Singapore s move to allow more than one class of shares for its public companies won t be enough on its own to lure international businesses, according to executives and asset managers.Some of the world s largest companies, including Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc., have multiple share classes, which usually are in place to allow minority shareholders to have majority voting rights.An independent body on Monday said it was in favor of permitting weighted-voting rights for new listings on Singapore Exchange Ltd., in what is the city s latest bid to draw initial share sales.The move may help narrow the gap with Hong Kong, Asia s biggest market for initial public offerings, where minority-control voting structures aren t permitted.Hong Kong lost Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. s $25 billion IPO to the U.S. after regulators rejected the Chinese e-commerce company s governance structure.Technology companies would typically first consider the Nasdaq and New York Stock Exchange, and then the Hong Kong stock exchange, said Chua Kee Lock, chief executive officer of Vertex Venture Holdings Ltd., a unit of state investment firm Temasek Holdings Pte.Companies in Vertex s portfolio include Reebonz Pte, Southeast Asia s biggest luxury e-commerce company, and online grocer HappyFresh.Until you attract good companies, no institutional investor will spend time, said Chua, the head of Singapore s largest venture capital firm.
RedMart Ltd., the Singapore online grocer backed by billionaire Facebook Inc. co-founder Eduardo Saverin, is seeking a buyer as competition intensifies in the city-state, people with knowledge of the matter said.RedMart is working with an investment bank on options including a possible sale of the grocer, which delivers products ranging from fresh dragonfruit to frozen dumplings, according to the people.The company has reached out to potential buyers including Singapore supermarket chain NTUC Fairprice Co-operative Ltd. to gauge their interest, the people said, asking not to be identified as the talks are private.The Singapore company has raised tens of millions of dollars from investors including Garena, Southeast Asia s biggest tech startup, and SoftBank Ventures Korea amid an increasingly competitive funding environment in the region.Indonesian online grocer HappyFresh raised more than $12 million last month, while Singapore concierge and delivery firm Honestbee Pte completed a $15 million funding round last year and formed a delivery partnership with NTUC Fairprice.RedMart, founded in 2011, would also consider another round of funding instead of an outright sale, the people said.Its $23 million funding round in 2014 attracted new investors SoftBank and San Franciso-based Visionnaire Ventures, as well as existing backers including Saverin, according to its website.RedMart has built a strong team of investors and, in the normal course of business, we continue to engage with potential new investors who can add value as we scale, the company said in an e-mailed statement.The business continues to grow rapidly and we have more than doubled our revenue thus far in 2016, while remaining on a clear path to profitability.
MoreA Walmart store is seen in Encinitas, California April 13, 2016.SHANGHAI Reuters - Wal-Mart Stores Inc will invest $50 million in Chinese online grocery and delivery firm New Dada, the U.S. retailer said on Friday, extending its tie-ups with local online players to help boost sales in the world's second-largest economy.Wal-Mart shifted its China strategy earlier this year when it sold its own online platform Yihaodian in exchange for a stake in local e-commerce giant JD.com Inc. New Dada is a joint venture part-owned by JD.com.The investment in New Dada will help Wal-Mart target Chinese shoppers with faster delivery times in a popular but fiercely competitive online grocery market.New Dada has over 25 million registered customers and delivers in over 300 Chinese cities.
Online grocer develops 4G protocol to talk with robots operating its newly automated warehousesOnline grocer Ocado has revealed more details about its development of a 4G protocol to communicate with thousands of robots powering its new automated warehouses.The firm said its highly automated warehouses will be offered as part of a managed service called the Ocado Smart Platform, to allow international partners to build online retail businesses.The development of the protocol to communicate with robots comes after Ocado earlier this year installed the world s most advanced and dense mobile network at its warehouse, helping to deliver two million items to customers each day.But now according to Ocado, its protocol marks the first deployment anywhere in the world to use the unlicensed 4G spectrum for warehouse automation.It claims the protocol guarantees a connection ten times per second to each of the 1,000 robots roaming around the warehouse – all working within a 150 meter radius .
