Marketing Featured ANZ

Magnolia opens up new office in Australia

Australia – Digital experience platform Magnolia has announced the opening of a new office, this time in Australia. This comes months after the company recently opened an office in Hong Kong as part of its APAC expansion.

This is the company’s eighth office in the region, with offices including in Singapore, Ho Chi Minh, Jakarta, Bangkok, Shanghai and Shenzhen.

The new Australian office also coincides with the recent appointment of James Hirka as the vice president of digital experience in APAC and the general manager for ANZ at Magnolia.

“Businesses in the ANZ market are recognizing the need to deliver engaging and personalised content experiences to their customers. This has led to a demand for more best-of-breed composable DXP solutions and we aim to provide them with the capabilities they need,” Hirka said.

Meanwhile, Don Lee, managing director at Magnolia APAC, commented, “Launching a new office in Sydney is only natural, given that we have both customers and partners in ANZ. With the appointment of James as the regional GM and his strong delivery experience, we are building a team whose key focus is around project success and empowering customers to deliver extraordinary digital experiences.” 

He added, “We are thrilled about this expansion and believe this will assuage our clients’ needs for local support and partnering with a truly global provider.”

Marketing Featured East Asia

AnyMind Group opens up new office in Shenzhen

Shenzhen, China – End-to-end commerce enablement company AnyMind Group has announced the opening of a branch office and commencement of operations in Shenzhen, China. As part of the new office opening, Ben Chien, managing director of Greater China, will oversee the Shenzhen office and lead the team there.

AnyMind Group’s Shenzhen office will also provide additional means for the company to hire engineering and product development talent from Mainland China. They can decide to be situated across the company’s four engineering hubs including Tokyo, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City and Bangalore, joining the company’s multinational development team of 20 nationalities from Asia, MENA, Europe and Latin America. 

This is AnyMind Group’s 19th office across 13 markets including Southeast Asia, East Asia, India and the Middle East. The company, which started operations in Singapore in April 2016, is now headquartered in Japan.

Chien joined AnyMind Group in 2018 through the acquisition of Hong Kong-based Acqua Media, a company he founded, and has been leading the company’s Greater China business including remotely working with businesses in Mainland China. 

He said, “We’re well-positioned to meet the unique needs of app publishers in Mainland China, where monetization is not just focused around advertising but also e-commerce and other channels. In time, we will expand our offerings in Mainland China that have already received great traction across Asia, providing our customers with core business infrastructure to advance the next generation of commerce.” 

Chien added, “In addition, we can already support businesses in Mainland China for cross-border expansion, and will be able to support our customers outside of Mainland China to tap into this growing and unique market.”

Meanwhile, Kosuke Sogo, CEO and co-founder at AnyMind Group, commented, “Under Ben’s entrepreneurial leadership, we have steadily grown the Greater China region over the years and I’m entrusting him to now scale our distinctive mix of technology and offerings into Mainland China, furthering our move to advance next-generation commerce across Asia. As a company, we’re always creating new value for our customers, not just through our technology, but also in opening up new possibilities for them, such as tapping into new markets to grow.”

Marketing Featured East Asia

Carro marks Japan expansion through SoftBank partnership

Singapore – Southeast Asian used car marketplace Carro is expanding its presence into Japan via a partnership with Japanese multinational conglomerate SoftBank. Through the partnership, Carro Japan aims to introduce its full suite of services, such as subscription-based services and car leasing in the local market.

The market expansion follows a local increase in demand for used cars and subscription-based services, resulting from the backdrop of rising prices of new vehicles and a growing need for car ownership. And yet, there has been difficulty of accurately assessing a used car’s valuation due to the inconsistent and lack of credible evaluation criteria.

With Carro’s Japan entry, it aims as well to support existing car dealers with leasing services and provide a highly competitive subscription-based service. In addition, Carro’s AI technology will be incorporated to accurately predict the valuation of used cars based on their history and data.

Meanwhile, SoftBank’s key role in Carro Japan will be to tailor services for the Japanese market, including marketing, sales, and collaboration with partner companies.

Aaron Tan, CEO and co-founder at Carro, said, “Japan is one of the leading automotive markets and most digitally-savvy countries in Asia. Our entry into Japan is the next natural step in growing our regional presence and helping traditional dealers expand their market reach across the country using our AI-technology-backed capabilities.”

