Category Archives: Press Release

ZOCKO, a Tool for Social Influencers to Monetize Their Audience through Social Media Channels

ZOCKO, a Tool for Social Influencers to Monetize Their Audience through Social Media Channels, as a new approach in e-commerce industry and being Globally Launched from Indonesia

Jakarta, 1 October 2013 – As a breakthrough in e-commerce industry and along with the rise of increasing number of inspiring icons in the communities that use social media, ZOCKO, an online tool for social influencers developed between Barcelona and Jakarta, is launched in Jakarta, Indonesia. This is also the launch of ZOCKO global activation, aimed at reaching out global market.

ZOCKO enables social influencers to play a big role in monetizing their audience through their social networks and independently earn money using their influence. ZOCKO also creates opportunities for brands around the world, in various categories including fashion, electronics, gadgets, sport as ZOCKO enables social influencers to share about their aspiring products based on their experience or what they like.

(left-right) Daniel Clemente (CTO) and Carlos Puig (CEO)
(left-right) Daniel Clemente (CTO) and Carlos Puig (CEO)

Carlos Puig, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of ZOCKO said, “ZOCKO users are inspiring icons in the community, who have their own audience from diverse interest and background. Everybody has a unique ingredient that can be used to influence over their circle, whether it is wide as smaller,”

“The presence of ZOCKO brings difference and works as a new approach that disrupts between e-commerce and social media. Social influencers can develop their own content in unique ways and add unexplored value to the products – a bit different with the traditional concept of advertising,” said Carlos.

Users simply need to sign up with their social media channels and start sharing customized ZOCKO links to their audiences with their own messages. Then, users can export their cash balance to any Pay Pal account once the balance reaches a minimum of US$50,00. The amount of the rewards depends on the price of the product.

(left-right)_Zocko team-Daniel-Carlos-Zocko team
(left-right)_Zocko team-Daniel-Carlos-Zocko team

ZOCKO is first launched based on an invitation and request basis to create exclusive environment to its users. Following to its launch, ZOCKO will hold the first exclusive event for top digital social influencers from fashion, technology, gadgets, sports in Jakarta on October 18 aims to engage more social influencers and make them part of ZOCKO users.

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About ZOCKO
ZOCKO is a startup company which derived from Barcelona, Spain. ZOCKO is an e-commerce tool half-way between social media and e-commerce built for social influencers, officially launched its platform and activated its private beta website globally in Jakarta, Indonesia. As part of Creative HotHouse, ZOCKO helps social influencers to independently earn cash rewards when their audiences purchase the products they share or publish through their social networks, email or blogging platforms.
Visit http://www.zocko.com/ for more information.

About Creative HotHouse
Creative HotHouse is a Code Temple, accelerator of developer entrepreneurs building beautiful and profitable software for the South East Asian markets. Creative HotHouse is a Singapore based company with Temples in Jakarta, Barcelona and soon in Manila. The team is built on over 100 years of track record in the internet and technology industries. There 8 founders are seasoned company builders coming from groups like MIH-Naspers, Rakuten, FCB, Havas Media, Nokia and others.
Visit http://www.creativehothouse.com/ for more information.

Southeast Asia’s First 10-week Training Programme for Web Developers Launches in Singapore

DevRubyCamp , Southeast Asia’s first 10-week web developer training program has launched in Singapore. The full time programme will run three times annually, with each course lasting 10 weeks. DevRubyCamp targets to train up to 60 software developers over three courses a year in Singapore.

The inaugural program will offer up to 20 slots for candidates to join the first cohort. The programme will start on 6 January 2014 and run to March 17, 2014. Applicants will not require prior programming knowledge. Students will get intensive training and mentorship from industry experts to guide them on their path to becoming web developers. Students will complete the course with over 600 hours of learning and development tutorials and experience.

“We are solving a marketplace problem by training and fulfilling the need for programmers at software companies that are looking to scale quickly,” said DevRubyCamp co-founder Josh Teng. “Many aspiring programmers want to work in technology startup companies but lack the required experience and skills in modern web development” Teng added. “Our goal is to close that gap and help our graduates get those jobs and start those companies.”

DevRubyCamp is looking to train smart, driven individuals who are motivated to start their own companies or find a job in the technology industry as a web developer upon completion of the training program. The key objective of the program is to speed up the time taken to traditionally learn web development and ensure trainees can quickly contribute to development teams upon graduation. At the end of the program, students will be able to develop full-stack web applications with Javascript and Ruby.

