Daily Briefing: Start-up QIQ aims to roll out shared electric microcars; Incomlend raises $27.47m series A led by Sequoia

And over 6,000 of SIA Group's staff have taken no-pay leave since March.

From ChannelNewsAsia:

Singapore firm QIQ Global plans to launch microcars for hire last-mile journeys between commuters’ home and the MRT station, according to an announcement.

The concept is similar to the shared electric vehicles currently offered by BlueSG, said QIQ Global chief executive and co-founder Justin Sim. Dubbed the QIQ Pod, it will be no bigger than 2.4m long and 1m wide.

Sim believes there is demand for such vehicles, especially in towns such as Punggol.

“For a lot of the residents in Punggol, they are still required to take a feeder service or to walk a long distance to reach the LRT (Light Rail Transit) station,” he said, adding that there is still “a lot of inefficiency” in the town’s public transport network.

QIQ Global, which operates about 400 e-bikes and e-scooters in Hanoi, had previously expressed interest in Singapore's now-suspended shared e-scooter scheme.

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From e27:

Singapore- headquartered global online invoice exchange platform Incomlend has raised $27.47m (US$20m) in series A round of investment led by Sequoia India.

Existing investor CMA CGM Group, a company operating in the shipping and logistics industry, also participated.

The fintech firm will use the funds to drive expansion into Europe, Southeast Asia and North Asia, whilst advancing its technological development in digital invoice finance underwriting and processing.

The new round comes more than two years after it received an undisclosed sum in funding from GTR Ventures, an investment and venture-building platform specialised in trade and supply chain.

Incomlend was established in 2015 by former Columbia Business School classmates Kouchnirenko and Morgan Terigi as software that could provide finance directly to trading companies from a private investor pool.

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From ChannelNewsAsia:

More than 6,000 Singapore Airlines (SIA) Group staff members have taken up varying days of no-pay leave amid the collapse in air travel due to COVID-19.

This accounts for more than a fifth of the 27,000 staff members under SIA Group, which includes SIA, regional wing SilkAir, and budget carrier Scoot.

Ground staff members, pilots and cabin crew have taken up varying lengths of no-pay leave, starting from a minimum of seven days, since it was first offered in March this year, an SIA spokesperson said.

Whilst on no-pay leave, some staff members are allowed to work other jobs.

“SIA Group staff who are on furlough or voluntary no-pay leave are allowed to source for their own temporary employment outside of the company, provided they are non-work pass holders,” the spokesperson said.

In addition, more than 1,700 SIA Group staff members have signed up for short-term volunteer positions and temporary secondary job placements outside the company, including ambassador roles and positions at public transport stations, social service offices and hospitals.

Read more here

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