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Archive for November 25th, 2014

Meritus Hotels & Resorts Inks Management Deal to Operate Its First Resort in Bali, Meritus Bali Seminyak Resort & Spa

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-181-key resort to launch in 2016

SINGAPORE, Nov. 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Award-winning Asian hospitality group Meritus Hotels & Resorts announced the signing of a management agreement with Indonesian property developer PT. Bali Seminyak Sejahtera to operate a new-build resort in Seminyak, one of the most popular destinations on the island of Bali, Indonesia.

Pictured centre (L-R): Meritus Hotels & Resorts COO Tan Choon Kwang with Director of PT. Bali Seminyak Sejahtera, Ricky Thomasia Naro, at the signing ceremony.
Pictured centre (L-R): Meritus Hotels & Resorts COO Tan Choon Kwang with Director of PT. Bali Seminyak Sejahtera, Ricky Thomasia Naro, at the signing ceremony.

Slated to open in 2016, Meritus Bali Seminyak Resort & Spa enjoys an excellent location in the heart of upscale Seminyak, famous for its vibrant nightlife and trendy restaurants and bars.

The resort will offer 181 guestrooms, each one thoughtfully outfitted with guest-centric amenities, advanced in-room entertainment system, and efficient connectivity. The design will reflect a blend of classic Balinese architecture and modern oriental interiors, with Chinois-inspired motifs.

Guests of Meritus Bali Seminyak Resort & Spa will also enjoy leisure facilities such as an infinity-edge swimming pool, a fitness centre, and a wellness spa. A full-service business centre will complement the resort’s comprehensive conference and event spaces.

Local and international cuisines will be served in uniquely themed food and beverage outlets, to include a rooftop bar designed to showcase spectacular sunset views.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Ricky Thomasia Naro, President and Director of PT. Bali Seminyak Sejahtera, said, “The Meritus brand has always resonated strongly in Indonesia. We are excited about this partnership, and confident that with Meritus’ track record and expertise the new resort is well-poised to elevate the standards of high-end resort accommodation in Seminyak whilst contributing to the growth of tourism in this dynamic destination.”

Bali presents an exciting opportunity for us to enhance our brand presence in this important market by delivering the Asian hospitality experience unique to Meritus,” said Tan Choon Kwang, Chief Operating Officer of Meritus Hotels & Resorts. “As we extend our brand footprint in strategic destinations across Asia Pacific, we shall continue building upon the service philosophy we have championed for over 40 years — one that is inspired by the genuine care we have for our guests and the warm, intuitive service by our people.”

Meritus is three-time winner of Most Popular Heritage Brand at the Singapore Prestige Brand Award (SPBA), demonstrating its impact as a homegrown Singapore brand and a benchmark for values and best practices that other local brand owners strive to attain. In the last two years, Meritus has also been conferred Global Winner — Luxury Hotel Brand at the prestigious World Luxury Hotel Awards.

For more information on Meritus Hotels & Resorts, visit

Press Contact:

Janice Azupardo
Regional Vice President, Branding & Communications
Meritus Hotels & Resorts
DID: +6568316385

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Source: Meritus Hotels & Resorts

Written by asiafreshnews

November 25, 2014 at 5:31 pm

Posted in Travel

PocketMath Raises US$10 Million from Rakuten

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SINGAPORE, Nov. 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — PocketMath, the world’s largest self-serve mobile advertising platform, announced today that it has raised US$10M from Rakuten Ventures. This is the largest first-round funding of any startup in Singapore and biggest single investment by Rakuten Ventures to date.

The Series A round will help PocketMath bolster talent acquisition, accelerate product development, and establish a deep strategic partnership with Rakuten. The Managing Partner of Rakuten Ventures, SaeMin Ahn, will join the company’s board alongside the founders JD Lee, Eric Tucker and Casey Grooms.

PocketMath helps businesses buy advertising on mobile devices through the programmatic trading of ads, also known as real-time bidding (RTB). The platform filters through hundreds of thousands of opportunities per second to execute highly targeted marketing campaigns that connect advertisers to their ideal audiences worldwide.

The founders are close friends who met at the University of Texas at Austin where they ran a student organization that promoted technology entrepreneurship. The friendship grew into a partnership years later. PocketMath is collectively their eighth – and most successful – startup attempt.

Even with years of prior startup experience, the founders did not see success right away. PocketMath stumbled into mobile advertising only after experimenting with a variety of other ideas, including a foray into a facial recognition advertising service that was inspired by the Hollywood movie, “Minority Report”.

By bringing together the three big things in tech today – mobile devices, programmatic advertising and data – PocketMath has demonstrated its success with 8-digit revenues and hundreds of customers evenly distributed across the globe, since the product was first launched in early 2013.