DevRubyCamp will work with selected startups and web development teams in Singapore and Southeast Asia to offer job placements for companies looking to hire entry-level web developers.

Registration is currently open and candidates can apply for DevRubyCamp at devrubycamp.com . DevRubyCamp charges a tuition fee of SGD 7,000 for the 10 week programme. Registration will remain open until 28 December. Early bird applicants that complete registration by 28 November will enjoy a SGD 2,000 discount on the tuition fee.

DevRubyCamp is hosting an information session on Wednesday, November 6 at One Marina Boulevard #22-00 (Microsoft Singapore) starting at 6:30pm.
Sign up to know more about the program: http://evnk.co/devrubycampinfosession .

The DevRubyCamp programme was founded by Jaryl Sim, Josh Teng, and Jeffrey Paine in August 2013. Josh is a web and iOS developer and a graduate of San Francisco’s Devbootcamp. Jaryl is the CTO and cofounder of Tinkerbox Studios, a leading Ruby on Rails web development firm in Singapore. Jeffrey is a Partner at Golden Gate Ventures, a seed stage venture fund and Director of Founder Institute Singapore chapter.

 

jaryl sim

Jaryl Sim

Jaryl is the co-founder of Tinkerbox Studios, which he built from the ground up whilst pursuing his degree. Today, they help startups build web applications on Ruby on Rails, utilizing Lean UX and Lean Startup techniques to manage project uncertainty and deliver technology products. He got his start in technology when he was in secondary school, learning C/C++ to pursue his interest in game development. He picked up Ruby on Rails in 2008 and has since been part of the ruby community.

 

joshteng

Josh Teng

After dropping out of Georgia Tech, Josh started teaching himself web development. He has been freelancing for the past 3 years specializing in Ruby-on-Rails. He has recently begun developing for iOS. He is obsessive about a few things including coding, creating solutions, chilling with friends, and ‘Walking Dead’. He went through a similar bootcamp in San Francisco and wanted to share his experience with everyone. “It’s the best way to learn!”, according to him.

Jeffrey Paine

Jeffrey Paine

Jeffrey Paine is the founding partner of Golden Gate Ventures, an early stage technology incubator based in Singapore.  Jeff started and manages the Founder Institute in Singapore where he is currently overseeing its expansion in Southeast Asia. Since 2010 the Founder Institute in Singapore has graduated over 60 companies.

About DevRubyCamp

DevRubyCamp, is an intensive web development boot camp based in Singapore to transform novice coders into entry-level full-stack front-end developers in 10 weeks. We then help our graduates get job offers from Internet companies and funded startups that build and deploy meaningful web applications in the region.

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.

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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).

The Singapore’s largest car rental online marketplace, Drive.SG, has launched a mobile app, on both iOS and Android platforms.

Drive.Sg

Drive.SG, Singapore’s Largest Car Rental Online Marketplace launches mobile app to reach a wider audience

To commemorate its second-year anniversary, Singapore’s largest car rental online marketplace, Drive.SG, has launched a mobile app, on both iOS and Android platforms. This will cater better to the needs of Drive.SG’s customers, as well as serve the surging mobile growth of its car rental service. Drive.SG developed their mobile app, with feedback from both customers and their car rental partners, optimising their online rental platform for smaller mobile screens and boosting the mobile user’s experience.

Drive.SG first launched its website platform in September 2011. By early 2013, co-founders Adrian Lee and Paul Tan noticed that when they received rental requests, many email addresses started with a capitalised letter. Realising this was due to auto-capitalising keyboards on smartphones, Adrian and Paul investigated into the demographics on their mobile users. By mid-2013, the percentage of Drive.SG’s customers booking a car via a mobile phone overtook those that used the website, with 60% of customers accessing the website portal via their smartphones. Drive.SG’s mobile app is set to deliver a better experience for mobile users who wish to rent cars, using Drive.SG’s online platform. Another advantage of the mobile app is that it includes a new geo-location feature. This allows Drive.SG to recommend the nearest car rental agency, which makes the car pick-up and drop-off convenient.

Drive.Sg Car RentalDrive.SG is the first and largest online car rental marketplace in Singapore. Car rental businesses like Avis, Sixt, Eurokars and 30 other partners have come on board Drive.SG’s platform, to market and sell car rental services to drivers in Singapore. These customers include both local drivers, as well as overseas visitors. Drive.SG currently sells about 2,000 car rental days per month.

