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Exclusive: Meesho to look at metaverse, web3, other blockchain use cases for e-commerce sellers, buyers

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Technology for MSMEs: After Amazon and Flipkart, e-commerce company Meesho may soon embrace blockchain-based use cases to improve the digital experience of buyers and sellers on its platform. E-commerce is arguably the next frontier in redefining online sale and purchase of goods through blockchain-based metaverse, web3, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and other use cases. Hence, digital-native platforms are seemingly keen to explore blockchain which is considered to be the holy grail of trust and security.

“I do see a lot of promise here for buyers and sellers on Meesho interacting in the metaverse. The only question probably is when is it going to happen. It’s just about the timing of the adoption of the metaverse. It is slightly early for us but we have started exploring Web3 and extension of that — the overall metaverse,” Sanjeev Barnwal, Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, Meesho told Financial Express Online in an interview.

The use case, for instance, ensuring the quality of the product, said Barnwal, would have to be explored in an e-commerce context. “Blockchain can be leveraged to build trust in some form or the other. Now, how do you draw parallels of that to e-commerce? Can we build trust around the quality of a product through blockchain? Maybe but we haven’t found a solution yet,” he said.

At its core, blockchain is essentially a shared database with various entries verified and encrypted that cannot be edited or tampered. The data is secured through cryptography in blockchain with each network participant having his/her own private keys that act as a personal digital signature to their transactions. 

However, blockchain to become ubiquitous in e-commerce will take some time. “If metaverse becomes the norm, you can do lots of things like simulating offline buying experience online. Fundamentally, how you think about e-commerce itself changes. It will be a game-changer in terms of user experience as well,” said Barnwal. The company, on Tuesday, had announced crossing the 6-lakh micro-and-small-seller milestone on its platform, recording a 7X increase from around 86,000 sellers since April 2021. Meesho is targetting to reach 12 lakh sellers by end of 2022.

Earlier this month, Meesho had also tied up with Google Cloud to leverage the latter’s infrastructure to drive increased operational efficiency. Meesho said Google Cloud will help in advancing the company’s artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities for demand forecasting and inventory optimization. Through Google Cloud, Meesho said it will also optimize its transactional data and boost productivity with real-time insights into buyers’ shopping activity. 

In April this year, Walmart-owned Flipkart had also launched Flipkart Labs to test Web3 and Metaverse use-cases with real-world applications, including NFT-related use-cases, virtual storefronts, etc., in order to improve the overall shopping experience for its customers.

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On the other hand, Seattle-headquartered Amazon’s AWS had launched a metaverse-like game called Cloud Quest in March this year to train users on AWS. In July last year, Amazon’s Payment Acceptance & Experience team had posted a job to hire a digital currency and blockchain product lead at its headquarters, indicating the company’s possible experiment in enabling cryptocurrencies for accepting payments from customers in near future.

Meanwhile, Meesho is also exploring the government’s pet online project Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) which is pitched to turn e-commerce into an open digital infrastructure instead of being dominated by large marketplaces such as Amazon, Flipkart, and others in India. The departure from the platform-centric approach to an open-source framework is the mainstay here.

“It opens up more opportunities for SMEs. It makes the ecosystem more open, which means people can now build integrations and can get access to a lot more suppliers. Suppliers joining ONDC will probably be able to become part of multiple e-commerce platforms at once. We are definitely in touch with them (ONDC) and our team is working closely with them. We’ll see how this pans out. We are extremely bullish on this,” added Barnwal without disclosing details on the company’s plans for the ONDC network. 

Meesho had last year forayed into the direct-to-consumer (D2C) business to compete with Amazon, Flipkart and other marketplaces in selling directly to consumers instead of only being a reselling platform. “Because of our focus on end customers in the last 1.5 years, our business has grown 5X in the last one year. All of that translates into success for suppliers. So this growth has been powered by end customers and suppliers have been benefiting a lot out of it,” Barnwal said in his response to the question on the likely impact of its D2C foray on its resellers.

The company has so far raised $1.1 billion in funding with the last round of $570 million raised in September 2021 from SoftBank, Prosus Ventures, Fidelity Investments, Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s B Capital and others, as per data from Crunchbase, at a reported valuation of near $5 billion. Meesho had reportedly laid off 150 people from its grocery business Meesho Superstore amid its integration into the main app. As per news reports, 5,000-6000 people have been laid off by around a dozen Indian startups this year so far as focus on profitability takes centre stage apart from the subdued investment scenario.