Online grocer Ocado has shown off a soft robotic hand that can pick fruit and vegetables, without damaging them, in its warehouses.The firm has an automated warehouse in Andover, Hampshire, where robots select crates containing specific items that make up customer orders.They are currently brought over to a human team for selection but, in future, the hand could replace them.Also in development is a humanoid maintenance robot called SecondHands.It will work alongside a human colleague to maintain the warehouse.The fruit and vegetable picker is part of a five-year research EU-funded collaboration between five European universities and Disney called Soma Soft Manipulation , said Ocado spokesman Alexandru Voica.
Lazada Group, the Southeast Asian e-commerce operator backed by Alibaba Group Holding, has created a loyalty programme for shoppers in Singapore that it may expand to other markets.The company is teaming up with Uber Technologies and Netflix, the first time the US companies have jointly created an online rewards programme, said Maximilian Bittner, chief executive officer of Lazada.Alibaba acquired a controlling stake in Singapore-based Lazada for US$1 billion in 2016.The companies’ “LiveUp” programme started Thursday and links their services, from UberEats and Netflix to online grocer RedMart and Alibaba’s Taobao online marketplace.Consumers pay S$28 (US$20) a year to get benefits such as six months of Netflix streaming, discounts on Uber rides and free delivery on Taobao or Lazada purchases.A mobile app will be rolled out in the second half of the year.
Have you ever ordered your groceries online and had them delivered to your apartment?Then you have probably used, or at least heard of, Stop and Shop’s Peapod brand, the country's leading online grocer with over 40 million orders delivered to date.As the culmination of their open art competition celebrating Brooklyn, NY, the company unveiled five winning pieces of art will adorn the sides of their delivery trucks that will service the NY metro area this summer.The project was created in April to “celebrate Brooklyn’s thriving community of artists, foodies and more,” according to Peapod.The contest was created to get more involved with the communities that they serve, according to the brand."We launched this competition to thank our Brooklyn customers and celebrate the community," said Jennifer Carr-Smith, Peapod President.
Supermarkets be afraid, be very afraid.With the completion of its $13.7 billion acquisition of US organic food grocery chain Whole Foods Market, Amazon has wasted little time in unveiling a raft of aggressive moves apparently designed to challenge the traditional supermarket sector.Here in the UK online grocer Ocado has announced it will be the first national supermarket to launch an app for the Amazon Alexa voice UI.Now you can say things like “Alexa, ask Ocado to add tea to my basket,” and it will.Apparently you can also keep track of existing orders and make stock enquiries too, all without so much as having to glance at a keyboard or screen.This tie-up makes sense as Ocado is online-only and is presumably geared up to fulfil delivery orders in a similar way to Amazon.
Meal kits have been in the mainstream as of late thanks to Blue Apron going public and HelloFresh’s IPO pricing.I’ve tried both Blue Apron and HelloFresh before, but I don’t like being locked into some subscription, so I decided to go with Chef’d this time around.Chef’d, which raised $35.2 million in August from strategic investors like pork producer Smithfield Foods and online grocer Fresh Direct, is different in that you don’t need to subscribe to anything, ever.Chef’d also partners with The New York Times as the exclusive meal kit for the publication’s cooking section, Coca-Cola, WeightWatchers and other brands.For my first go with Chef’d, I ordered three meals kits with two servings each: pork and udon noodles, gnocchi and salmon.The total cost came out to $88, including shipping.
Online grocer Ocado has signed a deal to develop automated warehouse with France's Groupe Casino.Ocado first promised investors an international deal in February 2015.It's part of a push to turn Ocado into a global technology provider, not just a UK online grocer.LONDON — Shares in online grocer Ocado surged as high as 23% on Tuesday morning after the company announced a long-awaited international deal.Ocado said in a statement that it has signed a deal with France's Groupe Casino to develop its "Ocado Smart Platform" grocery picking technology in France.Ocado and Casino, which owns Monoprix, will jointly build an automated warehouse in the Greater Paris region that will feature Ocado's robots and picking technology.
