Singapore stocks were lower after the close on Tuesday, as losses in the Oil&Gas, Real Estate Holdings&Development and Industrials sectors led shares lower. At the close in Singapore, the Singapore Straits Time declined 0.82%. The best performers of the session on the Singapore Straits Time were Wilmar International Limited (SIN:WLIL), which rose 0.31% or 0.01 points to trade at 3.20 at the close. Meanwhile, Jardine Matheson Hldgs Ltd (SIN:JARD) fell 0.09% or 0.05 points to end at 55.00 and Singapore Press Hldgs Ltd (SIN:SPRM) was down 0.24% or 0.01 points to 4.20 in late trade. The worst performers of the session were Golden Agri-Resources Ltd (SIN:GAGR), which fell 5.56% or 0.020 points to trade at 0.340 at the close. Noble Group Limited (SIN:NOBG) declined 4.03% or 0.025 points to end at 0.595 and CapitaMall Trust (SIN:CMLT) was down 2.34% or 0.050 points to 2.090. Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Singapore Stock Exchange by 296 to 160 and 36 ended unchanged. Shares in Golden Agri-Resources Ltd (SIN:GAGR) fell to 5-year lows; down 5.56% or 0.020 to 0.340. Shares in Noble Group Limited (SIN:NOBG) fell to 5-year lows; losing 4.03% or 0.025 to 0.595. Crude oil for September delivery was down 0.75% or 0.35 to $47.03 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in September fell 1.35% or 0.72 to hit $52.75 a barrel, while the December Gold contract fell 0.36% or 3.90 to trade at $1093.00 a troy ounce. USD/SGD was down 0.13% to 1.3671, while EUR/SGD fell 0.63% to 1.5085. The US Dollar Index was up 0.36% at 96.98.
Young & Entrepreneurial: How these first-time Entrepreneurs built Carousell, the #1 Lifestyle App in Singapore
Young & Entrepreneurial is a series of articles where we interview and write about young individuals innovating, venturing out, taking risks and disrupting the world. This is the 23rd post in the Young & Entrepreneurial Series. To read previous features, visit our Facebook page here. If you want to stay up to date with this series, sign-up for our newsletter here. --- Spending one year in Silicon Valley can make a big difference in the lives of students about to graduate from university. For then National University of Singapore (NUS) students Siu Rui Quek, Lucas Ngoo and Marcus Tan, their one-year immersion in Silicon Valley through the NUS Overseas College program would inspire them to use technology to solve problems at a large scale. This technology would end up being in the form of Carousell, a peer to peer, C2C mobile marketplace that they started in 2012. Since then, Carousell has become the number 1 lifestyle application in Singapore and has a presence in Taiwan, Indonesia and Malaysia. Last year, they also raised a $6M financing round led by Sequoia Capital, the firm that has backed legendary companies like Apple and Google. The Carousell founding team at work Siu Rui, who leads Carousell Product & Community, shared, "If you look at WhatsApp, they were a 35 man team serving 400 million people worldwide. That was the kind of impact we wanted to create. At that time, we were just business students and computer engineering students. Coming from Singapore, you only aspire to work for the bigger companies but Silicon Valley changed that for us." It was also around this same time that they stumbled upon a personal problem of having so many gadgets lying around their room from buying things from Amazon while they were in the US. While the trio initially tried using Yahoo auctions and Ebay, they felt that buying and selling could be much simpler with a mobile platform--the idea for Carousell was born. Startup Weekend Singapore 2012 A mobile platform for buying and selling would end up becoming the team's pitch during Startup Weekend Singapore in 2012. There were over 80 teams that competed in the Startup Weekend competition, with only 20 teams going to the final round. Siu Rui shared, "Turns out that we were idea number 22 but luckily 2 teams consolidated and dropped out of their idea and we were the last team to be able to work on our idea." The Carousell team would end up winning the entire competition and this would kickstart their entrepreneurship journey. They would graduate a month later and would go full steam ahead building the product, and eventually launching their IOS app on August 2012. However, it wouldn't be that smooth a ride. Never take no for an answer The team's first rejection would come from a professor who handled the selection for a $10,000 NUS Grant that they had hoped to secure to kick-start their product development. While most teams would have given up right there, the Carousell team did something else. Siu Rui shared, "They said the idea was not new and asked us why we were doing this. But we decided