The Buccaneer and the Power Mac G4 Cube. The resemblance isn’t coincidental.
There hasn’t been a pre-launch product from a Singapore startup that has garnered this much press attention for a long while. Simply put, people are agog about the USD 347 price point for an Apple-esque 3D printer that will be pre-assembled and calibrated right out of the box. In fact, some have been downright skeptical, believing the photos to be renders rather than real images.
But there’s no two ways about it: The Buccaneer – which is what the first product from Pirate3D is called — is going to arrive in homes in the United States and around the world. In fact, the company is prepping a Kickstarter campaign that will hopefully launch in the next few days — and they’re working with the crowdfunding platform to provide as much details as possible. I’ve even seen a prototype in action myself at the coworking space the Singapore-based team is working out of.
Of the myriad of 3D printers in the market, there has been quite a number in the sub-$1000 category: RepRap, Printrbot, Solidoodle, and Makibox, just to name a few. Read more
Bill, meet Bill.
At one point, BillMonk was right up there as the most popular social billing apps in the world. Recently however, it has been suffering from neglect and experienced plenty of downtime. As is always the case with derelict apps (see Google Reader), flummoxed users had to go through the inconvenience of exporting their data and switching over to a more reliable service.
BillMonk users may now have reason to cheer. Today, Singapore’s BillPin, a six-month-old social billing app, announced that it has acquired BillMonk from Obopay, which purchased the company way back in 2007.
The acquisition, made at an undisclosed sum, includes BillMonk’s user base, infrastructure, source code, and related intellectual property rights. Read more
The GameMaki team had a turbulent 2011, but their circumstances has improved. From left: Jesslyn, Keith, Damon, and Brenda. Photo: GameMaki.
Startups in Singapore are caught in a bind. While located in the heart of Asia, the city has a minuscule domestic market and is surrounded by countries with varying levels of internet adoption.
Developed economies like Japan and South Korea, while tech-savvy, pose language challenges. China, meanwhile, plays by its own set of rules. US and Europe aren’t a walk in the park either.
Nonetheless, Singapore-based startups aiming at developed markets do have several possible paths to pursue.
Gamemaki offers one blueprint. It looks like a Silicon Valley style startup on the surface. Its most visible product is a mobile social network where denizens earn points for completing fun, real-life challenges. Not exactly a certain money maker. Read more
Companies thinking of entering the US market for a long time but afraid of taking such a risk may find iSTART@SV Programme a timely fit.
Organized by Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), iSTART@Silicon Valley (SV) Programme is an initiative targeted at providing guidance and assistance to Singapore-based start-ups wishing to venture into the US market, specifically Silicon Valley. Start-ups will gain access to valuable resources such as consultations, incubators, and accelerators that have established a firm presence in US’s entrepreneurial scene. A customised schedule tailored for start-ups comes equipped with educational tools such as workshops and events to guide start-ups in understanding market dynamics, and devise business strategies catered to the US market. Start-ups can also expect to have networking opportunities with potential US-based customers, investors and partners. Read more
Imagine buying a cup of coffee, an iPod or an airplane ticket online, and each purchase is rounded up to the nearest dollar. The difference goes directly to charity. One Cent Movement is a not-for-profit organization that makes this possible.
Neither a company nor a charity, the organization turns everyday transactions into charitable opportunities. It works with online merchants to implement a round-up system to checkout carts using API and plugins. These businesses are then able to select the charities they want to donate to. Shoppers can opt to round up their online purchases to the nearest dollar.
These transactions are tracked and invoiced to the businesses every month. In turn, charities will report back to them with pictures and progress updates every quarter to account for funds received. Read more
A Singaporean quartet is responsible for Quora’s latest feature, called Embedded Quotes. It enables users to easily extract and embed full posts or snippets from Quora, a popular crowdsourced Q&A site from Silicon Valley, onto their own websites or blogs:
Engineers Kah Seng, Kah Keng, and product intern Kah Hong are brothers. The team’s remaining member, Hongping, is a software engineer who previously worked at app2u and Microsoft.
Content from Quora can be freely published on other websites, unless authors specifies explicitly against it. The startup has so far raised USD 61M in investments, with the latest round being a Series B in May 2012. Its backers include: Peter Thiel, Benchmark Capital, Matrix Partners, Adam D’Angelo, and Keith Rabois.
Special thanks to Yaw Shin for the tip.
Melanie Amaro, champion of X-Factor USA season one, a reality TV singing contest started by media mogul Simon Cowell, has released her debut single “Don’t Fail Me Now” on TwitMusic, a service which lets users discover and share music uploaded by artists.
Her single, which was let loose last week, has garnered over 6,500 plays on the platform, making her one of the more popular singers there. To listen to the new song, users are required to sign in to Twitter and tweet about it using a preset hashtag.
TwitMusic was officially launched in January 2012 by CEO Stefano Fazzini and CTO Christian Fazzini who recently moved from the Philippines to Silicon Valley to join 500 Startups, a well-known accelerator and venture fund. Since its founding, the service has been used by over 9,000 artists.
According to the company, the platform has reached out to about 44 million people, and experienced 348% growth in registered artists and a 638% increase in engagements since January this year. ‘Engagements’ involve people retweeting a song, commenting on it, clicking ‘love’, and using the #nowplaying hashtag.
Another fairly well-known artist on TwitMusic is Carly Rae Jepsen, whose hit single “Call Me Maybe” has been getting heavy airplay recently. It has gotten over 8,000 listens on the platform.
Dropmyemail, a Singapore-based startup that backups emails in the cloud, has opened a sales and business development office in Dallas, Texas — an unusual location since Silicon Valley is frequently the first choice for tech startups.
Their reason for doing so? Dallas is the beating heart of the telecommunications industry in the United States. It’s Telecom Corridor houses the global headquarters of AT&T and the regional and global offices of Samsung Telecoms, Texas Instruments, and more.
These are companies that Dropmyemail hopes to collaborate with. John Fearon, CEO and founder of Dropmyemail, is aiming to secure US mobile partners to push their cloud email backup service to consumers. He stated in a press release that Samsung and AT&T are looking seriously at the startup’s services. Read more