Daily Briefing: 7-Eleven suspends EZ-Link, top-up services; Healthtech startup X-Zellsecures $5.44m in Seed+ round

And ABC Bargain Centre, ABC Express, Valu$ to stop using misleading ads.

From ChannelNewsAsia:

EZ-Link payment and top-up services at 7-Eleven outlets have been suspended after embattled German payments firm Wirecard ceased its payment services in Singapore.

“EZ-Link payment and top-up services at 7-Eleven were provided through Wirecard,” an EZ-Link spokesperson said.

“These services were affected by the cessation of Wirecard’s payment services in Singapore.”

According to the EZ-Link website, the EZ-Link card can be used at hundreds of retail outlets as well as food and beverage outlets.

Not all of these services are provided through Wirecard.

Read more here.

From DealStreetAsia:

Singapore-based healthtech startup X-ZELL has closed an oversubscribed Seed+ round led by German industrial service group Deutsche Industrieanlagen (DIAG).

Initially capped at $4.08m (US$3m), the round was extended to $5.44m (US$4m) at the start of 2020, given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the clinical research landscape, it said in a statement on Thursday.

“X-ZELL was backed by a variety of high-profile angel investors from Asia, Europe, and the US, as well as Hong Kong-based biopharmaceutical specialist, Essex biotechnology,” the company said.

X-ZELL specialises in the detection of early-stage cancers from small blood samples using a patented platform technology combining next-generation multiplexing with artificial intelligence.

According to company founder and CEO Sebastian Bhakdi, the funds collected will enable X-ZELL to scale up its R&D department and expand into new markets beyond Asia, with a special focus on his native country Germany and central Europe.

Read more here.

From ChannelNewsAsia:

Three retail outlets have voluntarily agreed to stop using misleading language in their advertisements, said the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS).

The operators of ABC Bargain Centre, ABC Express, and Valu$ said they would not use phrases such as “closing down sale” and “fire sale” in their advertisements.

“Advertisements bearing such language convey the impression that the reason for the discounted price is due to impending closure of the business and that the discounted price would only be available for a limited period of time,” said CCCS.

In 2019, the three retail operators approached the competition watchdog to discuss certain advertisements in their outlets.

Before the meeting, the phrases “closing down sale” and “fire sale” were displayed continuously at their outlets without any end date, said CCCS.

Read more here.

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