Thailand’s Ascend Cash Backed By CP Group Reaches $1.5 Billion Valuation

Tanyapong Thamavaranukupt, Co-President of Ascend Money

Courtesy Ascend Money

Money go up-supported by Charoen Pokphand groupwho is controlled by Thailand’s richest man Dhanin Chearavanont and his family – said Monday they raised $ 150 million from new and existing investors, bringing the valuation to $ 1.5 billion.

In this latest round of financing, US investment firm Bow Wave Capital Management has joined existing investors CP Group and the Ant Group of Alibaba Group, Bangkok-based Ascend Money said in a statement.

“The disruptive effects of the pandemic have accelerated the growth of the digital economy across Southeast Asia,” Itai Lemberger, founder and chief investment officer of Bow Wave Capital Management, said in a statement. “We are proud to support Ascend Money as it pursues its mission to drive financial inclusion for sustainable growth in the region.”

The company plans to use the new funds to grow the user base of its TrueMoney Wallet e-wallet app by expanding into services such as digital lending, digital investing and cross-border money transfers across Southeast Asia.

“The company is expanding the platform and services to improve the accessibility, affordability and impact of financial services.” Suphachai Chearavanont, founder and chairman of Ascend Money, said in a statement. “In short, Ascend Money provides a financial platform with opportunities for the financially marginalized as well as SMEs in the region.”

Supachai – Dhanin’s youngest son – is the CEO of the CP Group. Dhanin and his three brothers get their wealth mainly from the CP Group, one of the world’s largest producers of animal feed and livestock. Her father Chia Ek Chor and his brother Choncharoen Chiaravanont started the business in 1921 as a shop selling seeds imported from China to Thai farmers. Today, CP Group also owns 7-11 stores across Thailand, has a controlling interest in wireless operator True Corp, and owns equity interests in real estate.

BANGKOK, THAILAND – 1998/08/01: Khun Supachai Chearavanont – son of billionaire Dhanin … [+] Chearavanont – founded Ascend Money in 2013.

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Dhanin, 82, was Chairman and CEO of CP Group for 48 years until he stepped down in 2017. He and his siblings had net worth of $ 30.2 billion as of the list Thailand’s 50 richest was released in July.

Supachai founded Ascend Money in 2013 as a business unit of the Ascend Group, a spin-off from True Corp., one of Thailand’s leading telecommunications providers. The Ascend Group now operates as a subsidiary of the CP Group.

Ascend Group operates TrueMoney, a digital payments platform that serves more than 50 million users in Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam. At the height of the pandemic last year, the company processed $ 14 billion in payments.

“Ascend Money is driving the cashless society and adoption of financial services across the region through the TrueMoney Wallet application,” said Tanyapong Thamavaranukupt, co-president of Ascend Money, in a statement. “The company has also expanded its portfolio to include a full range of digital financial services, including digital lending, digital saving and digital investment.”

AMC reaches take care of Warner Bros. for 45 days theatrical exclusivity

AMC entertainment made an agreement with Warner bros. to present the studio’s entire Slate 2022 in cinemas for 45 days.

The world’s largest theater chain had shied away from Warner Bros. ‘ Decision to bring this year’s films to cinemas and via the streaming service HBO Max on the same day. These films included “Godzilla vs. Kong”, “Space Jam: A New Legacy” and most recently “The Suicide Squad”. It also includes the upcoming releases of “Matrix 4” and “Dune”.

AMC a similar contract with Owned by Comcast Universal last year, which guaranteed cinema exclusivity for at least 17 days before films could be streamed or made available on-demand.

“It is particularly gratifying to see Warner Bros hugging a theater window yet again,” said CEO Adam Aron during the conference call on Monday. “For us at AMC, it is particularly gratifying to be working so harmoniously with Warner Bros. again.”

Warner Bros. had already announced that it would return to pure theatrical releases in 2022 during last month’s conference call from parent company AT&T. It had also signed similar deals with Cineworld, the owner of Regal Cinemas, in April Cinemark in May. The financial details of these contracts have not been made public.

Jason Kilar, CEO of WarnerMedia, said during a conference call in July that theatrical releases will continue to matter to the company even if it only creates streaming content in the future.

