SMEs

Singapore – Southeast Asia’s small-and-medium enterprise (SME) digital financing platform, Funding Societies, has acquired CardUp, Singapore-based payments solution. Through the move, the company will acquire CardUp’s payments capabilities such as card payments to non-card accepting recipients (domestic and cross-border), online payments acceptance, invoice automation tools, and its licenses and integrations with renowned third-party business software. 

The acquisition will see CardUp’s payment services complementing Funding Societies’ lending products, to offer a unified financial experience for SMEs across SEA, enabling SMEs to manage and pay expenses, receive payments, and borrow funds all within one seamless digital platform.

This move comes off the back of Funding Societies’ recent Series C+ raise of US$294m in February 2022, of which US$144m was raised in equity, and its recent investment into Bank Index in Indonesia, the launch of business virtual card Elevate in Singapore, and entry into Vietnam, strengthening the company’s suite of financial services for SMEs.

Kelvin Teo, co-founder and group CEO of Funding Societies-Modalku, shared, “CardUp has a great cultural and strategic fit. Acquiring CardUp enables us to leapfrog and accelerate our market leadership in the regional FinTech space, integrating payments capabilities, enhanced user experience and local licenses to our digital lending experience across key markets. We are excited to work with the CardUp team and are honoured to join forces with them.”

Meanwhile, Nicki Ramsay, founder and CEO of CardUp, noted that they have long recognised Funding Societies as the regional leader in SME financing and a complementary counterpart to their expertise in payments. 

“This acquisition reflects strong strategic and cultural synergy with both parties aligned on the mission to help SMEs improve the way they operate their business and manage cash flow. We are confident that CardUp and our employees are in good hands with Kelvin and his team and are excited to work together on this next chapter of growth,” said Ramsay.

Funding Societies said that once the acquisition is finalised and approved by the regulators, it will be welcoming Ramsay into its management team to lead its payments business while retaining all CardUp’s employees across Asia. CardUp will continue to operate its consumer and business services and maintain its long-standing relationships with card networks, issuers, and media partners. Both will be tapping into strong synergies in the form of complementary talent, technologies, as well as bank and technology partnerships to further empower SMEs in SEA.

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Marketing Featured Global

R3 acquires advertising intelligence platform Adbrands

Singapore – Independent marketing consultancy R3 has announced the acquisition of advertising intelligence platform Adbrands. Under the R3 brand, Adbrands will continue to operate a ‘freemium’ model, with premium data and analysis available to clients and subscribers.

R3 will maintain Adbrands’ ‘Company Profiles’ which examines the business records, geographic strength, and comparative performance of holding companies and key agencies. Profiles include strengths, weaknesses, history, up-to-date news and top-line financial information. R3 will also manage the ‘Account Assignments’ database, which tracks new business wins worldwide.

The acquisition marks a continuation in R3’s investment in the analysis of the marketing landscape and tracking of client-agency partnerships, which the company has done through its global, China and Asia-Pacific Agency family trees, New Business League, and M&A League.

Greg Paull, co-founder and principal at R3, said, “We’ve always admired the depth of work that has gone into Adbrands and welcome 24 years of data and insight to the work that we do. Our ambition for Adbrands is to enhance its current library of information with expert analysis and make it the marketing knowledge resource for marketers and procurement professionals.”

Meanwhile, Simon Tesler, founder and publisher at Adbrands, commented, “The advertising landscape has transformed exponentially since Adbrands first launched more than two decades ago. There are more agencies, and more clients with more markets. Under R3’s stewardship, I am confident that Adbrands will be able to expand its unique offering and continue to be a valued source of industry knowledge.”

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Grab SG launches its revamped food site HungryGoWhere

Singapore – Super app Grab in Singapore has bought and relaunched the country’s well-loved food site HungryGoWhere and its accompanying social media channels. This revamped HungryGoWhere brand aims to address the growing interest of diners to reconnect with the local food scene in much deeper ways.

HungryGoWhere aims to spotlight up-and-coming personalities and the origins of popular foods that are not often told. The site will act as a one-stop platform that explores the highways and byways of the local food scene through food reviews and recommendations, profile interviews, and a behind-the-scenes look at the food.

To ensure its curation of content constantly addresses what consumers are looking for, HungryGoWhere will also leverage rich insights derived from Grab’s superapp data, such as popular food trends and frequently visited places in Singapore, amongst a spectrum of other interests and preferences.

Moreover, it will provide F&B businesses with another channel for expanding their reach and growing their business. To help featured brands gain as much visibility as possible, relevant stories on HungryGoWhere will also be shared with Grab’s wide base of highly engaged users via the Grab app and on Grab’s marketing channels.

Cifer Ong, Grab Singapore’s managing director of strategy and partnerships, shared that HungryGoWhere is a brand that many Singaporeans have grown to love since its inception more than a decade ago and many were sad to see it go, and they feel privileged and excited to be bringing back its longstanding legacy, while aiming to take it to the next level with this rebrand. 