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Recently ‘Metawhale World’ has announced launch of World’s First NFT Museum in Metaverse

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Blockchain technology has significantly transformed the realm of business in a plethora of ways and for sure, has opened up numerous opportunities for savvy entrepreneurs, market enthusiasts and budding investors. It has given people a completely new platform for creative, innovative and unique methods of wealth creation. Things like NFTs, Cryptocurrency, and the Metaverse have created quite a stride in recent times and are drawing the attention of people across the globe and India is no exception. Keeping this in mind, Rahul Kaushik, a well-known Delhi-NCR based entrepreneur, has recently launched ‘Metawhale World’, a blockchain-based platform that allows its users to build and monetize their gaming experience. The launch of the platform took place on April 28, 2022 at the posh 5-star hotel, Sahara Star, situated in India’s financial capital.  

Since its launch, Metawhale World has been the talk of the town for all the positive reasons and one of the major aspects for the same is because the innovative blockchain-based platform allows the rightful ownership of the creation to all its existing gamers alongside rewarding every participant with their exclusive utility token-MTW. Moreover, for ensuring complete data protection and providing security, they have developed a decentralised control system that restricts creator ownership in the current gaming market. The virtual platform also allows its community members to have complete access and control over their work, ranging from 3D arts to gaming assets. Unlike the other existing platforms in the market that are complex and hard to navigate for the people, Metawhale World is developed in a way that is easy to use and has a wide adoption that validates the network. The platform also allows all kinds of brands to promote their services and products. These things have significantly made it one of the most promising and reliable blockchain-based platforms in India. 

With the vision to help Indians understand and get connected to the fascinating world of Blockchain, Rahul Kaushik, an astute and a visionary entrepreneur, launched Metawhale World with his Co-Founder, Rahul Pabby. Rahul has always been someone who understands the market like a maven and is someone who believes in beginning innovation to the table. Through Metawhale World, he has successfully proved his mettle but he is someone who believes in the phrase that “The day you think I have achieved it, it’s over” and keeping this in his belief, he has taken his next big move that is all set to disrupt the realm of NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens). 

Taking things to the next level, Rahul Kaushik has recently announced two big moves during a mega event held at the Hotel Glitz Westend Inn, situated in the National Capital on June 26th, 2022. He along with Rahul Pabby (Co-Founder), Gunjan Shekawat (Director), Vishal Raj (Chief Communication Officer), Manish Arora (Chief Marketing Officer) and Ullas Sirdesai (Chief Finance Strategist) has officially announced the launch of the world’s first NFT Museum. During the event, more than 350 entrepreneurs and other big names like Prahladbhai Modi, Deepak Londe, Prashant Mandekar and Rajuseth Oswal were present who appreciated the new initiative taken by Meta Whale World. The first-of-its-kind which will display digital artworks for anyone who is having a strong internet connection. The soon-to-be-launched museum will also be able to extend access without diluting the monetary value of the plethora of listed digital artworks. Apart from this, designers and curators will also be able to make the exhibitions as imaginative and as immersive as they would like while spending less time and capital. 

The second major announcement made at the event was that IgniteChain would be teaming and partnering up with Metawhale World to release a variety of digital collectibles on the blockchain network. These two brands coming together is likely to generate huge buzz in the world of NFTs. Representing IgniteChain, JM Narola (CEO), Umesh Mistry (COO), Vimal Panchal (CMO), Hardik Vaghela (CTO), Hemant Jass (Head of Advisory) and Piyush Jain (Advisory Member) were also present at the event. This partnership between both the renowned platforms is aimed at bringing a 360-degree transformation in the realm of NFTs and through this move, IgniteChain has opened doors for many developers, projects and applications to build decentralised solutions for the web3 community. IgniteChain which will be partnering with Metawhale World is a decentralised blockchain network working on PoS consensus combined with reward based validation protocol PoR (Proof-of-Reward). They make it easier to utilise blockchain networks across different sectors including enterprises, governmental and decentralised finance. 

Metawhale World, a blockchain based platform that was launched recently, under the leadership of Rahul Kaushik, allows users to build and monetize their gaming experience. The Binance Blockchain powered the platform and uses MTW’s utility token. Meta Whale World will allow actual ownership of the creation to all its existing gamers, and they even promise to reward every participant with their exclusive utility token-MTW. Further, for data protection and ensuring security, they have developed a decentralized control system that will restrict creator ownership in the current gaming market.  

Now, with these two moves, Metawhale World, is all set to take the world of NFTs and Metaverse to the next level and Rahul Kaushik is leaving no stones unturned to achieve this. 





