With over 100 companies in its portfolio and over US$70 million assets under management, one would imagine Wavemaker Partners to be a large firm with dozens of employees running across Southeast Asia.
In reality, the company stays lean, having only 18 people. Pretty impressive for a firm that has seen exits from Pie, Luxola, Caarly and Gushcloud.
Wavemaker is heavily focussed on B2B companies — with 80 per cent of its investments coming in that space. 28 per cent of the portfolio is in deep tech or AI.
Finally, the Founders they back tend to lean on the older side of entrepreneurship. 88 per cent of their companies have Founders over the age of 30 and 39 per cent are over 40.
Yesterday, Wavemaker hosted an event whereby 19 companies pitched in front of an audience of around 300 people.
Before we meet the companies, here is a list of the startups that announced they are currently raising funds (and their ask).
- Omnistreet: Raising a Series A
- Sprout solutions: Raising a Series A
- RateIt: Raising a Series A
- GizTix: Raising a US$10 million Series B
- Neebo: Raising a US$2.3 million Series A
- Savonix: Raising US$2.5 million to close a US$10 million Series A
- Kiddo: Closing a US$15 million Series A
- Yulu: Raising US$15 million in equity and US$7 million in debt
- Securezapp: Just closed a seed round
Let’s meet the companies!
Jumper.ai converts social media posts into shoppable links that allow people to shop directly without being redirected to a website. It leverages hashtags and chatbots to facilitate transactions within the given platform.
With this technology, Jumper can also allow for automated customer service.
The team estimates they are working in a US$400 billion social commerce market and partners include Unilever, Toyota, Disney, Johnson and Johnson and Killiney.
Creating data storytellers is the ethos of Nugit. They believe the problem of the Big Data industry is “why is it still so hard to share?” . The big data industry healthy, but for the average user, it is often overly complicated to analyse. Companies are not able to get the data they need.
Nugit’s customers are people who are not analysts and helps them use data with their story building and sharing.
The company is launching an update to their platform in the coming week.
Omnistreet helps retailers use data create actionable results when it comes to assortment (goods on shelves). The problem is that, for most retailers, 80 per cent of products introduced are no longer on shelves in a year.
Omnistreet combines a bunch of data — including statistics like changing population density — and combines it with internal data. It combines this information to provide automated suggestions on whether a retailer should keep or trash a product like toothpaste.
The interesting part of Omnistreet is their decision to pursue a hyper-basic UI. It looks like an excel sheet with some basic product information and then a “keep/trash” decision provided by Omnistreet.
The startup is raising a Series A.
Sprouts Solutions is working to transform the human resources process in the Philippines. Coming from his previous experience as an entrepreneur in the country, Patrick Gentry found that HR and payroll management is painful in the Philippines.
The product is an all-in-one digital HR solution and the company has moved beyond SMEs/Startups and is now also targetting corporate clients.
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Products include everything from hiring and on-boarding to payroll and attendance.
Sprout is currently raising a Series A.
RateIt wants to provide live customer experience feedback so companies can adjust their customer service. The story used to explain RateIt is a fairly common experience for people:
You are at a retail store hoping to buy a shirt. You are probably a very easy sale, coming into the store with the hopes of walking out with some goods. But then the customer service is so bad that you just leave. It’s not worth picking a fight, but it’s definitely not supporting the company. In these cases, the business may not even be aware it was the customer service that ruined the sale.
This is what RateIt wants to solve. It bundles an app with a device for real-time user feedback and uses machine learning to ask the correct question at the right time.
RateIt is raising Series A.
Novade is creating an all-in-one solution to help digitalise the construction industry — which is particularly analog despite its massive size (contributing 13 per cent of the global GDP).
The goal of Novade is to help construction sites “manage basically anything on site”. This includes quality, activity, logistics and productivity. Novade has 200 clients in 16 countries. One of its most famous projects was the construction of Changi Airport Terminal 4.
The startup has just closed a Series A.
eFishery is out to target the main problem plaguing the industry — feeding. Right now, feeding is often just a farmer dumping a bunch of product into the water, which can pollute the water, kill the fish and even spill into the greater environment.
eFishery has built a piece of hardware that feeds the fish automatically. Farmers put it on the side of the pond and connect it to a sensor that adjusts to the fish’s behaviour. For example, if they are being aggressive, it is probably a sign they are hungry.
Now, the startup is starting to get into the world of financing. It gathers data and if the information suggests the farmer is good at their job, eFishery hopes it can use this to make it easier for them to get loans.
Built with both a social mission and profitability plans, Ricult is trying to help farmers break the debt cycle that traps them in poverty – specifically in Pakistan.
In Pakistan, there is usually a gap where farmers have not received payment for their harvest but also need to purchase goods to kickstart the next cycle. The farmer needs to take out a loan just to keep their farm moving forward but doing so traps them in a debt cycle.
