Singapore-based halal-focused food tech startup WhatsHalal has raised an undisclosed amount of seed round funding from FundedHere, a crowdfunding platform approved by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
The fresh capital is secured at a valuation of SGD 4.5 million (USD 3.2 million), according to an official statement. The company plans to use this cash for its regional expansion, to enlarge its team, and to develop its proprietary monitoring system for halal certification.
Founded in 2017, WhatsHalal builds and maintains data infrastructure to provide assurance in the halal food and beverage industry.
With approximately 1.9 billion Muslims worldwide, demand for halal food—or food that is prepared according to Islamic law—is increasing every year. According to a report by research and advisory firm DinarStandard, global Muslim expenditure across lifestyle sectors is projected to reach USD 3.2 trillion by 2024, with spending on halal food expected to hit USD 1.9 billion that year.
However, obtaining halal certification can be challenging for F&B businesses, as the process is time-consuming and involves a lot of paperwork. After the initial application for certification, there are tests, inspections, and audits of the products and processes for their permissibility under Islamic rules. Those who satisfy all the requirements will receive approval and a halal certificate.
To streamline these procedures, WhatsHalal offers a traceability platform called WhatsHalal’s Assurance and Traceability Management System (ATeMS), which manages the entire certification process as well as the daily management of halal assurance. It digitizes and simplifies every step along the way. The company claimed that its system reduces the time taken to prepare certification documentation by up to 66% and cuts the total cost of obtaining halal certification by up to 50%.
In building its proprietary ATeMS, WhatsHalal leverages on its blockchain platform to ensure transparency and control data integrity and security. The system went online in 2019, with merchants in Singapore signing on. WhatsHalal’s is also introducing ATeMS to businesses in Indonesia, Malaysia, and other Southeast Asian countries this year, the company said in its statement.
In addition to its B2B platform, WhatsHalal has a consumer app that has several features—halal restaurant listings, food delivery, takeaway food orders, and restaurant reservations. It also has a barcode scanner for users to check whether products have been certified as halal.