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Have We Seen The Beginning Of The End Of Data Privacy In The European Union?

Benzinga

With the goal of protecting the European Union (EU) from child pornographers and other unsavory and illegal activity, the Digital Services Act, a regulatory act aimed at making the internet a safer place, is on its way to cracking down on Big Tech. Big Tech Could Be Facing Big Fines If Companies Don’t Comply Beginning in 2024, the new EU law will fine companies like Alphabet Inc. ’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Google, Meta Platform Inc. ’s (NASDAQ: META), Facebook and WhatsApp, Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) up to 6% of their global revenue if they are caught violating the strict new rules. Companies like Meta could be looking at fines as high as $7 billion if it decides to ignore the new rules. Companies with repeat violations could eventually be banned from doing business in the EU. The law is a means of cracking down on advertising aimed at children as well as ads that target private information such as religion, gender and political opinions. The rules also give EU governmental entities the right to take down what they deem as illegal content, including any viewed as promoting terrorism, child sex abuse, hate speech or commercial scams. Additionally, online retailers such as Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) must adhere to the law by implementing similar protections for what governments view as suspect products, such as counterfeit items or unsafe children’s toys. The EU laws follow the U.S. Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission's move to file antitrust actions against Google and Facebook. In a statement released by Google, the company says, “As the (EU) law is finalized and implemented, the details will matter. We look forward to working with policymakers to get the remaining technical details right to ensure the law works for everyone.” Swiss - Hosted Privacy Company Rolls Out EU Regulation-Immune Chat Tool Alain Ghiai, CEO at Swiss-hosted privacy and cybersecurity company Sekur Private Data Ltd. (OTCQX: SWISF), is among those skeptical of the new laws on Big Tech's effect and intent. He sees the law as a government data grab. “This is not unlike China, where everything you do and post online is public property of the EU government, which will be scanning everything. When people use free (chat) applications like WhatsApp, Gmail and Signal and others, they basically force those providers to give them that information,” he said. “The question is whether what they’re doing is pure intent, or is there something else behind it? A lot of people think the new EU regulations are a new way to exercise full control over people’s privacy, and they’re very angry about it.” Taking advantage of the concern with EU government entities snooping on chat and email, Ghiai has been making the media rounds discussing his company’s newest encrypted feature on SekurMessenger, "Chat-by-Invite". The chat tool is Sekur ’s latest instant-messaging tool, letting Sekur users invite non-Sekur users by sending a SMS notification invite, and is now available in 25 countries, covering a population of 1.18 billion people, including SMS invite notifications coverage in the U.S., Canada, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and most of Latin America and Europe. It says it gives subscribers complete privacy to chat with non-Sekur users, without the non-Sekur users having to register to, or download, Sekur. Chat-by-Invite reports that it protects Sekur subscribers’ instant messages which, when sent to a recipient, open into a private, secure platform hosted in Switzerland, through its proprietary HeliX connection. The chat is essentially occurring on Swiss servers owned and controlled by Sekur. Sekur says that once the instant messaging is completed, the messages disappear and hackers will be unaware of the conversation because of Sekur’s highly private and secure encrypted military technology, which is operating behind it. Though the country pays annual fees to do business with the EU, Switzerland is still independent of the union and is believed to have some of the best and strictest data privacy laws in the world. “Thank God, we’re in Switzerland, and we don’t have such a law (like the EU),” Ghiai said. “It’s not just that the government can go in and read your stuff. The danger is what happens when they get hacked?” With Sekur, there is no direct messaging on open-source platforms, making them invulnerable to cybersecurity breaches. The company reports it has developed or is rolling out products including SekurMail, SekurMessenger, SekurVPN, SekurVoice and SekurPro video conferencing, among others. The SekurMessenger with Chat-by-Invite app is now available on any web browsers, on iOS and Android. For more information on Sekur Private Data, go to https://sekurprivatedata.com. For more information on Sekur solutions, go to https://www.sekur.com. This post contains sponsored advertising content. This content is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be investing advice. This post contains sponsored advertising content. This content is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be investing advice. Contact Details Benzinga +1 877-440-9464 info@benzinga.com Company Website http://www.benzinga.com

August 11, 2022 09:55 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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This E-Commerce-Focused Holding Company Reports Taking Advantage Of E-Commerce Growth In The Philippines

