Category Archives: Press Release

Telr Aims to Revolutionize Online and Mobile Payments in Emerging Markets by Ex-MD of Paypal Middle East & North Africa

Telr Aims to Revolutionize Online and Mobile Payments in the emerging markets

For immediate release, Singapore, March 4th 2014 – Ex-Managing Director of PayPal Middle East and North Africa, Elias Ghanem, has started Telr, a multi-currency and multi-lingual payment gateway for SMEs to transform the $100 billion online and mobile payments market1 in the Middle East, Africa and South East Asia.

Ex-Managing Director of Paypal Middle East & North Africa launches Telr
Ex-Managing Director of Paypal Middle East & North Africa launches Telr

Despite having a wide variety of payment gateways (PG) around the world, major problems still exist for e-commerce in emerging markets. PG integration can often be slow, costly and complex. Most merchants face difficulty and high cost of integration, absence of working capital financing and lacking unified payment and logistics integration. Telr aims to solve these three crucial challenges.

“Through my career, I’ve met hundreds of entrepreneurs who face the same hassle when it comes to taking their business online,” says Ghanem, CEO and Co-founder of Telr. “Our payment gateway will allow them to focus on their core business and offer the best customer experience possible.”

Having a tagline of “Your Language. Your Currency.” Telr will provide online and mobile multi-currencies Payment Gateway (PG) processing services to merchants in emerging markets, in the consumer’s currency and language of choice.

Telr’s competitive advantages:

Legacy Payment Gateways


Consumer experience only in English Language of consumer
Only in USD currency Currency of consumer
Setup is inefficient, expensive, time-consuming Setup is fast with no upfront costs
Lacking mobile payments Mobile payments enabled
Basic payment services and no financing services Tokenization, insurance and financing
Only Cards payments and no solution for C.O.D. Multiple funding sources and solution for C.O.D.


Telr’s suite of services aims to maximize the merchant growth thanks to an easy access to the proceeds (either in local bank or on a dedicated, card-linked account) and other financial services, such as working capital loans and invoice factoring, enabling SMEs to kick-start and grow their online business.

“Telr aims to significantly contribute to the growth of eCommerce merchants. Especially in high growth regions where currently consumers mostly purchase online from e-stores in US, Europe and Asia for the lack of local supply.” says Ghanem.

The main differences between Telr and other PGs are Telr’s management team and proprietary technology. Telr’s team has more than 25 years of extensive experience in cards, online payments and PG set up from Paypal, Visa and HSBC. As part of Singapore’s leading Financial Tech startup accelerator GHX, Telr will get an established advisory board well versed in e-Retailing, banking, Cards schemes, Compliance, Risk and Fraud management.

GHX will also provide technology leaders with decades of experience in platform architecture and management. With that, Telr is built to enable merchants to quickly and simply offer payments solutions from multiple funding sources (cards, bank direct debit, wallets, domestic schemes and proprietary prepaid cards) in multiple languages and local currencies.

“The inefficiencies in most payment gateways make the industry ripe for disruption. Elias’ team has the credentials to drive the payment revolution that everyone wants to see,” says John Fearon, Chairman of GHX.

Telr is headquartered in Singapore with an Operational HQ in Dubai. It aims to contribute to the acceleration of the growth of the eCommerce by expanding its coverage across all the high growth markets in the Middle East, Africa and South East Asia.