to go after the professor and literally do an elevator pitch to the professor answering why we were doing this and why we really believed in this." The next day, the professor decided to give them a $7000 grant to kickstart the development of the Carousell app. Marcus, who leads Carousell's Design & Community, shared, "We were first time designers and developers. We didn't really have formal training on how to design or develop a social app. We had to learn how to use Photoshop, read about product and design and do a lot of user testing." Early on, the team would start out with user interfaces and mockups that they would take to flea markets in Singapore asking them if they would use the app. They also started thinking about other problems they could solve from a mobile experience. The Carousell Founding Team Early Engineering Challenges Lucas, who leads Carousell's Engineering and Development also recalls the first day they launched the app after it got approved to go live in the App store. He shared, "there was a spike during the first day so it crashed our sever because we didn't fully prepare for it. We had to drive down to one of the rooms in NUS and migrate our server to a better hosting provider." However, this spike wouldn't last. While the initial hype from the Startup Weekend and the support from NUS helped with the initial spike, the next 3-4 months would be flat growth for Carousell. Siu Rui shared, "There was a day where we only had 7 signups. That was depressing but thankfully we looked deeper and saw how we had 400 active users." At this same time, NUS had also connected the Carousell team to Vinnie Lauria from Golden Gate Ventures whose expertise lied in growth hacking and community building. He immediately saw a retention problem and helped the Carousell team set up transactional emails. The team quickly integrated Sendgrid and push notifications that would incentivize users to revisit the app. Then another big realization hit them. Siu Rui shared, "We were starting to grow again when we realized that we had no Android app and as a result were cutting our addressable marketplace by half so we set out to build one." Three months later and the team launched their Android app on January 2013. Number One Lifestyle App in Singapore Starting out, the team had focused on targeting small communities like the female blog shops community in Singapore, where they had identified a problem of people selling wrong sizes--they needed an easier way to communicate instead of using Facebook groups. Marcus shared, "We reached out to them, and they migrated to Carousell, and were a big part of our early adopters." This was followed by a partnership with Singapore Press Holdings' ST Classifieds, helping them gain even more traction. Before they knew it, Carousell had shot up and became the number one lifestyle application in Singapore. Siu Rui shared, "Up to today we haven't spent a cent on marketing but we're still the number one lifestyle application." Key to their success was being part of the ecosystem of Block 71. Lucas shared, "Initially we tried to do a lot of things ourselves. We tried to learn a lot of things and pick up things on our own. But we had the whole community of Block 71 so we reached out to the other startups on scaling challenges and that actually helped us." Scaling up While the first two years saw the founding team along with two other members doing the bulk of the work, Carousell would eventually need to grow its team to meet the demand of their product as they scaled regionally. Siu Rui shared, "When we were trying to start hiring our first few people, we had this bias for people like us, the hacker and hustler type. We were quite averse to bringing people in who had prior experience. But we overtime learned that it is valuable to bring in people with experience and eventually after 2 and a half years after we started Carousell, we brought on our first really experienced engineer." Bringing in more experienced people helped Carousell scale to new markets as they entered the Malaysia market, followed by Indonesia and Taiwan. Siu Rui added, "If you look at Singapore, there are only 5 million people so we decided that in order to create more impact and to inspire the world to start selling, we needed to open up new markets internationally." The Taiwan team Successful Regional Expansion The reason why Carousell has been so successful in their regional expansion is because of a few main reasons that Marcus highlighted, "First, it was finding the right team and teammates. That was the first thing in our list. How do we get someone who understands our product, and understands our culture and values." He added, "Second, we had to localize the product and the