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iClick Interactive Releases Metaverse Livestreaming Mobile App Arohar

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Brings livestreaming to the metaverse for the first time

HONG KONG, June 27, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — iClick Interactive Asia Group Limited (“iClick” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: ICLK), a leading enterprise and marketing cloud platform in China that empowers worldwide brands with full-stack consumer lifecycle solutions, today announced the launch of Arohar, its proprietary live streaming enhancement mobile application that integrates AI, AR and interactive 3D avatars to bring a brand new metaverse-based live streaming experience to users. iClick’s flagship product, Arohar, for KOL promotion in overseas markets represents a new SaaS paradigm for live streaming.

(PRNewsfoto/iClick Interactive Asia Group Limited)

(PRNewsfoto/iClick Interactive Asia Group Limited)

According to the global consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (“PwC”), the metaverse-related market is estimated to reach USD467.4 billion by 2025. Featuring immersive virtual backgrounds and effects, and the ability to create real-time facial animation avatars through AR technology, Arohar’s all-in-one livestreaming solution marks iClick’s first step into the metaverse market. Arohar currently enables users to access Meta and other overseas metaverse platforms, and future upgrades will help accelerate the development of the metaverse ecosystem and promote the transformation of the live streaming industry.

Arohar brings exciting new features to livestreaming including 3D avatars with AR facial micro-expression tracking and real-time facial animation and immersive virtual backgrounds through the AI image processing technology. Arohar is able to instantly detect the physical features of the live streamer and generate a clear virtual likeness and background without a green screen. Through these innovations, Arohar delivers a cutting-edge metaverse livestreaming experience that allows users to enjoy eight key features:

  • Access to high quality virtual backgrounds;

  • Create real-time animated 3D avatars;

  • Enhance facial features with beauty and makeup filters;

  • Use multi-scene switching to ensure smooth and attractive live streaming;

  • Remote control of live streaming via App or Bluetooth;

  • Share mobile game streams with friends and fans seamlessly via screen sharing;

  • Enhance live streams through built-in massive live streaming resources;

  • Support live streaming to multiple social media platforms such as Facebook Live, YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, Instagram and more.

Frankie Ho, iClick’s President of International Business said, “We are very excited to announce the overseas launch of Arohar, a breakthrough solution that empowers metaverse livestreaming under our ‘SaaS+X’ business model. Arohar will be a key driver in our overseas market strategy as we focus on innovation to drive robust growth. iClick will continue to seek business opportunities in the metaverse while further accelerating the development of our SaaS product matrix to address brands’ challenges in the face of rapidly evolving business models and market.”

Arohar is now available on Google Play Store and Apple App Store in North America. For more information, please visit arohar.app.

About iClick Interactive Asia Group Limited

Founded in 2009, iClick Interactive Asia Group Limited (NASDAQ: ICLK) is a leading enterprise and marketing cloud platform in China. iClick’s mission is to empower worldwide brands to unlock the enormous market potential of smart retail. With its leading proprietary technologies, iClick’s full suite of data-driven solutions helps brands drive significant business growth and profitability throughout the full consumer lifecycle. Headquartered in Hong Kong, iClick currently operates in eleven locations across Asia and Europe. For more information, please visit https://ir.i-click.com.

Safe Harbor Statement

This announcement contains forward-looking statements, including those related to the Company’s business strategies, operations and financial performance. These statements constitute “forward-looking” statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as “will,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “future,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “estimates,” “confident” and similar statements. Such statements are based upon management’s current expectations and current market and operating conditions and relate to events that involve known or unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, all of which are difficult to predict and many of which are beyond the Company’s control. Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement, including but not limited to the following: the Company’s fluctuations in growth; its success in implementing its mobile and new retail strategies, including extending its solutions beyond its core online marketing business; its success in structuring a CRM & Marketing Cloud platform; relative percentage of its gross billing recognized as revenue under the gross and net models; its ability to retain existing clients or attract new ones; its ability to retain content distribution channels and negotiate favourable contractual terms; market competition, including from independent online marketing technology platforms as well as large and well-established internet companies; market acceptance of online marketing technology solutions and enterprise solutions; litigation and negative publicity surroundings China -based companies listed in the U.S.; effectiveness of its algorithms and data engines; its ability to collect and use data from various sources; its ability to comply with existing or future laws and regulations related to data protection or data security; ability to integrate and realize synergies from acquisitions, investments or strategic partnership; the duration of the COVID-19 outbreak, including the emergence of COVID variants, and its potential impact on the Company’s business and financial performance; fluctuations in foreign exchange rates; general economic conditions in China and other jurisdictions where the Company operates; and the regulatory landscape in China and other jurisdictions where the Company operates. Further information regarding these and other risks is included in the Company’s annual report on Form 20-F and other filings with the SEC. All information provided in this press release and in the attachments is as of the date of this press release, and the Company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement, except as required under applicable law.

