In an announcement held earlier on 9th of October in Beijing, Steven Spielberg, the Oscar-winning film director famous for his production in Jaws, E.T. and Jurassic is teaming up with Jack Ma, China’s richest man and the Chairman of Alibaba Group.
The two have struck a deal together to cooperate on production, marketing and distribution both globally and in China, the world’s second largest movie market.
“Among Chinese consumers, there is an increasing demand for premium global content,” Ma said in an e-mailed statement to Bloomberg. “The collaboration can serve as a cultural bridge and have a positive impact on the next generation of Chinese consumers”
With this partnership, Alibaba Pictures will have the option to finance in Amblin Partners’ films. The Chinese company will also be involved in marketing, distribution and merchandising of Spielberg’s movies in China. This will also place Amblin films on the Chinese company’s video streaming site, such as Youku or Tudou.
In another statement, Jack Ma praised Spielberg’s storytelling abilities and how his style resonated with Chinese audience, saying that “I don’t think there are many differences between East and West – the only difference is that the West is better at telling stories”. He also adds that Alibaba hopes to learn more from Spielberg and Amblin.
Under the terms of the deal, Alibaba Pictures will be joining India’s Reliance and Canda’s eOne, having also take a minority equity stake in Ambiln and to place a representative to join Amblin’s board.
Alibaba Pictures has a history of investments in both Chinese and international movie productions, examples include Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, Star Trek Beyond and Mission Impossible:Rouge Nation.
Organization: Unicorn Media
From working in the e-commerce site, Groupon to being a business manager for Kakiseni where he made his own cheese from scratch. Adrian Cheong is now making his own scent, crafting a solid cologne for the modern man known as the Apothecary.
With the launch of the Apothecary last November. Adrian Cheong aims to fill the gap in the market for locally-made men’s solid cologne for those that appreciate artisan goods and personal grooming. Moreover, the ingredients used in the making were all natural and from local sources.
Having the experience of spilling a full bottle of cologne in his bag, Adrian decided to reinvent a cologne that was portable and can become a natural alternative to the traditional spray cologne, In the end, he came up with a solid cologne is conveniently designed to be small enough to fit in pockets without being an excessive weigh.
There is a wide range of products from Apothecary where each scent has its own story and project different personalities. With the most notable ones being Cornerstone, a scent meant for a leader; Hotshot, a fresh cooling scent which displays confidence; as well as Maverick, the signature rebel scent that a badass would wear.
The Apothecary’s solid colognes are currently available at The Yard Backdoor Dry Goods Supply, Amplitude Barbershop, The Offday, Pestle and Mortar Clothing, and Major Drop at the retail price of RM59.90. The solid colognes are also available online.
But ultimately, Adrian’s goal is not just to be in Malaysia but to be a global brand “E-commerce is the way to go, and I plan to sell in them Taiwan and Singapore too,” said Cheong.
Apothecary is a cologne crafted to create a new lifestyle specifically for the modern men. Each cologne is made with different mixture of assorted blends of premium and natural ingredients including herbs, spices, beans and plant extracts where each scent represents a distinct personality.
For more information, please visit https://www.theapothecarymalaysia.com/
Organization: Unicorn Media
Zuri Group Global, a known luxury hospitality brand linked with the Karmani family, has forayed into the e-commerce industries in 2012 with the launch of an office supplies portal known as Zoffio.
Zoffio is a vertical business e-commerce platform that offers stationary, paper products, digital products, travel accessories, office utilities, corporate produces and customized products to SMEs and corporates.
Founded on December 1, Zoffio in its 4 year span since has been growing steadily to become India’s leading e-store for office supplies, claiming to have sold more than 3.3 million products in 2015 alone.
But reportedly by Techcircle, Zoffio has ceased its opperations in April this year.
Apparently, the office supplies e-commercial startup has exited the businesses being bought by a Chinese firm in Shenzen. The name of the company and the amount of acquisition was not disclosed.
