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Daily Markup #547: abillion donates record US$2M to charities; Grab adds bus & ferry tickets to its app; NBA franchise recruits OhmniLabs robots

Ching Yee Ho



Credit: abillion

Social media for social good

  • A record US$2 million has been donated to 63 non-profits globally, thanks to the users of 500-backed sustainability platform abillion.
  • How was this feat achieved? abillion rewards users by crediting US$1 to them for every review they share on the app, which can then be donated to one of many abillion partner charities.
  • The startup’s core focus areas of change are animal welfare, diet change, conservation, and reforestation. Its impact program helped Aloha Animal Sanctuary in Hawaii continue to raise funds during the pandemic, and Indonesia Indah Foundation plant thousands of mangrove trees.
  • To celebrate this milestone, abillion published a children’s book titled Finding Impact; the story follows a lamb on his journey visiting animal sanctuaries around the world. Profits from the sales will benefit the organizations highlighted in the book.
  • “Reinventing social media and e-commerce for social good is key to our work at abillion. We will help billions of people make choices that are better for them and the planet. Thanks to our members worldwide, we’re creating a massive impact for people, animals, and nature. We’re driven to create a revolution that makes sustainability a habit for everyone,” said Vikas Garg, Founder & CEO of abillion.
  • Read the full article here.
Credit: Grab

Travel seamlessly with more modes of transport

  • Daily commuters in Malaysia and Singapore will love this — 500-backed superapp Grab launched Grab Intercity, a service that enables users to conveniently purchase affordable bus and ferry tickets right on the Grab app.
  • The company said that it hopes to help minimize congestion on highways, ticket concessions, and even borders, especially during peak travel periods.
  • Rashid Shukor, Director of Country Operations & Mobility at Grab Malaysia said the company wants to help users plan their travels conveniently and affordably with the use of technology. “By growing our travel offerings, users can plan their holidays without the need for multiple apps or log-ins,” he added.
  • Wee Ka Siong, Minister of Transport Malaysia commented, “With efforts such as this from Grab Malaysia, Malaysians and Singaporeans alike will not only have additional, convenient traveling options at their fingertips, but economies will be able to benefit too.”
  • Get the full story on Digital News Asia.
Credit: OhmniLabs

Robots on the basketball court

  • Robots have been recruited into the NBA in the United States! Not to play basketball though — 500-backed OhmniLabs’ autonomous mobile robot, OhmniClean™, will be disinfecting the team’s training facility.
  • Prior to the pandemic, only about half of the facility was disinfected because the work was very labor-intensive. Now that the entire 20,000+ sq. ft. is open, OhmniClean™ has been roped in for the job.
  • What’s more, the company’s’ QuickMap™ technology means that robots can be trained on the court in as little as 5 minutes. Once mapping is complete, the map is saved in the cloud for any robot in the fleet to access.
  • “The health and safety of our team is our top priority,” said the Vice President of Facilities for the NBA franchise, adding that the OhmniClean™ is like the team’s sixth man.
  • Read the full article here.

Ching Yee Ho