Society Pass Incorporated

E-commerce dates to 1948 during the Berlin Blockade crisis when people ordered goods via telex. The debut of the World Wide Web in 1991 and the development of a web browser in 1993 shifted e-commerce from telex to the internet. The global increase in smartphones and the accessibility of fast internet connectivity over the years has significantly accelerated the growth of the industry, as more people can purchase goods via mobile devices such as tablets and even wearables. China, home of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) and the U.S., where Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) and eBay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY) reside, have been the top countries where e-commerce has grown at a healthy rate. But things might be changing. Southeast Asia is expected to experience the largest worldwide growth in e-commerce with an increase of 20.6% in 2022, according to Insider Intelligence. Only four countries, including the Philippines, will surpass the combined growth rate of Southeast Asia. E-Commerce In The ICT Hub Of Asia The Philippines — dubbed the information and communications technology (ICT) hub of Asia — ranks first in 2022 e-commerce sales, surpassing the U.S. by 10%. E-commerce in the Philippines has grown from $6.78 billion in 2017 to nearly $21 billion in 2022, with expectations of reaching $32.7 billion in 2025. Consumer preference for shopping online and the increasing internet penetration are behind the growth in e-commerce sales in the Philippines, where people spend an average of 10 hours per day online. The government also has taken various initiatives to bolster the sector. The Philippine E-commerce Roadmap 2022 was launched in January 2021 to encourage the use of e-commerce by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and increase online shopping confidence. "Rising consumer preference for online shopping, the increasing number of online merchants, proliferation of alternative payment solutions and government support will support e-commerce sales in the Philippines. The market is forecasted to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 17% over the next five years," Global Data Banking and Payments Senior Analyst Shivani Gupta said. The Fastest Growing E-Commerce Model? In addition to buying and selling goods on leading platforms such as Lazada and Sea Ltd. ’s (NYSE: SE) Shopee Philippines, Filipinos shop on social media platforms. The social commerce market is expected to reach nearly $682 million this year thanks to the growing number of people flocking to social media platforms to buy products. Companies like Belo Medical Group and Shopee Philippines are using social media platforms such as TikTok to increase sales. Penetrating The E-Commerce Market In The Philippines Society Pass Inc. (NASDAQ: SOPA) says it is on track to infiltrate the fastest-growing e-commerce market in Southeast Asia through acquisitions. Established in 2018, Society Pass (SoPa) has quickly scaled up its operations in Southeast Asia and South Asia through its e-commerce platforms and acquisitions. The company has acquired a number of companies, including the restaurant delivery app Mangan.ph, Gorilla Networks, a next-generation Web3 mobile virtual network operator, and #HOTTAB Biz, a business management platform. The acquisition of online grocery shopping and delivery platform Pushkart.ph is expected to increase SoPa’s revenue by 891% over last year. Pushkart boasts having more than 125,000 users and 20,000 mobile app downloads. Pushkart is looking to expand its presence beyond metro Manila. The company recently announced plans to expand in cities across the Cavite and Pampanga provinces, which have a population of over 6 million people. Pushkart President and CEO Michael Lim said this is the beginning of the company’s goal to expand to other parts of the country and across Southeast Asia. Sopa recently acquired Mangan.ph (“Mangan”), the leading local restaurant delivery service in the Philippines. Founded in 2017, Mangan delivers restaurant food from over 1,200 partner restaurants through its over 200 rider network to its over 500,000 registered users. Thus far, Mangan has generated more than 100,000 mobile app downloads and accumulated over 80,000 social media followers. Operating in Pampanga, the culinary capital of the Philippines, Mangan’s geographic reach extends to 16 other cities including Angeles City, San Fernando, Clark, Dau, Mabalacat, Guagua, Lubao, Tarlac, Bataan, Magalang, Pasig, Cabanatuan, Baguio, Lipa Batangas, Antipolo City, Dagupan City. The newly acquired business will be integrated into SoPa’s F&B vertical, Push Delivery Pte Ltd, along with Pushkart and #HOTTAB. ​​ As a loyalty and data marketing ecosystem, Society Pass operates multiple e-commerce platforms across its key markets in SEA. Its business model focuses on analysing user data through the expected launch of its Society Pass loyalty platform and circulation of its universal loyalty points, which seamlessly connects consumers and merchants across multiple product and service categories to foster organic loyalty. Since its inception, SoPa has amassed over 1.6 million registered consumers and over 5,500 registered merchants/brands on its platform. It has invested 2+ years building proprietary IT architecture with cutting edge components to effectively scale and support its consumers, merchants, and acquisitions.Society Pass provides merchants with #HOTTAB Biz and #HOTTAB POS – a specialized POS technology solution, a comprehensive system for payment, loyal customer management, user profile analytics, and convenient financial support packages for small and medium-sized enterprises.In addition, SoPa operates Leflair.com, Vietnam’s leading lifestyle e-commerce platform, Pushkart.ph, a popular grocery delivery company in Philippines, Handycart.vn, a leading online restaurant delivery service based in Hanoi, Vietnam, and Gorilla Networks, a Singapore-based, blockchain/web3-enabled mobile virtual network operator.For more information, please check out: http://thesocietypass.com/. This post contains sponsored advertising content. This content is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be investing advice. Contact Details Dennis Nguyen: Founder, Chairman & CEO +1 877-440-9464 dennis@thesocietypass.com Company Website https://thesocietypass.com

August 10, 2022 03:05 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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Volatus Aerospace Obtains Industry First Special Flight Operations Certificate for Beyond Visual Line of Sight Operations without a Visual Observer

Volatus Aerospace Corp.

