☕️ Meet Smile Makers, the SG female tech startup that is making sex toy mainstream, available at 4,000 locations like Watsons

Govt at its best again-confusing HIDE implementation.Car bomb attacks in Afghanistan, killing 55 people including school children. Don't despair - 45k jobs to be filled in top 15 Malaysian companies.

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1. MARKET SUMMARY


2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE

RM295 mil — the windfall profit tax in the 1Q2021 expected to be collected by the government on palm oil.

USD6 bil — amount raised by startups in Southeast Asia in 1Q2021.

Wendy’s is looking to make a comeback in the United Kingdom after 20 years — with the target of 400 outlets nationwide in the UK, creating 12,000 jobs.


3. COVID-19 SUMMARY

  • Jogging and cycling allowed in MCO areas but with 1.5m distance maintained between those exercising.

  • No police letter needed when crossing state and districts for work, only need the letter from Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) and from employers.

  • Things you should know about AstraZeneca vaccine by Free Malaysia Today.


4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾

  1. The government implemented Hotspot Identification for Dynamic Engagement (HIDE) system to spot potential Covid-19 clusters. Khairy Jamaluddin said the premises listed under HIDE do not need to close except when direct by the authorities.

    Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri ordered for the premises to be closed for three days immediately (May 9 2021). These conflicting statements have caused havoc among retailers over the weekend. Maybe the ministers should hide and discuss before implement the system.

  2. The third biggest tin manufacturer in the world, Malaysia Smelting Corp Bhd returned to black with a net profit of RM22.12 mil in 1QFY21 ended March 31, 2021 on the back of higher average tin prices. The tin prices were mainly driven by greater demand for tin solder in consumer electronics, as well as depleting supply of tin worldwide. Tin prices hit 10 year high of USD30,995/ tonne in March 2021 on the London Metal Exchange (LME).

  3. Careplus Group Bhd’s posted record high net profit for 1QFY21 quarter March 31 2021 of RM123.52 mil, nearly triple that of the preceding quarter of RM42.3 mil. Take a guess at the net profit margin — 51%, no wonder Nazir Razak asked for a windfall tax on glove companies.

    The glove maker declares 2 sen interim dividend for its shareholders for the quarter.

  4. Cycle & Carriage Bintang Bhd’s (C&C Bintang)’s controlling shareholder Jardine Cycle & Carriage Ltd (Jardine CCL) has extended the deadline for its privatisation offer for the second time to May 21 2021 — the takeover offer price of RM2.40 but 20% lower than its last closing price of RM3.00 on May 7 2021 (Friday).

  5. The top 15 companies in Malaysia are still on a hiring spree despite the pandemic according to GGK Consultants Sdn Bhd. The poll on LinkedIn showed that there are 45,000 jobs currently waiting to be filled in the country. The top employers comprise local companies and multinational corporations, including Petronas, Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB), Tenaga Nasional Bhd, Telekom Malaysia Bhd, Malayan Banking Bhd and Axiata Group.


5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎

  1. At least 55 people were killed and 150 more were injured after 3 car bombs went off outside a high school in west Kabul, Afghanistan on Saturday. Most casualties were female students aged between 11 and 15 years old. No group has claimed responsibility for Saturday’s heinous attack on school children. Taliban has denied the group’s involvement and condemned the incident and instead blamed ISIS for the attack as ISIS has previously claimed attacks in the same area last year. 

  1. One of the US critical infrastructure, a major oil pipeline, has been shut down due to cyber attacks. US fuel pipeline operator Colonial Pipeline shut down its entire network, after a cyber attack on Friday that involved ransomware. The pipeline supplies nearly half of the US East Coast fuel supply, transporting 2.5 mil barrels per day of gasoline and other fuels through its 8,850 km pipelines. Prolonged outage of the line could lead to an increase in pump prices. This episode has shown the growing cybersecurity vulnerabilities of infrastructure, not just an oil pipeline, but also extended to the energy grid, water and telecommunication infrastructure. It could happen to any nation. 

  2. The legendary Yale Endowment Chief, David Swensen, 67, has passed away after a 9-year battle with renal cancer. Swensen has managed Yale’s endowment for the past 36 years and radically changed the traditional method of endowment investing from plain vanilla stocks and bonds into hedge funds, private equity, VC, real estate and natural resources. He left his job in Salomon Brothers in 1985 and took an 80% pay cut to join Yale. Under his leadership, Yale’s endowment grew from USD1.3 bil to USD31.2 bil with amongst the best returns in the endowment fund world. An interesting short profile of Swensen here.

  3. Smile Makers, a femtech (female tech) startup from Singapore, has a singular mission to normalise female sexuality and create the best sex toys in the world. The startup has raisedUS4.4 mil from angel investors and VCs such as DSG Consumer Partners and Nouvago Capital. Launched in 2013, Smile Makers had difficulty going mainstream as it was frequently rejected from mainstream outlets. Their breakthrough came when Watsons decided to stock them. They conducted a survey amongst their customers, gathering data from 7,000 customers in 7 markets - they found that 56% prefer to buy vibrators from mainstream retail and 63% prefer to buy from beauty stores, highlighting the importance of mainstream channels to reach out to its customers. 

    Now, Smile Makers has grown to become a global brand with presence in 4,000 retail stores in 25 markets including Malaysia, HK, South Korea, Australia, Taiwan, Mongolia and even in South Africa and the US. Their products can be found in pharmacies such as Watsons, Guardian, Isetan and fashion retailer Cotton On. 


6. FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE 👁👁 (Beta Mode)

  1. SpaceX achieved a new milestone - reusability of the Falcon 9 rocket for the 10th time

  2. Apple has USD195 cash on its balance sheet. What can it do with it?

  3. Anti-Asian hate crimes in major North American cities, 2020