500 Southeast Asia
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500 Southeast Asia

Durians Daily #79: The property market in Singapore and Indonesia is bouncing back, says 99.co CEO; Food startup Grain has sights to grow aggressively in Thailand; Grab launches credit card with Maybank and Mastercard in Malaysia

It’s coming back

  • Darius Cheung, co-founder and CEO of 500-backed property marketplace 99.co, told KrAsia that the real estate sectors in Singapore and Indonesia are bouncing back after being hard-hit by the Covid-19 pandemic earlier this year.
  • “We saw transaction volume in April and May significantly drop by 60% in Singapore and Indonesia, but it has completely recovered in June,” Darius said.
  • The upward trend spurred property agents and companies to jump on 99.co to showcase their listings. One new method of doing so is via a feature called Video Listing, allowing agents to upload a video into their listings for potential buyers to view a property virtually.
Credit: Tech In Asia
  • “Within the first quarter of 2020, the number of agents who uploaded videos increased from 5% to 25%,” Darius revealed.
  • For 99.co, the spread of Covid-19 hasn’t really impacted its business. In fact, the company saw some positive developments.
  • Monthly traffic across 99.co’s three sites — 99.co, Rumah123, and iProperty.com.sg — increased from 13 million visits in February to 19 million in June. The company’s revenues also increased by 20% in the last six months.
  • Read Darius’ interview with KrAsia here.

Grain gaining in Thailand

  • Singapore-based and 500-backed online food delivery startup Grain has ambitious plans for Thailand.
  • Grain entered the Thai market in May this year. Two months after launch, it is now serving its brand of wholesome and healthy meals to locations around Bangkok via three branches at Thonglor, Surasak and Phloen Chit.
  • Together with the new locations are five creative culinary projects, each offering a different gastronomic experience: Wokaholic (American-Chinese food), Hot Chick Buns (chicken-centric fast food), Holy Kao!, and Krua Soi 9 (Thai favorites) and Fareground (a virtual food hall).
Credit: Thailand Tatler
  • Grain focuses on ensuring dishes are cooked to order with high-quality ingredients. Besides, everything from the ordering system to the delivery is overseen in-house.
  • Currently, it works with GrabFood, foodpanda, and Line Man to fulfill delivery orders.
  • Meanwhile, all takeaway boxes and cutleries are made with environmentally friendly materials. Hygiene and sanitation are of utmost importance as well, with temperature checks of staff and cleaning routines.
  • Grain Thailand country manager Apinait spoke to Thailand Tatler about the company’s latest expansion and why they decided on this new venture amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.

Your new credit card

  • Malaysia’s leading banking group Maybank has unveiled the Maybank Grab Mastercard Platinum Credit Card, done in partnership with 500-backed ride-hailing company Grab and Mastercard.
  • With this launch, cardholders will be able to receive increased GrabReward points quickly and more easily, which can then be used to redeem any Grab or partner vouchers, offset bills, and make payments.
  • The card comes in either Black or White color options. The front of the card is clean without any card details and it also supports contactless payments. However, the card number, name, expiry, and CVV are all printed at the back.
Credit: The Edge Markets
  • According to the official website, users get 5x GrabRewards points for every RM1 spend on Grab, 2x GrabRewards points for every RM1 transaction spend on overseas merchants and e-commerce platforms, and 1x GrabRewards points for every RM3 spend in Malaysia (excluding any Grab and e-commerce transactions).
  • Prior to this, Grab had launched a GrabPay card in Singapore and the Philippines.
  • To know more about the Maybank Grab Mastercard Platinum Credit Card, go here.

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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. Information about portfolio companies’ markets, competitors, performance, and fundraising has been provided by those companies’ founders and has not been independently verified. 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 provide any investment advisory service with regard to securities by 500 Startups. No content or information in this post should be construed as 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. One or more 500 Startups fund may have a financial interest in one or more of the companies discussed.

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500 Southeast Asia

500 Southeast Asia

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500 Southeast Asia is an early-stage VC firm; The company has backed over 250 companies across multiple sectors from internet to consumer to deep technology.