Volatus Aerospace Corp. (TSXV: VOL) (OTCQB: VLTTF) ("Volatus" or "the Company") is pleased to announce that it is the first company in Canada to receive a Beyond Visual Line Of Sight ("BVLOS") Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC) from Transport Canada to operate a remotely piloted aircraft (RPAS, drone) without a visual observer, using a ground-based optical detect and avoid system. This is a key milestone in the commercialization of the AERIEPORT nesting station and a necessary and important step toward commercializing drone technologies at scale in Canada. Volatus is experienced in BVLOS operations and currently holds authorization to conduct BVLOS training at several locations across Canada. This new SFOC will enable Volatus Aerospace to remotely pilot a Volatus M300 drone integrated with FlightOps’ remote operations software and a CASIA G Optical Detect and Avoid system from IRIS Automation at the Lake Simcoe Regional Airport. “An SFOC is an authorization, usually on a one-time, single location, or risk level basis given by Transport Canada to operate above and beyond current regulations,” explained Richard Podolski, VP of Flight Operations for Volatus Aerospace. “It’s a very well regulated and safety-oriented method for developing new functionality in an industry or accomplishing what nobody thought to write rules for.” “For drone technology to be successful long-term, it needs to improve upon current methods and applications, be affordable, and scalable,” stated Glen Lynch, CEO of Volatus Aerospace. “Today’s achievement has broken through a major barrier and opened the door to commercial opportunities that have only been dreamed about but until today have been just out of reach. Remote operations beyond visual line of sight are now a reality for Volatus. Commercialization begins now.” About Volatus Aerospace: Volatus Aerospace Corp. is a leading provider of integrated drone solutions throughout Canada, the United States, Latin America and most recently in Europe. Operating a vast pilot network, Volatus serves commercial and defense markets with imaging and inspection, security and surveillance, equipment sales and support, training, and design, manufacturing, and R&D. Through its subsidiary Volatus Aviation, Volatus carries on the business of aircraft management, charter sales, and cargo services using piloted, remotely piloted, and autonomous aircraft. Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. Forward-Looking Statement This news release contains statements that constitute “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable securities laws, including statements regarding the plans, intentions, beliefs and current expectations of the Corporation with respect to future business activities and operating performance. Often, but not always, forward-looking information can be identified by the use of words such as “plans”, “expects”, “is expected”, “budget”, “scheduled”, “estimates”, “forecasts”, “intends”, “anticipates”, or “believes” or variations (including negative variations) of such words and phrases, or statements formed in the future tense or indicating that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might” or “will” (or other variations of the foregoing) be taken, occur, be achieved, or come to pass. Forward-looking information includes information regarding (i) the business plans and expectations of the Corporation; and (ii) expectations for other economic, business, and/or competitive factors. Forward-looking information is based on currently available competitive, financial and economic data and operating plans, strategies or beliefs as of the date of this news release, but involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Corporation to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking information. Such factors may be based on information currently available to the Corporation, including information obtained from third-party industry analysts and other third-party sources, and are based on management’s current expectations or beliefs. Any and all forward-looking information contained in this news release is expressly qualified by this cautionary statement. Investors are cautioned that forward-looking information is not based on historical facts but instead reflects expectations, estimates or projections concerning future results or events based on the opinions, assumptions and estimates of management considered reasonable at the date the statements are made. Forward-looking information reflects the Corporation’s current beliefs and is based on information currently available to it and on assumptions it believes to be not unreasonable in light of all of the circumstances. In some instances, material factors or assumptions are discussed in this news release in connection with statements containing forward-looking information. Such material factors and assumptions include, but are not limited to: the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Corporation; meeting the continued listing requirements of the TSXV; and anticipated and unanticipated costs and other factors referenced in this news release and the Circular, including, but not limited to, those set forth in the Circular under the caption “Risk Factors”. Although the Corporation has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking information, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results to differ from those anticipated, estimated or intended. The forward-looking information contained herein is made as of the date of this news release and, other than as required by law, the Corporation disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise. There can be no assurance that forward-looking information will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. Source: Volatus Aerospace Corp. TSXV: VOL Contact Details Rob Walker +1 514-447-7986 rob.walker@volatusaerospace.com Company Website https://volatusaerospace.com

August 10, 2022 12:29 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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CleverTap Raises US$105M in Series D Funding Round Led by CDPQ

