Singapore – This Christmas season, Grab celebrates its food merchants across Southeast Asia by featuring their signature meals as the focus of the company’s latest billboard commercial at the Nasdaq Tower in Times Square. 

In this case, Grab has set aside the area to provide 53 domestic retailers visibility on the international scene. The program seeks to show the wide variety of culinary options that visitors can choose from when visiting Southeast Asia using the Grab app. 

The advertisement features a variety of regional favourites, such as Crispy Sisig from the Philippines, Prata from Singapore, Nasi Campur from Indonesia, Nasi Lemak Ayam Goreng from Malaysia, and Bánh mì from Vietnam.

Grab has used the billboard space since its launching in 2021 to thank and recognize Grabbers, its community of driver, delivery, and merchant partners that assiduously service millions of customers every day throughout the area.

Although Grab is known for its ride-hailing service, international passengers are also becoming more aware of its food choices. For travellers from North America coming to Southeast Asia, a significant inbound travel market for the area, this peak travel season offers an opportunity to solidify Grab’s lead in the food sector.

In line with this, Grab has created the Traveller Homepage to help travellers plan their trips, particularly in unfamiliar areas. This feature allows users to navigate a city within the Grab app. Travellers can browse for points of interest, peruse the region’s cuisines and restaurants, and save their discoveries to a personalised list, which is available for 33 of the biggest cities often visited by visitors in Southeast Asia.

Singapore – Along with the peak season of summer 2023, consumers are turning to their mobile devices more than ever before for travel and transportation needs, increasing year-over-year usage by 14%, which is more than three times the total from the summer of 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report by mobile analytics provider

Data from the report mainly suggests that time spent in travel apps reached new heights with time spent on Android phones surpassing four billion hours, or an average of more than one billion hours per month, between May and August 2023.

Interestingly, the increase in time spent between 2022 and 2023 came mostly from apps used for more day-to-day travel, not vacations. Transportation apps and rail & coach booking apps had significant increases in time spent in the summer 2023 season.

Meanwhile, apps related to vacation and business travel like integrated travel service, hotel booking, and airline apps, were able to mostly maintain the gains seen from the previous year, with time spent in these apps notably surging in the summer of 2022 with consumers planning trips for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

The report also listed the travel and transportation apps that saw the most time spent in the summer of 2023, with transportation apps being prominent in the list with apps such as Where is my Train, inDrive, and Grab Driver being top breakout apps of the season. 

However, apps outside of the transportation subgenre such as Flightradar24, United Airlines, Trainline, and Jet2 managed to reach the top breakout rankings in many key markets like the US and the UK. 

“The trend seen in the results suggests that this is not just a one-off spike following the pent-up demand after pandemic-related travel restrictions, and that these travel and transportation apps will continue to see positive growth, especially during peak travel seasons,” said in a press statement.

Manila, Philippines – Digital life insurer Singlife Philippines and personal finance marketplace Moneymax has announced their collaboration to make the first-ever Philippine mobile life insurance app through the launching of the ‘Singlife Plan & Protect’ app.

The app enables users to build an emergency fund with a high-interest account, access a guided financial planning tool, and buy customizable life insurance & investment products.

The newly formed partnership is the first of its kind for both digital platforms. For Moneymax, it marks the launch of its life insurance offering in addition to its travel and fire insurance pages, which were launched earlier this year. On the other hand, Singlife will be leveraging its platform to provide fuss-free financial solutions that in the past were only available through traditional means.

Commenting on the app launch, Rien Hermans, CEO of Singlife Philippines, said, “Unexpected life events—such as disability or even death of the family breadwinner, or serious illnesses within the family—can drain a lifetime’s worth of savings and even worse, confront families with a high, hard-to-pay-back debt.”

“For the Juans and Marias of today who work hard and plan to achieve their goals, we want to empower them—with the help of Moneymax—to take control of their hard-earned money. The Singlife Plan & Protect App can guide them through taking proactive steps to make sure they will always have money when they need it”, he added. 

Meanwhile, Prashant Aggarwal, CEO of MoneyHero Group, commented, “Through our strategic partnership with Singlife, we strengthen our commitment to expanding our offers and increasing awareness of digital insurance in the country. Moneymax and Singlife share the same mission of helping customers find financial products that best match their needs and budget, which is what this partnership is all about.”

