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Southeast Asian startups tighten belt as coronavirus hits revenue

Companies cut marketing and halt expansion to stay afloat

Malaysia-based flower delivery startup BloomThis has been forced to cut all marketing expenses as the country's ban on mass gatherings and most aspects of travel have hurt demand. (Photo courtesy of BloomThis)

SINGAPORE -- As the world fights the novel coronavirus pandemic, Southeast Asian startups face another battle: Cash burn. With economic activity paralyzed by the outbreak, many startups are scrambling to cut costs -- slicing payrolls and the wages of those still on the job. 

Digital payments startup FOMO Pay had been expecting a promising year of growth ahead, as the financial technology sector in Southeast Asia continued to boom with rising numbers of consumers spending via virtual wallets.

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