Aftership, a Hong Kong-based startup that provides package tracking for online retailers and consumers, has secured seed funding from Australian company Business Switch in exchange for a five percent stake.
The size of the investment is undisclosed.
Both companies met at DEMO Asia 2012, a premier startup conference that hosted over 76 startups from 14 countries.
“We met dozens of companies seeking investment from Singapore, Hong Kong, Beijing and Tokyo during recent visits to the region and AfterShip was a clear stand out,” said Matthew Abrahams, managing director of Business Switch, which runs a whole host of services catering to entrepreneurs. Read more
Twilio offers developers an API that allows their apps to make and receive phone calls, as well as send and receive text messages. Singapore-based Hoiio, the winner of the People’s Choice Award at DEMO Asia 2012, has a similar concept. But while Twilio has focused on being an app enabler, Hoiio has ventured into developing a suite of communication apps.
“I’m a good boss, I really am,” John Fearon, founder and CEO of DropMySite, tells me, in full earshot of his employee at their office in Block 71, Ayer Rajar Crescent, considered the nexus of Singapore’s technology startup scene.
He was making a point about how he’d be a bad subordinate but a good leader who is comfortable with starting things.
“I’m one of those that can go into the room and self-combust.”
With all his self-confidence (whenever he speaks at conferences, he start with,”Hi, I’m amazing”), it’s easy to assume that John, who comes from South Africa, has a string of successful businesses to stand on. Not at all.
I prod him about the number of failed businesses he had.
(Photo: John being featured in an Amazon Web Services video)
John struggles to find his words, which is a rarity. He’d lost count, but finally arrived at an initial figure: Five. Read more
Now, they have launched the iPad app as a public beta. Chatworthy lets users view and interact with any Instagram post around them. They can also select the location of the Instagram posts they want to view.
Users can then share these posts or chat privately with their friends. Other features of the app include: Read more
Loyalty cards are inefficient and generate a lot of waste. Even digital ones. A while ago, I was at a music shop and decided to preorder a music album for a friend.
To my delight, I received two chops on Perx, a loyalty card app I recently featured. But to my dismay, I was eight chops away from getting my reward. And it’s extremely unlikely I’ll step into the store ever again — I’m just not an avid music listener.
Here’s the problem with loyalty cards: They don’t always capture loyal customers. And when they don’t, they’re a burden to merchants.
This is a problem Singapore-based startup Squiryl hopes to solve. Unlike other loyalty card apps, it allows users to swap stamps — or acorns, in their lingo — with one another.
Suppose I have two acorns at a restaurant I’ll never visit again. I can use the Trades feature to exchange acorns with others by putting up an offer. For example, I can offer two acorns from Fisherios Fish n Chips in exchange for three acorns at a Puma store. Read more
Startup Asia Jakarta 2012, hosted by Tech in Asia, is pleased to invite startups across Asia to apply for the upcoming Startup Arena competition to be held in Jakarta, Indonesia, on June 7 and 8.
Startup Arena is a startup competition run within Startup Asia Jakarta 2012 for entrepreneurs, serving as a launchpad for startups to get a headstart in Asia’s mobile and internet industry today. About 20 startups will be selected to pitch and challenge on the Arena stage, in front of top investors, industry leaders, and press for US$10,000 as a top prize. Startups can send in their applications here.
Submissions will be reviewed based on a first-come-first-served basis, hence it would be an added advantage to submit your application early so that entrepreneurs can prep their killer pitches. Tech In Asia will give preference to startups who are new, struggling, and unknown but with a brilliant product to demo and an awesome team.
Demo is a primary requirement, and pitches have to be done in English. The team at Startup Arena will also provide a week-by-week pitch consultation in the run-up to the event to help practice your pitch. The recent Arena competition held at Singapore attracted about 300 applications, out of which 19 startups were selected to compete.
Teamie, an educational collaboration platform, walked away as the Startup Arena Singapore winner last time round. According to Tech In Asia, long with Teamie, other finalists at Startup Arena Singapore have gone on to secure seed funding – namely GushCloud and Phroni.
Startup Arena Jakarta will take place at Upperroom at Annex building, Jakarta, from June 7th – 8th, 2012.
The first time we heard about CtrlWorks and their robots was at DEMO Asia 2012, where they unveiled their prototype. Called the Puppet, the telepresence robot allows a person to interact with a distant environment without being physically there.
The Singapore startup is now preparing for a trial at Khoo Teck Huat Hospital that will start this month. Junior doctors will learn how to operate the Puppet, which will enable them to accompany senior doctors from a remote location. Read more
So, a few videos interviews I did at DEMO Asia 2012 two weeks ago mysteriously disappeared and now have reappeared on my (i)phone. This short interview with Marc van der Chijs, Dutch founder of Chinese video-sharing site, Tudou, is thus a bit delayed but nevertheless still relevant.
In here, he talks about the diversity of ideas but yet how some of the companies he saw at DEMO Asia — a launchpad for emerging technology – had small visions, but “it’s okay, you can start with a small vision but still build it up to a bigger company eventually”.
Watch out also for his advice to foreign entrepreneurs trying to enter Asia. Read more
Dr Ni Zhengdong (second from left) and Marc van der Chijs (second from right).
Depending on who you speak to, China is either a dead zone or the land of milk and honey for foreign entrepreneurs who want to set up a new enterprises there.
Firmly entrenched in the Avoid China camp is Marc van der Chijs, who, ironically enough, is the founder of Tudou, the second most popular video sharing site in China. It was recently bought over by Youku.
“There are less opportunities in China these days; the environment is not so positive anymore,” he says at the sidelines of DEMO Asia in Singapore, “I’ve been there for 12 years, had a great time. I still love the country. But doing business as a foreigner has become more difficult.” Read more