While the hybrid release model was a necessity during the pandemic, there is no doubt that the strategy has eaten the box office revenue of all studios across the board. Big budget films made only a fraction of what they did in pre-pandemic times.

Having exclusive content in theaters can Help AMC to become profitable again. The company is aiming for the fourth quarter, but will only achieve that goal if the total domestic box office reaches $ 5.2 billion, said Aron.

While the theater chain reported revenue of $ 444.7 million in the second quarter, which was above analysts’ expectations, it nonetheless posted a net loss of $ 344 million. It’s an improvement over the $ 561.2 million loss recorded a year ago.

U.S. air journey reaches pandemic excessive as peak season kicks off

Travelers wait in line at a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint at Orlando International Airport on the Friday before Memorial Day. As more people get the COVID-19 vaccine, the American Automobile Association (AAA) predicts that more than 37 million Americans will travel more than 80 miles this Memorial Day weekend, many for the first time since the pandemic began .

Paul Hennessy | LightRakete | Getty Images

The number of air travelers reached its highest level since Coronavirus pandemic began during Memorial Day weekend, the latest sign of recovery for the sector.

The Transportation Security Administration checked an average of 1.78 million people Friday through Monday, hitting a high of 1.96 million on Friday. Those volumes are more than six times higher than a year ago, but still 22% below Memorial Day weekend in 2019.

The rise in travelers is driving them Price for the vacation, including airfare, hotel prices, and rental car prices. Domestic leisure tariffs are nearby 2019 levelsAirlines have said.

Trevor Lawrence reaches take care of Fanatics over memorabilia rights

Trevor Lawrence is the favorite, ranked # 1 overall on the NFL Draft, and wins a contract valued at nearly $ 37 million.

Ezra Shaw | Getty Images Sports | Getty Images

Add fanatics to the sports companies partnering with quarterback Trevor Lawrence.

The e-commerce giant announced a multi-year deal on the rights to Lawrence’s collectibles on Friday, the day after the 21-year-old Clemson star was selected as number 1 on the National Football League draft. Fanatics will be selling autographed Lawrence items from his time at Clemson and now with the Jacksonville Jaguars for the NFL. Financial terms of the agreement were not specified.

The list of fanatics memorabilia, including NFL quarterback Tom Brady, National Basketball Association striker Zion Williamson, and WNBA star Sabrina Ionescu.

“I’m very excited to be joining the Fanatics team, especially since they are based here in Jacksonville,” said Lawrence in a statement, adding that he “wants to give fans even more access to the game through memorabilia and exclusively signed items.”

Victor Shaffer, Executive Vice President of Fanatics, added, “We look forward to providing fans in Jacksonville, Clemson and beyond with an unparalleled shopping experience and opportunities to celebrate both his college days and the beginning of his NFL career . “

The Fanatics deal is officially Lawrence’s first as an NFL player, but it’s already tied to companies like sports drinks maker Gatorade, Adidas, and a cryptocurrency company. Block folio. After Lawrence was drafted, the company presented him with $ 25,000 that was held in a crypto account.

Quarterback Trevor Lawrence prepares for a throw during Jordan Palmer’s QB Summit NFL Draft Prep at a park on January 25, 2021 in Orange County, CA.

Aubrey Lao | Getty Images

The Jaguars turn to Lawrence to revive a franchise that has only made the playoffs twice since 2007. The Union fired Coach Doug Marrone, who last led the team to the postseason in 2017 and replaced him with longtime college coach Urban Meyer.

Lawrence was the first of five quarterbacks drafted in the first round. The New York Jets, followed by BYU’s Zack Wilson, and the San Francisco 49ers designed North Dakota State’s Trey Lance with the third overall win.

Chicago picked Ohio State’s Justin Fields 11th overall, and the New England Patriots ranked Alabama’s Mac Jones 15th. It’s the sixth year in a row that at least three quarterbacks have been drafted in the first round.

The NFL draft will continue over the weekend, with rounds two and three on Friday and four through seven on Saturday.