Peapod has launched a new “Chat-to-Cart” service that lets customers text their orders to the online grocer, according to a company release.The new functionality, which Peapod created in partnership with technology firm StorePower, can also be shared and updated across family members.“Now, instead of texting a family member to pick up an extra gallon of milk, you can text Peapod and let us do the work,” Cat De Merode, Peapod's vice president of product said in the release.“The texting functionality complements the Peapod mobile app and desktop website for one seamless ordering process."Peapod is making sure its online grocery platform is plugged into the latest technology and trends.Its new texting feature follows the launch this summer of voice ordering through Amazon’s Alexa device.
Walmart today announced a major expansion in terms of its global e-commerce presence: the retailer is entering a strategic partnership with Tokyo-based Rakuten, which will see the companies collaborating on the launch of a new online grocery service in Japan, and the sale of e-readers, audiobooks and e-books in the U.S., via Rakuten-owned Kobo.The strategic alliance is one that has two of the world’s largest e-commerce retailers joining forcing in an effort to combat Amazon, and is yet another example of how Walmart is using large-scale partnerships to aid in that battle.For example, Walmart last year teamed up with Google in order to have an entry point in the voice-assisted shopping space, by way of Google Home smart speakers – an area where Amazon’s Alexa has mopped up market share.The service will be operated by Rakuten and Seiyu GK, a Walmart subsidiary, and will be called “Rakuten Seiyu Netsuper.”Walmart, via Seiyu, has operated a grocery delivery business in Japan since 2000.The center, which is an existing building Walmart owns, will be exclusively used for online grocery.
Walmart has announced a partnership with Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten, which will see the retail giant expand its operations in Japan and the U.S.On the Japanese side of things, Walmart plans to use its partnership with Rakuten to expand its grocery footprint in the country.Walmart will begin offering online grocery service to Japan through its partnership with Rakuten.Reuters reports that the new service will be named “Rakuten Seiyu Netsuper” and will replace Walmart’s existing online grocery service.It will allow customers to place their orders through Rakuten’s app, which will then be fulfilled by Walmart.In addition to using the existing Walmart’s existing Seiyu stores, it will build additional warehouses to help fulfill these orders.
£36m sunk on developing proprietary softwareMiddle-class Brit online supermarket nirvana Ocado posted losses of £500,000 for 2017, down from £12m profit the previous year – largely thanks to its "transformation" into a technology provider flogging robot-operated warehouses.The company splashed £42.8m on technology last year, up from £34.3m the year before.That included costs of £35.7m to develop its own proprietary software, with a further £7.1m (2016: £7.5m) spent on hardware and software.The biz now employs nearly 1,100 techies, up from 950 staff the previous year."Replatforming" its tech and the greater use of public and private cloud services were also named as other major areas of investment.
Walmart Canada on Wednesday announced a plan to fulfill last-mile delivery of online grocery orders in the Vancouver area through a partnership with Sustainable Produce Urban Delivery (SPUD), which runs the food warehouse and delivery platform Food-X Urban Delivery, according to a press release from the companies.Food-X is about to complete construction of a 74,000-square-foot warehouse, which will be added to operations within SPUD's existing facilities, according to the release.The warehouse is part of SPUD's broader logistics system that includes home delivery, small store retail, commissary/food preparation services and distributionWalmart Canada plans to make use of those services beginning this summer, allowing customers to shop online for fresh groceries, including fruits and vegetables, meats, dairy, baked goods, deli and frozen foods.According to the release, a Food-X truck would deliver orders as early as the next day.Walmart and SPUD operate "two very different retail models," according to Stewart Samuel, Program Director, at IGD Canada, but this tie-up serves both companies' longer term aims.