Further information about the Founder and Company:

Elias Ghanem, CEO and co-founder of

Ex Managing Director of Paypal Middle East & North Africa Launches Revolutionary Mobile Payment Gateway

Former MD of PayPal Middle East and North Africa and previously MD of PayPal South East Asia and India, a long-time senior executive at Visa Inc., Mr. Ghanem is a proven payment industry leader with a strong entrepreneurial drive and years of success in managing e-payment solutions. He has developed strategic partnerships and customer acquisition programs leading growth in top line, bottom line, market share and shareholder value worldwide, and has a solid track record of breakthrough results in regional leadership roles at PayPal/eBay, Visa, and Accor Group in the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Latin America. Fluent in five languages, and a 2013 nominee for the Arabian Business “Mentor of the Year” award, Mr. Ghanem is recognized as an inspiring, collaborative leader with solid influencing skills and ability to motivate and lead people in diverse cultural environments

GHX (Gilcrux Holdings) is one of the world’s most innovative investment holding companies. Founded by South African serial entrepreneur, John Fearon, GHX holds his equity in a growing number of exciting startups and established businesses. Spread across many industries, all entities in the GHX portfolio have in common to add technology to traditional businesses (financial services, insurance, invoice factoring, site back-ups, contracting hiring) to accelerate market penetration and improve on consumer experience in a cost-effective and fast growing manner. All entities aim to be game changing and go after grand ideas. GHX supports passionate entrepreneurs in their quest to improve the world – aiming to find interesting ways to disrupt established fields and do it bigger, faster and better.

Between 5 million downloads milestone and 2.0 launch

Mobile Couple App Between Hits 5 Million Downloads, Releases Version 2.0 As Part Of Global Expansion Strategy

South Korea, 20 December 2013 – Leading mobile couple application, Between, today announced that it has crossed the 5 million global downloads milestone. This announcement comes together with the launch of Between 2.0, the first major update since its official release in March 2012, as the company continues its push into the global market.

South Korea is currently Between’s strongest market, with 60% of downloads coming from the country. Japan and China both hold 10% of Between’s global downloads while Southeast Asia and the US hold 7% and 5% respectively.

Jaeuk Park, CEO of VCNC, said, “Between 1.0 was first launched in South Korea to enhance communication between couples here. While focusing on South Korea, we also saw organic adoption of Between in other parts of Asia, North America and Europe which prompted us to study these markets more. Between 2.0 is the result of actively engaging our global users and gathering their feedback to bring Between to the next level for couples around the world.”
Between 2.0 Key Updates
 Between Calendar
Shared Calendar – Between users can now use the new shared calendar feature to plan their dates, notify their significant other about key appointments or travel schedules and to keep track of special days like anniversaries and birthdays better.

Weather Update – Be it a married couple living together or a couple going through a long-distance relationship, Between’s new weather update feature will bring couples closer together when they are physically apart by helping them understand the weather they are experiencing respectively.


More Visual User Interface – Between 2.0 employs a highly visual user interface design that is more appealing to users. Couples will be able to enjoy and recall more of their favourite memories better as there is greater emphasis on photos and how they are displayed and organised.

“The new features in Between 2.0 will continue to help couples communicate better with each other, especially with all the digital noise around. Together with the new update, Between has also undergone a rebranding, with its new app icon and logo, to position it better for the global audience,” said Park.

Milestones Achieved By Between

  • December, 2012 – 2 million downloads

  • January, 2013 – VCNC raises US$3 million Series B funding, launched sticker store with Version 1.4.0 update

  • March, 2013 – VCNC Japan office opens in Tokyo

  • October, 2013 – VCNC expands to Southeast Asia

  • December, 2013 – 5 million global downloads, launched Between 2.0 update

About VCNC

VCNC stands for Value Creators & Company and was founded in 2011. The global mobile application company has offices in South Korea and Japan. VCNC’s vision is to provide emotional communication services to enrich real, offline-based relationships. Between is VCNC’s third application and is now the leading mobile couple application in the world.


Christy Ng Shoes Walks Away With the Grand Prize of Alliance Bank SME Innovation Challenge

After an intense breath-holding, knuckle-breaking moment on stage, Christy Ng Sdn. Bhd.  (more popularly known as  Christy Ng Shoes) was named the Grand Prize winner of the inaugural Alliance Bank SME Innovation Challenge 2013 at its Grand Finale last night.

