Marketing Featured East Asia

SEEK invests US$48m in South Korea’s job portal JobKorea

Singapore – As part of its vision to be one of the leading digital career platforms in the Asia-Pacific, tech company SEEK that owns recruitment marketplace platforms JobStreet and JobsDB, has announced investment amounting to US$48m to JobKorea, a South Korea-based online recruitment platform.

The investment entails SEEK having a 10% stake of JobKorea, as well as having Peter Bithos, CEO of SEEK, to join JobKorea’s board.

For Bithos, said investment partnership is a big win not only for SEEK and JobKorea, but more importantly for all jobseekers and employers in Asia, adding that with JobKorea, they can now touch the lives of an additional 25 million jobseekers and 5 million employers in one of the largest economies in the world.

“Through this investment, we look forward to helping JobKorea with our market-leading insights into big data, how to leverage AI, and our commercial and technical experience building the leading jobs and career marketplaces across APAC. We also look forward to learning from JobKorea as it continues to build on its leadership in one of Asia’s most dynamic, sophisticated markets,” he said.

This investment will provide an opportunity for SEEK to add value to JobKorea’s market-leading position, while SEEK focuses on its operations, fast-tracking its ongoing transformation and growth of its existing Asia businesses. SEEK’s digital teams continue to make major inroads in building products and solutions driven by AI and market data, which combined with SEEK’s deep local insights and resources in each location, differentiate it from other international players.

Meanwhile for JobKorea, this partnership will provide an opportunity to leverage SEEK’s experienced management team and their significant expertise in operating global online employment and human capital management platforms.

“We are delighted to have a partnership with SEEK, a company with a wealth of experience in the global online employment market. We believe that this relationship will be an opportunity for JobKorea to make a quantum leap to the next level. With competition becoming ever fiercer to hire talented people such as good managers, developers or tech specialists, JobKorea will move toward a global HR platform that connects the Korean employment marketplace internationally,” said Yoon Byung-joon, CEO at JobKorea.

At present, 90% of JobKorea is owned by Affinity Equity Partners (AEP), a global private equity player and the largest in Korea. AEP acquired 100% of JobKorea back in May 2021.

SEEK in Asia has also seen some corporate moves as well recently, with the appointment of former HOOQ marketing head Jane Cruz-Walker as its chief marketing officer.

Technology Featured APAC

ADA’s US$60m funding from SoftBank to help enhance company’s data, AI offering

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.

Platforms Featured Global

AnalogFolk invests in newly-launched content production Untold Fable

Singapore – Global creative agency AnalogFolk has announced its recent investment to Untold Fable, a newly-launched global content production company founded by entrepreneur Kate Tancred, who also serves as Untold Fable’s CEO.

AnalogFolk Group will become a majority shareholder of Untold Fable, and it will be running its specialist brands – AnalogFolk, Untold Fable and Serum (UK) – as stand-alone businesses.

Through the investment, Untold Fable will offer clients the added value of tapping into on-demand digital agency services from AnalogFolk. This joint offering is designed to provide one entry point for clients into the creativity and efficiencies of a tech-powered production offering and the strategic precision of on demand creative digital agency services.

Untold Fable was founded on a greater need for video and audio content across entertainment and advertising, to which the company aims to cater to by creating a platform that houses studios, sound designers, sound engineers, composers and voice talent from around the world, assisting brands with their audio identity while communicating with consumers via one of the fastest-growing ad formats in the world.

Furthermore, Untold Fable allows brands, publishers and agencies to also have the option to measure their diversity and inclusion (D&I) statistics across their productions throughout the year, empowering them to put the issue front and center by giving them the data when it comes time to commission talent. 

According to data from branding and design company IMPACT, 70% of consumers have shared a brand’s video, with 52% saying watching product videos makes them more confident in online purchase decisions. About 72% of businesses, meanwhile, stated video has improved their conversion rate. 

“It is the first community-based production model to be built with diversity at its heart, promising to ensure the makeup of the network reflects the world we live in as well as launching technology features that make connecting with traditionally underrepresented talent from the creative industry much more accessible to clients,” the company said in a press statement.

