Singapore – TikTok has announced the debut of its leadership development programme, ‘TikTok Academy: Elevate’ across Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

This program marks the first edition of TikTok Academy’s strategic initiatives in Southeast Asia for agency partners, emphasising their commitment to the media industry and nurturing future leaders within the industry.

Themed ‘Nature Meets Nurture: Through the Lens of the Future’, the programme will see TikTok working in close collaboration with a cohort of 350 emerging agency leaders with 5 to 8 years of experience.

These leaders will be nominated by their agencies and will fall under the categories of a “Changemaker” who takes creative action to solve a problem and spark transformative change, a “Storyteller” who is devoted to producing a compelling narrative using words, art, and science to share experiences and ideas, and a “Playmaker” who raises the standard of play within the team and puts others in a position to score.

Going into more detail, TikTok Academy: Elevate will comprise three bi-weekly virtual workshop sessions from 21 March until 18 April 2024. Each workshop session will present challenges for participants to take part in, which aims to either encapsulate the session’s theme or leverage the strengths of participants, enhancing their understanding of the evolving marketing landscape, emerging platforms like TikTok for advertising and marketing, and giving them space to self-reflect on their career growth.

Talking about this initiative, Matty Lin, general manager, global business solutions, TikTok Southeast Asia, said, “We are always on the lookout for how we can support our agency partners with the right resources to guide them in their endeavours. As we strive to be their trusted destination for creative marketing solutions, we hope that our leadership programme will significantly enhance the capabilities of next-generation talent to be self-aware future leaders of the industry. Together, we are committed to cultivating a partnership that propels their industry prominence to new heights.”

Singapore – Data and artificial intelligence (AI) company ADA has announced that it has received a new strategic investment from Japanese multinational conglomerate SoftBank, amounting to US$60m in funding.

ADA aims that with this investment, they can continue on the development of AI models, with primary focus on precision targeting for the marketing industry; invest in content analytics and automation of content creation; and also create data platforms to deliver consumer insights, predict consumer mindset, and help business decisioning.

The strategic investment will entitle SoftBank to a 23.07% shareholding of ADA, establishing ADA’s valuation at US$260m.

“The post-COVID-19 norm is a ‘digital-first’ economy, which ADA has been successfully building towards. We are very excited to welcome SoftBank Corp. as a valuable partner in our next phase of growth. The capital and business alliance with SoftBank Corp. will further propel ADA’s analytics, data, and AI digital marketing solutions for the benefit of our customers across the region,” according to Srinivas Gattamneni, CEO at ADA.

Meanwhile, Daichi Nozaki, vice president and head of the enterprise business unit’s global business division at SoftBank believes that their investment in ADA will help reshape the digital marketing and data landscape in the Asia-Pacific region.

“This move is part of our ‘Beyond Carrier’ growth strategy as we seek to expand beyond the traditional telecommunications business; and by combining our diversified solutions and technologies with ADA’s expertise in the area of analytics, data, and AI digital marketing, we expect we can both generate significant synergies,” Nozaki said.

ADA has recently been expanding its data and AI-oriented services across Asia Pacific, such as launching its martech service, an end-to-end e-commerce service, and its partnership with Insider for data-led enterprise marketing endeavors.

“We welcome the investments by SoftBank Corp., which brings tremendous growth opportunities for ADA. It also marks a significant milestone, especially with Southeast Asia’s digital market poised to potentially become one of the world’s top five digital economies. The investment from SoftBank Corp. is recognition of ADA as the vehicle to capture the ensuing growth,” Mohd Khairil Abdullah, chairman at ADA, concluded.