Danny Tan, formerly of Found, unwraps new e-commerce startup HipVan
February 27, 2013 by Terence LEE
Serial entrepreneur Danny Tan first caught the attention of the tech crowd on the back of Found, a mobile app that allows friends to organize gatherings. His team won the first ever Echelon startup pitch competition ever in 2010, earning praise from Dave McClure of 500 Startups and getting a USD500k investment from Neoteny Labs, East Ventures and an undisclosed angel investor.
But since then, not much has been heard about Found. Danny himself ventured into the wilderness, joining Rocket Internet as senior product manager for Southeast Asia and Singapore startup Viki as director of product.
Today however, Danny is officially back in the game. He announced his new e-commerce startup, HipVan, which will sell design products for home and office, including furniture, lifestyle, food and fashion products. Products will be curated by the company, and sold at up to 70 percent off retail price.
The startup will launch in Singapore in mid March or early April. Kevin Vo, former head of software developement for Zalora Singapore, has also joined HipVan. Clearly, Danny’s time at Rocket Internet was put to good use.
Design-centric online marketplaces, which essentially means that the startup themselves pick products they think are well-designed — as opposed to the catch-all approach of eBay and Amazon — are starting to become a trend in Asia.
Inspired by Fab, a curated online store that has become celebrated startup for New York’s tech scene, these Asian startups hope to create the same level of demand for products crafted by indie designers.
In Taiwan, there is Pinkoi, a company that has gained some recognition and traction for its offerings. Singapore has Kwerkee by Reebonz and CuriousCatch, which offer time-limited deals on fashion items, accessories for gadgets, and home products.
Note: Danny and Kevin are not the only former Rocket Internet employees to leave the company to startup their own ventures. DailySocial reported about Lolabox, a subscription commerce startup founded by former Food Panda employees.
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About The Author
Terence LEE - Editor
Terence writes mainly about technology trends and startups in Asia. He believes in crafting smart content: Not just a regurgitation of text, but well thought-out pieces that serve the reader using a combination of data, design, narratives, analysis, and visual impact. His articles have been published on Venturebeat, Yahoo!, Straits Times, Today, and The Online Citizen. He also co-founded NewNation.sg, a satirical news site covering Singapore affairs. Engage him on LinkedIn and Twitter.Read other posts by Terence LEE