With Carro’s entry into Japan, corporate clients can apply for the subscription-based service by stating their requirements for a used car via Carro Japan’s website, including vehicle size, mileage, non-smoking or smoking options, and more. A list of suitable used cars available for hire will be automatically generated for consideration

Tan added, “Over the next few years, we plan to capitalise on the growth of the used car market. We’ll start by providing car subscription services with SoftBank as a first step, and eventually plan to work with thousands of dealerships across Japan to play an active role in offering consumers a hassle-free buying and selling experience.”

Marketing Featured South Asia

Luxury fashion brand Balenciaga enters Indian market 

Mumbai, India – Global luxury fashion brand Balenciaga has announced its entry into the Indian market through a strategic deal with Reliance Brands Limited (RBL), the subsidiary of Reliance Retail Ventures of Reliance Industries.

With this long-term franchise agreement, RBL will be Balenciaga’s sole India partner to launch the brand in the country and this partnership will be RBL’s second with the parent group Kering, that houses Balenciaga.

Darshan Mehta, managing director of Reliance Brands Limited, said, “Few brands have actually embraced the opportunity for creative reinterpretation and reinvention quite like Balenciaga. Their avant-garde and ingenious creations, bold use of the logo, and a consequent cult in the fashion industry has already created a strong footing throughout the world.”

He added, “It’s the most opportune time to introduce the brand to the country as the Indian luxury customer has matured and using fashion as a form of creative expression of their individuality.”

Reliance Brands had recently inked a long-term distribution agreement with Italian luxury brand Valentino to bring it to India.

As of this writing, Reliance Brands currently houses luxury brands like Armani Exchange, Bally, Hamleys, Michael Kors, Muji, among others.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Starr Insurance Companies expands in Thailand

Bangkok, Thailand – Starr Insurance Companies has announced its expansion of services in Thailand by announcing an agreement with FPG Insurance Holdings Limited (HK) (FPG) and local Thai shareholders to purchase FPG Insurance Public Company Limited (FPG Thailand), a Thai non-life insurance company, together with local Thai parties.

Starr expects to strengthen local product offerings with tailored commercial insurance and accident and health (A&H) products and plans to further maximise its growth by recruiting and developing local Thai insurance talent. Previously, Starr supported the Thai insurance market primarily through its provision of reinsurance products, including technical risks, casualty, marine, and A&H products.

David Zuellig, FPG regional chairman, said, “This transaction reflects the standing of our franchises and is the product of the hard work, persistence, and determination of the FPG Thailand team despite challenging market conditions. The team is excited and ready to work with Starr in bringing the company to the next level.”

Meanwhile, Maurice R. Greenberg, chairman and CEO at Starr, commented, “Thailand is an important, fast-growing insurance market — one of the cornerstones of the Southeast Asia economy. Asia is both commercially and culturally important to Starr, as we trace our roots to an American-owned company founded in Shanghai more than 100 years ago. We look forward to serving the needs of local Thai companies and consumers through this new insurance capability.”

SME Featured Southeast Asia

Funding Societies marks new market expansion in Vietnam

Singapore – Small-and-medium enterprise (SME) digital financing platform Funding Societies has announced their latest market expansion in Vietnam, marking the company’s fifth market expansion. Said expansion aims to tap into the country’s growing yet financially underserved SME landscape.

Kelvin Teo, co-founder and group CEO at Funding Societies, said, “Since our inception in 2015, our vision is to uplift societies in Southeast Asia. Hence, Vietnam has always been part of our roadmap. This is an opportune time as we ride out of COVID-19, build a solid team with local finTech veteran Ryan Galloway, and secure investment from tech giant VNG. We believe that Vietnam will be one of our largest markets given its enormous potential.”

Earlier this year, Vietnamese tech giant VNG Corporation invested US$22.5m in Funding Societies as part of the fintech company’s US$294m series C+ fundraise, of which US$144m was raised in equity and US$150m in debt lines. Funding Societies also received the support of other notable investors in the funding round, including SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Rapyd Ventures, EDBI, Indies Capital, Ascend Vietnam Ventures, and K3 Ventures, among others. 