CleverTap

CleverTap, a leading global B2B SaaS platform for customer engagement and retention today announced it has signed definitive agreements to raise US$105M in a Series D funding round led by CDPQ, a global investment group who committed US$75M, with participation from IIFL AMC’s Tech Fund, along with existing investors Tiger Global and Sequoia India. The funds will be used to support CleverTap’s global expansion and enhance the development of its world-class solutions and technology. Founded in Mumbai in 2013 and headquartered in Mountain View, California, CleverTap’s customer engagement and retention SaaS platform leverages machine learning and artificial intelligence to offer a comprehensive user engagement suite that enables brands to build valuable, long-term relationships with their customers. CleverTap’s subscription-based solution has been adopted by a loyal customer base of 1,200 brands in 100 countries representing 10,000 apps across industries including Fintech, eCommerce, Subscription, On Demand, and Streaming media. In June 2022, CleverTap completed the acquisition of San Francisco-based Leanplum, a leading multi-channel customer engagement platform, further strengthening its footprint in North America and Europe. In the same month, it also unveiled TesseractDB™, the world’s first purpose-built database designed to dramatically improve user engagement and retention for digital consumer brands. “Our vision has been to reshape the way businesses engage with their consumers and bring the tech to MarTech. The addition of long-term investors CDPQ and IIFL AMC Tech fund to CleverTap’s existing backers, Sequoia India, Accel, Tiger Global, and Recruit Holdings is a great endorsement of the successful business we have built, the innovation we bring to the market and the growth potential CleverTap holds,” said Sunil Thomas, Co-founder and Executive Chairman, CleverTap. “The fresh funds will help fuel our plans to further strengthen our presence in key geographies and expand our teams. The last few months have been quite exciting for us with the Leanplum acquisition and unveiling of TesseractDB™. And now with the new institutional investors coming on board we have all that we need to grow at a faster rate while consolidating our position as the global leader in the retention space.” “CleverTap has established itself as a partner of choice for its clients by helping them generate significant incremental revenue. Its subscription-based platform offers a single and reliable source of information that allows brands to maximize the lifetime value of their existing customers by engaging them in a highly personalized way” said Martin Laguerre, Executive Vice-President and Head of Private Equity, CDPQ. “As consumer brands are increasingly focused on customer retention and prioritize tools offering tangible return on investment, we believe CleverTap is well positioned to maintain its global growth trajectory and help more businesses enhance their customer experience.” “CleverTap is a fast-growing SaaS company that not only has recurring revenue streams and top tier financial metrics, but also a scalable business model with large addressable markets” added Meng Ann Lim, Managing Director, Direct Private Equity for Asia Pacific, CDPQ. “This investment is in line with our strategy to work with innovative companies that enable rapid digital transformation, especially in the Asia-Pacific region where high smartphone penetration is facilitating the digitalization of the economy at a rapid pace.” “Enterprises are increasingly looking to engage with customers in a real time and in a personalized manner across digital channels. CleverTap’s full stack approach to customer engagement allows them to perform user analytics and run personalized customer campaigns on a real-time basis which enables companies to improve user retention and understand user journeys across channels” said Chetan Naik, Fund Manager and Senior Executive Vice-President, Private Equity at IIFL AMC. “CleverTap has built a unique product suite and analytics capabilities that runs over a proprietary database. CleverTap is one of the fastest growing SaaS companies with best-in-class revenue retention rates. We are excited to partner with them in their journey of creating a leading global customer retention platform out of India.” “The latest fundraise reaffirms customer and market belief in CleverTap and our growth potential. This fundraise will help us elevate our growth trajectory and further enable us to innovate better and faster while staying ahead of the curve,” said Sidharth Malik, Chief Executive Officer, CleverTap. “The paradigms of user engagement are changing, and as industry leaders we are best positioned to help businesses adapt to this ever-evolving consumer landscape. Our recent acquisitions helped us expand our foothold in North America and Europe, and enhance our leadership in verticals such as on-demand and subscription.” As part of the transaction, CDPQ will join CleverTap’s Board of Directors upon closure of this funding round. IIFL AMC’s investment is subject to approval from Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). ABOUT CLEVERTAP CleverTap is the World’s No.1 retention cloud that empowers digital consumer brands to increase customer retention and lifetime value. CleverTap drives contextual individualization with the help of a unified and deep data layer, AI/ML-powered insights, and automation enabling brands to offer hyper-personalized and delightful experiences to their customers. 1,200 customers in 100 countries and 10,000 apps, including Gojek, ShopX, Canon, Electronic Arts, TED, English Premier League, TD Bank, Carousell, AirAsia, Papa John’s, and Tesco, trust CleverTap to achieve their retention and engagement goals, growing their long-term revenue. Backed by leading investors such as Sequoia India, Tiger Global, Accel, CDPQ, IIFL and Recruit Holdings, the company is headquartered in Mountain View, California, with offices in Mumbai, Singapore, Sofia, São Paulo, Bogota, Amsterdam, Jakarta, and Dubai. For more information, visit clevertap.com or follow on LinkedIn and Twitter. ABOUT CDPQ At CDPQ, we invest constructively to generate sustainable returns over the long term. As a global investment group managing funds for public pension and insurance plans, we work alongside our partners to build enterprises that drive performance and progress. We are active in the major financial markets, private equity, infrastructure, real estate and private debt. As at December 31, 2021, CDPQ’s net assets totalled CAD 419.8 billion. For more information, visit cdpq.com, follow us on Twitter or consult our Facebook or LinkedIn pages. CDPQ is a registered trademark owned by Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and licensed for use by its subsidiaries. ABOUT IIFL AMC IIFL Asset Management (IIFL AMC) is a part of IIFL Wealth and Asset Management. IIFL AMC is an alternates-focused asset management and has been playing a pivotal role in the growth of the AIF industry in India. A disciplined and active management approach combined with research-led strategies allows IIFL AMC to tap into India’s potential for delivering on its commitments and long-term growth. The AMC’s diversified suite of mutual funds, PMS, alternative investment funds, credit funds and venture capital funds span public and private equities as well as fixed income securities and real estate. IIFL AMC’s distinctive products bring out the entrepreneurial edge, agility and speed of execution of a boutique asset management business, while providing gold standards of corporate governance of a large corporation with a long-term focus. Forward-Looking Statements Some of the statements in this press release may represent CleverTap's belief in connection with future events and may be forward-looking statements, or statements of future expectations based on currently available information. CleverTap cautions that such statements are naturally subject to risks and uncertainties that could result in the actual outcome being absolutely different from the results anticipated by the statements mentioned in the press release. Factors such as the development of general economic conditions affecting our business, future market conditions, our ability to maintain cost advantages, uncertainty with respect to earnings, corporate actions, client concentration, reduced demand, liability or damages in our service contracts, unusual catastrophic loss events, war, political instability, changes in government policies or laws, legal restrictions impacting our business, impact of pandemic, epidemic, any natural calamity and other factors that are naturally beyond our control, changes in the capital markets and other circumstances may cause the actual events or results to be materially different, from those anticipated by such statements. CleverTap does not make any representation or warranty, express or implied, as to the accuracy, completeness or updated or revised status of such statements. Therefore, in no case whatsoever will CleverTap and its affiliate companies be liable to anyone for any decision made or action taken in conjunction with the information and/or statements in this press release or any related damages. Contact Details Sony Shetty sony@clevertap.com Company Website https://clevertap.com/

August 10, 2022 11:49 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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The Association of Professional Builders Identifies Key Warning Signs for Residential Home Builders

