The Alibaba Cloud x KrASIA Global Startup Accelerator launched last week, with ten startups making pitches during the inaugural Demo Day. They were evaluated by a panel of judges formed by esteemed representatives from Alibaba Cloud, Vision Plus, Telkomsel Mitra Inovasi, and Altara Ventures. Startups from across the region demonstrated a strong level of interest in participating in the Demo Day. Judges whittled down the pool of submissions to ten finalists from Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia.
Lin En Shu, head of solutions architect for Alibaba Cloud was impressed by the caliber of startups that took part. “It is great to see so many great startups turning creative and compelling ideas into innovative solutions which can disrupt the market and solve the world’s problems. Alibaba Cloud has helped many local startups to innovate and grow together, and we hope that we can help their journey along the way too,” Lin said.
Another judge, Dave Ng, general partner from Altara Ventures, was pleased to be involved with the event. “This is a great effort from Alibaba Cloud and KrASIA to promote the Southeast Asia startup ecosystem. Altara Ventures is proud to be part of Alibaba Cloud’s AsiaForward project,” Ng said.
Here are the ten finalists that took part in the Alibaba Cloud x KrASIA Global Startup Accelerator Demo Day for Southeast Asia:
Janio saw an opportunity in Southeast Asia’s logistics industry, where there are high costs, limited regional coverage, and complex supply chains involving many vendors. To address these issues, Janio created a consolidated supply chain that reduces complexities and costs. It offers a range of solutions, such as cross-border shipping, customs clearance, regional distributions centers, and cash-on-delivery to provide clients with options for making their deliveries. Group head of commercial Senthil Kumar said that Janio offers a “modular-based solution that can enable clients to ship using a multitude of players, but will see Janio as a single point of reference.”
Curlec has built a platform for easier management and collection of recurring revenue, such as subscriptions. Recognizing that recurring revenue management with standard methods of collection such as direct debit, is not designed with SMEs in mind, Curlec’s solution caters to businesses of all sizes and helps avoid cash flow issues that may arise from late payments. Co-founder and CEO Zac Liew was excited about the company’s growth in Southeast Asia. “We believe we are building a unique proposition that goes beyond payments that’s really focused on a particular niche. We don’t think anyone’s looking the way we are at the moment,” Liew said.
Minimo Tech is creating a shopping experience that combines elements from online and offline shopping experiences to cater to the different needs of consumers. It uses features such as in-store augmented reality product scanning, geo-targeting, as well as online shopping options. It plans to integrate iOS, Android, and Huawei devices for enhanced accessibility to its services. Founder Moh Hee Sim said during his pitch that customers simply had to “pick up the phone, scan an AR marker and they will get product information. They can also ask an AI chatbot assistant to get more information.”
Talentcloud.ai provides employee management software that integrates payroll, recruitment, onboarding, attendance management, and e-learning. It also uses AI technology to analyze data for its features and create prediction models for activities such as recruitment. Founder Anson Wong said that even though Talentcloud.ai is competing directly with established brands like Oracle and SAP, feedback has been positive with existing clients, who call them the “Malaysian Workday.” Wong said, “In the future, we intend to have extra software offerings in the market for CRM, accounting, finance, and business intelligence for the APAC region.”
Agiliux has built a platform that allows insurance companies, brokers, and agents to digitize their offerings and infrastructure. It recognizes a key problem: the industry has been slow to transition from its legacy systems, which hinders companies from meeting customer expectations. Agiliux’s solution allows companies to integrate their current backend systems to avoid the need to overhaul existing setups. During his pitch, CEO Mohandeep Singh shared that Agiliux has “already deployed in six different countries in the Asia Pacific. We fully meet the regulatory requirements.” He went on to say that his company has already worked past many common barriers to entry in these countries, such as partner integration and localization, so “we can be market leaders as we already have a lot of these things in place.”
Healtopedia identified a few problems in the current healthcare experience—slow booking times, barriers to purchases, and the lack of standardized information about providers. On the supply side, there is low user retention due to slow customer query response times. And, a lack of product differentiation and many regulatory requirements have impeded innovation within the industry. Healtopedia looks to solve this by giving users a way to discover, compare, and book their desired health services—such as health screenings, mental health services, physiotherapy, cryotherapy, ayurveda, and traditional medicine—online. CFO Benjamin George explained that Healtopedia can “speed up our partners sales by up to 80%. They can focus more on the clinical side for the patient rather than the sales cycle.”
4PointX is an industrial-analytics-of-things (IAoT) platform that manufacture plant operators can use to monitor performance of equipment, detect faults, and predict equipment failure using sensors. It can integrate with existing supervisory control and data acquisition systems as well as distributed control systems for easier deployment to plants. By monitoring condition factors such as vibration, temperature, and oil pressure, 4PointX’s products can use this data to predict risk and deploy maintenance “around 60 to 90 days prior to the actual failure,” said founder Kiran Kumar. “We focus mostly on the solutions and making anomaly detection. The main problem is ongoing optimization of the process and the performance, so if you’re able to collect our data along with production and product data, and build custom dashboards, alerts, and even some machine learning models, that is the real value addition.”
Sipjoy has created an app that allows users to prepay for coffee from their favourite outlets. With the ability to purchase from multiple cafes, the app lets coffee enthusiasts buy in advance and receive discounts from making bulk purchases, all conveniently done by using their phones. This idea was inspired by a regular customer who founder Vincent Sin served at a cafe. The startup “decided to digitalize the whole customer journey” and has now redeemed 12,000 cups using its app. Sin said that the goal is to “be the largest independent coffee chain that doesn’t own a coffee shop.”
LingoTalk created an edtech platform that helps students learn languages. Rather than adopting a one-size-fits-all approach, LingoTalk uses an AI-based curriculum recommendation system based on the user’s profile to ensure the student is given the most appropriate materials and assessments. Co-founder and CEO Andre Benito acknowledged that “parents will be like the decision-makers on the product side, on whether they want to go for the next purchase or not.” He added that “word of mouth, as of now, is still one of the biggest marketing strategies that we have to actually multiply the growth of the users and also to retain our customers.”
ClicknCare is a telehealth platform that helps migrant workers gain access to healthcare professionals. Problems such as language barriers, lack of proper documentation, and travel costs present challenges for these workers, and ClicknCare looks to address these issues with its platform. Users can also order over-the-counter medicines or receive prescriptions, with which they can purchase medication from ClicknCare’s partner clinics and pharmacies. Founder Sultanur Reza said, “We developed a platform where we have brought in native-speaking doctors to eliminate the language barrier. The communications are easier and there is continuity of care and confidence built in.”
The Alibaba Cloud x KrASIA Global Startup Accelerator is part of Alibaba Cloud’s Project AsiaForward initiative, which aims to bring digital transformation to enterprises in Asia and nurture fresh talent. Through this program, startups have the opportunity to join Alibaba’s global ecosystem. Startups can also develop connections with top VCs in Southeast Asia and China, as well as become the subject of coverage on KrASIA, 36Kr, and more.