“PocketMath targets one of the most margin-rich, ad-tech segments for mobile”, said SaeMin Ahn, Rakuten Ventures’ Managing Partner. “This investment gives Rakuten a strong stake in the mobile advertising game, and we’re excited to explore how PocketMath can play a role in growing the Rakuten Marketing ecosystem in the future.”

PocketMath is doubling-down its efforts to show everyone how accessible advertising can be with the right tools. “Our vision is to take what we’ve built for the big brands and make it available to everyone,” said JD Lee, co-founder and CEO of PocketMath. “People don’t want to understand jargon, they want to see results.”

“We got our start by making our platform dead simple for advertisers,” said Casey Grooms, co-founder and CRO of PocketMath. “You can really see our clients’ eyes pop when you click a few buttons and they get to see their ad, on their phone, just seconds later!”

PocketMath recently added Sales Directors in Mumbai, Sydney, and Washington D.C. to complement its existing sales presence in Singapore and San Francisco. However, its main recruitment efforts is still centred around its tech-heavy team of over 40 in its Singapore office where it has grown almost three-fold in the span of a year and continues to expand rapidly.

“Our team consists overwhelmingly of scientists and engineers,” said Eric Tucker, co-founder and COO. “We’ve built up a lot of tech expertise so that our partners and clients don’t have to. That sets us apart.”

About PocketMath

PocketMath is the world’s largest self-serve platform for buying mobile advertising programmatically. Since its release in early 2013, the platform has achieved 8-digit revenues by helping hundreds of businesses around the world execute highly targeted marketing campaigns that connect them to their ideal audiences. It has a tech-heavy team of over 40 in its Singapore office and is rapidly expanding its global sales presence.

About Rakuten Ventures

Rakuten Ventures is an early stage corporate venture capital fund focused on empowering the startup ecosystem to positively affect Internet services globally. The fund was originally launched in 2013 and counts Carousell, Visenze, Coda Payments and Send Anywhere among its investment portfolio. In June 2014, Rakuten Ventures launched aUS$100 million global fund to target startups and companies in Israel, Asia Pacific, and the USA, with a focus on companies that can enable better user experience and facilitation.

Press Contact

Vasudha Srinivasan
+65 9060 2982

About the Founders

JD Lee, co-founder and CEO, left Singapore at 16 to pursue his B.A. in Economics at the University of Texas at Austin. He was involved with a series of startups after he fulfilled his national service duty upon his return home. The tech team he established with his IT consultancy helped germinate PocketMath. JD was responsible for overall product development strategy and design at Streetwave when it received the President’s Design Award in 2011 –Singapore’s most prestigious design award. JD comes from a family of entrepreneurs who are behind Lee Metal Group Ltd (SGX:593).

Eric Tucker, co-founder and COO, began early in technology. By age 13 and prior to mainstream use of the web, Eric ran his own online community. He observed the untapped potential of information that the coming interconnected world would provide. While earning his B.S. in Computer Sciences at the University of Texas at Austinhe took semesters off to pursue goals including the analysis of news and new ways to cloud compute. For years, Eric explored and applied artificial intelligence, real-time systems and high performance computing through his business. Eric then played a crucial role in the creation of PocketMath’s real-time bidding software. He now takes on a broader strategic role, remains involved in tech decisions, and can be found coding from time to time.

Casey Grooms, co-founder and CRO, followed a typical career path as a financial analyst with a major bank after completing his dual degree in Economics and Government at the University at Texas at Austin. Atypical is what he did after: Casey aggressively bootstrapped numerous startups with almost all his salary and spare time, bouncing from social networks to game design to fashion and even Twilight movie magnets! He has been the only driver of business development, sales and partnerships at PocketMath until very recently – flying and gathering business from anywhere and everywhere. Casey currently serves as the public face of PocketMath and can be seen regularly rubbing shoulders with the Who’s Who of the industry.

Source: PocketMath

Written by asiafreshnews

November 25, 2014 at 2:50 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Singapore Businesses Suffer Major Cloud Setbacks and Failures According to Independent Study Commissioned by iland

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-Study shows that despite challenges, companies continue to turn to cloud to drive business; better support, management tools and transparency are needed to succeed

SINGAPORE, Nov. 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — A survey conducted by Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) on behalf of iland, a leading enterprise cloud infrastructure provider, reveals that cloud challenges plague manySingapore businesses. In fact, 86 percent of Singapore respondents reported they experienced at least one unexpected obstacle with their Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provider, and downtime, performance, support and pricing topped the list of issues.