Association of Professional Builders

The Association of Professional Builders (APB), a leading business coaching service for custom home builders, with members in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, today identified five key warning signs that indicate a residential building company may be headed for trouble. In light of the issues being faced by Australian home builders – and a possible recession that US economists are warning – now is the optimal time for residential home builders to take stock of their businesses and cash flow to avoid facing a risky financial future. “The last 12 months have been tough on builders,” said Russ Stephens, co-founder of APB. “Around 80% of them are using their own funds in order to complete a client's home. Some of the building companies we’re seeing in the US are struggling to implement cost escalation clauses which is causing a myriad of issues. If their losses continue unchecked, they will eventually be unable to pay their bills and will be forced to call the liquidators in.” This trend may be migrating to the US market soon, if builders miss these key warning signs. Consumers are already being hit hard by inflation and interest rate rises and are not in the position to cover the increase in the cost of construction materials. APB has identified five stages of decline that residential home builders need to be aware as they are managing their day-to-day operations: Potential loss on a contract: APB warns that this is stage 0, the first sign of trouble. This happens when a building company has an unprofitable contract that has not yet started. An unprofitable contract is one where the gross profit on the contract does not cover the proportional company overheads. If a building company, for example, completes 12 projects a year and has annual overheads of $1 million, they will need to generate $83,333 in gross profit from each job to break even. If the company does not reach that gross profit target, which can be seriously eroded by the rising construction costs, then they lose money. APB is encouraging builders to reprice their projects before construction commences to make sure they are still profitable; if not, it’s important to renegotiate with the client. If the client won’t renegotiate, then APB encourages the home builder professional to seek expert legal advice from a construction lawyer that will act in their best interests. Actual loss on a contract: This stage is one where the building company for whatever reason has lost money on a project once their proportional fixed expenses were factored in. APB notes that this is possible even when the price of construction materials are not increasing. Often, it can be a result of estimating errors or prolonged delays which increase the proportional fixed expenses or errors and omissions in the plans and specifications. Also as a result of the rise in the cost of construction during 2021, many building companies ended up losing money on a project even before their proportional fixed expenses were factored in. Company lost money: If proportional fixed expenses were not factored in, the next stage of decline for a building company is an overall loss from all of their activity during a financial or calendar year. When a business loses money, they begin eroding their reserves which also reduces their working capital, thus making the business even more vulnerable to future black swan events. This is where additional funding in the form of a loan or an injection of shareholder capital in order for it to continue trading. Speed is the most important tool here. How badly affected the company is by a trading loss depends on the size of its loss versus the size of the reserves. APB warns that this stage can be deceiving for builders as the company may still be cash-flow positive. Most building companies can absorb a trading loss while still paying their suppliers and subcontractors, however, they are dipping into their reserves at this point. If a company loses enough money to wipe out its entire reserves in a single year, or it accumulates losses over multiple years that exceed its reserves, then it will begin the journey into negative equity. Negative equity: At this stage, building companies are extremely high risk and vulnerable because their liabilities exceed their assets. They are able to still trade legally as they have a positive cash flow which allows them to pay their suppliers and subcontractors on time classifying them as trading solvent. In reality, they are operating as Ponzi schemes, using cash inflows from project A to pay creditors on project B. When a building company reaches this stage, all too often the company executives bury their heads in the sand and work flat out in the hope they can turn things around. Lacking the financial knowledge that is needed here to understand the gravity of the situation they find themselves in is a fast deteriorating situation which can quickly spiral out of control. Insolvency: Once a company reaches this stage and is no longer able to pay their invoices on time, they are classified as insolvent. Often, companies will enter into payment plans with the tax office deferring their due dates while pouring in every cent available to them in a desperate attempt to keep their company open. Unfortunately, this is the most dire stage of decline for a building company, which could have also been avoided had they sought help and changed direction earlier. Some of the best run businesses can be caught in this as a result of fast changing market conditions and environments - ultimately resulting in a financial situation where they did not have the tools to see what’s coming. APB offers a range of builder resources to help guide companies in growing and building their companies safely and securely. Currently the company offers a range of free training including “Pricing for Profit” which includes a three-step process to help residential home builders price new home construction projects and renovations. Other free trainings include, “Systemizing A Residential Building Company,” “Growing Margins,” “Crisis Management For Custom Home Builders,” “Cash Flow Management For Custom Home Builders,” and “90 Day Planning for Builders,” among other key topics. APB encourages residential home builders to check out the free resources, and contact the company should they be in need of additional custom support and coaching. For more information and to access APB’s resources, visit: https://associationofprofessionalbuilders.com/resources. # # # ABOUT THE ASSOCIATION OF PROFESSIONAL BUILDERS The Association of Professional Builders is a leading business coaching service for custom home builders in the United States of America, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. It provides tested and proven systems for builders to scale and succeed, based on data, experience, and results. For more information, visit: https://associationofprofessionalbuilders.com. Contact Details The Hoyt Organization Alyson Campbell +1 310-373-0103 acampbell@hoytorg.com The Hoyt Organization Cinnamon Thompson +1 310-373-0103 cthompson@hoytorg.com Company Website https://associationofprofessionalbuilders.com/

August 10, 2022 08:30 AM Central Daylight Time

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Assembly Hires Gaby Sethi as Global Head of Impact

Assembly

Global omnichannel agency and Ad Age Purpose-Led Agency of the Year, Assembly, has brought on Gaby Sethi as our new Global Head of Impact. Gaby will strengthen the agency’s social and environmental impact proposition and lead a comprehensive strategy globally to deliver meaningful and measurable impact, with a key initiative being the agency’s achievement of B Corp certification. Gaby joins Assembly with an impressive background in the impact space, having most recently led OVO Foundation, the philanthropic arm of OVO Energy. With Purpose – inclusive of People, Impact, and BI E&D (Belonging, Inclusion, Equity, Diversity) – being a key aspect of Assembly’s global approach, the role is critical to the agency’s ability to drive meaningful change for all stakeholders, all around the world. On joining Assembly, Gaby shared, “I loved that delivering impact and supporting communities was already core to Assembly’s DNA. And at just a few weeks in, I already feel incredibly supported by leadership and the whole agency, as I set out to shape a new vision for Impact.” “It’s proof that Assembly is genuinely committed to being a purposeful business.” Assembly started off 2022 as Ad Age’s first-ever Purpose-Led Agency of the Year, a recognition gained in celebration of the agency’s global 1,200 Moves for Impact completed in 2021, led by former Head of Impact Hanna Kubbutat-Byrne, as well as our dynamic work with clients which placed sustainability at the heart of media strategy and execution. The goal, looking forward, is to build a more connected community globally who are driving toward common sustainability and social impact goals, in addition to investing in strategic partnerships and developing new ways to engage clients in the agency’s impact efforts. Gaby added, “Assembly are total experts in growing the world’s largest brands. We have an important opportunity to work with clients who are, likewise, purpose-led and are helping create solutions to the world’s biggest problems. Together alongside our clients, we can achieve exponential impact.” Global CEO of Assembly, James Townsend, commented, “We have huge strides to make, in an environment where both our talent and clients are asking us to commit to and deliver positive environmental and social impact. Gaby will help us more clearly define and evolve our ways of working to ensure we can meet our goals, while keeping purpose at the core of our progressive company.” ABOUT ASSEMBLY: Assembly is made of the ingredients of the modern agency, bringing together data, talent, and technology to deliver a connected set of solutions for media + more to the best brands on the planet. We’re home to more than 1,600 of the industry’s top talent, who bring unmatched global omnichannel media expertise + data, technology, and business consulting capabilities that find change and fuel growth for brands worldwide. Assembly is a proud member of Stagwell, the challenger network built to transform marketing. Visit www.assemblyglobal.com for more information. Contact Details Assembly Sara Pollack, VP of Marketing +1 917-438-4922 sara.pollack@assemblyglobal.com Company Website https://www.assemblyglobal.com/