Singapore – As part of its Asia expansion, Bondee announced the appointment of Fei Yu as their new chief executive officer in order to lead the company outside of their Singapore headquarters.

In her new role, Yu will be accelerating Bondee’s expansion effort and overseeing the platform’s key operations and business developments, seeking to build out a talented team across different functions at its headquarters in Singapore and global offices across Japan, South Korea, and China.

With an extensive background in the technology industry and a proven track record of leadership, Yu brings a wealth of expertise to Bondee. Having held several key senior roles in leading tech firms over the past two decades, including at Meta, Google and Microsoft, Yu is no stranger to driving market transformation through leveraging technologies and empowering businesses to grow by harnessing the latest innovations. Fei is also a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion, with a focus on growing female leadership in business and society.

Speaking on her own appointment, Yu expresses her excitement to join Bondee as its CEO along with the upcoming expansion efforts. 

“Over the past twenty years in the industry, I’ve seen first-hand how the Internet has evolved and transformed the way people connect, share, and engage. With its commitment to transforming the way people connect with the world, Bondee is well-positioned to bring significant changes to this space by harnessing its innovative platform that creates an even more engaging and enriching experience, while making a positive impact on society. Together with our talented and dedicated team at Bondee, we are proud to be rooted in Singapore as our home base,” she added.

Hong Kong – Sanrio Hong Kong, a lifestyle company featuring the pop icon Hello Kitty and other well-known characters, partners up with MetaGaia, an AI-enhanced open metaverse, to unveil a new metaverse destination known as ‘Hello Kitty Seven Wonders’.

Through this, Hello Kitty fans will have the opportunity to create their own communities and connect with their favourite characters in a brand-new virtual world by visiting the digital destination within the MetaGaia app.

Additionally, outdoor installations to promote Hello Kitty Seven Wonders were opened last week at Citygate Outlets, an outlet mall in Hong Kong. This temporary pop-up event enables visitors to enjoy augmented reality experiences through the MetaGaia app as well as to browse Hello Kitty merchandise and participate in mini-games. The pop-up event is scheduled to run until August 31, providing an exciting opportunity for fans to immerse themselves in the Hello Kitty universe.

Commenting on the partnership, Gordon Kwok, CEO of MetaGaia, said, “We are thrilled to partner with Sanrio Hong Kong and bring the beloved characters of Hello Kitty and her friends into the world of MetaGaia. The MetaGaia metaverse offers endless possibilities for exploration and socialisation, and the addition of Hello Kitty will enhance that experience for our users.”

Singapore – Gorilla, the mobile telecommunications branch of Society Pass (SoPa), a fintech and e-commerce ecosystem in Southeast Asia, has announced the release of its latest mobile telecommunications app, which aims to deliver a broad range of capable digital mobile communication options intended for both SEA travellers and working professionals.

With its e-SIM technology, Gorilla collaborated with more than 500 mobile operators in 190 countries to provide roaming mobile data to business travellers in the SEA region and globally. This product functions as a virtual SIM card integrated into the user’s phone, removing the need for a physical SIM card. It will allow customers to manage numerous cellular providers on a single device, allowing for seamless travel as well as distinct personal and commercial subscriptions. 

The Gorilla telco will launch its ‘Switchback Rewards’ feature in 2023, where users can utilise this tool to convert unused mobile data and credit into SOPA loyalty points, which can be redeemed for incentives and offers across the SOPA platform. Gorilla’s virtual mobile number provides consumers with low-cost data plans for global internet connectivity.

Rokas Sidlauskas, chief marketing officer of SoPa, explainsed that Gorilla’s next-generation technology is targeted at the fast-growing business travel segment here in SEA. 

“Our digital e-SIM product allows customers to buy data credit and stay connected online with their mobile devices while travelling abroad. By 2H 2023, our suite of services will expand into local e-SIM provisions. Gorilla plans to offer a revolutionary Switchback Rewards feature, allowing any unused mobile data and credit to be converted into SOPA Loyalty Points and redeemed for awards across the ecosystem,” he said.