“I prefer to use my mobile phone when renting a car on Drive.SG’s site, mainly because I book my car late at night. This is when the day has slowed down and I have the time to view different cars, in discussion with my wife. So the launch of Drive.SG’s mobile app is great for me. Having tried it out, it’s so much easier and faster to make a booking, compared to before. It will definitely make renting a car more efficient for me, which is useful since I rent a car 5 to 6 times a year, mainly for special occasions such as trips to Malaysia, when overseas guests visit or during the holiday season,” said Mr. Muhammad Asri bin Mailah, who was the first customer to book a car on Drive.SG through the mobile app.

“At Drive.SG, we are constantly looking for ways to improve our service, with new features and services that improve customers’ experience. For example, a few months ago, we introduced a new chauffer service, targeting businesses that require luxury cars, mini-buses and coaches. So far the up- take of this new service has been good. Together with our newly-launched mobile app, we hope to see a strong growth in our business, and are targeting to reach some 5,000 car rental days per month by end 2014,” said Paul Tan, co-founder Drive.SG

Drive Sg“We are spurred to provide the best service we can by our loyal customers. When we first launched our beta site, we received kind feedback and help in testing the solution by the car rental community in Singapore. These users spent time and effort in guiding our development work. We would look over each and every booking made, and because of this moving forward, we are committed to ensure our service has a strong human-touch – both on the website and mobile platforms,” said Adrian Lee, co- founder Drive.SG.

Incubated by NUS Enterprise, Drive.SG is located within the National University of Singapore School of Computing incubator. Drive.SG also leveraged on a partnership with Silicon Straits Saigon, who worked with the team to co-develop their mobile app

Alliance Bank Announced 13 Young SMEs for SME Innovation Challenge

Alliance Bank Malaysia Berhad (“Alliance Bank”) today hosted its first-ever Alliance Bank BizSmart Academy Young Entrepreneurs’ Conference 2013 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. The Conference provided an opportunity for aspiring and existing young entrepreneurs to gain insights from successful business leaders and social-entrepreneurs who are making an impact through their business ventures.

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“The Young Entrepreneurs’ Conference 2013 covers a broad spectrum of entrepreneurial themes; these themes reflect the mutual concerns that young start-ups, digitally-savvy technopreneur and 2nd-generation SME owners assuming responsibilities of the family business have,” said Steve Miller, Executive Vice President and Head of Group Business Banking.

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Conducted in an inspiring “TEDx-style” manner, the Young Entrepreneurs’ Conference 2013 featured an impressive and knowledgeable line-up of speakers comprising both seasoned industry leaders such as Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Liew Kee Sin of SP Setia Berhad Group, social enterprise guru Roshan Thiran of Leaderonomics, and rising stars from Malaysia’s vibrant young entrepreneur community such as Low Ngai Yuen, Head of Kakiseni.com; Lim Li Lian, international franchise guru; and Ee Soon Wei, heritage preserver, the Royal Press Malacca. The speakers shared their experience and realities of being an entrepreneur in a challenging and changing world.

The Young Entrepreneurs’ Conference also featured a technology knowledge sharing session facilitated by Microsoft Malaysia showcasing technological innovations that SMEs can adopt to accelerate their businesses, as well as a human capital knowledge sharing session by jobsDB Group.

In conjunction with the Young Entrepreneurs’ Conference, Alliance Bank also announced the 13 selected participants of the BizSmart Academy SME Innovation Challenge. They are Biotree Biotechnology, Bloc Forty Eight, Christy Ng Shoes, Fru t Pop, MuayFit, myBurgerLab, Redtick, Smooshie Juice, Tapway, TextBookAsia.com, Softinn Solutions, HighrisePro and The Last Polka.

“We were extremely encouraged by the quality of the submissions as it indicated that Malaysia’s entrepreneurial spirit and drive is thriving,” explained Miller. “We had a strong nationwide response and the submissions that we received were from a diverse range of industry sectors including bio-technology, e-commerce, retail and food & beverage.”

The 13 high-potential young SMEs were selected from hundreds of submissions received online over a one-month period. The selected participants will undergo structured business coaching and training in Blue Ocean Strategy to help them fine-tune their business strategies and uncover new market opportunities to tap into. They will also be mentored by top business leaders the likes of Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Liew Kee Sin, CEO & President of the SP Setia Berhad Group, be exposed to widespread media and branding opportunities, receive training in recruiting and developing the right talents for their business by jobsDB Group, and supported with new technology solutions from Microsoft to revolutionise their business.