August 10, 2022 04:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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EUCAST Engages Castle Placement in Private Equity Offering

EUCAST

EUCAST Global, an advanced wireless LTE, CBRS, and 5G telecommunication company announced it has engaged Castle Placement to lead its capital raising initiative. EUCAST provides wireless communication systems that allow users to access the internet whenever and wherever they want. Its advanced equipment, comprising base stations, application servers, core network, and network management systems, allows users in remote and underserved communities to access the internet. EUCAST also provides private network solutions for businesses that share confidential information and digital twin capabilities. EUCAST is working to equip private and public entities to launch private networks, expand coverage, providing high availability and low latency solutions for users and devices alike. In the private sector, EUCAST will be providing manufacturing, industrial, oil and gas, and mining industries with a turn-key complete coverage private network solution using CBRS and 5G spectrum on their sites. The company provides stationary and portable wireless communication systems that allow users to access the internet whenever and wherever they want – bridging the immediate need for digital technology without the process of installing complicated, costly, and time-consuming infrastructure tower projects or deep fiber extensions. EUCAST 5G base stations are also critical for the deployment of smart poles as part of the smart city initiatives that is happening throughout the U.S. In the public sector, EUCAST offers communication service opportunities for rural areas, including schools and medical facilities, as well as sovereign tribal communities and nations that have been largely ignored by the large telecommunication carriers. Both federal and state governments have identified the lack of broadband access as a significant problem and are deploying funds to provide digital equity in America. EUCAST recently adapted its network in a box technology for drone deployment which will allow for recovery of urgent communication capabilities in the event of emergencies or service interruptions where no communication coverage is available. “EUCAST technology is a solution for service disruptions,” Gary Sumihiro, EUCAST Executive Vice President and Board Member explained. “Our technology allows for continuous communication among users even in the event of emergencies and carrier service interruptions – with a complete network that fits into a backpack, car or ship version, and now drones. We are excited to be working with Castle Placement and bring these opportunities to expand our U.S. operations.” EUCAST is in discussions with many companies and public entities for the deployment of their technology. Castle Placement will be assisting EUCAST on its private equity offering. Specific information on investment opportunities is available here: https://castleplacement.com/portfolio/eucast-global/. “EUCAST solutions should be attractive to investors today," explained Harish Pillai at Castle Placement. “EUCAST’s proven technology solves digital equity issues and enables communications that were previously considered impossible. As more public and private sector entities engage, it is becoming abundantly clear, from farming, security, production, and emergency response, the possibilities are significant. We look forward to inviting our investors to be a part of this opportunity." EUCAST Global is part of the Colorado Smart Cities Alliance and recently announced a partnership with the University of Denver. ### About EUCAST Global EUCAST Global provides end-to-end advanced wireless access solutions including base stations, control servers and gateway, core network, network management systems, and user devices. EUCAST has been a leading force in the advanced wireless access technology marketplace for more than a decade. Please visit https://eucastglobal.com/. For more information or to schedule an interview with a Colorado-based EUCAST spokesperson, contact Dan Rene at 202-329-8357 or daniel.rene@kglobal.com. To contact EUCAST Global directly please email contact@eucastglobal.com or globalsales@eucastglobal.com. About Castle Placement: Founded in 2009, Castle Placement raises equity and debt capital for private middle-market companies across a broad spectrum of industries. Highly experienced investment bankers and a robust, data-driven, innovative technology platform - including artificial intelligence/machine learning - match great companies with global institutional investors. Castle Placement's proprietary app, CPGO, connects companies with investors in real-time. Over 600,000 accredited investors and 65,000 private equity, venture capital and strategic investors, family offices, pension funds, foundations, endowments, sovereign wealth funds, hedge funds, and lenders. For more information, please visit https://castleplacement.com/. Contact Details Dan Rene +1 202-329-8357 daniel.rene@kglobal.com Company Website http://www.eu-cast.com/

August 09, 2022 10:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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The Trajectory Of Growth In E-commerce In Southeast Asia — A Case Of Indonesia