Singapore – Wunderman Thompson has announced the expansion of Magpie, its own peer-to-peer mentoring app for women, across Asia-Pacific. This follows after the launch of said app in the United Kingdom during International Women’s Day.

Said app aims to empower and connect women across the business using a matchmaking style app based on each individual mentor’s expertise and knowledge. 

Complimenting longer-term mentoring schemes available in the industry, Magpie connects women for peer mentorship on specific/individual needs, featuring 15 themes ranging from maternity and motherhood, leadership, building your personal brand, and managing stress.

Originally launched in the UK on International Women’s Day in 2022, the app was created by RISE, Wunderman Thompson UK’s women’s network, and was born from a desire to create a self-serve platform to form connections and support Wunderman Thompson’s women who account for half of the agency’s workforce.

After a successful pilot scheme across the agency’s APAC offices, Magpie will launch the app across the region’s talent on 8th March, supporting their women’s network Ladybirds, which aims to strengthen representation and gender parity across the region through networking, mentoring, events. and knowledge sharing. 

Lindsay Shirley, chief people officer for Wunderman Thompson APAC, said, “As senior leaders, we have an obligation to mentor and support women to build their careers and thrive at Wunderman Thompson. Many women have wanted a mentor but not known where to find one, Magpie has helped us bridge that gap and we’re thankful to RISE UK for it.” 

Meanwhile, Supria Dutta, head of talent for Wunderman Thompson APAC and Ladybirds member, commented, “We are excited to bring Magpie to our region on International Women’s Day. This unique peer mentorship app has the potential to build bridges between women on all levels and potentially open doors for active sponsorship.”

Singapore – The downloads of food and drink apps globally have hit 1.7 billion during the last year, ending March 2022, up nearly 10% year-over-year (YoY). In terms of the app downloads in SEA, Indonesia saw the largest growth with a nearly 88% YoY increase as compared to the other three countries, which are the Philippines with over 48%, Singapore with more than 10%, and Thailand with over 25%, according to a report by global data AI company,

The report also found that time spent on food and drinks apps has grown 65% YoY globally in the last year. In Indonesia, the time spent on food and drinks jumped nearly fivefold to 423 million hours as compared to the past year. Besides Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines have also taken the sixth and seventh spots when it comes to the total time spent on food and drink apps across the globe, up 70% and 180% respectively.

Moreover, Malaysia with over 130%, Vietnam with more than 150%, and Singapore with over 145% have also made it to the list of top 25 global markets by time spent, signalling growth opportunities for the region as more Southeast Asians take their food and drinks ‘more seriously’.

The same report revealed the emergence and expansion of new local players and overseas competitors such as Grab, foodpanda, and McDonald’s, amongst others in the region, which allow consumers to easily access their favourite food and drinks stores. 

“Growth in Food & Drink downloads indicates the market is ripe for user acquisition, but competition is heating up. Growth in total sessions highlights that consumers are forming habits and relying on these apps more than ever to access appetizing food — restaurant-quality or home cooking ready — at the tap of an app,” said Lexi Sydow, head of insights at

Singapore – Global mobile data analytics tool provider, formerly known as App Annie, has launched two new offerings to the public regarding measuring data on a mobile application’s ranking, as well as data intelligence, including performance against similar apps.

The first offering, ‘Top Charts’, shows a daily update of the top apps across more than 190 countries and 46 app store categories in a fully customisable view. Said offering gives users unprecedented access to’s market-leading unification and best-in-class rankings — illuminating the digital landscape for all.

This feature includes holistic downloads and revenue ranks unified across iOS and Google Play combined, top daily active user ranking charts for all smartphone devices combined, top software development kits (SDKs) installed on all smartphone devices across 34 SDK types, as well as store ranks for iOS, Google Play, Mac, Amazon and Apple TV for free downloads, paid downloads and app store revenue.

“Never before has the industry had widespread access to top charts covering the leading mobile apps, games and SDKs. goes beyond app store ranks to give unified views for downloads, revenue, active users and SDK installs — illuminating the mobile landscape with more data than ever before,” the company said in a press statement.

