By Mike Holt, CEO of Singapore enterprise incubator Get2Volume
While all the startup buzz we hear about seems to focus on social networking, mobile, and casual gaming, there’s real opportunity for startups to make big money in enterprise technology. Consider this: Enterprise startups are twice as likely to become billion-dollar companies compared to consumer startups, according to venture capitalist Jim Goetz.
Enterprise or B2B companies have been the recent rage of the investment community. In 2012, the enterprise IPO market was red-hot. Companies such as Splunk, Palo Alto Networks, and Workday having very successful initial public offerings. Singapore has several exciting enterprise startup companies including ConnectedHealth, gridComm and Sprooki (Editor’s note: these are Get2Volume’s portfolio companies).
Building an enterprise startup is hugely different than a consumer focused company. In this series, I will go through these differences and how B2B startups can best succeed.
So what exactly is a B2B or enterprise business? B2B is short for Business-to-Business (B2B) and B2C is short for Business-to-Consumer (B2C). While B2B products and services are sold from one company to another, B2C products are sold from a company to the end user. Most B2C products or services can also be a B2B product or services. B2B products or services will typically not be used by consumers. Read more
Subscriptions are fast becoming a predominant way people transact online. Just look at the number of beauty box companies emerging in Asia and the amount of software-as-a-service products around. Even Microsoft, a dinosaur of the software era, has begun charging customers by the month to use its office productivity suite.
Taking advantage of the new status quo is ChargeBee, an India-based startup that aims to make implementing subscription billing easy for businesses. With ChargeBee, users can set price plans, create promotional coupons, and generate email notifications. They can then integrate ChargeBee with a selection of over 30 payment gateways. Read more
Zap wants to change the Philippines' retail landscape using NFC tags.
The Philippines is ripe for disruption. With its economy soaring, consumer spend rising, and investment money flowing in, the nation’s tech startups are put in position to shape a new normal across industries and sectors.
Leading the charge is a posse of young entrepreneurs, defined not just by geography, but by the fact that they’ve received a lease of life from Kickstart Ventures, a PHP100M (USD2.45M) early stage fund that began setting its wheels in motion last year.
With 10 investments so far, Kickstart has become one of the most important catalysts for the country’s startup aspirations.
One of its investees is Zap, a company that, while shy to reveal its exact investment sum, gladly laid out its plans to transform how retail rewards is done in the Philippines.
Founded by Dustin Cheng, Justin Lim, Terence Lok and Angelique Uy, Zap is a marketing platform that connects retail businesses to consumers through web and mobile technology. It benefits businesses by making marketing as painless and targeted as possible, while at the same time giving them tools to gauge their marketing spend and track customer data. Read more
LittleLives, a Singapore-based SaaS preschool software provider serving all 240 PCF kindergartens in the country, announced in a press release yesterday that it has acquired Illume Technology, a company operating in the same space, for an undisclosed sum.
In addition to the PCF kindergartens, LittleLives has added a clientele of over 70 private kindergartens and childcare centers this year. Read more
TabSquare, a Singapore-based eMenu provider for restaurants, today announced that it has raised SGD 589K (USD 480K) from Get2Volume with co-funding from the Singapore National Research Foundation via the Technology Incubation Scheme.
The company is essentially an end-to-end service provider to restaurants and resorts. It offers a range of products, including interactive menus displayed from tablets, order management systems, real-time queue management systems, and self-order kiosks.
Besides supplying software, the company also provides hardware, security, internet connectivity, analytics, maintenance support, consulting, as well as marketing. Restaurants pay for these services through a monthly subscription, charged based on per tablet menu. Read more
Nubefy announced last week the launch of its private beta where a select group of partners and customers will be invited to try Nubefy out and provide feedback. This enables the startup to refine and improve their product offering to the public. The public can also try to get in the beta by signing up for a Nubefy account at www.nubefy.com. Read more
Businesses must be aware of a fundamental truth about many social networks: They are built for people, not brands.
Creating a business profile page on Facebook serves no purpose if you can’t attract people to it with a compelling social media strategy. And that requires a lot of resources and patience.
As such, B2B businesses that don’t interest consumers are better off looking elsewhere. Cyfler might be one destination.
In essence, Cyfler is a B2B social network based in Singapore that connects one company to another. It sets itself apart from Facebook and LinkedIn by being designed from the ground up to help B2B companies get customers.
Putting it another way, it’s a web billboard (think Craigslist, but more visual) with social network features tacked on.