With the existing footprint of AnalogFolk globally, Untold Fable will offer clients on-the-ground teams in London, New York, Sydney, Amsterdam, Hong Kong and Singapore from day one. 

“I spent the last 10 years driving the efficiencies and creativity of a tech powered production offering. Untold Fable expands on that model by connecting clients with a curated network of diverse, award-winning talent and layering over digital creative services from one of the most celebrated independent digital agencies in the world. Combining these offerings enables us to produce audio and video content in a way that the industry is yet to experience,” Tancred said.

Meanwhile, for AnalogFolk founder and chief client officer Bill Brock, their recent investment in Untold Fable speaks to the agency’s mission of using “digital to make the analog world better.”

“With the launch of Untold Fable, we not only diversify the group’s offering, we break exciting new ground on this enduring mission. We’re leveraging the power of technology to make it easier than ever before for brands and publishers to work with a more diverse talent pool,” Brock stated.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Gojek’s Bank Jago investment a move in Indonesia’s financial inclusion

Jakarta, Indonesia – Technology group Gojek has announced its investment to technology-based Bank Jago as part of a strategic partnership for Indonesia’s accelerated financial inclusion.

Within the partnership, Gojek and Bank Jago aim to bring digital banking closer to users through Gojek’s payment platform GoPay. Users can now open a Bank Jago account and manage it through the Gojek app. The partnership will also act as a model through which Gojek will go on to partner with other banking institutions to support them in reaching more customers.

For Gojek CEO Andre Soelistyo, the newly-forged partnership is a strategic move to get banks working for the superapp, hence leveraging Gojek’s purpose to be an accessible financial platform for Indonesians.

“Our partnership with Jago marks the latest milestone in our drive to reduce daily friction for users and improve their lives through technology. It is a key part of our strategy and will underpin the growth and sustainability of our business in the long term. Jago’s tech-based banking solutions will supercharge Gojek’s ecosystem offerings and facilitate access to banking services for the mass market, thereby supporting our common vision to accelerate financial inclusion in Indonesia,” Soelistyo stated.

The investment, made through Gojek’s financial and investment arm, would mean that 22% of Bank Jago will be held by Gojek.

On the other hand, Bank Jago’s president director Kharim Siregar, expressed high hopes for the new partnership, as it complements the Bank’s broad expertise to Indonesian financial needs.

“We believe that this strategic collaboration – between a tech-based bank like Bank Jago and a Super App like Gojek – is the first of its kind in Indonesia and Southeast Asia and represents a new way to spur growth in digital economies. As a bank designed with an open API, we will go on to work with multiple digital ecosystems to reach a wider audience and drive our aspiration to enhance the finances of millions of people through digital financial solutions,” said Siregar.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Microsoft, Indonesian e-commerce Bukalapak forge new strategic partnership

Jakarta, Indonesia – Tech giant Microsoft and Indonesian e-commerce platform Bukalapak have announced a new strategic partnership to reshape the e-commerce scene in the country.

Within the parameters of the partnership, Microsoft will invest for Bukalapak, while the local e-commerce platform will make sure it will use Microsoft Azure as its preferred cloud platform. Furthermore, the recently-forged partnership would also mean solving the digital gap in the country and training Bukalapak merchants and employees for much-needed digital skills in the e-commerce scene.

The partnership agreement, attended by Haris-Izmee, President Director of Microsoft Indonesia (center) and Rachmat Kaimuddin, CEO of Bukalapak (right). The agreeement is witnessed virtually also by Jean-Philippe Courtois, Executive Vice President and President, Microsoft Global Sales, Marketing and Operations (background left). (Photo Courtesy of Microsoft News)

“This partnership signals a deep collaboration with Microsoft on an array of technology projects that will transform the technology-driven commerce solutions and operations solution and operations in Indonesia,” said Rachmat Kaimuddin, CEO of Bukalapak

Haris Izmee, President Director of Microsoft Indonesia also commented, “Through this partnership, merchants and consumers will have more efficient and reliable buying and selling experiences, which in turn, creates business resilience and helps accelerate growth in the Indonesian digital economy.”

The recent partnership is in line with Bukalapak’s mission of broadening Indonesia’s awareness of the digital world by providing services such as financial services, payment options, and credit services.