Through the aforementioned funding, VNG will help Funding Societies to quickly adapt to the local market so it can provide solutions tailored to the unique needs of Vietnamese businesses.

Meanwhile, Ryan Galloway, country director of Funding Societies Vietnam, commented, “Vietnam SMEs don’t have the same access to venture and early-stage capital markets as other Southeast Asian markets, but the Vietnam market is equally as competitive, so Vietnamese entrepreneurs are trained to do more with less. We see lots of opportunity in Vietnam and we’re excited to support the country’s burgeoning SME landscape as we continue to serve the needs of millions of SMEs across Southeast Asia.”

Recently, Funding Societies have invested alongside automotive car marketplace platform CARRO at Bank Index, an Indonesian national Bank. The move serves as a significant milestone in Funding Societies’ entry into the neobanking space.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts expands Thailand presence with four new hotels

Bangkok, Thailand – Global hotel chain Wyndham Hotels & Resorts has expanded its presence in Thailand with four new hotels in the capital city of Bangkok. They are Ramada By Wyndham Bangkok Sukhumvit 87 and Ramada Plaza by Wyndham Bangkok Sukhumvit 48 and two hotels located in the heart of Bangkok’s central business district – Wyndham Bangkok Queen Convention Centre and Wyndham Garden Bangkok Sukhumvit 42.

All four hotels in Bangkok are signed under a licence agreement with Siamese and Kew Green Company Limited – a joint partnership between local property developer, Siamese Wealth Company Limited and international hotel management operator, Kew Green Hotels.

The addition of the four new hotels will bring the company’s total operating portfolio to 17 hotels in Thailand, located in Bangkok, Phuket, and Krabi.

Joon Aun Ooi, president for Asia-Pacific at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, said, “We are honoured by the trust and confidence that Siamese and Kew Green Company Limited have in us for Thailand. Today, I am thrilled to mark the official debut of our Wyndham, Wyndham Garden, Ramada by Wyndham, and Ramada Plaza by Wyndham brands in Bangkok through our partnership with Siamese and Kew Green Company Limited. Bangkok is an exceptional travel destination that is home to historical landmarks and world-class cuisines.”

Meanwhile, Khun Kajonsit Singasansern, CEO at Siamese Asset Company, commented, “We are confident in Thailand’s position as a world-class tourism destination and we look forward to delivering world-renowned Thai hospitality alongside our partners, leading international hotel management company, Kew Green Hotels. As a prominent and award-winning property developer, we look forward to bringing together our collective expertise with the launch of these exceptional properties.”

Technology Featured Southeast Asia

DXP platform Magnolia opens up office in Indonesia

Singapore – Digital experience platform Magnolia has announced that it is opening up a new office in Jakarta, Indonesia as part of the company’s stride to deepen its presence in the Asia-Pacific region. The announcement follows after the platform has been recognised once more at the 2022 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Experience Platforms as a ‘Visionary’.

According to the company, they will be dedicating 30% of their operational budget to the local Indonesian office and 40% of their marketing budget for this market. Furthermore, they have four staff hired for Indonesia looking after technology, solutions and business development.

Don Lee, managing director for APAC at Magnolia, said, “Setting up operations in Indonesia was part of our plans back in early 2021 as this is a market that will require highly localised resources and consultancy, the Magnolia way. With the new office, we believe it will open up major opportunities for Magnolia and customers as more brands in Indonesia are evaluating digital tools that help them bolt on, and fully leverage, their expanding marketing ecosystems.”

Speaking about the challenges the company sees in the Indonesian market, they said that the DXP landscape is still in its infancy stage where there is a lack of awareness of DXP and the enormous business benefits it can bring.

“Many companies in Indonesia are either looking for a simple CMS, or overpaying for a complex, monolithic platform and we believe Magnolia fits perfectly into the sweet spot for what Indonesian brands look for – scalable, future-proof technology with Asian-centric pricing. Digital usage is uneven within and among various business sectors, with some departments more advanced than the others and the brand’s digital strategy can be compromised holistically,” the company explained.

This sentiment echoes Lee’s aspirations to make the DXP landscape more organic and customised to the client’s needs, as well as giving clients the ability to control their budget and strategy–which he explained to MARKETECH APAC during an episode for MARKETECH Spotlight.