The survey polled more than 100 professionals from medium to large enterprises within Singapore, and findings were published as part of the global study titled, “Casualties of Cloud Wars: Customers Are Paying the Price.” Despite the reported challenges, companies continue to pursue cloud adoption as they seek to curb shadow IT (35 percent) and achieve faster scaling of existing workloads (53 percent), faster deployment of new workloads (49 percent) and less application downtime (45 percent).

Survey findings highlight adoption trends and unexpected challenges in Singapore

  • Amongst Singapore businesses, deployment speed (52 percent), rapid scalability (48 percent) and cost (48 percent) are considered to be the top advantages to hosting workloads in the public cloud. In addition to these well-known benefits, 45 percent of respondents indicated disaster recovery capabilities are also a key advantage.
  • More Singapore respondents reported downtime (48 percent) and performance (44 percent) issues than those in the U.S. and Europe. Other top unexpected challenges included support (39 percent) and pricing (39 percent).
  • Customers of VMware vCloud-based service providers report the highest success (62 percent) and lowest failure rates (38 percent), defined as stalled or unsuccessful (tried but failed) adoption.
  • Public cloud customers of Rackspace reported the highest failure rates (60 percent), followed by Amazon Web Services (58 percent) and Microsoft Azure (56 percent).
  • More than half of the Singapore respondents only have one or two people exclusively responsible for managing public cloud resources.

“Stories about successful cloud implementations are captivating, but the reality is that cloud is more complex than many news headlines make it out to be,” said Dennis Drogseth, vice president, EMA. “Companies must be self-aware. Unless they have an experienced staff that can optimize their investments in the mass-market systems of the big providers, they should consider cloud vendors that take a different, personalized approach.”

“The reality is that despite the numerous business benefits for adopting cloud, companies are still experiencing a number of challenges that prevent them from achieving their operational efficiency and revenue goals,” said Dante Orsini, senior vice president at iland. “The survey reinforces the frustrations we hear from companies all the time. It is clear that many Singapore businesses — not unlike companies throughout the world — have limited internal resources for managing public cloud deployments and therefore require the best tools and support from their cloud providers. It’s why our customers come to us.”

Cloud customers call for better support, management tools and transparency

  • Singapore respondents require external support to operate public cloud, with security and compliance services needed most often (64 percent), followed by ongoing management support (54 percent), integration with local data center (53 percent) and disaster recovery planning (49 percent).
  • Fifty-seven percent of respondents expressed the need for better management dashboards. Currently, many public cloud vendors do not provide visibility into detailed real-time and historical data on performance and billing, complicating the management of public clouds and associated budgets.
  • Singapore businesses agreed that high quality (99 percent) and highly available (97 percent) phone-based support is critical to their cloud implementations. Many public clouds offer separate, costly support contracts that both surprise customers and negatively impact cost reduction goals.
  • 100 percent of Singapore respondents agree that targeting workloads toward data centers in specific regions for compliance and data sovereignty is important or very important. This, too, is offered at a premium with most clouds, and many companies are confused about what happens to workloads in the case of a disaster or data center maintenance.
  • Forty-six percent of respondents called for more transparent pricing, emphasizing the challenge of inscrutable and multi-faceted cloud pricing models and the resulting bills.

“It is clear that businesses in the APAC region have developed a keen understanding of where their teams need help and what capabilities are required to make the cloud more accessible,” said Lilac Schoenbeck, VP of product management and marketing at iland. “In order to avoid the typical cloud pitfalls, businesses must evaluate their internal resources — including technology, personnel, expertise and budget — and choose a cloud vendor that offers the services, support and functionality that can address their specific needs.”

For more information on the EMA survey and iland’s Enterprise Cloud Services:

About iland

With data centers in the U.S., U.K. and Singapore, iland delivers proven enterprise cloud solutions that help companies do business faster, smarter and more flexibly. Unlike any other provider, iland’s technology and consultative approach mean anyone — regardless of expertise, location or business objective — can experience the benefits of a hassle-free cloud. From scaling production workloads, to supporting testing and development, to disaster recovery, iland’s secure cloud and decades of experience translate into unmatched service. Underscoring the strength of its platform, the company has been recognized as VMware’s Service Provider Partner of the Year, Global and Americas. Visit

Asia-Pacific Media Contact:
EASTWEST PR for iland Cloud
Melinda Ilagan / Grace Yu
+65 6222 0306

iland Media Contact:
Kellie Willman
+1 713-337-1347

Additional Resources:

Download the white paper to discover:
The clouds with the highest failure rates
Unexpected obstacles customers have encountered during cloud deployments
Factors others consider critical to succeed in cloud

Source: iland

Written by asiafreshnews

November 25, 2014 at 2:35 pm

Posted in Business & Finance