Hartford Man Urges Warning With Fee App After Cash Reaches Mistaken Person – NBC Connecticut

More people than ever are picking up their phones to make payments. And with the coronavirus crisis, more money is changing hands at a social distance thanks to money transfer apps. But one Hartford man has a warning because hundreds of his hard-earned dollars didn’t make it into the right hands.

“I mean, I was a huge Cash App fan,” said Eric Crawford, who currently runs a family resource center in Hartford.

The former member of the State Board of Pardons and Paroles joined NBC CT Responds after experiencing a problem with the money transfer app.

“$ 500 for anyone is a decent amount of money, but it didn’t change my life, but life would have changed for someone in my community.”

Crawford said he sent a $ 450 payment to his son Kevin’s fitness trainer earlier this year through the Cash app, a payment he’d made periodically to Kevin through that app.

“The coach calls me and says, ‘Eric, you didn’t pay the money for your son.” And I said, “Yeah, I did.”

Crawford said after checking his Cash App account history, he found that the Kevin who received the payment wasn’t the same Kevin he was in his phone contacts.

“No phone number, nothing, it was just like someone immediately put some kind of fake Kevin on the screen to throw you off,” Crawford said.

Crawford contacted Cash App customer service via email but said that after investigating his account history, he closed the case for authorizing the transaction.

Even though the money was withdrawn from his bank account, the payment appears to be pending in the app to this day.

“Where’s the money? He never got it. There’s no email confirmation that I even sent it to the wrong person,” Crawford said.

NBC Connecticut can’t confirm if the other Kevin ever received the money, what that person’s intentions were, or if it was a user error, but Crawford firmly believes it wasn’t his fault.

The Cash app says that if a customer sends money to someone they think isn’t on their contact list, they’ll send a double prompt to make sure they want to send money to the account.

Crawford says it didn’t and his transaction didn’t trigger the typical email notification he usually receives when making a payment.
Cash App will not comment on individual cases, but emails to Crawford suggested that their account should continue to be secured.

In a statement, a Cash App spokesperson said: “Fraud prevention is critical to Cash App. We continue to invest in and strengthen anti-fraud resources by both adding staff and introducing new technology. We are constantly improving systems and controls to prevent, detect and report bad activity on the platform. “

The Attorney General and the Ministry of Consumer Protection warn that there are risks associated with using online payment apps.

“Remember, when you sign up for a credit card or bank account, there is usually adequate protection for those products that you are paying for, by the way,” said Connecticut Attorney General William Tong.

He says there’s a reason this app and others like Venmo and PayPal have minimal fees.

“When you sign up for something that’s faster, cheaper, easier, everything is faster, cheaper, easier.”

And with that, says Tong, you can’t expect great customer service either.
Tong’s office says they have received eight complaints about Cash App since this summer.

“We’re definitely looking into it and I’m talking to other states about it because even if it’s not illegal it doesn’t make it right, but at the end of the day you’re the downside of that with something that’s an online app. It’s not a bank. It’s not a credit card company, ”said Tong.

He and the state consumer protection ministry urge users of these apps to be careful.

“When you make payments through an app, the entire responsibility rests with you,” said DCP Deputy Commissioner Arunan Aulampalam.

They say double and triple check whoever you’re sending money, including all of the username details.

DCP also warns against sending money to people you do not know.

“Make sure you double-check wherever you’re sending the money, as the same way it will give an envelope to someone you don’t know. You are literally passing money on to someone else, and once that money is out of your hands, it’s a lot harder to get back. “

In addition, it is important to use passwords that are as secure as possible and two-factor identification whenever possible.

Crawford says his bank fortunately made up for his loss, but he hopes telling his story will educate the community and help make changes with these apps in the future.
If he had known what he knows now, he would never have used a money transfer app.

“This is our hard earned money. We already have this pandemic and everything else is underway, ”he said.

From now on, he’s going to pay Kevin the old-fashioned way.

“I’m going back to the old checks and paying cash. I think that’s the safest thing to do. “

Cash App will notify NBC Connecticut that if you believe you may have been a victim of fraud you should contact NBC Connecticut through App Support or their website. They say the Cash app never asks customers to send them money. Additionally, they said they will never request a customer’s PIN or login code outside of the app.