On 7 July 2014, Joyful Frog Digital Incubator (JFDI), one of Asia’s leading startup accelerators, backed by Infocomm Investments Pte Ltd (IIPL), the investment arm of Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), presented its first 2014 cohort of startup teams to 150 local and global investors active in Singapore and the greater region, who together managed to collect over a billion dollars in early-stage funds. It also marked the early stages of a strategic partnership between IIPL and JFDI to operate accelerator programmes for innovative Singapore-based technology product startups.
The 2014a JFDI cohort, composed of 33 entrepreneurs distributed across 12 startups, ranged from enterprise-facing to consumer-oriented products, covering web applications, cybersecurity, mobile commerce and e-commerce. It was JFDI’s largest-ever batch, with founders coming from Indonesia, India, the Philippines, South Korea, Thailand and also from as far away as Lithuania, Northern Europe.
Wong Meng Weng, Co-founder and Chairman of JFDI, said, “Today brings the total number of teams that JFDI has accelerated to 38 startups. Historically, more than 60 per cent have succeeded in raising an average of S$650,000 (approx. US$5,20,000) per team and they have created up to 30 high-value jobs each. …No longer do we see the smartest investors waiting for deal-flow to drop fully-formed into their laps. Increasingly, they’re rolling up their sleeves, getting involved and, in several cases, have actually physically moved in with us to help us shape startups that the market wants.”
Steve Leonard, the Executive Deputy Chairman of IDA and Chairman of IIPL said, “It’s great to see an international crop of tech product startups presenting to an international crowd of investors at the JFDI Demo Day. There is a strong investor community with good connections around the world now flourishing in Singapore. This is matched by a strong accelerator community with JFDI and other leading teams helping to craft the right quality of tech product startups. With all these raw ingredients in place, Singapore is a real hub for Southeast Asia tech companies to build and grow”.
JFDI’s startups presented their pitches in a concise and refined manner, with products ranging from web applications and mobile commerce to more conventional e-commerce platforms. The startups and their products were:
- Stylhunt (online curated index of shops)
- Quickly (email task automation on a cloud)
- Wikasa (slidecast creation and publishing)
- Appknox (mobile app cybersecurity)
- Celuv (fashion shopping flipboard)
- Medialink (public relations marketplace)
- Arena (employee monitoring)
- Kallfly (contact centre marketplace)
- Storyroll (e-commerce micro-video)
- Glints (intern-oriented social networking)
- Grafyt (“Uber” for real estate rentals, connecting landlords and tenants directly)
- CodeToki (platform to train and hire software developers)
JFDI invests S$25,000 – S$50,000 (approx. US$20,000 – US$40,000) in each startup team, as well as provides over S$100,000 (approx. US$80,000) worth of intangibles, such as technical facilities, office accommodation, mentoring and networking with early-stage investors. JFDI secured S$2.7 million (approx. US$2.1 million) in funding in March this year to accelerate the growth of high growth tech product startups. IIPL was the anchor investor and catalyst for JFDI’s fund-raising round this year, which established a foundation for launching the accelerator programmes.