Initiative Q

I am not sure this will work but I think it is a novel approach. Join if you want. Or not.

Initiative Q is building a new payment network. To get people to adopt it, they’re giving away significant sums of their future currency to early people. They require only name, email, and an invite from an existing user. Here’s my invite link:

https://initiativeq.com/ invite/rBhn8oCiQ

Advertisements

Stripe in Singapore

Wrote about this yesterday :: https://seedvc.blog/2018/09/27/stripe-to-open-singapore-hub-following-245m-fundraise/

Saw this on LinkedIn today :: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6451084223817310208

1) Stripe’s fourth global engineering hub will be in Singapore

2) This hub will build completely new products, and further develop the underlying infrastructure powering Stripe

3) 200 million Southeast Asians will come online in the next two years

Gotta love those SEA stats but what really interests me is #2. New products.

People have been chatting about PayPal and Stripe competing but that has been going on for a while. What is more striking for me is where is Square when it comes to Asia? As of today – completely non-existent.

Stripe to open Singapore hub following $245m fundraise

Stripe to open Singapore hub following $245m fundraise

From the Stripe Blog :: https://stripe.com/blog/singapore-eng-office

If this doesn’t put Singapore on the map in the global tech arena – then not much will.

Stripe is huge and they have chosen Singapore as an engineering hub.

This continues my hypothesis of why Singapore has already won the hub if SEA region and has vaulted past Hong Kong.

Why? Look at all the global companies with their hubs here and more and more will come and probably do more engineering than just sales and marketing.

Singapore is safe, fair, family friendly and the government is pro tech.

This also helps bolster one the trends I am have been trading on – the TTS. Trailing Tech Spouse.

Companies like Google, FB, AirBnB and now Stripe – move executives to Singapore and with them comes their spouse who often is also in tech. Thus bringing more experiences talent to the region but primarily Singapore.

Super exciting.

Also:

Go-Jek buys three startups to advance its mobile payment business | TechCrunch

Will be interesting to see where this all goes. Payments is a mostly a low margin business so this isn’t about making money but more about making it easier to pay for things. 

Things being not just rides but I am still wondering if this is the playbook for domination or not.

I am still more interested in them getting into other countries and seeing if they can take all this stuff across countries or not.

Go-Jek buys three startups to advance its mobile payment business | TechCrunch:

Finally met up with Josh

I didn’t get to attend the TIA conference but was able to catch up with lots of folks who were in town and went to a nice event by Sequoia.

Say what you will about our current times but Singapore is absolutely hopping right now and is the center of the startup universe for SEA region and India. Love it. So fortunate to be here at this time.

I have many Twitter friends that I sometimes get to meet and Josh would be one of those. We finally got to hang out and chat a bit.

As a writer, he of course decided to spring this on the Internet after we chatted.

Good stuff. As I always tell people – OTT in emerging markets is really just kicking off and has a long ways to go. I wouldn’t profess to know where it all might land, but it’s a crazy hot space regardless.

One comment – that last little quote by iFlix – we all know 1 million is just registered users. Paying subs will be some marginal single digit percentage point of that total number. As I always say – release real stats or none at all.

Good chatting with you Josh – I guess we will keep up the Twitter DM dialogue going till we meet again.

Thoughts on OTT

Update to the post::

I said as much in my list below – get ready for the VPN to stop working when it comes to gaming Netflix content libraries.

First, let me start off with a shameless plug for a podcast I was a guest of:

Now that we got that out of the way we can continue on. Also – my shameless plus is so we make this AA’s #1 podcast to ensure I get invited back. 😉

Let me disclose that I work at hooq.tv and used to work at spuul.com . I do have some sense of this world I am talking about. I don’t have a crystal ball and I also think that in the emerging markets it will take years to declare a winner. Years I say!

That being said I think it is important to note some things for the pedestrians:

    – In many markets, say Taxis or car booking services, I can agree with the winner take all or winner take most, especially in the USA or China. FYI Om covered this topic well here :: http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/in-silicon-valley-now-its-almost-always-winner-takes-all. However in large regional area or emerging markets I am not sure if it is true and it also has to be that pricing almost equalizes. In the case of this specific subject if we are talking about Netflix dominating in India I struggle to see how a company that charges 3x its emerging markets brethren can own the market. Maybe it will own the high end but how would it own the market that does not pay that much for entertainment?

    – Let no one kid you. None of these players are currently fighting over a paid customer base – we are all fighting to convert a pirate over to a paying subscriber. That will take years and there are plenty of pirates to share at this moment.

    – Local content is a big deal and no one player owns it all nor can sell it all to one OTT player. Also many of the local content players are building or have built their own OTT services.

    – There can never be just one service for all. Take me for example. I share my mom’s Netflix account but I buy my own HBO account. I value HBO way more than Netflix and nothing they did last week changed that equation for me.

    – Payment models in the emerging markets are hard. For Netflix it very well could be that the only customer they care about has a credit card. That still lives 100’s of millions of customers for companies like HOOQ who think there are others way to take money from users.

    – Not only are payment models hard but so are subscription types. Is a monthly recurring subscription going to work in the emerging markets? For some folks it might. For others maybe weekly subscriptions is better? Maybe a subscription tied to a data balance makes more sense. No one knows yet.

    – Content rights are super hard. I love seeing all the people baffled as to why they log into Netflix Singapore and it doesn’t look like the USA catalog. Netflix didn’t buy all the rights for Singapore because they know it is a small market. It may not be worth it and chances are some of it is not available. Also, Netflix being a capitalist, sold some of their shows to services in Singapore already so they can’t just take it back. Over time as they grow they will fix this but again Netflix could never own everything you want to see.

    – As OTT takes off some of the big players will try to work around Netflix and other services to go direct. One good read on this :: http://bgr.com/2015/11/05/netflix-streaming-time-warner/

    – The all powerful VPN. Currently lots of folks are signing up for Netflix Singapore and then using a VPN or anonymous IP to get the USA catalog. All good but keep in mind they way content rights work. They are bought and sold for a region – they are not tied to what credit card you use. Lots of folks talk about Apple TV or iTunes as the model where I can use my use a credit card to buy a show. And I can watch it in Singapore but note I am paying US prices so the content guys don’t care. Apple is not a subscription service and notice it they planned on doing this with TV and backed down. Netflix is getting away with murder right now. Pay Singapore prices but watch a USA catalog. At some point the content owners may ask Netflix to enforce geo specific rule or to simply not support VPN usage. Most content owners ask companies like HOOQ to try to block VPN’s or similar tools. As global content streaming takes off, I expect this to be an ongoing discussion.

    – To summarize I would like to say this is going to take time to all play out. As I like to remind my team regularly – it’s a marathon – not a sprint.

I’ll add to this is if I think I missed something.

Apple to offer carrier billing?

So now I get it. Must say that the tech in Asia headline is quite misleading.

This article explains it better :: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/435673/scitech/technology/smart-allows-purchases-from-apple-itunes-app-store-using-load

Th carrier is creating a virtual credit card via the user’s phone account. So apple sees a credit card still but user doesn’t have one.

Brilliant idea. More carriers should do this.

That being said – apple needs to step up their game. Biggest win for android is being able to modify the payment model.

My old post ::

This is the biggest news in tech if so!

https://www.techinasia.com/smart-communications-philippines-direct-billing-app-store-itunes/