Month: July 2015

Female founders with a cause – Support their journey

Have you make a difference in someone’s life today?

Come join us this Thursday (30 July 2015) afternoon in Hong Kong and be inspired by three successful female entrepreneurs, winners of “Top Women Entrepreneurs” – Elsa, Adrianna and Kristina. “Top Women Entrepreneurs” is a competition recently launched by Dušan Stojanović, founder of True Global Ventures.
Three of them have emerged as winners through a rigorous selection process and handpicked from over 150 applications, by a panel consisting of Dušan, more than 20 judges and seasoned investors.

The event will comprise a panel of the three entrepreneurs and early stage investors and they will be discussing various aspects of male- and female-led start-ups, as well as sharing investor perspectives. At the end of the panel discussion, the audience will have the opportunity to make a difference by supporting these entrepreneurs through a crowd sourced initiative.

Register for the event at

If you are based out of Hong Kong or unable to attend the session, you can still make an impact. Support their journey through participating in their crowdsourcing campaign now, more details below:

Their crowdsourcing campaign is now live.

Elsa Dsilva is stopping sexual harassment in India with her startup SafeCity, through the smart use of crowdsourced data. Read more about her at

Support her campaign via

Adrianna Tan with Wobe is empowering woman living in poverty by providing them a chance to earn $5 a day. Read more at

 Support her campaign via

Kristina Lagerstedt with 1928 Diagnostics is tackling the problem of antibiotics resistance through the use of cloud-based diagnostics. Read more at

Support her campaign via–2#/story


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Funded! A list tracking Singapore based start-ups which raised money/ got acquired

Funded! A list tracking Singapore based start-ups which raised money/ got acquired

By alphabetical order:

  • chopeThe Chope Group – $8 milllion – June 2015
A four-year-old, Singapore-based online restaurant reservations platform, with the likes of Opentable, has just raised $8 million in new funding from F&H Fund ManagementNSI VenturesDSG Consumers PartnersFrontier Ventures, and Singapore Press Holdings. (see post “THE PIXE- LIST: TOP 5 STARTUPS TO WATCH THIS WEEK”)
  • Fastacash – $15 million  – July 2015
A three-year-old, Singapore-based fintech startup that serves to revolutionalise social payments and acts as an intermediary for banks — has raised $15 million in Series B funding led by Rising Dragon SingaporeLife.SREDAUVM 2 Venture Investments, and undisclosed existing investors, bringing it to a grand total of $23.5 million. Read more here.
  • KFit – $3.25 million – July 2015
One of my favorites, Kfit, has disrupted the steeply priced gym membership packages in Singapore with their one-for-all packages, freeing gym goers from the reins and giving them unlimited access to go to any gym which is Kfit’s listed partner. They raised $3.25 million in the round led by Sequoia capital. Read more here
  • Luxola – acquired by LVMH – July 2015

Another of my favorite shopping site, Luxola is now acquired! Famed for providing consumers with a myriad of makeup, skincare and personal care products, as well as excellent customer service, they have braved a long but confident journey to success. Read more here 

  • Mobikon – $2.3 million – July 2015

A six-year-old, Singapore-based company that makes cloud-based software to help restaurants manage almost all aspects of their businesss, has raised $2.3 million in new funding led by returning investor Jungle Ventures, bringing it to a grand total of $5 million altogether.  Read more here.

  • PayWhere – $5 million – August 2015

One of NUS’ most successful startups, PayWhere, is recently acquired by Philippine telco PLDT for $5 mil. PayWhere is the company behind TackThis, a SAAS platform that allows entrepreneurs and business owners to set up their own online stores in just a few steps, manage their inventory, and accept payments through a variety of local providers. The acquisition comes about as a result of PLDT’s goal of building its digital commerce business in the Philippines and other emerging markets.

  • Paktor – $7.4 million – June 2015

A two-year-old, Singapore-based social networking platform for singles, has raised $7.4 million in Series B funding from earlier investor, Vertex Venture Holdings and new backers Majuven, and Convergence Ventures. Previously, Paktor has raised $5 million from Vertex Ventures Holdings last year. Read more here.

