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500 Southeast Asia

Durians Daily #28: Amidst Covid-19, Grab donates over 1 million face masks to its driver and delivery-partners

Help is on the way.

1 million free masks

  • As its driver and delivery-partners are out and about making sure Malaysians get their daily supplies, 500-backed Grab has started delivering more than 1 million face masks directly to their homes.
Credit: Grab
  • This comes on top of ongoing health and wellbeing measures to help Grab’s delivery network, including a “Partner Protection Fund” and a “Partner Relief Fund” to help offset medical costs should a delivery partner is tested Covid-19 positive, or is under self-quarantine.

Adult toys and Animal Crossing

  • 500-backed iPrice’s latest survey on online consumer behavior habits of Southeast Asians during the Covid-19 pandemic focuses on Malaysia. Like the studies before, interesting and unexpected findings are to be found.
  • Major increases in search for trimming clippers at an average 17,652% increase. With hair salons and barbershops still barred from opening, you gotta do what you gotta do.
Credit: iPrice Malaysia
  • Meanwhile, there was also an unexpected (or expected?) rise in ‘adult’ wellness products such as sensual toys/vibrators (347%), fertility test kits (79%) and condoms (61%)
Credit: iPrice Malaysia
  • Malaysians caught the Animal Crossing fever as well, with a 17,427% search interest increase. The social simulation game is particularly popular now given current social distancing circumstances and lack of human contact.
  • More insights here.

Gnowbe launches DailyPulse

  • In times of physical isolation, human connection is scarce. With that in mind, 500-backed microlearning platform Gnowbe has launched DailyPulse — a global initiative designed to connect humans around the world through daily sessions of inspiration, connection and laughter.
Credit: Gnowbe
  • From singer-songwriter David Choi to management trainer Anthony Pangilinan, Daily Pulse features thought leaders and guests who will be sharing timely insights and stories on how they’re coping with the pandemic as people, like you and me.
  • The sessions take no more than 10 minutes so you can easily find time to join in.
  • Interested to know more? Head over here for more information on Daily Pulse.

What exactly is contact tracing?

  • “Contact tracing” is vital to contain new emerging outbreaks. Apple and Google are working together to set the base for governments and healthcare authorities to create their own contact tracing apps.
  • But what exactly is contact tracing? It’s little like detective work; part investigation, part public health work. Vox, the media group famous for its Netflix Explained series, goes in-depth into how contact tracing works and why it’s important in curbing the Covid-19 pandemic and future outbreaks.
  • Read the full story here.

Stay tuned to tomorrow’s Durians Daily!

Missed out on the last Durian Daily? Go here for a full recap.

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500 Startups is a venture capital firm on a mission to discover and back the world’s most talented entrepreneurs, help them create successful companies at scale, and build thriving global ecosystems. In Southeast Asia, 500 Startups invests through the pioneering 500 Durians family of funds. The 500 Durians funds have backed over 200 companies across multiple sectors from internet to consumer to deep technology. It continues to connect founders with capital, expertise and powerful regional and global networks to help them succeed.

This post is intended solely for general informational or educational purposes only. 500 Startups Management Company, L.L.C. and its affiliates (collectively “500 Startups”) makes no representation as to the accuracy or information in this post and while reasonable steps have been taken to ensure that the information herein is accurate and up-to-date, no liability can be accepted for any error or omissions. All third party links in this post have not been independently verified by 500 Startups and the inclusion of such links should not be interpreted as an endorsement or confirmation of the content within. Under no circumstances should any content in this post be construed as investment, legal, tax or accounting advice by 500 Startups, or an offer to sell or solicitation of interest to purchase any securities advised by 500 Startups. Prospective investors considering an investment into any 500 Startups fund should not consider or construe this content as fund marketing material. The views expressed herein are as at the date of this post and are subject to change without notice. A 500 Startups fund may have a financial interest in one or more of the companies discussed.

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