In November 2013, the three (3) selected finalists with the best business plans will proceed to the public voting phase, followed by the identification of the winner in December 2013. The winner will receive RM250,000 funding to implement the winning business plan, a visit to Microsoft’s Centre of Excellence, complimentary Microsoft Office 365 subscription, a year-long recruitment services’ package worth RM25,000 which includes premium employer listing and feature in its newsletter from jobsDB Group, exclusive radio interview and a featured article in a mainstream publication.

“We are indeed privileged to be partners in this initiative in a meaningful manner.   A company’s greatest asset will always be their people and jobsDB is in a position to understand, strategise and map out an effective plan to meet the SME’s human capital needs through the use of effective technology platforms.  We will work closely with the winner to map out a year-long programme and a summarised version for the 12 other selected participants, including hosting a jobsDB workshop for this initiative,” said Adrian Chng, CEO of jobsDB Group.

For more information about the Alliance Bank BizSmart Academy and/or to follow the progress of the 13 selected young SMEs as they embark on their SME Innovation Challenge journey, please visit www.BizSmart.com.my.

 

About Alliance Bank Malaysia Berhad

Alliance Bank Malaysia Berhad is a dynamic, integrated banking group offering end-to-end banking and financial solutions through its consumer banking, business banking, Islamic banking, investment banking and stockbroking businesses, having served the financial community over the past five decades.

The banking group is involved in the provision of financial services through its principal subsidiaries, Alliance Bank Malaysia Berhad, Alliance Investment Bank Berhad, and Alliance Islamic Bank Berhad. It provides easy access to its broad base of customers throughout the country via multi-delivery channels which include retail branches, Privilege Banking Centres, Islamic Banking Centres, Business Centres, Investment Bank branches, and direct marketing offices located nationwide, as well as mobile and Internet banking.

*NextupAsia is an event partner for this event.

HotelQuickly raises USD 1.13M

HotelQuickly, the largest same-day hotel booking application in Asia-Pacific closes its series A round after raising USD 1.13M. The funds will be used for further expansion within the region and to accelerate product development.

HotelQuickly is a mobile app offering last-minute hotels to whoever is in spontaneous need of a hotel room that night. Rooms are available for booking from noon to 4 in the morning, and can be booked for up to 5 nights, while the first night is always at the day of booking. The app is available for free for iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry 10 operated smartphones.

To date, about 400 hotels across the region have teamed up with HotelQuickly to sell their last-minute inventory with deep discounts. “Mobile booking on the spot is taking over from booking ahead of time. Not only are rooms offered via our app cheaper than online, offerings are also curated and we guarantee you a better hotel experience” explains HotelQuickly’s CEO Tomas Laboutka.

The team around Laboutka consists of a number of experienced entrepreneurs from the US, Europe and Asia. About 10 of the roughly 25 people involved in HotelQuickly come from senior management positions of Rocket Internet’s regional ventures, such as Zalora, Lazada, and Foodpanda.

This probably explains some of the speed of HotelQuickly’s execution and its ambitious plans for the future. The startup expanded very quickly and is now operational on 2 continents and in 11 countries across Asia Pacific. So far about 40 different destinations across Asia Pacific are covered by HotelQuickly, with more added in the upcoming weeks and months. This has been welcomed by more than 150,000 users who have downloaded the app since late March. HotelQuickly frequently soars in the top download lists of the travel category in the app stores.

Investors in this round consist of angel investors from three continents, among them Boon Hwee Koh, former Chairman of numerous companies such as Singtel, Singapore Airlines and DBS Bank, and current board member of several private companies such as Singapore’s Temasek Holdings.

CSO Raphael Cohen is confident that HotelQuickly will keep growing rapidly: “We are becoming the number one app in people’s mind for their last-minute hotel bookings in Asia-Pacific. Our users appreciate the simple process of booking a hotel on our app, our deals and the quality of our hand-picked hotels. We will keep adding more destinations and quality hotels for our users to enjoy”.

With spontaneous travels, weekend getaways, and short-term business trips becoming more popular across the region, the app clearly hits a major nerve of our time. The startup has already been named Top 100 Red Herring company in Asia of 2013.