A stunned and tear-eyed Christine Ng, owner of Christy Ng Shoes, walked away with the grand prize of RM250,000 funding to implement their business plans. Christy Ng Shoes also received complimentary Microsoft Office 365 subscription, a year-long recruitment services’ package worth RM25,000 from jobsDB Group, an exclusive radio interview and a featured article in a mainstream publication. They will soon be paying a visit to Microsoft’s Centre of Excellence in the USA.

In a last-minute surprise twist to the tale, the Bank decided to sweeten the Challenge’s pot with a RM100,000 runner-up prize which was awarded to the first runner-up of the Challenge, TBA Resources Sdn Bhd (Textbook Asia).

“All our Challenge’s finalists have demonstrated that they have what it takes to bring their business to the next level: passion, the entrepreneurial innovative spirit that fuels their business ambitions matched by their level-headed practical nature,” said Steve Miller, Head of Group Business Banking. “It re-affirms the Bank’s belief that when we invest in our customers future and help them to succeed, we will be able to learn from them too.”

At the height of the Challenge in the last week leading to the winner announcement last night, the Challenge’s three finalists (Smooshie Juice, Christy Ng Shoes and Textbook Asia) had to solicit for public votes online before pitching their business plan to the judges for the last time. “It was a very close competition and a tough decision had to be made,” explained Miller. “Which is why, in the end, based on the judges’ recommendation, the Bank decided to sweeten the Challenge by adding a runner-up prize of RM100,000.”

Textbook Asia had a meaningful proposition of helping students reduce the cost of education, which we felt was highly commendable. Because it mirrors the Bank’s emphasis on quality and meaningful education, we wanted to help Textbook Asia extend this proposition to students across the country.”

The first-of-its-kind Alliance Bank BizSmart Academy and the inaugural SME Innovation Challenge was born out of the Bank’s business proposition of helping customers to succeed by investing in their future. Launched in August 2013, the Challenge invited young SMEs who have been in business between one and three years to submit their business propositions for consideration. From over hundreds of submissions, 13 high-potential young SMEs were selected to undergo structured business coaching and training in Blue Ocean Strategy to enable them to bring their business to the next level.

Alliance Bank_04

 The 13 SMEs also received guidance from top business leaders the likes of Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Liew Kee Sin, CEO & President of the SP Setia Berhad Group, exposed to widespread media and branding opportunities on radio and in print, and supported with new technology solutions from Microsoft to revolutionise their business.

“Our finalists met with our panel of judges led by Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Liew Kee Sin two weeks ago to present their business plans based on the Blue Ocean Strategy structured business coaching and mentoring that they had received over the past two months,” said Miller. “Stemming from that pitch, three finalists, Textbook Asia, Smooshie Juice and Christy Ng Shoes, made it to the final round of public voting which accounted for 40% of their scores.”

“At the last pitch-out, each finalist had to demonstrate three main traits during their presentation: entrepreneurship, financial performance and innovation,” elaborated Miller. “In deciding on the winner, the judges looked for commitment and vision, and if our finalists were able to make rational business decisions based on their current and projected financials. Their ability to anticipate and embrace change in a dynamic environment was also considered.”

To view what happened at the Grand Finale of the SME Innovation Challenge, check out the Alliance Bank Facebook page at

FOODPANDA.MY EXPANDS DELIVERY COVERAGE TO JOHOR now provides food delivery service to residents of Johor Bahru!

KUALA LUMPUR – The largest food delivery service provider in Malaysia just got larger. Foodpanda has just expanded its delivery service to the south most tip of Malaysia – Johor Bahru. Making this the fifth city that foodpanda has a footprint here in Malaysia.

With a soft launch last Friday, Foodpanda has already received some very encouraging feedback from residents of JB. “This app really has some potential in making life easy for certain groups of people, like working people and students” says Shalin Tan, a local JB resident and new foodpanda customer.