According to sources, the company had decided to end its operations in February 2016 and was completely shut down by April. The 200 existing Zoffio employees were given a three months of notice period and the management assisted some in finding new jobs. A few of the employees from the admin and technology teams have been retained and absorbed into the Zuri Group.
This decision made by the parent company was due to their inability to raise sufficient external capital to accelerate the growth of the startup as well as their disinterest in pumping more capital which ultimately led to the move to sell the entity.
Having purchased Zoffio, the Shenzhen-based firm is planning to enter India in 2017 with a similar business model.
Zoffio.com is an e-commerce company based in Bangalore, India which focuses on stationery and office supplies. The firm is a part of Zuri Group Global and is built on the sole aim of organizing the office supplies industry in India, which is otherwise highly unorganized. To date, Zoffio caters to more than 5000 corporates and SMEs for their office needs.
For more information, please visit http://www.zoffio.com/
Spectacle came out not too long ago, but recently Snap, previously known as Snapchat, has landed on the headlines again with the rumored news that it is working on IPO.
The revelation was made by a Wall Street Journal report on October 6, saying that Snap is reportedly preparing for an initial public offering that could value the firm at US$25 billion or higher.
Founded in 2011 by Evan Spiegeal and Bobby Murphy, Snapchat’s valuation has grown in the last few years since the company has added advertising and sponsored contents to its messaging services.
The results from this digital advertising strategy was shown in a leaked document by Techcrunch saying that the company could make US$250 million to US$350 million revenue in 2016 while the estimated revenue noted for 2017 would be a whooping amount of US$1 billion.
This explains he IPO valued at US$25 billion which is significantly higher than Snap’s most recent valuation of US$17.81 billion, based on the financing round in May which has raised US$1.81 billion.
Accordingly, the growing social platform which boasts an ownership of 150 million daily active users plans for its IPO to take place as early as late March in 2017.
In response to this, the firm said in an emailed statement on Thursday, saying that “We aren’t commenting on rumors or speculation about any financing plans.”
Snap, formerly known as Snapchat Inc, is a camera company that develops Snapchat and Spectacles. Snapchat is a photo messaging app that allows users to take photos, record videos, add text, drawings and filters and send them to recipients which will disappear after viewing. Spectacle, on the other hand, is a video-sharing sunglasses that frees the Snapchat app from smartphone cameras.
For more information, please visit https://www.snapchat.com/
Organization: Unicorn Media
Toreta sets out to solve the dining industry’s biggest problem of customer management. That is by offering a reservation management platform for restaurants. Many have shared its vision as well as the startup concluded its fundraising round with funds 1.2 billion yen (estimated US$12 million).
The startup made its announcement on October 2, 2016, The round was led by Eight Roads Ventures Japan with participation from NTT Docomo Ventures and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Venture Capital. Four existing shareholders has also participated, that is including Femto Growth Capital, World Innovation Lab (Wil), iSGS Investment Works and Salesforce Ventures.
David Milstein, the Head of Eight Road Ventures Japan has been appointed to join the board as an external director.
Founded in December 2013 and based in Tokyo, the company offers an application of the same name which functions as a reservation and customer management platform for restaurants. Additionally, the system also allows businesses to access services from detailed table and seat management to making online reservations for restaurants.
The business has accumulated more users throughout the years, growing exponentially. On September 2016, Toreta said that it has increasingly acquired more than 7000 restaurants.
“We originally developed our service to solve the problem of managing numerous reservations for extremely busy restaurants but turns out we have acquired many contracts with thriving businesses concentrating on reservations,” says Nakamura, the founder of Toreta in an interview with the Bridge, “We concentrate on the aspects of usability, functionality, and support, we believe that it is through optimizing these aspects in Toreta that has drive businesses and expansions.”
Subsequently, the company aims to use the funds secured this round to enhance their development system and to strengthen their sales and support marketing system.
Working to become “The Future of Reservation Book”, Toreta is the only reception system available in Japan which acts as a system that facilitates reservation managements for restaurants. From improving the efficiency of seating management to allowing the management of seat inventory at the restaurant side as well as reservations from customers.
For more information, please visit http://en.toreta.in/
Organization: Unicorn Media