MOL Launches MOLPoints Online Game and Digital Goods Payment Platform in North America & Latin America

molMOL AccessPortal Sdn. Bhd. (MOL), Asia’s leading e-payment service provider and a subsidiary of MOL Global Pte. Ltd., announced today that the company has launched its MOLPoints online game and digital goods payment platform in the USA and Brazil in partnership with its Silicon Valley-based subsidiary Rixty, Inc. (Rixty).  MOLPoints will be distributed across Rixty’s distribution channels of over 140,000 stores in the US and Brazil. The launch was witnessed by the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Y.A.B. Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Bin Tun Abdul Razak in his visit to the Silicon Valley.

MOL is one of Asia’s leading online payment service providers and handles over 60 million transactions with an annual payment volume of more than US$500 million. MOL’s proprietary MOLPoints micropayment system is one of the world’s leading digital goods and online game payment platforms, which helps collect payments for over 2,000 online games from over 300 game publishers including Facebook, Electronic Arts and Blizzard.

MOLIn October 2012, MOL announced that it had made a majority investment in Silicon Valley-based alternative payment platform provider Rixty, becoming the first Asian e-payment service provider to acquire a North American e-payments platform. Besides Rixty, MOL has also made investments into leading digital goods and online game payment platforms in markets such as Turkey, Vietnam and Indonesia in the past 12 months.

The launch of MOLPoints in the USA & Brazil marks the consolidation of Rixty into MOL’s global operations and will enable MOL’s suite of games to be distributed through Rixty’s distribution channels. This will allow local Malaysian content to tap into the huge digital goods market that is estimated to be worth US$19.2 billion worldwide.

MOL Global’s Group Chief Executive Officer, Ganesh Kumar Bangah, said the consolidation of Rixty into MOL’s global operations will allow MOL to expand into the huge North and South American markets while tapping into the best talent of Silicon Valley. Together, MOL and Rixty accord the importance of the Americas to online game publishers and are committed to further grow their presence in these markets by enabling global game publishers to monetize their online games and goods in this lucrative industry. Rixty presently has offices in San Francisco, California and São Paulo, Brazil. Rixty is also expanding into Canada and Mexico this Fall.

The launch event was held in conjunction with the Prime Minister of Malaysia’s Experiential Visit to Silicon Valley, organized by Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC), to promote successful Malaysian companies that have achieved a global footprint. MDeC via MSC Malaysia has driven the development of the Malaysian ICT industry and has made significant strides toward increasing the economic impact and footprint of ICT in Malaysia. In terms of market penetration, the growth of MSC Malaysia companies has been rapidly accelerating over the past five years, thanks to the concerted effort by MDeC to drive the expansion of home grown companies into regional and global markets.

About MOL AccessPortal Sdn. Bhd.

MOL AccessPortal Sdn Bhd (MOL) is one of Asia’s leading payment service providers. MOL is an MSC Malaysia Status Company that operates and develops payment systems. MOL handles over 60 million transactions per year, with an annual payment volume of more than US$500 million. MOL leverages on a network of more than 680,000 payment collection points across more than 80 countries, with online links to over 88 banks in 10 countries worldwide. MOL was recognized as one of Asia Pacific’s fastest growing technology companies in the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 Asia Pacific Awards 2010. MOL is headquartered in Malaysia and has offices in 12 countries. For more information, please visit us at www.mol.com

About MOL Global Pte. Ltd.

MOL Global is one of Southeast Asia’s biggest internet companies and fully-owns both the payment service provider, MOL AccessPortal Sdn. Bhd. (MOL) and the social networking pioneer, Friendster Inc. (Friendster). Through its ownership of MOL and Friendster, MOL Global has one of the region’s largest end-to-end content, distribution and commerce networks. For more information on MOL Global, please visit us at www.molglobal.net

About Rixty

Rixty is an alternative payment system that lets domestic and international users spend cash and coins for online games, virtual worlds and all types of digital content. Consumers can pay without a credit card and without exposing confidential information by converting cash to Rixty value at 140,000 stores in the US and Brazil or nearly 500,000 locations worldwide. Online game and website publishers use Rixty to engage with and monetize a larger percentage of users. By providing cash-based consumers a safe and flexible way to pay online, Rixty helps these publishers increase sales, enable new business models and attract new customers. For information on how to add Rixty to your website, visit www.rixty.com/pubinfo

About Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC), MSC Malaysia and Digital Malaysia

The Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) was incorporated in 1996 to strategically drive the Malaysian Government on legislation, policies and standards for ICT and multimedia operations as well as to oversee the development of the Malaysian Multimedia Super Corridor (now MSC Malaysia), the platform to nurture the growth of Malaysian Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the IT industry whilst attracting participation from global ICT companies to invest in and develop cutting edge digital and creative solutions in Malaysia.