Meanwhile, the ‘Free Intelligence’ offering will include the following tools, namely ‘Insights Generator’ which is a tool for unearthing advanced competitive analysis around monetization, audience attention, stickiness, engagement depth, and growth stage; ‘Compare Apps Report’ which allows the user to benchmark directly against their competitive set; and ‘Ratings Over Time’, allowing you to understand how a user or their competitors ratings change over time in response to new features and app updates.

“In an industry-first move, we are also upleveling access to competitive benchmarking of top-performing apps. We have unlocked 3.5 million additional top charts to enable you to get a view into apps, technology, and company trends for up to 190 countries and across 46 categories,” the company added.

Singapore — AppsFlyer has released its first retargeting report; The State of App Retargeting 2020 Edition. The report showed that Asia Pacific’s marketers have utilized retargeting most effectively, with the region having the highest rate of retargeting conversions across all verticals, compared with all other regions. 

Commenting on the report, Beverly Chen, Marketing Director, APAC, AppsFlyer, said, “As app stores become increasingly crowded and app marketers find it more difficult to gain the attention of users and drive conversions, retargeting has proven to be a reliable engagement tactic, surpassing even user-acquisition in growth. APAC is leading the way to this adoption with a 36.4% average share in the global pie of retargeting conversions, followed closely by the Middle East & Africa’s 35.3% and North America trailing last with 29.5%.”

Without a doubt, retargeting has proven to be an effective tool for marketers that enjoy the benefits of further driving retention, while taking advantage of the opportunity for sustained growth.

Beverly Chen, Marketing Director, APAC, AppsFlyer

In Asia Pacific, over 1.6 billion retargeting conversions were analyzed alongside 2.5 billion non-organic app installs across 22,000 apps from 2018 to 2020. 

Lifestyle verticals utilizing retargeting

The report highlighted that shopping is not only the vertical with the highest share of retargeting, it has also rapidly grown by 27% in Asia Pacific, followed by hardcore gaming (strategy and role-playing games), which has grown by 32%. Asia Pacific’s mobile market is very focused on shopping, and a large investment in that vertical is undertaken because of it being a less expensive option of owned media. 

Appsflyer Average Retargeting Share

In Indonesia itself, Shopping vertical grew from 39.8% in 2018 to 66.1% in 2020. The reason for this is retargeting is a natural fit for this vertical; direct response campaigns encourage action, which drives purchases of products users expressed interest in. Vietnam also saw a large growth in the shopping vertical, from 61.4% in 2018 to 73.9% in 2020.

In Indonesia, Entertainment apps showed the largest growth amongst other retargeting led the way with a nearly 40% increase in retargeting adoption between 2019 (25.6%) and 2020 (35.5%). Adoption of retargeting in APAC among non-gaming apps is widespread. The rate in Shopping and Food & Drink is so high that there is not much room for additional growth. In Asia Pacific, entertainment apps grew from 24% in 2018 to 30% in 2020. However, Thailand’s retargeting adoption rate in Entertainment outranks that in Indonesia, however, with an increase in the same period of time of 140% from 21.6% in 2019 to 51.7% in 2020. 

The Coronavirus Effect

In order to account for the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the State of App Retargeting: 2020 report looked at two different time frames: a year-over-year comparison of January and February 2018-2020 prior to the outbreak and lockdown, and pre-COVID-19 data from the end of February through April 2020. As lockdowns took place in many countries, marketers in the Finance and Gaming verticals used it as an opportunity for growth. 

Appsfyler Indonesia

Finance apps showed to grow by 30% year on year, reflecting the increasing popularity of this vertical in Asia Pacific by both entrepreneurs and developers. In Indonesia itself, retargeting conversions increased 400% in two weeks (from the week of February 24th 2020 to the week of March 3rd 2020) and then plunged in the following weeks. 

In Indonesia, the finance vertical is known for the diversity of solutions and high adoption rate by users. Marketers turned to owned media to ramp up their marketing with paid media to increase their emphasis on retargeting through owned channels like email, push notifications and SMS. 

With more people spending time at home, the high volume of activity in the mobile gaming industry was reflected. Marketers in the gaming industry also preferred using owned channels, with the report highlighting an increase from 8.9% retargeting conversion in the end of February to 14% in Week 9, a 67% increase. This is a significant increase from paid media figures of 2%-4% during the same period. 

The State of App Retargeting: 2020 Report is available here