There are a multitude of grants available for SMEs in Singapore, and figuring out which ones you are eligible for can be confusing, especially for many young Founders.
Pealo, a Singapore-based fintech startup which facilitates funding for SMEs and business evaluation for investors, is leveraging on AI to help SMEs in Singapore navigate the complex grant application process. It has soft-launched a chat bot on its Facebook page aptly named “Grant Bot”.
CEO and Founder of Pealo, Prakash Somosundram is a proponent of using AI to accelerate business processes. In his own work environment, he uses a AI-enabled meeting scheduler developed by another Singapore startup Mimetic.
“As a team, we are very excited about Bots, Artificial Intelligence and Business Intelligence,” said Somosundram, in an interview with e27.
“Though we are blessed with the most amount of government assistance globally; constantly through the course of our work we get countless numbers of clients complaining about the ever evolving grant landscape in Singapore,” said Somosundram.
These feedback led to the development of the Grant Bot to help address SMEs queries about grants.
Besides tackling that pain point, Somosundram said the Grant Bot also helps Pealo to validate and qualify business leads.
Currently, it is still in the beta stages, so there are plans to implement more features and develop other variations of the Grant Bot. These include a Grant Bot that will appeal for rejections on companies’ behalf and a Grant Bot to help companies track their milestones after their application is approved.
“To facilitate this entire process we will be doing a series of community crowdsourcing events to hear from the community and to build a product based on their responses,” said Somosundram.
Plans going forward
Founded in April 2015, Pealo uses a data-driven approach to make capital more accessible to SMEs. It also uses the data to value and benchmark businesses for investors.
To date, 300 SMEs have signed up on the platform. Out of these, two companies have been acquired. Pealo hopes to have 1,000 companies registered by the end of 2016. It will also develop and launch a network marketplace for SMEs this year.
In July last year, Pealo raised a pre-seed round of US$400,000.
Image Credit: Pealo