“I am the poster child for your customers – I would use it multiple times a week probably. I have been encouraging people in JB to provide delivery“ says John Hunter, an expat living in JB. Hunter adds “There is a need for decent delivery food in JB. I have told several people I thought it would be a good business to get into and I want to see entrepreneurial efforts, like this, succeed in JB.“

“We are very happy to add Johor Bahru to our list of cities that we provide delivery for” says Claudio Abitante, MD “We believe that JB is an underserved market with lots of potential. Already we are seeing very encouraging feedback from both restaurants and customers. We intend to bring our experience in food delivery and strong partner restaurants to the residents of JB” he adds.

From Left – Claudio Abitante (MD Foodpanda, Malaysia), Din (Foodpanda Johor’s First Delivery Rider) & Marco Pezzi (City Manager, Johor)

Starting with big names such as Chatime, Kenny Rogers Roasters, Vivo Pizza as well as local favorites like Season’s Café and Chakra Restaurant. Residents of Johor Bahru can expect to see other heavyweight foodpanda partner such as Chicken Rice Shop, Old Town White Coffee and other great restaurants in the next few weeks. Currently orders are taken via their website and mobile application on iOS and Google Play. currently operates in the Klang Valley, Penang, Ipoh, Melaka and Johor. Foodpanda plans to make food delivery more accessible and convenient to as many busy Malaysians. They are looking to accomplish this within the next few months by further expanding in the Klang Valley and other major cities in Malaysia.

MOLPay introduces Secure 1-Click Payment to boost mobile payment experience

KUALA LUMPUR, 16 October 2013: MOLPay, a leading online payment solution provider in Southeast Asia, announced today a breakthrough in mobile payment user experience via its Secure 1-Click Payment where customers are now able to complete mobile transactions in a single click. In compliance with the central bank regulations, One Time Password (OTP) authentication will follow-through if a credit card is 3D- enabled.

With the new Secure 1-Click Payment, any return customers will be identified through their user profile with token, a secret key to store and retrieve customer’s credit card information from a secured vault. Therefore, no entry of credit card information is needed to authenticate the transaction.


“User experience is very important especially when it comes to mobile payments. We are excited to be able to offer our merchants a simple and yet secure payment experience.” says Eng Sheng Guan, CEO of MOLPay. MOLPay’s statistics with merchants during a pilot run of this service shows that merchants which utilise the MOLPay’s Secure 1-Click payment can see a 15% increase in successful transaction rates and a reduction in abandoned cart rate up of an estimated 25 per cent. MOLPay has continuously placed research and development efforts to improve its user experience especially for mobile users and introduced a newly enhanced payment page with responsive web design (RWD) technology which is optimised for both desktop and mobile device” screen resolution.

Maps Secure 1-Click Payment solution adheres to the highest security standard including global security standards such as Payment Card Industry: Data Security Standards (PCI DSS).


About MOLPay
MOLPay is the leading payment gateway in Southeast Asia that provides global credit card processing and localized alternative payments including online banking, physical cash payment at convenience stores, over the counter, kiosk, etc.

MOLPay is also a Payment Service Provider at multiple banks in the region and non-bank acquirer for Malaysia Financial Process Exchange (FPX) which connects most of the online banking in Malaysia.

MOLPay is part of the MOL Global Group, one of the largest Internet companies in Southeast Asia with offices in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Turkey, Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, and Australia/New Zealand. For more information about MOLPay, please visit us at


This special S.M.A.R.T. ™ report focuses on mobile advertising trends within the Entertainment industry.

This special S.M.A.R.T. ™ report focuses on mobile advertising trends within the Entertainment industry.

We highlight what entertainment brands are doing on mobile, which audiences are interacting with these brands, how entertainment consumers are engaging with content, and how entertainment brands can evolve their mobile advertising strategies moving forward. From movies and TV programming, to books, music, and concerts, a wide variety of entertainment brands are using mobile advertising to reach and engage consumers.