For investor and media inquiries, please contact:

iClick Interactive Asia Group Limited
E-mail: press@i-click.com

The Foote Group
Philip Lisio
E-mail: phil@thefootegroup.com

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View original content to download multimedia:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/iclick-interactive-releases-metaverse-livestreaming-mobile-app-arohar-301575567.html

SOURCE iClick Interactive Asia Group Limited



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Infosec leaders decode new workspace opportunities in Metaverse – Back End News

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True to its vision of ensuring cybersecurity in the Philippines, the Information Security Officers Group (ISOG) conducted the second installment of its 2022 virtual Metaverse forum series on June 23.

Anchored on the overall theme of “Traversing Beyond the Realm of Cyberspace.” the seconnd Metaverse forum focused on the discussions of the adjustment of each enterprise in the new norm and the measures being done in the integration of the metaverse in their operations. The virtual forum presented diverse and radical insights and significant business opportunities and solutions from great minds.

“This forum underscores our initiative and effort to design, create, and sustain a unified solution in the undertaking of Metaverse in the banking industry. We continue to collaborate with our partner institutions and stakeholders to address concerns and promote safe and effective use of the metaverse for business,” said Archie Tolentino, ISOG President and Landbank of the Philippines’ Chief Information Technology Security Officer.

ISOG forum zooms in on securing banking industry in Metaverse
ISOG to hold 2022 Metaverse forum, Cybersecurity Excellence Awards

Joining this virtual forum are field experts, decision-makers, and cyber leaders including banking Metaverse pioneer in the Philippines, Union Bank Senior Executive Vice President, Chief Technology and Operations Officer, and Chief Transformation Officer Henry Rhoel Aguda.

Zero Trust

Cybersecurity professionals also gained insights into the Data Reliability & Accessibility within the Security Framework delivered by Arnie Alvarez, the Chief Technology Officer and IT Director of the Enterprise Business Group of Huawei Technologies Philippines. They also gained perspectives on the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) ‘Financial Services Cyber Resilience Plan presented by Mhel Plabasan, chief person for the agency’s supervision of technology and cybersecurity risk including emerging technologies.

Forum delegates have imparted a knowledge of the concept and implications of the Metaverse and the significance of artificial intelligence in ensuring cyber security through the presentation of Tony Jarvis, Director of Enterprise Security (APJ) of Darktrace. Meanwhile, Palo Alto Network’s Field Chief Security Officer Ian Lim tackled Zero Trust as a guiding principle in securing an organization’s journey into the Metaverse. More exciting Metaverse topics were presented by Exceture’s Chief Information Security Officer and Head of Information Technology Consulting & Software Engineering Mario Demarillas, and BlueVoyant’s Chief Operating Officer Tal Blaustein.

Forum delegates were also engaged in a comprehensive panel discussion entitled “Decoding the New Workspace in the Metaverse”. It was an avenue where industry experts addressed concerns and queries about the virtual presentations. Joining the first panel were Unionbank’s Henry Aguda, Darktrace’s Tony Jarvis, BSP’s Mhel Plabasan, and Huawei Technologies Philippines’ Arnie Alvarez. The second panel discussion with the topic “The Metaverse: Revolutionizing Opportunities” was headlined by Palo Alto’s Ian Lim and Exceture’s Mario Demarillas. Both panels were moderated by SQrity Consulting CEO & President, Ricson Singson Que.

Two more forums

“To make the most of the opportunities in the Metaverse without sacrificing any aspect of the business, it is crucial for information security professionals to be equipped with the right knowledge of this new digital ecosystem. Rest assured that ISOG will support them as they continue protecting cyberspace,” said ISOG’s Vice President Chito Jacinto.

The second installment of the virtual cybersecurity forum was supported by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Bankers Association of the Philippines, National Privacy Commission, and the Department of Information and Communications Technology. The last two virtual forums of this series are slated for July 21 and Sep. 1.

Since 2015, ISOG has been organizing programs and events to strengthen cybersecurity awareness and secure network infrastructure in the Philippines. For more details about ISOG and its campaigns, visit ISOG’s official website at http://www.isog-org.ph and socials at LinkedIn: ISOG (Information Security Officers Group), Facebook: ISOGPH, and YouTube Channel: ISOG SUMMIT.



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