In 2011, MDeC’s mandate was broadened by the Prime Minister to include driving Malaysia’s transition towards a developed digital economy by 2020 through Digital Malaysia. In 2012, Digital Malaysia was official unveiled as the national transformation programme to achieve this aim. Founded on three strategic thrusts, Digital Malaysia will create an ecosystem that promotes the pervasive use of ICT in all aspects of the economy, connect communities globally and enable them to interact in real time, to increase the country’s Gross National Income, enhance business productivity and improve standards of living. For more information, please visit www.mdec.my ,www.mscmalaysia.my and www.digitalmalaysia.my


To also find out our early news about Mol/ Friendster from NextUpAsia.com: 
http://www.nextupasia.com/friendster-sets-to-reach-10-million-years-by-the-end-of-2012/

 

iMoney Appoints COO, Captures More Markets in Asia

iMoney, one of the region’s fast-growing financial comparison websites, has officially captured its fifth and sixth territories in Asia with the launch of iMoney Hong Kong (operating under the name “BestMoney”) and iMoney Thailand today.

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With the addition of its Hong Kong and Thailand sites, iMoney expects to generate more than USD1 billion in businesses for banks and insurance companies in South East Asia within 2013.

An online portal offering free comparisons of financial product such as mortgages, loans and credit cards; iMoney had been expanding at rapid pace over the course of the last 18 months since its inception. Starting out from its home base in Malaysia, local versions of the portal are now available in Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, along with Hong Kong and Thailand.

Co-founder Ching Wei Lee, who started iMoney in 2012 in order to solve “a personal frustration with the banks”, attributed iMoney’s success to “being in the right place at the right time”.

“When we first started iMoney in Malaysia, the country had been experiencing extended period of consistent growth in GDP, the middle-class demographic as well as the Internet population,” Ching explained. “Add to this a growing demand for retail financial products, and what we had was a perfect environment with strong fundamentals on which financial comparison websites such as iMoney could thrive.”

 Imoney

“It didn’t take us long to realize that the same model that applied to Malaysia could also be replicated in most countries in South East Asia,” Ching added. “Thanks to backing from Asia Venture Group and the Malaysian Government, we were able to ride on such favourable conditions and expand rapidly, landing in five new territories over a relatively short period of time.”

The Company also recently confirmed the appointment of Group COO & Co-Founder Kai Kux. Kai has an extensive background in investment banking, having most recently worked in the M&A division of JP Morgan. With his analytical background and experience in project management, Kai will play a pivotal role in managing the Group’s regional expansion.

“We have reasons to be optimistic because conditions remain favourable for our niche sector,” said Ching. “In Thailand, for example, it is our understanding that there are now over 20 million Internet users in a market where loan growth is expected to top 13% this year, which bodes well for a business like iMoney that is reliant on the growth in Internet adoption as well as growth of the financial sector.”

Imoney“Meantime, Hong Kong has more than 5 million Internet users and had just experienced growths of 9.6% for loans and 9.3% for deposits within 2012,” Ching added. “The high internet penetration rate and the resiliency of the local banking sector are important factors that will power iMoney’s operations within the territory.”

Furthermore, iMoney sees the emergence of financial comparison websites as natural progression in consumer behaviors stemming from the availability of the Internet.

“With consumers becoming more net-savvy and sophisticated in Asia, we believe more people are going to rely on impartial financial sites like iMoney, which empower them to make better-informed decisions with their money based on updated, unbiased data,” Ching said.

“In Europe, financial comparison sites such as Money Supermarket are already a mainstay on the Internet, and to a certain extent, we’re already seeing the same trend in Malaysia and Singapore,” he added. “We believe it’s only a matter of time before this becomes a fully-embraced concept throughout Asia.”

BestMoney Hong Kong and iMoney Thailand while still in beta version, now provide free comparison services for credit cards, housing loans, personal loans and deposits offered by major banks and insurance entities; as well as a Resource Library offering free financial information and tips.

The site can be accessed at www.imoneythailand.com (Thailand) or www.bestmoney.hk (Hong Kong) to begin using the free financial services right away.

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