Meet 123RF, the stock image website that has an average of 25 million views per month, according to SimilarWeb. Here’s what’s surprising: The company behind it is based in Malaysia, has been profitable for years, and boasts an annual revenue in the tens of millions of dollars. And now, its latest surprise is how it’s pivoting into a software-as-a-service (SaaS) player to go up against Adobe. Can it succeed?
Today we look at:
The Malaysian startup that’s going up against the goliaths of the creative cloud space
The startup that banked US$16.7 million, thanks to the rise of online shopping
Other highlights such as how Facebook is practicing censorship in Vietnam and Grab’s great third quarter
A super content library player’s move into SaaS
Inmagine Group, the parent firm of 123RF, bootstrapped its way to where it is today. But that’s not enough, as it has set it sights on getting a
piece of the US$31 billion creative cloud market which is US$25 billion bigger than the stock content industry.
Building the next Adobe: To win in the creative tools space, Inmagine began acquiring companies in 2017 including online image editing suite Pixlr and filmmaker community platform Story and Heart.
The target audience? Creative professionals, small and medium-sized enterprises, and creative agencies that want a more affordable option compared to Adobe. Inmagine currently has 35 million monthly active users across all its platforms.
On the other hand, Inmagine’s competitors have also moved into the stock market space: Adobe acquired Fotolia in 2014 and later rebranded it to Adobe Stock while Canva bought stock content sites Pexels and Pixabay just last year.
Delve into Inmagine’s fight in the creative space:
A profitable Malaysian startup is taking on Adobe and Canva
Catch our other good reads on Malaysian companies:
A startup is racing to turn everyone into an internet service provider
How a startup plans to profit from the regional car ownership boom
Can AirAsia’s super-app ambitions take off?
This startup says yay to the rise of online shopping
With more people shopping online these days, the demand for logistics has also increased. Japan-based logistics fulfillment platform OpenLogi recently raised US$16.7 million in the first closing of its series C funding round to expand its team.
What does it do? OpenLogi digitalizes the physical logistics system and helps shippers, warehouses, and delivery companies work together by standardizing operations and processes.
Achievements: At present, the company has more than 8000 registered users and over 40 affiliated logistics companies nationwide.
Its total funding: OpenLogi has raised a total of US$26.3 million to date, counting Eight Roads Ventures and Infinity Ventures Japan as its investors, among others.
1️⃣ Facebook’s censorship in Vietnam
The social media giant is reportedly blacklisting accounts and taking down posts from government critics and pro-democracy activists in Vietnam. This month, the country’s information minister announced that Facebook is complying with 95% of government requests and has “reached the highest level ever.”
2️⃣ Grab’s (almost) revenue back on track
The Singapore-based super app had a great third quarter , with its group revenue hitting over 95% of its pre-Covid numbers. That’s thanks in part to Grab’s food business, which is generating more than 50% of its revenues. The company is reportedly valued at more than US$15 billion now.
3️⃣ Google: Tokopedia’s new investor
The Indonesian ecommerce unicorn has received funding from tech titan Google.
4️⃣ Avatar robots OTW to replace humans
You may soon see robots clerking at convenience stores or patrolling buildings as security guards in Japan. The project is in an experimental phase, with local startups planning to deploy several remote-controlled robots at workplaces to help solve labor shortages and provide relief to essential workers. A related and somewhat eerie read: Will virtual humans replace ‘real’ influencers, models, and more?
5️⃣ Flipkart faces off against Reliance and Amazon
The Walmart-backed ecommerce company has acquired a 7.8% stake worth US$203.9 million in Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Limited, a fashion and lifestyle company with over 3000 stores in the country. This comes after local player Reliance Retail paid US$3.4 billion to acquire Future Group’s retail and wholesale business as well as its logistics and warehousing unit in August.
6️⃣ The race for self-drive censor tech
The competition is heating up among sensor manufacturers with the rise of autonomous cars. One big player is Arizona-based ON Semiconductor, which has 45% of the market. Japanese conglomerate Sony controls around 70% of the image sensors used in smartphone cameras worldwide, but its share of the automotive image sensors market is only 9%.
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