Ricult is trying to speed up the payment process so Pakistani farmers can buy seeds, fertilizer and tools with their own money. It also has built a platform to help provide farmers access to information so they can educate themselves.
GIZTIX, an Echelon Top100 finalist from Thailand, is a transport management system. The product helps fleet owners and drivers manage their drivers digitally. It also gathers data on supply, demand and consumption.
Its main set of customers are companies that produce medium-to-high-value goods. The company has grown to employ about 40 people.
It is currently raising a US$10 million Series B after nabbing a Series A round in November, 2017.
A graduate of Entrepreneur First in Singapore, Portcast helps shipping companies accurately predict supply and demand of cargo.
At the moment, a lot of shipping companies use historical data and market averages to predict supply/demand. This can be problematic if trade between two countries falls or rises sharply. Portcast uses machine learning to find live patterns within the industry and make forcasts.
It claims to have a 90-95 per cent accuracy rate.
Neebo is building an all-in-one monitoring device for babies. This includes traditional sleep monitoring, but also services like vitals, health trends and other safety metrics.
The company is raising a US$2.3 million Series A.
Savonix is a product to help analyse, diagnose and prevent the various types of dementia. It’s mains selling point is that it makes classifications more specific.
Not all tyes of dementia are the same. Some, like Alzheimers, affect memory. Others impact emotional impulse control, the ability to express thoughts or visual learning. Savonix provides a test that helps people understand their unique risk factors.
Furthermore, it can deploy tests for between US$2 and US$5 dollars, which makes it accessible to people who would normally never be able to afford personalised dementia treatment.
The company is raising US$2.5 million to close a US$10 million Series A.
Kiddo is an IoT device that generates analytics to make healthcare for kids cheaper and more effective. A lot of pediatric healthcare options (especially insurance) are not tailored to the kid’s specific needs. So, by providing data, Kiddo hopes it can provide real-time analytics to help parents more accurately treat their children.
The startup leverages a subscription model with a tiered pricing structure. It is targetting healthcare clinics, insurance companies, schools, the research industry and even commercial brands.
Kiddo is nearing its close on a US$15million Series A.
Yulu is an urban micro mobility startup that uses small bikes and scooters to get people to/from to public transportation for their longer journey.
It hesitates to call itself a bike-sharing service because the vehicles are not meant for free-for-all use. Rather, the goal is to reduce traffic congestion by providing vehicles that can take people the 1-5km between their home and the train station. It leverages a QR-code operating system (like bike-sharing) but cannot be dropped anywhere. Yulu forces people to take it between parkting stations (but tries to build 700-800 locations in each city).
It is currently raising US$15 million in equity and US$7 million in debt.
Another alumni of Entrepreneur First, Involt is developing a next generation battery for electric vehicles and grid-level storage. The battery can charge 10x faster than other batteries on the market without degrading after usage.
The metaphor used during the pitch was, “If lithium batteries are long-distance runners, we are building a sprinter”. The batteries should reduce the strain on electric vehicles while simultaneously increasing the distances between charges.
Transcelestial is a Singaporean company that wants to provide commercial-grade internet speed to the whole world. The startup leverages lasers and nano-satellites to build a Space Laser Network that would greatly improve internet connections to even the most remote of areas.
Currently, our internet is moved around via transcontinental high bandwidth undersea cables, which are extremely expensive. A Google-built cable between the US and Japan in 2016 cost about US$300 million to complete.
“We started Transcelestial because we saw an exciting future for humanity in the next 100 years but no action plan to build a scalable, underlying infrastructure needed, either on the planet or in deep space, to support that,” said Rohit Jha, the CEO and co-founder of Transcelestial in a previous e27 article.
Microsec is building IoT cybersecurity products for enterprise clients. The startup provided the statistic that between January and June of 2018 there were 900 IoT cyber breaches across the globe.
The company currently boasts projects that work on smart lamp posts, smart homes, industry control systems, utilities, and automotives.
Cyber Intelligence House
Cyber Intelligence House is an internet intelligence company that specialises in the dark web. They scour the Tor network for clients to discover if information has been leaked, credentials exposed or if the company is being targetted by hackers, among other things.
A lot of companies can figure out their cyber exposure on the standard internet, but have a more difficult time finding this information on the dark web. Cyber Intelligence House is in the business of providing clarity on this information.
One major client are local police forces and Cyber Intelligence House says police have used its platform to arrest 89 people.
The problem: There is a lack of visibility as data moves across the enterprise security perimeter.
In today’s corporate environment, a massive amount of data is built on third-party infrastructure. This means data needs to be transmitted across platforms. Usually, this transfer process is obscure which makes security a secondary focus.
Securzapp wants to make sure companies can track and manage risk as they transfer their data built on third-party infrastructure.
The startup has just closed a seed round.