Asia Digest: Lazada co-founders launch new startup; LINE Pay, Visa team up

CREA's co-founders, Aimone Ripa di Meana and Alessandro Piscini.

Lazada co-founders have launched a digital commerce startup, CREA, while LINE Pay and Visa have partnered on payments, transfer platforms and blockchain.

Lazada co-founders launch digital commerce startup CREA

Lazada co-founders Aimone Ripa di Meana and Alessandro Piscini have launched CREA, a B2B digital commerce startup serving Southeast Asia.

Based in Bangkok, CREA aims to help brands win millennials and Generation Z customers by creating solutions through social networks like Facebook, Instagram, LINE, Lazada and Shopee. It offers six core services: brand online strategy, marketplace store operations, social commerce, branding and creative services, data driven insights, digital marketing.

“Currently the services being offered in the market are mostly focused on logistics and outsourced manpower and are not targeted to a particular industry,” said Aimone Ripa di Meana, co-founder of CREA and former chief operating officer of Lazada Group in Singapore.

Over the next 12 months, CREA said it will focus on the beauty and personal care industry in Thailand. Over 1 per cent of GDP per capita in Thailand goes into this sector, double that of Korea. CREA added that it also plans to expand regionally over the next 12 to 24 months.

CREA is funded by global institutional investors such as Angel Capital Management, Picus Capital and Founders Fund Pathfinder.

LINE Pay and Visa partner on payments, transfer platforms and blockchain

LINE app’s fintech arm, LINE Pay, is partnering Visa to create new financial services in payments, transfer platforms and blockchain.

According to a statement, the partnership will cover areas such as everyday consumer payments, merchant solutions, B2B and cross-border payments, alternative currency transactions and marketing.

LINE’s 187 million global monthly active users will be able to apply for a digital Visa card from within the LINE app, and eventually be able to add any of their existing Visa cards to make payments from their mobile phone. Both companies will also collaborate on ways for merchants to interact with the LINE Pay service and LINE Pay digital wallet to support more globally interoperable payments.

“LINE Pay is more than just a payment method. As we transition to a cashless society, LINE Pay is focused on delivering added value to LINE’s users around the world and business partners,” said Youngsu Ko, CEO of LINE Pay and LINE’s Fintech Company.

This isn’t the first time both companies are partnering, having recently released co-branded LINE Pay Visa cards in Taiwan. These cards will also be rolled out in Japan later this year.