“Eventually, we want to establish Grab and our associated brands as the go-to source for diners seeking the best food recommendations and F&B brands looking to grow their business. We believe that our deep relationships with merchants and key learnings from the food sector, coupled with our extensive superapp insights, will help us achieve this. We look forward to the continued support of the F&B community and diners, and trust that the new HungryGoWhere will continue to serve them well,” said Ong.

The revamped brand retains its name and iconic red hue, in a nod to its longstanding legacy as a trusted food discovery platform in the F&B scene. It also sports a trendy and approachable new look that reflects its commitment to engaging with consumers through new and exciting content. Amongst its offerings is a brand-new 20 Questions With interview series with the who’s who of the F&B sector. Co-founders of popular bagel chain Two Men Bagel House, Jereborne Lam and Jerome Lam, will kick off the series with a candid interview, in which they touched on everything from their favourite bagels to their guilty indulgences.

The new site will also feature From Scratch, a series exploring the origins of popular foods and the work that goes into making them. In the first instalment, Kim Guan Guan Coffee Trading, a Singapore coffee roaster with a rich history, takes readers through the various steps of brewing a fragrant cup of local coffee.

Aside from HungryGoWhere.com, diners can also connect with HungryGoWhere on its Facebook, Instagram and YouTube pages, as well as HungryGoWhere’s Telegram channel.

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Marketing Featured Global

CleverTap completes acquisition of customer engagement platform Leanplum

Mumbai, India – Retention cloud CleverTap has announced the completion of its acquisition of Leanplum, a global multi-channel customer engagement platform. The acquisition was first announced on 19 May this year and was completed in a span of three weeks.

Through the acquisition, CleverTap will combine the product stack of both organisations and extend its solutions and technology to all its customers and prospects worldwide. As part of the acquisition process, Momchil Kyurkchiev, co-founder at Leanplum, has joined CleverTap’s leadership team as chief strategy officer.

Speaking on the acquisition process, Kyurkchiev said, “The martech landscape the world over is evolving at an exponential rate and hyper-personalised digital engagement at scale is the need of the hour. I am sure that together, Leanplum and CleverTap will address this need and continue to drive innovation in this space. CleverTap and Leanplum individually have had a robust presence in terms of geographical reach, industries, and categories. Collectively we will now become a dominant force with a large global footprint.”

Meanwhile, Sunil Thomas, co-founder and executive chairman at CleverTap commented that through the acquisition, their customers now have a wide variety of product features and options to choose from their product line-ups including A/B testing, segmentation, campaigns, journeys, among others. He also commented that at the same time, the acquisition provides a much bigger growth, exposure and learning opportunities for employees and collectively they will now become a dominant force with a large global footprint.

“As we expand globally, we are looking to retain as well as grow 100% of the Leanplum customers by bringing all combined capability on one platform in due course. We also plan to increase our headcount in the US and Europe. Together, we aspire to be recognized as a SaaS talent powerhouse built on a strong people-first culture driven by values and equality,” Thomas stated.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Razer’s fintech arm acquires Indonesian e-commerce company PT E2Pay Global Utama

Shah Alam, Malaysia – Razer Fintech, the financial technology arm of Razer, the global lifestyle brand for gamers, has announced the acquisition of PT E2Pay Global Utama (E2Pay), one of the B2B2C digital payment facilitators and e-money players in Indonesia. Razer Fintech is already a O2O (offline to online) digital payment network in Southeast Asia, and this acquisition marks its further expansion into Indonesia.

E2Pay, which was founded in 2012, offers merchants and financial institutions a variety of payment solutions, including payment gateway, e-money, and remittance service licenses in Indonesia. These services complement Razer Merchant Services, Razer Fintech’s business-to-business arm in the region, which helps its 60,000 merchants make cross-border payments to the region’s most populous country.

E2Pay’s payment gateway supports high-growth e-Commerce verticals, including online marketplaces, professional services, travel & tourism, as well as other segments throughout Indonesia, with some of E2Pay’s most notable merchants consisting of Tokopedia, Bukalapak, Traveloka and Blibli.com.

The Indonesian fintech player also connects major payment channels and supports local and alternative payment methods, including card schemes, internet banking, mobile banking, e-money, virtual accounts, offline points, and personal financing to provide a comprehensive local payment platform for more than 500 merchants in the region.

The E2Pay e-money platform, MBayar, serves over 500,000 registered users and supports payments for credit or data plans, bill payments, QR payments, cash withdrawals and fund transfer services.

Razer Fintech’s CEO, Lee Li Meng, said that E2Pay is one of Indonesia’s very few digital payment players that has a comprehensive set of licenses across various payment gateway services, e-money, and remittance. 

“The acquisition of E2Pay allows us to accelerate our entry into Indonesia, one of the fastest-growing digital economies in Southeast Asia, as well as be able to better serve the digital payment needs of our regional and global merchants as the single partner of choice. I look forward to working closely with the E2Pay team to grow our presence in Indonesia considerably in the years to come,” Meng said.

E2Pay’s chairman, Rudy Danandjaja, commented, “E2Pay are very happy to have Razer Fintech onboard. We hope that the synergy between E2Pay and Razer Fintech will enable both organizations to tap on our merchant base to grow, expand and scale our platform’s reach across Southeast Asia.”