Shopmatic, an ecommerce enabler for small businesses, announced pre-series A funding of US$5.7 million led by Singapore-based VC firm ACP and Spring, which is an agency of Singapore’s ministry of trade and industry.
1. Singapore’s Shopmatic raises $5.7m to expand to Indonesia, the Philippines
Shopmatic is an ecommerce enabler for small businesses as well as individual entrepreneurs. Apart from building and managing their own stores, sellers can use it to get on to multiple ecommerce marketplaces, put ‘buy’ buttons on their social media pages, and so on.
Today Shopmatic announced pre-series A funding of US$5.7 million led by Singapore-based VC firm ACP and Spring, which is an agency of Singapore’s ministry of trade and industry.Shopmatic is an ecommerce enabler for small businesses as well as individual entrepreneurs
Shopmatic will, similarly, partner with local payment gateways in Indonesia and other markets. It has also focused on the needs of mobile-first markets like India and Indonesia.
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2. Google and Indonesia reach agreement in tax dispute
Indonesia’s government reached a settlement with Alphabet Inc.’s Google over a long-running tax dispute, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said.
Indonesia has been more strictly enforcing tax payments since Minister Sri Mulyani took office last year. Other technology giants like Facebook and Twitter with large user bases in Indonesia could be targeted next.
Part of the problem is the complexity of Google’s corporate structure, which makes it difficult to determine where revenues are generated. The firm is facing similar issues elsewhere. It settled for $185 million in its tax dispute with the UK last year.
How will oil prices shape the Covid-19 recovery in emerging markets?
– After falling significantly in 2020, oil prices have returned to pre-pandemic levels
– The rise has been driven by OPEC+ production cuts and an improving economic climate
– Higher prices are likely to support a rebound in oil-producing emerging markets
– Further virus outbreaks or increased production would pose challenges to price stability
A combination of continued production cuts and an increase in economic activity has prompted oil prices to return to pre-pandemic levels – a factor that will be crucial to the recovery of major oil-producing countries in the Middle East and Africa.
Brent crude prices rose above $60 a barrel in early February, the first time they had exceeded pre-Covid-19 values. They have since continued to rise, going above $66 a barrel on February 24.
The ongoing increase in oil prices, which have soared by 75% since November and around 26% since the beginning of the year, marks a dramatic change from last year.
Following the closure of many national borders and the implementation of travel-related restrictions to stop the spread of the virus, demand for oil slumped globally.
In the wake of the Saudi-Russia price war in early 2020, Brent crude prices fell from around $60 a barrel in February that year to two-decade lows of $20 a barrel in late April, as supply increased and demand plummeted. The value of WTI crude – the main benchmark for oil in the US – fell to record lows of around $40 a barrel last year on the back of a lack of storage space.
While global demand for oil remains low, one factor credited with reversing the trend is the decision to make significant cuts to oil production, which subsequently tightened global supplies.
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