4 min read

Daily Markup #29: Carousell continues to help SMEs in Southeast Asia.

500 Southeast Asia Team



In other news, robot dogs in Singapore.


  • 500-backed Carousell’s umbrella of Covid-19-targeted initiatives continues to expand.
  • The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and the classifieds marketplace have linked up to launch the #TetapBuka Carousell Business Grants initiative worth RM1 million (~$230,000) for local SMEs affected by the pandemic and the Movement Control Order (MCO), subsequently amended to the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO).
Credit: MyCebu.ph
  • Carousell Malaysia’s country head Tang Siew Wai hopes the grants will especially help businesses under the non-essential sectors through strategic support including priority placement on Carousell’s website and app for enhanced visibility.
Credit: Carousell
  • The grants cover these items: Free access to CarouBiz lite package (worth RM500) with 5,000 coins that can be used to give listings more visibility safe & secure digital payment via Carousell Protection (zero fee for Sellers), opportunity for their business to be advertised in the main page of Carousell app & website.
  • Open to all local retailers and SMEs registered with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia; SSM) who are not presently advertising on Carousell, you can find more details here.

ESPL collaborates with leading Malaysian telco

  • Hot off the heels of announcing its Latin America expansion, 500-backed Esports Players League (ESPL) has secured yet a fresh partnership with Digi, a leading telecommunications group in Malaysia, which is also a subsidiary of Telenor.
  • ESPL and Digi organized their first esports tournament together, called the ESPL-Digi #StayAtHome Cup. The tournament ran over 3 days from 8 May 2020 to 10 May 2020.
  • Participating gamers registered on Republic.gg, an online gaming reload platform powered by Digi.
Credit: ESPL
  • Competing on the popular first-person title Call of Duty Mobile, an RM8,500 (~$1,955) prize pool was up for grabs.
  • Moving forward, Digi will introduce ESPL’s unique, mobile and online-focused tournaments in Malaysia. In turn, ESPL will support Digi’s efforts by delivering the complete tech and esports solutions for competitive gaming tournaments.

Helping the unbanked migrants

  • Mehedi Hasan, founder and CEO of 500-backed MyCash came to Malaysia at the age of 17. He studied, got a job before venturing to start the e-commerce company that has since processed more than 2.5 million transactions worth around $80 million, serving 200,000 migrants in Malaysia, Singapore, and Australia.
Mehedi Hasan / Credit: Future Startup
  • In his interview with IMTC, Mehedi weighs in on how the Covid-19 pandemic is affecting MyCash, the consumer trends that have emerged during this time, and how the company remains profitable.
  • Read the full interview here.

Robot doggo

  • A robot dog engineered by Boston Dynamics has been deployed to patrol the parks in Singapore and to encourage residents to social distance amid the Covid-19 outbreak.
  • The remote-controlled, four-legged robot named Spot had its first go-around on Friday, walking around the city-state’s Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park while politely reminding residents to stay at least 1 meter apart from one another.
Credit: The Straits Times
  • In footage shared by The Straits Times, the yellow “dog” trots around the park broadcasting pre-recorded messages reminding park-goers to observe social distancing guidelines.
  • It’s also equipped with cameras to help it estimate the number of visitors in the parks.
  • Don’t play fetch with Spot, though.

Stay tuned to tomorrow’s Daily Markup!

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500 Startups is a venture capital firm on a mission to discover and back the world’s most talented entrepreneurs, help them create successful companies at scale, and build thriving global ecosystems. In Southeast Asia, 500 Startups invests through the pioneering 500 Southeast Asia family of funds. The 500 Southeast Asia funds have backed over 240 companies across multiple sectors from internet to consumer to deep technology. It continues to connect founders with capital, expertise and powerful regional and global networks to help them succeed.

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500 Southeast Asia Team