The last time I met Foodpanda Asia CEO Kiren Tanna, fittingly over lunch, the food delivery service hadn’t raised money and kept a lower profile compared to Zalora and Lazada, which combined have raised over USD 100M in funding.
On all counts, Foodpanda has a smaller footprint: It doesn’t hire as much, is a relatively younger business, and probably makes much less in revenue despite having a presence in eight Asian countries.
But to dismiss it as an inconsequential business would be a mistake: It recently raised USD 26M from Rocket Internet regular Kinnevik, Russia’s Phenomen Ventures, as well as Rocket Internet itself.
Foodpanda Singapore then announced a marketing partnership with RedMart.com, an up-and-coming online grocer, while FoodPanda Vietnam revealed that it will be delivering food for some prominent F&B brands, including Subway, NYDC, Gloria Jean’s Coffee, and Breaktalk.
The coordination of these news releases portray Foodpanda as an up-and-comer. While it’s easy to be cynical, that picture may not be too far from the truth. Read more
Singapore-based startup Burpple has made the news again, this time for launching its Android app. It’s off to a fast start, receiving 25 ratings in less than a day for an average of 4 stars.
The food journaling startup — pretty much the media darling of Singapore’s tech scene — has received widespread news coverage ever since its unveiling.
But while the Android app launch was interesting from a consumer’s perspective, it wasn’t the only significant development. Of all the coverage so far, the article that was closest to getting the full picture was penned by Aulia Masna of Indonesia’s DailySocial, who emphasized the fact that Burpple has doubled its user growth in two months.
The startup did mention in its media announcement that it has accumulated 300k ‘food moments’ — or journal entries — and is seeing usage in 140 countries. These figures are up from November 2012, where the app received 150k food moments in 115 countries. Read more
Taiwan’s largest food review site, iPeen, announced in a press release on 24th January that it has raised USD 5M in investments from Japan’s NEC Corporation, a provider of IT services and products.
The investment is one of the largest for a Taiwanese tech company in the past few years. It’s also among the most substantial in recent memory for any Asian consumer web company that’s not named Rocket Internet.
In total, iPeen has received three rounds of investments. CyberAgent Ventures participated in the first two, and according to TechinAsia, the first round in 2011 was worth USD 1M at 20 percent equity, making for a valuation of USD 5M. That’s the equivalent of NEC Corporation’s investment — which means that iPeen is meeting investor’s expectations. Read more
Clubvivre lets users book private dining experiences with executive-level chefs.
Be less ambitious. That’s not a common advice you’ll hear from entrepreneurs, since an outsized ambition is the very thing that defines startups. Yet for EvenPanda, which if you recall, is an online activities marketplace that launched in Singapore last year, overambition was what killed it.
While ambition isn’t bad, it must be tempered by realism. As co-founders Maria Kuvshinova and her husband Andries De Vos explained, EvenPanda failed because it tried to do too much.
“We over-engineered our approach, worrying about building infrastructure for scale when we should have worried about our basic value proposition,” the founders wrote in a blog post. 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
Klik Eat has announced yesterday that it has received an investment from Yume no Machi, a JASDAQ-listed Japanese firm that operates online food ordering service demae-can.com, which lists more than 11,200 restaurants in Japan. Terms of the deal were undisclosed.
Following this investment, Rie Nakamura, president of Yume no Machi, and Masateru Kaneko, its Financial Accounting Manager, will join Klik Eat’s board of directors. The founders, Michael Saputra, Andrew Pangestan and Willy Haryanto, will continue to assume control of the site.
Launched in January 2012, Klik Eat enables customers to order food online, by phone, or using instant messaging services. So far, it has sent IDR 1.8B (USD 185K) to its 175 restaurant partners in the span of a year.
One of Klik Eat’s competitors is FoodPanda, a well-funded food ordering service by Rocket Internet that operates in 9 countries in Asia. Room Service Deliveries is also a major player: It operates in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, and recently merged with Dealguru to consolidate its services.
Japanese firms have been actively investing in Southeast Asia in 2012, and it looks like this trend is set to continue this year. GREE Ventures, GMO Venture Partners, CyberAgent Ventures, and Global Brain are just some of the companies that have made advancements into the region.
Imagine reading a restaurant review on HungryGoWhere, then booking a table on Reserveit.sg. Once the reservation is done, you get a notification on Perx saying that you’ve received a chop, which allows you to redeem a dessert.
It’s a foodie’s dream come true, and we might not need to wait too long for it to happen.
The foundation is already set. We’ve learnt today that SingTel-owned HungryGoWhere, Singapore’s leading food portal, has partnered with mobile loyalty startup Perx (which has over 700 locations and 400,000 chops so far) and restaurant reservation service Reserveit.sg to integrate their services into the site. Read more
While searching for a restaurant to fulfill your gastronomical craving these days is much easier with food blogs and directories like HungryGoWhere, making a reservation can still be a hair tearing experience.
Spotting an Italian restaurant online and reserving a table for two this weekend sounds pedestrian enough, but in fact comes with unforeseen hassles.
Sometimes, finding the right phone number can be difficult, especially if the website is not updated or badly designed. And if you do manage to call them, you may be kept waiting if the restaurant is either closed or the waitresses are busy. Even if you do get through, the time slot you want may not be available. Read more
After Mobile Alliance concluded their Mobile Innovations eXchange on 9th June, now Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) follows up with a Mobility Solutions Call-for-Collaboration (CFC). By targeting only the Food & Beverage (F&B), Retail, Hotels and Attractions (Hospitality) Sectors, this CFC aims to spur the delivery and adoption of mobility solutions across these key customer-facing sectors. With the robust wireless and mobile network in Singapore and pervasive use of mobile devices, there are immense opportunities in leveraging mobility solutions to help enterprises improve their operational efficiency and better engage their customers. The submission of proposals is no later than 1700hrs, 22 August 2011. Read more
Photo courtesy of 15 Minutes.
Jeffery Koh, managing partner of cafe and bar 15 Minutes, recently received some bad news in a letter from a supplier: The price of Broccoli had almost doubled to $7 per kilo.
In normal circumstances, he would be horrified. But these days, Jeffery is no longer surprised because he is seeing two or three such letters coming in every month. Read more