East Ventures and a “local angel investor” join Neoteny Labs in a US$500,000 seed-funding round in Singapore startup Foound. To our knowledge, this makes it the largest seed-funding round for a Singapore startup this year.
“We are extremely excited to work alongside our investors to develop Foound into a game-changing social application on both mobile and web,” said Danny Tan, Foound’s chief executive, in a press release. “This investment will help us grow our team, mature the product, and launch Foound globally in the coming months.”
Foound launched its iPhone application, available to the Singapore market only, on 31 July. However, the company said the Singapore launch is only a beta to expand usability testing, and that the full application will be launched at the startup pitching event DEMO on 14 Sept.
“The US is also one of our key geographies due to its strong base of tech-savvy and highly social smartphone users,” Tan said. He said he would be looking at exploring opportunities with social networking giants based in US.
Two weeks ago we announced that Foound received funding from Neoteny Labs under the Singapore government’s Technology Incubation Scheme. The amount invested was undisclosed. Foound’s latest press release says that Joi Ito from Neoteny Labs will have a seat on Foound’s board while Bataro Eto from East Ventures will becomes an advisor.
We caught Tan on the phone right after he sent us his press release. Apparently, we got him just in time because he was packing and about to leave for Changi Airport (presumably for DEMO?).
“We met Batara Eto at echelon 2010,” Tan said of his new investor from East Ventures. Eto is known as a co-founder of Japan’s largest social network, Mixi, and he started East in Singapore to look for deals in regional early-stage web startups. East’s previous investments include Indonesia-based companies Scraplr, Tokopedia and Urbanesia.
We asked Tan who the “local angel investor” was, but he only said, “The investor wants this to be kept confidential, so we can’t reveal his name.”
Foound is an iPhone application that makes organising hangouts easier. Their pitch at echelon 2010 made them the stars of the show. Dave McClure, who was judging their pitch, was moved to say: “Singapore, you have hope!”
Half of Foound’s team will be flying to California for DEMO. The company is also working on Foound for Android and BlackBerry.