  • The Entertainment vertical was the fourth largest on Millennial Media’s platform in Asia Pacific in Q2 2013, growing 224 percent year-over-year



  • Motion picture releases drove 47 percent of all the entertainment campaigns in Q2 2013. Motion pictures promoted the releases of their movies with video campaigns that included “Learn More” or “Share” buttons at the end, leading consumers to visit the movie site or share the video on social media platforms.
  • Streaming services represented 21 percent of the entertainment campaigns on Millennial Media’s platform. These advertisers leveraged mobile to encourage consumers to sign up for their services by downloading their apps.


APAC-EntertainmentAdverisersCampaignGoals APAC-EntertainmentAdvertisersCamapignGoals

  • Within the vertical, product launches/releases accounted for 59 percent of the campaign goals for entertainment advertisers. Movie studios often leveraged mobile with the goal of promoting the release of new movie or show, with features to entice consumers to watch.
  • Video gaming was a sub-vertical which ran mobile registration campaigns in order to encourage gaming enthusiasts to subscribe to their games, while concerts and events tried to drive foot traffic and attendance around an event.



  • Entertainment brands most often leveraged mobile to drive app download, watch video, and fuel social media actions.
  • Videos, social media, and interactive actions over-indexed for entertainment advertisers and were often delivered as part of a rich media campaign.
  • Social media actions over-indexed for entertainment advertisers, and were used at nearly three times the rate of all advertisers on Millennial Media’s platform. Motion picture release campaigns used social media to help generate buzz and excitement around the movie’s premiere date, by connecting consumers to one another’s conversation.
  • Video was one of the leading post-click actions and was utilised at 173 percent the rate of all advertisers in Q2 2013. This was one of the most frequently used post- campaign actions, utilised by 20 percent of entertainment campaigns. Movie studios ran launch campaigns to announce the release of a new movie with interactive features to engage consumers to watch.


Between and OpenRice Who is Singapore’s best foodie couple?

Leading couple mobile application, Between, has partnered with Asia’s premier dining guide, OpenRice, to find Singapore’s best foodie couple. From November 2013 to January 2014, Between and OpenRice Singapore will run 3 food tasting sessions where they will invite 12 shortlisted couples to participate and review selected restaurants in Singapore. The best couple food critic will win a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner in February 2014.

This is the first official campaign that Between is running in Southeast Asia since hiring ex-e27 editor, Joash Wee, to lead its expansion into the region in October, this year. With over 4.6 million downloads globally, Between has been seeing strong organic growth in Southeast Asia. The first phase of its Southeast Asian expansion will see Between focusing on building strategic partnerships in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.

Kenett Wong, Country Manager of OpenRice Singapore said, ““OpenRice is a platform for people to create meaningful food memories across Asia and through our partnership with Between in Singapore, we hope to engage couples who are looking to discover new dining places for their next date. We already have couples and spouses teaming up to write food reviews on OpenRice, and it would be interesting to see how this partnership will drive more of such engagements.”

Between’s General Manager for Southeast Asia, Joash Wee, said,”Between enhances offline relationships by providing a private space where couples can create, share, and remember all their special moments. For Southeast Asia, we are looking for strategic partners like OpenRice that can help bring couples closer to each other, and food is a good place to start.”

Besides the best couple food critic award, Between will also be looking for the most popular Between couple in Singapore. One of the 12 shortlisted couple will be selected as “Between’s Favourite Couple”, through popular vote on social media, and win a special Valentine’s Day treat.

The first food tasting session will happen on 17th November, 2013 and will see 6 couples joining Between and OpenRice to try out classic Italian and Peruvian restaurant, Supply & Demand.

Research reveals outsource Research and Development abroad boosts innovation

Businesses that outsource research and development (R&D) overseas are more likely to innovate than those who outsource at home, says new research.

michael _molProfessor Michael Mol, of Warwick Business School, and Associate Professor Olivier Bertrand, of SKEMA Business School in France, analysed a large database of 6,015 French businesses over a five-year period and found that the use of home R&D suppliers can have a largely negative effect on product and process innovation.

