Flocations, a travel discovery site aimed at short haul weekend travelers, has raised a SGD 0.7M (USD 0.57M) seed round led by TNF Ventures and joined by SingTel Innov8 and Singapore-based angel investor Ben Ball.
The Singapore-based company offers a different take on travel discovery. Instead of search by destination, Flocations lets users search by price — perfect for travelers who are on a budget and don’t know where they want to go. Read more
Soon after a USD0.48M funding round from Get2Volume, Singapore-based mobile marketing startup Sprooki has gone white label. It launched on 29 November a new location-based marketing app customized just for Singapore shopping mall 313@Somerset, and will be looking to sell the solution to even more shopping malls and retailers.
The iPhone app, called Tring313, enables users to find deals that are nearby, download coupons, and make redemptions at the store. They can also make purchases directly on the app.
Malls and retailers can use the platform to schedule promotions, offers, and events to appear on the app as targeted messages. They can track and manage coupons as they are being downloaded, purchased or redeemed. Read more
Here is a list of venture capital firms with a presence in Singapore that are actively investing in startups. While venture capital and private equity firms appear similar in their objectives — to make money through means like a company’s sale or IPO — they possess very different mindsets. This list doesn’t contain private equity firms. Read more
Rockmoon‘s battle against worksheets continues in Thailand. The Singapore startup, which has created a platform that lets anyone create interactive educational games for student field trips, has scored a partnership with Chiang Mai University’s Knowledge and Innovation Center to create a technology learning hub.
The new center, which is called THINK (acronym for Technology Hub for Innovation & Knowledge), aims to find ways to incorporate ICT into children’s education and assist schools in piloting these technologies.
Rockmoon kickstarted the new intiative by holding a mobile learning seminar and Chiang Mai Zoo iTrail competition on 30 November. About 100 primary school students participated in the competition, where they used the company’s Trail Shuttle iPad app to answer quizzes, take photos and videos, and explore its augmented reality features.
The company says that this is the first time mobile technology has been used on such scale in a field trip in Chiang Mai. It hopes that through this partnership, more doors will open for its platform to be adopted as a tool for education and learning among students in Thailand.
Read: Trail Shuttle lets students create their own interactive learning trails
Fun is a rather quaint way for an investment firm to differentiate itself. But Terence Tan, an investor at TNF Ventures, is pretty serious about fun — and always have been. A competitive player in golf and tennis, he once overextended himself over a tennis game, fell and suffered a concussion, then lost his sense of smell.
This paradox of having serious fun permeates TNF’s culture. They’re managing money on behalf of NRF, a government body in charge of scientific research, yet they organized a poker tournament at their launch event. They wore gaudy red and white polo tees that made the event look more Resorts World than Marina Bay Sands, yet gave a Powerpoint presentation to introduce the firm.
It’s a signal that they don’t take themselves too seriously, but are hungry about making the right investment bets. It image seems befitting for a team of successful corporate and entrepreneurial types who’ve got it made. They don’t really need to start another fund, but for one reason or another, decided to. Read more
Update: Applications for JFDI.Asia Bootcamp, held from 14 February to May 2013, are now open. Deadline is 14 December.
The frog is croaking again. After months of relative peace, where they were quietly laying the groundwork, JFDI.Asia is ramping up for a second helping of their signature accelerator program in Singapore — the JFDI.Asia Bootcamp.
Major changes are afoot. First up, teams that are selected for the program will be getting more seed money — SGD25k (USD20.5k) instead of SGD15k (SGD12.3k) to be exact — to test out their ideas and develop prototypes.
Second, Golden Gate Ventures (GGV) will feature more prominently in this round, after they announced today a new “alliance” that will see the firm’s three partners, Vinnie Lauria, Paul Bragiel, and Jeffrey Paine, join the accelerator as mentors. Only Vinnie was a mentor for the first run. Read more
A Singapore startup, The Stakeholder Management Company (TSC), has created an online platform that generates visualizations to untangle the complex web of stakeholder relationships. It has already been used by Fortune 500 companies like HP, Nokia, and Syngenta.
For these accomplishments, it has secured SGD600k (USD490k) in seed investments from Red Dot Ventures, a Singapore-based startup incubator that is part of NRF-TIS, a government-funded co-investment scheme. The development was announced on 26 November.
Founded by Terence Lyons in 2011, who was at Microsoft leading its global enterprise value marketing strategy and CSR engagement, TSC maps out issues affecting a company and the positions stakeholders are taking in it. It can then identify who the influencers are in the issue, and allow companies to engage them, all within one web platform. Read more
The United States is backwards when it comes to healthcare. It spends 15.2% of its GDP on medical services, the highest in the world, and yet ranks 50th in life expectancy. Remote health monitoring is one solution, since it enables patients to be taken cared of at home without needing to pay for expensive hospital stays.
Yet remote health monitoring is beset by lacks in connectivity standards, interoperability, and wireless monitoring devices. ConnectedHealth, a Singapore-based startup, aims to make wireless home health feasible.
The company, founded by Mike Holt, the CEO, and Hari Ramachandran, the VP for business development and technology, announced on 3 December that it has received USD530k from NRF-TIS incubator Get2Volume and US healthcare company Sovran. The technology incubator was also founded by Holt. Read more
GMO Venture Partners, the VC subsidiary of Japan’s GMO Internet Group, has launched a one billion yen (USD12M) venture fund to invest in opportunities in Southeast Asia, reported TechinAsia.
The newest fund, GMO VP III, focuses on advertising, ecommerce, payment processing, and smartphone services in Southeast Asia. It has already made its first investment, an undisclosed amount in Coda Payments, a Singapore-headquartered startup that deals with micropayments in the region.
GMO is exploring the region because it sees similarities between the current market state and Japan in the early 2000s. It will continue to invest concurrently in Japan and China.
There’s been a wave of Japanese money entering the region as investors see growth opportunities beyond the moribund Japanese economy.
GREE Ventures, for example, has invested in a Series B round in PriceArea, an Indonesian price comparison site. DeNA too has some activity in Southeast Asia, particularly Vietnam, while CyberAgent Ventures has been investing in Vietnamese and Indonesian startups.
Here’s a story line so often repeated it gets nauseating: It’s boom time in Asia. But of course, we should all be thankful that the region’s economies are being propped up by countries like Philippines and Indonesia, which are experiencing a wave of optimism that makes them attractive to investors.
Tech companies too are moving into Asia in droves, attracted by long-term opportunities despite the precariousness of the banking sectors in Vietnam and China, which could drag the world into another recession.
Lotaris, a Swiss company that specializes in helping app developers monetize, fits into this larger narrative. It sees Asia as a big growth market, and as such, has shifted its project management, quality assurance, and strategic elements into the Singapore office. Read more