Society Pass Incorporated

Countries in Southeast Asia are experiencing serious growth in e-commerce. E-commerce sales are expected to reach nearly $90 billion this year, up about $16 billion from last year, according to eMarketer. E-commerce in the region is projected to pass the $100 billion mark by 2023, a significant increase from $37.22 billion in 2019. Unlike other geographies that are forecasted to experience moderate growth, Southeast Asia might witness a 20.6% increase, the largest globally. Behind Southeast Asia is Latin America, which would be the only region to hit the 20% threshold this year. Which Countries In Particular? E-commerce sales in four countries are projected to grow faster than in all of Southeast Asia this year, and two of them — the Philippines and Indonesia — are in the region. The Philippines ranks first with a growth rate of 25.9%, while Indonesia comes third at 23%. The other countries are India with 25.5% and Brazil, which is expected to grow by 22.2%. Why Indonesia? Indonesia’s e-commerce adoption is one of the largest in the world. In 2020, up to 90% of internet users between ages 16 and 64 purchased something online. Indonesians are “among the world’s most passionate adopters of digital technology”. According to the consulting firm McKinsey & Co., an average Indonesian spends four hours per day on the internet using a handheld device — twice the time spent by a U.S. resident. With 99.15 million users, the country has the fourth-largest population of Meta Platforms Inc. ’s (NASDAQ: META) Instagram users and the largest in the Southeast Asia region. The country also is among the largest for number of Twitter Inc. (NASDAQ: TWTR) users at 18.45 million. E-commerce In Indonesia Of Indonesia’s 278.3 million people 138 million do their shopping online, according to a report by the Institute of Southern Asian Studies. The e-commerce industry accounts for 72% of the total value of the digital economy. Indonesia’s e-commerce sector is expected to reach almost $63 billion in 2022, according to Statista. By 2025, the market is projected to reach $90 billion. The e-commerce market seemingly runs on two models: e-commerce platforms such as Shopee, Tokopedia and Bukalapak and social commerce, which involves buying and selling goods on social media platforms. E-commerce platforms account for 60% of all transactions while 40% of shopping is conducted via social commerce. Society Pass Inc. (NASDAQ: SOPA) is an example of an acquisition-focused e-commerce holding company that could be looking to become the Goliath of e-commerce in Indonesia and overall Southeast Asia. The company operates in six verticals: loyalty, lifestyle, food and beverage, telecom, digital media, and travel. It reports connecting millions of consumers and merchants in the region. SoPa Rolls Out Loyalty App On June 27, SoPa announced the launch of a beta version of its loyalty app that enables customers to earn and redeem points at different retailers while building customer loyalty for merchants. The company reports that the app helps merchants generate more revenue by retaining existing customers, attracting new ones, reducing customer turnover and synching customer data through personalized advertising campaigns. “The Southeast Asian retail sector is at the cusp of a massive transformation powered by the data-driven meta economy. We designed a gorgeous user interface backed by sophisticated backend infrastructure to kickstart a virtuous cycle of revenue generation and loyalty creation, where Society Pass and Society Points generate more revenues for merchants,” SoPa Founder, Chairman and CEO Dennis Nguyen said at the launch of the beta application. SoPa reported plans to modify and integrate the app with select customers and merchants across Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Singapore in the second quarter of the year. The company expects to fully launch the app by the end of the year, when customers will be able to pay for goods and services in-store, in-app or online. As a loyalty and data marketing ecosystem, Society Pass operates multiple e-commerce platforms across its key markets in SEA. Its business model focuses on analysing user data through the expected launch of its Society Pass loyalty platform and circulation of its universal loyalty points, which seamlessly connects consumers and merchants across multiple product and service categories to foster organic loyalty. Since its inception, SoPa has amassed over 1.6 million registered consumers and over 5,500 registered merchants/brands on its platform. It has invested 2+ years building proprietary IT architecture with cutting edge components to effectively scale and support its consumers, merchants, and acquisitions.Society Pass provides merchants with #HOTTAB Biz and #HOTTAB POS – a specialized POS technology solution, a comprehensive system for payment, loyal customer management, user profile analytics, and convenient financial support packages for small and medium-sized enterprises.In addition, SoPa operates Leflair.com, Vietnam’s leading lifestyle e-commerce platform, Pushkart.ph, a popular grocery delivery company in Philippines, Handycart.vn, a leading online restaurant delivery service based in Hanoi, Vietnam, and Gorilla Networks, a Singapore-based, blockchain/web3-enabled mobile virtual network operator.For more information, please check out: http://thesocietypass.com/. This post contains sponsored advertising content. This content is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be investing advice. Contact Details Society Pass Dennis Nguyen: Founder, Chairman & CEO +1 877-440-9464 dennis@thesocietypass.com Company Website https://thesocietypass.com

August 08, 2022 12:43 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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Can Cryptocurrency Work As An Inflation Hedge?