currency. Then we had to find someone who could speak the language and knew people in the area. We needed someone who understood the different demographics in a multiracial country." This rapid growth didn't come without its challenges. Siu Rui shared how the team is still constantly learning how to engage all its team members and communicate better with their remote teams. He shared, "How do you make them feel like they're part of the family? We're trying hard but I don't think we still have the full answers." Currently, the team tries to fly in their remote members once every 2 months for a week or so to mingle with the rest of the team. While admittedly it has also been a challenge as Carousell has grown so quickly, doubling the size of their team in the last 6 months, the team hopes to continue growing their family in the next few months with their focus on expanding to even more countries. From first-time entrepreneurs to Sequoia-backed Startup In just three years, the team has gone from 3 inexperienced first-time entrepreneurs to a startup with over 40 employees with venture capital funding from Sequoia Capital. Siu Rui said, "Sequoia has backed legendary companies. This was validation for us and our team's hard work." Marcus shared, "We used to build the product during the early days then the role has evolved to driving the mission to our teammates and articulating to our family why this mission is important and driving down the culture of solving problems." While it used to be just the three of them, Carousell has become a family of entrepreneurial individuals wanting to inspire the world to start selling. Marcus added, "We learn from every person that joins our family. Their experiences and how much we learn from them inspire us as well." Sticking to the mission Carousell was created with the goal of helping as many people buy and sell their things and it hasn't looked back. Marcus shared, "It really inspired us how a product that we just wanted to build for ourselves has impacted so many people and is touching so many people's lives." He told us how a lot of first time sellers coming to Carousell, who are very young start becoming entrepreneurial because of Carousell. Marcus even shared with us his own experience selling his used camera that was just collecting dust in his house, to a university student that wanted to learn photography. He shared, "It hit me at that time that not everyone can buy first hand. That was something that really touched me. Something that was collecting dust at home could actually make an impact and bring joy and help someone else develop a new skill." Lessons on Starting a Startup Siu Rui started out with, "Keep learning, you don't know what you don't know." Lucas added, "Keep exploring. When we first started, we never knew that we would launch in Taiwan. Going forward, we don't know how big Caoursell will be; just trust that it will be really really big and just keep working." For Marcus, it's about understanding that the startup journey is not a sprint but a marathon. "Start simple, don't hesitate and keep going. It's something where you need perseverance to keep going." It's been more than 3 years ago when this team first decided to jump into doing Carousell full-time right after university. Six months after they first started and they still weren't sure that anyone cared about Carousell aside from their 400 active users. Siu Rui closed with, "Don't prematurely kill your idea just because in 3 months or 6 months you didn't see any results. It took us 1.5 years before we saw any form of rapid growth in Carousell. Staying on because you're passionate about something is very important." Want to start selling or buying? Learn more on how you can get started by visiting the Carousell website here. The Carousell Family Enjoyed reading the article? We hope you could click the share button and help us inspire the next-generation of entrepreneurs. You can also find previous features on our Facebook page here. ---About the Author--- David Ongchoco is a student entrepreneur and avid storyteller from the Philippines studying at the University of Pennsylvania majoring in what he likes to call, LIFE. He is currently working on expanding his nonprofit organization YouthHack. It's David's goal to make an impact in the lives of as many people possible while constantly learning new things every single day. David can be reached at [email protected] -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
The biggest integrated startup space in Singapore, a meeting place for tech-builders, innovators and investors, was launched on Wednesday to bring together partners of the tech-building community across the value chain, the Business Times reported.