  • qoo10Qoo10 – $82 million – July 2015
Qoo10 – my favorite ecommerce for buying virtually anything for all time (All these happened to be my favorites) has bagged $82 Million from SPHmediafund. It comes to no surprise that they are funded though I was expecting them to IPO. Other investors for this round include eBay, Saban Capital Group, UVM 2 Venture Investments, Brookside Capital and Oak Investment Partners. Read more here
Invested by Singapore VC firm:
  • Matterport – $30 million – June 2015

A 4.5-year-old, Mountain View, Ca.-based company, well known for its $4,500 camera that takes 360 degree images of its environment, has raised $30 million in growth funding from Qualcomm Ventures and Singapore’s GIC. Read more here.

Sources: Venture Beat, Techinasia, Techcrunch, StrictlyVC


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The 3-Step Stress Test before you start your business

The 3-Step Stress Test before you start your business

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1. Who are your target customers*?

– Describe their characteristics, behaviors, professions, country of residence and finally age, gender.

2. Validate your assumptions
– WHAT is the pain that your customers* face now? How do they currently cope with this pain? Are there a combination of tools available now that the customers can use to partially solve the problem?
– WHY would the customers want to pay for your service? What are the assumptions you have made and how have you been testing them?
– WHO are in your management team? Do their background help your team achieve your business targets? What is the gap? How are you planning to address the gap?
– WHO do you know that can help you to get your customers? How many can they bring in?
– HOW similar are the behavioral traits of the customers* you identified to those that you assume in your business model?
– WHERE would your business get your customers? What’s the conversion rate and is it realistic given the limited marketing budget?
– WHEN would you get your first 100,000 transactions? Is it one year later? How much would you need? Given the budget that you have now, is it realistic?

3. Making money

-This overall market size is >$10 billion – Is this market too broad?
This overall market size is <$1 billion – Is this market too small?


*Customers are paying parties for your business

**Consumers are users who may not necessarily pay


Potential antidote to your labour crunch woes

Potential antidote to your labour crunch woes


If you are having headaches over getting developers or skilled employees onboard, check this out!

WDA has just set up the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn programme (ELP) to help provide career head start for Fresh Polytechnic and ITE Graduates.  Polytechnics are institutes of higher learning that provide part-time and full time diploma courses spanning many fields. The ELP team will match and plac these graduates to work for companies over a period of at least 2 -3 years (medium term).

The ELP for Software Development will be the first to be launched, followed by Business Analytics, Infocomm Security and Networks/ Infrastructure Support.


  • Given the aim of the program, start-ups that may sustain over some years to support the career progression requirement for the working candidate
  • Employers will need to provide on-the-job training and mentorship, leading to industry-recognised certifications at the end of the programme.
  • Employees will also be supported with structured training and career development pathways in accordance with their employer’s talent development plan.
  • The commitment will span 12 to 18 months depending on the sector, job and training requirements.

For more information, please refer to eBrochure / Factsheet of SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme – Infocomm Technology Sector.

The Pixe- list: Top 5 Startups to watch this week

The Pixe- list: Top 5 Startups to watch this week

pixe-list Top 5 this week

  • chopeChope, Singapore’ restaurant booking service raised 11 million from F&H Fund Management, NSI Ventures, Frontier ventures and SPH
  • eatigoI recently chanced upon Eatigo which is in the same space and I see their potential as they have managed to negotiate for huge discounts for diners who book for meals at specific hours. For example, booking lunch at Marriott Cafe at 2 pm gives you 50%. The depth of discount makes the deal very attractive and it’s also win-win for the restaurant, given that there are times of the day where the manpower and tables are not maximised.
  • Patsnap, one of NUS’ portfolio companies, has recently raised S$4.5 million with Vertex holdings. They are in a really niche space, making the search for patents faster, smarter and more effortless. Patsnap started in 2007 and with NUS’ help, has since expanded beyond the shores of Singapore to China.


New accelerators on our sunny shores!



Rockstart from Amsterdam is here! I met Nicky Koopman when she was in Singapore last year, scouting for an incubator manager and it’s now finally launched!