Wealthramp

Many investments that had performed well in the past years are not thriving this year. We are experiencing high levels of inflation that haven't happened in years. You may or may not have invested in crypto, which has tanked 70% since the end of last year. Is crypto an effective inflation hedge? Should you buy it at a low price? As an investor, you look for places to put your money to earn money for yourself. The return on investment you’re likely to get depends on your risk tolerance. If you’ve invested in the stock market, you’ve seen your balance drop recently, and you might be wondering if it's time to test the cryptocurrency waters. In today’s inflationary environment, you’re looking for smart ways to mitigate the effects of this economic downturn. Read on to learn more about Bitcoin, Ethereum, stablecoins, and cryptocurrency-related exchange-traded funds (ETFs); their value as an inflation hedge; and if they are appropriate for your portfolio. It might be time to find a fiduciary financial advisor with crypto expertise for advice. Traditional Inflation Hedges And Crypto Inflation simply means a dollar today is going to be worth less in the future. During high inflation, people try to buy things that are in a limited quantity, such as commodities and land. Certain stocks — bank stocks and defensive stocks like consumer staples and healthcare — tend to do well when the Fed raises interest rates; others — like utility stocks — often suffer. Crypto is also available in a limited quantity. One initial hope for cryptocurrencies was that they might not follow the stock market’s ups and downs, becoming a place to flee from a stock bear market. We’ve seen so far that crypto seems to move in lockstep with the broader market. However, many crypto natives tout its benefits as a hedge against inflation. Cryptocurrency As an Inflation Hedge Bitcoin and Ethereum are the first cryptocurrencies, and they’ve been joined by 19,000 more varieties and growing. Bitcoin, the original cryptocurrency and the largest by market capitalization, was created with inflation in the back of the creator’s mind. The total supply of Bitcoin is capped at 21 million coins, which will probably be reached in 2140. When the final number of coins is reached, no more will be minted. Theoretically, the consistently low inflation rate and large market cap inherent in its design make Bitcoin a favorable currency to hedge against inflation. Ethereum is also designed to be deflationary. Even though its network still creates Ether tokens, it burns or destroys them regularly to shrink the supply. A 2% annual decline is expected, meaning the coin should become scarce over time, acting as an inflation hedge. Other cryptocurrencies display varying degrees of scarcity and deflationary properties. Are cryptocurrencies immune from inflation? As yet, crypto has not proven to be a more effective inflation hedge than stocks. “Traditionally, investments which have the ability to pass on rising costs to consumers have proven to be good inflation hedges,” says Jeffrey George, CFA, CEPA, a financial advisor with deep experience in crypto investing on Wealthramp, a free advisor matching platform. “As cryptocurrencies do not inherently produce a cashflow (staking is more like collateralized lending), their ability to act as an inflation hedge is entirely based on investor demand. In that sense, they’re probably better characterized as a hedge against fears of a rapid decline in the value of the dollar as opposed to above-average inflation rates. It’s a fine line, but there is a difference – you can have one without the other.” Connecting with a fiduciary financial advisor such as those vetted by Wealthramp, can be a way to reduce the risk of investing in crypto. Is Bitcoin the New Gold? Gold has been an investor go-to during times of high inflation. Some digital currency experts dub Bitcoin “digital gold” because, like gold, it is in limited supply. Traditional wisdom has held that gold — and land — function as inflation hedges because of scarcity, and, therefore, Bitcoin will too. The comparison is not unwarranted, but a fundamental difference — that you can possess the physical reality of gold or land in a way you can’t with a computer-generated digital asset — weakens the argument. Cryptocurrencies are intangible and exist only on the internet. In 2022, it’s not certain whether Bitcoin will prove to be the gold-like inflation hedge its promoters consider it to be. However, owners of Bitcoin when it touched $68,990.90 a coin in November 2021, might disagree. Even after its recent drop in the price of over 70%, its supporters remain convinced that the digital currency market will rebound. Setting the Record Straight on Earning Interest from Crypto When you read about earning 12% interest anywhere, you’re intrigued because the term “interest” may connote there is no risk. Your bank, Certificate of Deposit (CD), I Bond, and money market account pays you interest without the risk of losing principal. If you buy a $1,000 CD, you know for sure you’ll get that $1,000 — your principal — back, plus the agreed-upon interest-less fees, if any. It’s not risky. When you engage in financial transactions like that, you are saving — as opposed to investing, which carries some risk that you might not get all of your principal back. When you use a crypto platform to earn interest, you don’t have the guarantee that you’ll get your principal back. You probably will, but you might not. That’s investing for a return, not saving for an interest payment. Risks of Cryptocurrency Investment You Need to Know Crypto investment can take different forms, including direct purchase of coins, stablecoin conversions, and earning interest. Buying crypto outright is one way to invest, but the recent 70%+ drop as crypto entered a roaring bear market has given most investors pause. If you’re not sure about jumping in on your own, an experienced fiduciary financial advisor with crypto expertise on Wealthramp can help. The right fiduciary financial advisor can help you rethink about how you should diversify your portfolio. If you dipped a toe in the crypto waters and are suffering frostbite from the current crypto winter, it might be time to warm up to an advisor who can help. They can review your portfolio and work with you to figure out if you should invest in crypto as part of your portfolio now, given its low price, and if so, how to do it in a way that matches your risk tolerance. A good financial advisor will talk to you about your financial goals and investment strategies and help you create a plan. Stablecoins Are Not the Same As Dollars Stablecoins are another seductive investment, promising interest rates in the double digits, far above that you can earn at a bank. Stablecoins are digital assets that are designed to maintain a stable value relative to a national currency or other reference assets. A stablecoin is a cryptocurrency whose value is tied to another asset to attempt to reduce volatility and increase safety. Confidence in stablecoins can be undermined because of its reserve assets that could fall in price or become illiquid. Sometimes redemption attempts fail, as when the Celsius network refused to return deposits to account holders. Cryptocurrency is not a silver bullet to hedge inflation, and stablecoins are not risk-free. Beware Crypto Sales Narratives from Promoters Crypto sales narratives can be misleading. Before you listen to advice on crypto or other financial matters, ask if the writer is a promoter or real expert. Determine their background and motivations and make sure their aim is to build investors’ confidence in crypto. In perhaps no other financial sector is it more important today to have a fiduciary financial advisor who is looking out for you. A new financial opportunity like digital currency hasn’t been around long enough for regulators to work out the kinks, so you’re less protected than with other long-available investment opportunities. If you’re interested in crypto investments, Wealthramp can help you find an advisor who knows the ins and outs and who will guide you on a safer, more positive crypto investment journey and dynamic investing strategies. Carry On, Keep Calm — Crypto Investment Works Best With A Trusted Financial Advisor Crypto has not been proven to be an effective inflation hedge. It’s a new investment vehicle you may want to consider as part of your portfolio, but it’s no magic bullet. With its high risks, rampant scams, and confusing narratives, it’s important to consult with an expert who acts in your best interests rather than invest in crypto on your own. Whether you are considering investing in crypto or need help creating a new strategy for today’s down markets and high inflation economy, consider working with an experienced fiduciary financial advisor — like the ones Wealthramp can match you with — who can help you look at the overall picture of your specific needs, financial goals, and risk tolerance and partner with you to create a plan with effective investment strategies. A fiduciary advisor is legally required to provide you with advice that is in your best interests. Pam Krueger is the founder and CEO of Wealthramp, a free adviser-matching platform that connects people with rigorously vetted and qualified fee-only financial advisers. She is also the creator and co-host of MoneyTrack on PBS and Friends Talk Money podcast for PBS Next Avenue. This post contains sponsored advertising content. This content is for informational purposes only and not intended to be investing advice. Wealthramp is a fintech company with a mission to connect people to the right fee-only advisor who will help them meet their financial goals throughout their life. We are the only advisor matching platform that doesn’t sell consumers’ information or share without their permission. Every advisor invited to join our network is personally vetted by Founder & CEO Pam Krueger, who has decades of experience in the investment industry and media educating people to never settle for an advisor who doesn’t exceed their expectations. Unlike brokers who sell products and earn commissions, the independent fiduciary CFPs, CFAs and CPAs at Wealthramp are legally held to acting solely in clients’ best interests and have the expertise and characteristics essential to build a relationship with a client that lasts generations. This post contains sponsored advertising content. This content is for informational purposes only and not intended to be investing advice. Contact Details Wealthramp Louis Grant +1 902-412-8644 louis@wealthramp.com Company Website https://wealthramp.com/

August 08, 2022 09:51 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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