DNA on BFM: Tune Talk’s Swag-ger, Grab’s bravado

  • Has Tony Fernandes’ Tune Talk come up with a world-leading breakthrough?
  • Automotive startup Carsome raises US2 mil in Series A with zero listings

DNA on BFM: Tune Talk’s Swag-ger, Grab’s bravadoWE kicked off the Tech Talk show on BFM Radio today (March 3) talking about the launch of the latest equity crowdfunding platform in Malaysia, Ata Plus.
Having read the article, BFM presenter Freda Liu was struck by the philosophical belief of the Ata Plus founders who hope to create, through their platform, a thriving ecosystem for socially responsible and ethical Malaysian businesses to build a mutual relationship with investors.
The three founders are Elaine Lockman, her husband Kyri Andreou, and well-known Malaysian technology entrepreneur (and cofounder of Internet pioneer Skali.net) Aimi Aizal Nasharuddin.
Malaysia is the first country in South-East Asia to have a framework for a regulated crowdfunding platform, and Ata Plus is also excited at the possibility of attracting companies from across the region to raise funds through its platform.
Meanwhile, taking advantage of the global audience at the Mobile World Congress (MWC 2016) in Barcelona last week, Tune Talk chief executive officer (CEO) Jason Lo made a splash with Swag, the MiFi modem that he claims can combine different spectrums into a single connection.
The modem is expected to be launched in the third quarter of this year. Tune Talk is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that claims to be the leading player in South-East Asia with two million subscribers.
Tune Talk is owned by AirAsia’s Tony Fernandes through his Tune Group, and I spoke about how being creative marketing was just part of the DNA of that company. This is in specific reference to Lo describing its upcoming service as ‘8G.’ It was cheeky, but Lo also explained how the term ‘8G’ came about.
While he wants to reach out to partner with mobile network operators, Lo could not help but take a dig at them as well. What did he say and what did I think of it?
I also spoke about how Singapore-headquartered ride-sharing startup Grab hoped to beat US giant Uber Technologies, which has just launched a bike service, UberMOTO, in Bangkok and will presumably expand this to Jakarta also.
A confident Cheryl Goh, Grab’s vice president of marketing, told Digital News Asia that with the “immense runaway growth” it is witnessing, Grab is confident it can beat Uber in this space.
Goh especially cites the “cultural edge” that Grab has over its American rival.
I rounded up the 24min show by talking about what was really interesting about startup Carsome raising US$2 million this week for its expansion into Indonesia and Thailand, and deciding whether Maxis Bhd CEO Morten Lundal was smoking an illegal substance when he declared that Maxis was the winner in the Malaysian telco space in 2015!
To listen to the podcast, go here or click below:

Previous Instalments:
Not quite your usual R&D path
Spectrum refarming roils telcos
In Malaysia, women are rocking IT
Three telcos, a bank and you, the customer

4G bragging rights and Maslow
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