“Firms that go through the trouble of finding highly qualified foreign suppliers see a bigger pay-off than if they had outsourced at home,” said Professor Mol. “This is a very interesting finding, because typically we only associate outsourcing abroad with efforts to bring down costs, not to increase innovation.

“Home outsourcing occurs when firms lack innovative capabilities and is either trying to save costs or their own internal Research & Development department is lacking. By contrast, those that choose to outsource abroad do so to tap specialist sources of knowledge that complement and strengthen their own internal R&D.

“An interesting example of this is IBM’s strategy to build research labs in places like Switzerland, Japan, Israel, UK, China and India from which R&D is outsourced to various research institutes.”

Research and Development

Research and Development is a core part of many businesses, and companies are increasingly looking to external sources to increase innovation.

According to the 2012 Global Innovation 1000 the top three industries that spend the most on R&D are Computing and Electronics, Health (including pharmaceuticals) and Automotive.

Professor Mol’s study shows that a key factor in the decision-making process of outsourcing R&D is cognitive distance, which refers to the distance in knowledge and understanding between the business that outsources and its supplier. Suppliers in the home country are less attractive for innovation purposes because their knowledge is often too similar.

The research shows that while outsourcing at home is a sound option to fill short-term gaps, outsourcing abroad can be hugely beneficial if a company is looking to innovate.

“When firms are looking for capabilities which are relatively mundane, they can often find them in a wide variety of locations around the world,” said Professor Mol.

Outsource Research and Development

“If these capabilities can be outsourced at home, it generally makes little sense to source them from abroad given the costs involved. By contrast, R&D tapped from international markets provides firms with more opportunities and choices, and hence a greater potential for complementarities with the internal R&D function.”

And he explains that it is important for managers and business owners to have a clear understanding of the advantages of outsource Research and Development abroad.

“Understanding the differences between outsourcing at home and abroad and the implications for innovation performance is important,” said Professor Mol. “From a managerial perspective, it is important to understand how outsource Research and Development is able to contributes to innovation outcomes, and when offshore outsourcing is a viable strategy.

“outsource Research and Development, especially abroad, is a small yet rapidly growing phenomenon, academics and practitioners should continue to invest in understanding its implications.”

The paper ‘The antecedents and innovation effects of domestic and offshore outsource Research and Development: The contingent impact of cognitive distance and absorptive capacity’ was published in Strategic Management Journal, the world’s top strategy journal.

Warwick Business School, located in central England, is the largest department of the University of Warwick and the UK’s fastest rising business school according the Financial Times. WBS is triple accredited by the leading global business education associations and was the first in the UK to attain this accreditation. Offering the full portfolio of business education courses, from undergraduate through to MBAs, and with a strong Doctoral Programme, WBS is the complete business school.  Students at WBS currently number around 6,500, and come from 125 countries.  Just under half of faculty are non-UK, or have worked abroad.  WBS Dean, Professor Mark P Taylor, is among the most highly-cited scholars in the world and was previously Managing Director at BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager.

Professor Michael Mol was previously Senior Lecturer in Strategic Management, Henley Business School; Research Fellow, London Business School; Assistant Professor in Strategic and International Management, Nijmegen School of Management. Visiting Researcher MLab, London Business School. He is also advisor to private companies and public sector bodies. He is also speaker at business conferences across Europe. He is familiar with a wide range of theories and research techniques. He was winner of Academy of Management Review Best Article Award (2008). Professor Mol’s research interest lies in the strategic management of larger firms, especially management innovation, open innovation and outsourcing/offshoring strategies. He focuses on how these phenomena occur and influence performance outcomes. His current research projects include analysis of key historical management innovations; conceptualisation of the outsourcing process; large scale analysis of effect of knowledge sourcing and knowledge protection on product innovation; offshoring of knowledge intensive business services.