Amazon India has intensified its foray into grocery sector by opening 15 specialised fulfillment centres (FCs) for its app-only grocery delivery service, Amazon Now.As reported by The Times of India, Amazon will be utilising these centres to cater to the demands on the hyperlocal delivery platform.The news comes after China’s Alibaba's investment of $146 m in online grocer BigBasketDespite a decline in average online spend per buyer in 2016 due to demonetisation and less discounting, Forrester's data showed that online spending in India grew in the first half of 2017.Amazon vice president (India customer fulfillment) Akhil Saxena said: “We have put significant investments in building infrastructure for our various businesses here and we are scaling up and investing in our infrastructure and delivery network for Amazon Now so that we can increase our speed of delivery and provide a superior experience to customers."Amazon also recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Uttar Pradesh's Khadi and Village Industries Board to sell Khadi (handspun fiber clothings) products online.
On the heels of Amazon’s launch of Whole Foods grocery delivery through Amazon Prime Now, Walmart today is rolling out a new option for its grocery pickup and delivery service meant to appeal to busy families: meal kits.The retailer’s affordable alternative to meal kit delivery subscriptions like Blue Apron, is now available at over 250 stores, and is being made available via Walmart’s Online Grocery Pickup service.The meal kits will become available to over 2,000 Walmart locations by year-end, the company says.The kits are developed by Walmart’s Culinary and Innovation Center, and contain pre-portioned ingredients to accompany the retailer’s rotisserie chicken, or help customers prepare a quick meal without having to chop vegetables, combine ingredients, and add seasonings.The kits include rotisserie chicken meals (Thai Curry Chicken and Chicken Fried Rice); pre-portioned kit meals (Steak Dijon, Basil Garlic Chicken, Sweet Chili Chicken Stir Fry, and Pork Florentine); as well as One Step Meals (Chicken Alfredo, Cheesy Ravioli Bake, Meatloaf, Spaghetti and Meatballs, Chicken Parmesan, Pulled Beef, Chicken Marsala, Curry Chicken, Pot Roast, and Chicken Enchiladas).“Customers are busier than ever and we know getting a delicious dinner on the table can be a chore.
For Wednesday's bollocks du jour comes news that online grocer Ocado is to fling bottles of cannabis oil-infused spring water – made by Croydon-based Love Hemp – at gullible thirsty customers.Drinkers hoping for a relaxing lunch break followed by a somewhat unproductive afternoon will be disappointed on two counts.A 500ml bottle of the liquid contains only 2mg of cannabidiol (CBD) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) has concluded that CBD "does not appear to have abuse potential".Many great claims are made for the benefits of consumption of CBD.Love Hemp trumpets effects such as improvements to cognitive function and "health and wellness for the mind and body".In its marketing blurb for the wonder-water, Love Hemp has also included a link to a WHO study (PDF) that, er, says nothing of the sort.
After testing out grocery delivery over the past two years in six US markets, the largest retailer in the world said Wednesday it will bring the service to more than 100 metro areas in the US over the coming months.With all those new cities, the service will eventually reach 40 percent of US households, the company said.Walmart plans to use about 800 stores to operate the service."We're going to try and accelerate this program as fast as we can," said Tom Ward, Walmart US' vice president of digital operations.With Walmart being the US' largest grocer, the move may help the retailer fight Amazon from one of its strongest positions.Walmart may also be able to use the new service as a way to give its online sales a shot in the arm, after a holiday quarter that disappointed Wall Street due to slowing online sales growth.
Walmart is expanding its online grocery delivery service from six to more than 100 metro areas, saying it will reach more than 40 percent of U.S. households by the end of the year.According to the Wall Street Journal, Uber is one of Walmart’s initial grocery delivery partners, which extends a partnership established in 2016, but other delivery companies will also be included.Walmart also works with same-day delivery company Deliv for in-home deliveries, but it was not immediately clear if Walmart will use Deliv for these particular orders.Walmart membership warehouse club, Sam’s Club, also recently partnered with delivery service Instacart to offer same-day delivery in Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth and St. Louis.Sucharita Kodali, vice president and principal analyst serving ebusiness and channel strategy professionals at research firm Forrester, said this suggests Instacart may ultimately be a last-mile delivery partner for Walmart as well.Getting grocery delivery from store to door “is a huge challenge for everyone, including Walmart.
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