Singapore: It’s the second year in Singapore for Australia-born accelerator Muru-D and eight startups formed its second cohort, which graduated in a demo day event.
The eight companies received seed funding of US$28,000 each, office space in Muru-D Singapore’s office, and access to a network of mentors, industry experts, investors, and technical resources.
The Telstra-backed accelerator has 62 startups in its global portfolio, and operates programs in Sydney, Singapore, Brisbane, and Perth. An international outlook for its startups is a priority, says head of Muru-D Singapore Jamie Camidge, and the accelerator works hard to instill a drive for building global-facing products in participating founders.
Applications for Muru-D’s third Singapore cohort will open in June. Muru-D Singapore entrepreneur-in-residence Craig Dixon says the team will open up its mandate to later-stage startups as well, looking into deep tech like data analytics, artificial intelligence, and medtech.
From this next cohort and onwards, the accelerator will base its startup funding on Safe notes. SAFE is an acronym for Simple Agreement for Future Equity. With the Safe note, an investor gets the right to buy equity in a company at a later stage, according to specific terms or milestones. It makes fundraising quicker for founders, as it’s less complicated to negotiate. It’s an idea that Y Combinator partner Carolynn Levy came up with in 2013. “Founder-friendly equals investor-friendly,” Jamie says.
Here are the eight startups that graduated the second cohort in Singapore, in alphabetical order:
Amtiss – Indonesia
Amtiss helps mining companies monitor and maintain their heavy equipment with the help of sensors and an online platform. Companies can then respond more quickly to breakdowns and save money on maintenance and operation.
The startup says it has four paid enterprise customers and has generated over US$40,000 in revenue so far.
Checkit – Vietnam
Checkit is a kind of CliffsNotes for non-fiction books. The team condenses the content and presents it in bite-sized offerings, localized for countries that have trouble reading in a foreign language.
The startup says it has 300 titles on its platform and more than 6,000 users, over 500 of which are active daily. Over 400 are paying.
FreightKart – Singapore
FreightKart, as its name betrays, specializes in freight shipping. It’s an online aggregator and price comparison service for small and medium-sized businesses. The startup claims to help them reduce the time needed to plan, book, and ship freight over sea.
Having just gone live in January, FreightKart says it’s signed up 20 users and has 50 vendors from 79 countries on its platform.
Hafta – Malaysia
Hafta provides personality insights by having users self-assess their personality, compare it with their reputation (that’s formed through their network), and benchmark it against famous personalities.
The startup has worked with Uber and Grab in Malaysia to help them pick drivers, and has partnered with three universities in the country.
PlanForFit – Thailand
PlanForFit helps users set fitness targets and hold them to their goals. It provides a range of content including videos, advice, and products to help them on their way.
SeeChat (Winimy) – Singapore
SeeChat is a messaging app that can be integrated into business directories and enable the businesses in it to communicate with their customers through a number of online services, including social media, search engines, and even AI assistants like Alexa and Google Home.
The startup helps the directory gather the data from all these communications into a single dashboard, providing better customer engagement and support for participating companies. It currently has deals with MediaNusa in Singapore, a directory of 100,000 businesses, and Local Knowledge in Turkey, with 800,000 listings.
Teman Usaha – Indonesia
Teman Usaha is a micro-loan marketplace for small businesses. It helps entrepreneurs search for loans on their smartphone and apply for credit. The startup pre-qualifies businesses so it can forward the leads to banks who provide the loans.
It currently provides three products: a personal loan, a motorbike and car loan, and a business loan. It’s running a pilot project with a rural bank and two multi-finance companies in Indonesia, and has had over 2,000 applications and more than 200 loans approved, at an average of US$1,000.
Zelos – Indonesia
Zelos helps companies find and recruit graduates to make sure that young candidates enter the market in a job that’s a good fit for them and employers get the right candidates and hold onto them longer.
It’s currently working with Telkom Indonesia, BCA, and Maybank, and reports a revenue of US$30,000 for the past six months.
Photo credit: Muru-D