My op-ed in the Wall Street Journal "A New Vision for Singapore," or rather what happened following its publication, is an example of what has to change in Singapore. I had first offered the piece to the main daily newspaper, the Straits Times. It was not accepted for publication. This is not surprising as in the nearly a quarter-of-a-century of my involvement in opposition politics in Singapore, I have not had any opinion piece published in the Singapore press even though I have contributed articles in many international newspapers in the past. My piece in the Wall Street Journal elicited a predictably heavy-handed response from the government. The Straits Times and other pro-government news sites ran identical reports titled Singapore responds to 'dishonest' commentary by Chee Soon Juan in WSJ. My piece was nowhere in sight. The 'dishonest' label is one assiduously cultivated by the riling People's Action Party (PAP); it is the favored tactic of the ruling party to character assassinate its opponents. In this instance, the charge is already an improvement compared to earlier criticisms. In a courtroom hearing in 2008, Mr Lee Kuan Yew testified -- after consulting his doctors -- that I was a "near-psychopath." A Straits Times columnist even penned an editorial confirming the diagnosis after looking up a medical website. Mr. Lee's successor, Mr. Goh Chok Tong, declared that my integrity was suspect, vowing that the government "would try and annihilate" me. The third and current prime minister, Mr Lee Hsien Loong, said in 2006 that I was a liar and added for good measure that "he's a cheat, he's deceitful, he's confrontational, it's a destructive form of politics." The condemnations were not just in word. I was sued for defamation by the three prime ministers and made bankrupt (for which I recently managed to annul after paying off a reduced amount of the damages), imprisoned and fined on more than a dozen occasions, and banned from running for office for nearly 15 years. I am not the only one so targeted by the government. Many before me have suffered greater abject fate, some imprisoned without trial for decades, all branded societal menace by the state media. If all this sounds archaic, that's because it is. PAP is clinging to a past that has long since finished. When the party came to power in 1959, it, with considerable help from the country's British overlords, locked up its political opponents, including journalists whom it deemed unhelpful to its agenda. Through the decades, the party's grip on the media tightened, resulting in the present situation where every Singaporean TV channel, every radio station and every newspaper is owned and run by the state. The World Press Freedom Index 2014 ranks Singapore 150th out of 180 countries. Even Myanmar does better at 145th. The control of the media and the heavily financed propaganda has held Singaporeans in utter thrall, enabling the PAP to rule uninterrupted for more than half-a-century. Even today, albeit with less of a swagger due to push-back from the online community, the party continues to dictate to Singaporeans what they should read, watch and hear. The state-controlled media shield the ruling class from being responsive to the needs and aspirations of the common people. They have put reason and intellectualism to sleep and, as a result, stymied development. Such kind of politics cannot continue, not if Singapore is going to graduate into the next phase of development. The ruling party must stop attempting to conquer people and, instead, move to contest policies. It must end the political solipsism from which the PAP arrogates unto itself sole ideological legitimacy and turn to a contemporary pluralism where differences in opinion are debated, indeed celebrated. If the country is going to survive the next phase of technological advancement in an increasingly competitive global environment, politics in Singapore must evolve in tandem. Starting with the media. Singaporeans have a lot to offer to the world. We built this island-nation to what it is today and we can build an even better country for tomorrow. The only thing that is holding us back is the anachronistic political system and the received opinion among the public that democracy threatens progress. To this end, Singapore must free the media. The government must let the people go. Chee Soon Juan is Secretary-General of the Singapore Democratic Party
* Says Singapore Press Holdings Ltd to license Cxense full software suite
Candy Crush maker King Digital Entertainment has bought Singapore-based games developer Nonstop Games for up to $100 million.
SINGAPORE PRESS-Nine startups apply for scheme that helps homegrown firms bid for govt projects - Straits Times
Homegrown technology startups will be considered first over more established firms for government projects under a new scheme and nine startups have already applied for this.
Разворот : Новое дело против Саакашвили, Эхо Москвы, 28.07.2014 В дополнение: The Mass Media in Singapore "Freedom of the press, freedom of the news media, must be subordinated to the overriding needs of the integrity of Singapore, and to the primary purposes of an elected government." Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew Media of Singapore "No person shall print or publish or assist in the printing or publishing of any newspaper in Singapore unless the chief editor or the proprietor of the newspaper has previously obtained a permit granted by the Minister authorising the publication thereof, which permit the Minister may in his discretion grant, refuse or revoke, or grant subject to conditions to be endorsed thereon." —Newspaper and Printing Presses Act of 1974, Cap. 206, Sec. 21. —(1) Press Freedom Index MediaCorp Temasek Holdings Singapore Press Holdings Censorship in Singapore Internet censorship in Singapore
Facebook Inc co-founder and billionaire investor Eduardo Saverin has invested in Singapore start-up Nitrous.IO.
Handset maker Xiaomi, often billed as the "Apple of China" and known for its budget smartphones, will be setting up its international headquarters in Singapore. It will first focus on the South-east Asian region.
After the global downturn that the semiconductor industry was mired in last year, 2014 looks set to be a rosier year amid regained confidence that better global demand will bolster manufacturing in Singapore.
Japan's biggest e-commerce site, Rakuten Inc, may only be officially setting up in Singapore later this month but it already has 70 local merchants on board as it works towards building its regional hub in Singapore.