“From there, they should aim to build a modular, organic DXP which has the capability to help them achieve their DX goals faster as they observe results. Investing in a composable DXP is key as it allows them to integrate with new or legacy martech functions seamlessly,” he said during the Spotlight interview.

Meanwhile, speaking about Magnolia’s placement, Lee highlighted Magnolia’s commitment to its customers. 

“It is an incredible honour for Magnolia to be recognised in the Visionary quadrant this year. We have been recognised in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for the second year in a row, a testament to our constant commitment to our customers and helping them transform the performance and attractiveness of their digital interactions with their customers,” he said.

To coincide with the opening, Magnolia has also launched its first Indonesian website to meet the growing demands for best-of-breeds enterprise CMS and composable DXP solutions in the region.

Magnolia has offices in APAC located in Singapore, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Bangkok, and Ho Chi Minh. 

Technology Featured East Asia

Wootag announces launch of HK operations

Hong Kong – Visual marketing SaaS company Wootag has announced the launch of its Hong Kong operation, aimed at supporting its growing client base in North Asia as well as expanding its global expansion blueprint.

Wootag’s expansion follows their latest US$1.7m funding round from Wavemaker, Cornerstone Venture Partners Fund (CSVP) and SEED Capital.

The company has served clients in Hong Kong since 2019, and recently launched its operations in North Asia to serve its growing list of clients in the region. The company will support the next phase of its growth through expanding its local marketing, sales, operations staff to support clients locally. 

Raj Sunder, CEO and founder at Wootag, said, “Since more and more consumers spend a quarter or more of their time on watching videos, the launch of the Hong Kong office will better position Wootag with a solid on-the-ground presence in the face of increasing demand for visual marketing solutions, and further accelerate our momentum in North Asia.”

He added, “As we are entering the era of always-on shopping, it’s now more important than ever that marketers need to engage with their target audience and better leverage the data-driven insights to adapt to the changing. We will fulfill the growing demand and empower marketers to engage meaningfully with the audience to drive better business outcomes.”

Technology Featured Southeast Asia

Zyllem expands to PH to meet growing demand for e-commerce logistics

Manila, Philippines – Zyllem, a global logistics technology company offering enterprise SaaS solutions, has announced its further expansion in the Philippines amidst a growing e-commerce market in the country.

Zyllem is a cloud-based software that allows companies to manage and operate their entire logistics distribution network in a more efficient, simplified, and transparent way. It counts pharmaceutical giant Zuellig Pharma, Metro Drug Inc, logistics firm Airspeed, and wholesale grocery distribution company Suy Sing as key clients in the Philippines and is actively looking to acquire more players in the market.

For Lisa Nguyen, chief operations officer and co-founder at Zyllem, the Philippines presents an exciting opportunity for them to help companies digitize and optimize their logistics network, eliminating legacy systems, despite the numerous unique logistical challenges that the country presents.

“Southeast Asia’s digital economy has been spurred on by the rapid pace of digitalisation from consumers and businesses and has witnessed unprecedented acceleration by the pandemic. Zyllem is poised to capitalize on this growth as more businesses are seeing the necessity to provide better and faster services, and look to optimize their logistics network to meet their customer’s orders. As the fastest growing digital economy in the region, the Philippines is an important market for us to achieve that,” Nguyen explained.

Meanwhile, Joanna Pawluczuk, head of sales at Zyllem, commented, “Logistics networks are often fragmented with companies having to manage multiple third party logistics partners and middlemen. Zyllem solves operational pain points with data gathered and fed into a unified dashboard, where customers will be able to take control of their logistic network and streamline their operations.”

She added, “We are able to optimize routes and reduce time spent on planning by 85%, allowing drivers to complete up to 30% more deliveries per day. With more predictable deliveries and real-time tracking, we also enhanced the experience for the end customer and eliminated the need for any customer calls

Since its go-to market in 2017, Zyllem has been working closely with pharmaceutical, logistics, retail and F&B brands to solve their supply chain problems across Asia. Headquartered in Singapore, Zyllem has presence in eight countries in Asia and manages two million monthly delivery orders, with 20% coming from the Philippines. Zyllem is funded by Philippines conglomerate JG Summit Holdings and leading early-stage venture capital firm Wavemaker Partners.