Singapore-listed GSH Corp Ltd has signed a 700 million ringgit ($213 million) deal to buy a majority stake in a hospitality company in Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia.
Yesterday we reported that popular social reader app Flipboard has secured $50 million in funds from existing investors. Today another online magazine store, Magzter has raised a funding of $10 million from Singapore Press Holdings and its existing investor Kalaari Capital. The Series B funding will be primarily utilized for further expansion and entry in to digital books. [...] Looking For A Social Media Agency?? - Contact WATConsult - India's Leading Social Media Agency
The Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) wants multinational companies to pick Singapore as the location for developing 3D printing and additive manufacturing applications for their businesses.
Sky One Holdings' collapse on Monday prompted a number of brokers to update their lists of restricted stocks this week, raising questions about why the Singapore Exchange (SGX) did not impose trading curbs as it had done with three other stocks a few weeks earlier.
Подразделение компании Yahoo в Юго-Восточной Азии согласилось выплатить неназванную сумму в качестве компенсации ущерба и судебных издержек по иску, поданному Singapore Press Holdings в связи с нарушением авторских прав...
The most important event of the "coming" week was unexpected, and did not even take place during the week, but the weekend. So with Summers unexpectedly, and uncharacteristically out, here is what else is in store. The coming weak is hosting many monetary policy meetings in the US, India, Turkey, South Africa, Norway and Switzerland. Consensus expects no change in all except the US. Specifically, as is now largely expected, the Fed will announce a shift in the mix of monetary policy instruments away from asset purchases and toward forward guidance. Regarding the forward guidance, some such as Goldman expect a clarification that the 6.5% unemployment threshold is conditional on a return of inflation to the 2% target, and even more emphasis on the importance of broad labor market improvement. There is a meaningful probability that the committee will reduce the 6.5% threshold, but this is not the base case. Regarding the asset purchase program, most seems to expect a tapering of $10 bn, all in Treasuries, as well as confirmation from Chairman Bernanke that the committee still expects to end QE in mid-2014. Journalists at the press conference are likely to ask Chairman Bernanke if the unemployment rate is still the best measure of slack in the economy, whether the FOMC has discussed lowering the unemployment threshold, how much of the decline in labor force participation is structural and how much is cyclical, whether 7% unemployment and mid-2014 remains a reasonable forecast for the end of asset purchases, and how credible the committee's forward guidance is at a time of leadership change. If tapering does begin, journalists are likely to press the Chairman on why the committee is tapering with inflation well below the target and a recent payrolls trend of about 150k. Minutes from six CBs including RBA and BoE are also on deck. The week will also prove interesting with the release of external balance statistics in a number of countries and end with German elections - the latter expected to be a non-event from a financial markets perspective. Monday, Sep 16 US Empire Manufacturing Survey (Sep) US IP (Aug): Consensus +0.4%, previous flat. Euro Area CPI (Aug): consensus unchanged at +1.3%yoy Brazil IGP-10 Inflation (Sep): previous +4.12%yoy India Wholesale Prices (Aug): previous +5.8%yoy Argentina CPI: GS +25.4%yoy, previous +25.3%yoy Also interesting: Canada Existing Home Sales Tuesday, Sep 17 Australia RBA MPC minutes Turkey MPC: Consensus has two key policy rates - repo and overnight lending - unchanged at 4.5% and 7.75% respectively US CPI (Aug): GS +0.1%mom, consensus +0.2%mom, previous +0.2%mom US TIC data (Jul): previous USD-66.9bn UK Core CPI (Aug): consensus +2.1%yoy, previous +2.0%yoy Euro Area Trade Balance, SA (Jul): consensus EUR+15.0bn, previous EUR+14.9bn New Zealand CA Balance (2Q): consensus unchanged at -4.8% of GDP Also interesting: US Homebuilders Survey, UK House Prices, Poland Employment, Singapore Non-oil Exports Wednesday, Sep 18 US FOMC: on Fed Fund rate - Consensus has it unchanged at 0.25%; on pace of MBS purchases - Consensus has them unchanged at USD+40bn; on pace of Treasuries purchases - Consensus has them at USD+35bn, previous USD+45bn. Sweden MPC minutes UK MPC minutes US Housing Starts (Aug): Consensus +2.1%, previous +5.9% South Africa CPI (Aug): Consensus +6.4%yoy, previous +6.3%yoy Also interesting: US MBA Mortgage Applications, Russia CPI and Retail Sales, Poland IP, Australia Leading Indicators, Mexico FX Reserves Thursday, Sep 19 South Africa MPC: Consensus have rate unchanged at 5% Norway MPC: GS and consensus have deposit rate unchanged at 1.5% Switzerland MPC: consensus has target 3m Libor rate unchanged at 0% Poland MPC minutes Kuroda speaks in Tokyo US Initial Jobless Claims (Sep): consensus +330K, previous +292K US Philly Fed Survey (Sep): Consensus +10, last +9.3 US Existing Homes Sales (Aug): consensus -2.6%, previous +6.5% US CA Balance (Q2): consensus USD-97.2bn, previous USD-106.1bn Japan Tankan Survey (Sep) Japan Trade Balance (Aug): consensus JPY-1113.8bn, previous JPY-1024.0bn Switzerland Trade Balance (Aug): consensus CHF+1.80bn, previous CHF+2.38bn Also interesting: Mexico Aggregate Demand, UK Retail Sales, Ireland GDP, Russia FX Reserves Friday, Sep 20 Fed's George, Bullard and Kocherlakota speak in NY; Tarullo speaks on regulation in New Haven India RBI MPC Mexico MPC minutes Euro Area Consumer Confidence (Sep): consensus -14.5, previous - 15.6 Brazil IPCA-15 Inflation: Consensus +5.93%yoy, previous +6.15%yoy Argentina real GDP: previous +3.0%yoy Argentina CA Balance: previous USD-2380mn Also interesting: Thailand FX Reserves, Canada CPI, UK CBI Industrial Trends Survey Sun, Sep 22 German elections - although being a significant event with uncertain outcomes we recently discussed in GS Top of Mind that any of those outcomes should not in our opinion contribute significantly to European market movements in the week pre- and post the elections Visually: Source: GS and SocGen
PRESS RELEASE: Most U.S. Workers Likely to Lose Out from Proposed Trans-Pacific Trade Agreement, Report Finds
September 10, 2013 Tiny Economic Gains from TPP Would be Dwarfed by Increased Inequality for Most Workers For Immediate Release: September 10, 2013 Contact: Dan Beeton, 202-239-1460 Washington, D.C.- A new report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) finds that most U.S. workers would experience a net negative impact from the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal currently under negotiation. The paper, “Gains from Trade? The Net Effect of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement on U.S. Wages,” by economist David Rosnick uses economic modeling results that are widely-cited by proponents of the agreement. These recent estimates of the U.S. economic gains that would result from the TPP are very small—only 0.13 percent of GDP by 2025. This paper finds that taking into account the effect of the agreement on wage inequality, the median wage earner would lose as a result of any such agreement. “Most U.S. workers are likely to lose out from the TPP,” CEPR Co-Director Mark Weisbrot said today. “This may come as no surprise after 20 years of NAFTA and an even-longer period of trade policy designed to put lower- and middle-class workers in direct competition with low-paid workers in the developing world, but it’s still important to examine the economic projections.” By examining economic modeling done by researchers Peter Petri, Michael Plummer, and Fan Zhai, the paper finds that “it would take only a very small contribution to inequality due to trade to wipe out all of the gains that most workers would get from this agreement.” Because of such an “un-equalizing effect of trade on wages” – and considering that the GDP gains are expected to be so small - the paper finds that the median wage earner in the U.S. will probably experience a net loss were the TPP to be implemented. The paper’s author arrives at this conclusion by examining different projections for the effect of trade on inequality and concludes that “despite the very modest gains in expanded economic activity, wages will generally fall as a result of future trade agreements.” The TPP is currently being negotiated among the U.S., Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. The text of the draft agreement has largely been kept secret, including from most legislators, but those who have seen it, such as Representative Alan Grayson (D – FL), have confirmed that it is modeled on NAFTA and similar U.S. trade agreements. ###