The atmosphere was pretty surreal as I walked into the MaGIC building for the very first time. I was amazed at how huge and well equipped the building truly was. It almost felt like an academy for wizards, or perhaps what would be more apt—magicians. Later on as I sat in for the MAP (MaGIC Accelerator Programme) ASEAN first cohort’s Demo Day, I was in for a treat.
Everyone came well prepared with their slides and pitched to a series of local and regional investors within a five-minute time frame, to which if they fail to do so, a Jaws theme song will begin playing. Startups from various verticals like e-commerce, social media and content, SaaS (Software as a Service), hardware, and mobile, gave their best to obtain the funding they needed.
Out of the 37 that presented their pitch during the day, here are Vulcan Post’s top 12 picks, in no particular order.
Giden Lim and Penny Choo kickstarted the event on a high note as they were the very first startup to present their pitch. BloomThis is an e-commerce flower subscription service that delivers weekly luxury flowers in a bespoke box to its customers. Their advantage is that their flowers last 3x longer than flowers from most other florists.
Since their inception in April of this year, they have already garnered close to 700 paying customers and were also in the top 20 finalists for Alliance Bank SME BizSmart Challenge 2015. Their current performance shows that they have what it takes to make the subscription model work in the floral industry.
Not many people are aware that Filipino farmers are living in debt, but Cropital managed to address this with their startup. Cropital is a startup from the Philippines and they are a crowdfunding platform that helps farmers gain access to scalable and sustainable funding, and provides solutions to maximise profitability.
Founded in April of this year, the team have managed to raise USD10,000 in 3 days and with the funding, they are looking to connect with more agricultural organisations.
AZStack is a startup which essentially handles the back-end for other companies and they do it by developing an open communications platform which can be utilised by other companies. Their full stack make it easy for developers to add chat, voice, and video call into any native app, just within a few hours.
AZStack has close to 16,000 active users which they built across a five-month duration this year. As of now, the Vietnamese startup AZStack has managed to achieve more than 200,000 active communicators on their platform.
MilkADeal Cashback may sound just like any other deal hunting site, and initially that is what they once were. However, they have pivoted and now introduced a cashback system, similar to that of ShopBack’s.
What they do is provide cashback on services or products seen on their site and what’s great is that they have managed to rope in their past competitors, such as Groupon, as current clients. Not many startups could proudly say that.
Skolafund is a crowdfunding platform for students in the tertiary level to obtain a scholarship. The fact that they are helping to improve the lives of students who may not be able to afford to pay their own education fees sounds noble enough. However, what makes them stand out was the fact that they are able to allow the public to believe in them enough to support their cause financially.
In 5 months, they have managed to collect pledges worth USD38,300 and even have 2,100+ users who have signed up with their site. They also have 40% of repeat sponsors as well, which goes to show how really charitable Malaysians are.
“Every girl would love to own a luxury bag”, the founder of this startup, Stan Chooi, told the crowd. Whilst it may not be entirely true, it certainly is for a lot of women. Luxury bags are a hefty price to pay and Sometime managed to solve it by disrupting the fast fashion bag market.
Since their inception, Sometime has bootstrapped and sold more than 20000 bags in the past 18 months. By the fourth quarter of last year, they also managed to sell 2000 bags.
UniSTAY.co has only launched for a mere 3 weeks but they already have a great vision in mind—to be Asia’s largest students accommodation provider in 2 years. They want to solve a problem that a lot of university and college students may face, which is hunting for a hostel to live in during their duration of study.
Having been incubated by Malaysia’s largest they hope to simplify the entire process of booking an accommodation, from searching to booking and management, all in one single platform. With 50 new listings weekly and an average of 500 unique visitors weekly, they are off to a good start. They’ve also successfully launched their pilot project in Indonesia and Taiwan.
This startup recognises a big problem that Malaysians face on the roads, and that is Malaysian drivers are #1 in the world when it comes to accident and car crashes. To make it worse, Malaysian vehicle theft is #6 in the world.
Katsana uses an advanced GPS tracking system to solve these problems by enabling an in-depth analysis of driver behaviours and this will in turn create drivers who are more aware of their driving habits. With their current experience with GPS tracking for companies and enterprises, they process over 6,000,000 location data daily to score drivers based on risks.
Thus far, they have achieved 1200+ vehicles on the road now which utilises Katsana, as well as 97.8% recovery rate of car theft. Another plus point is that they are already cash-positive!
Describing this startup may sound like predicting a lottery number. This is because iKnewIt is an app which allows users to discuss and predict what may happen in the future, across various verticals such as politics, sports, technology, entertainment, and more. Everyone has their own set of opinions about what could happen, and through the iKnewIt app, they will be able to express these thoughts with other like-minded people.
The startup already has a few funding offers as they are in the midst of raising a seed round of USD250,000. On top of the 4000+ registered users since June of this year, they also managed to rope in 31 partners in a short duration of 4 months.
Pickld is a photo diary made for the Gen Y who are keen on sharing their daily updates with their list of friends. Segregated into categories such as times of the day, it is easier to see through a series of images of what happens throughout the day.
After their soft launch early in November, Pickld managed to get 30000 signups in the first 10 days. More than 50000 photos have already been uploaded since. Founder, Dale David said, “We want users to capture their moments, even the most ordinary one.”
11. Door2Door Doctor
Aiming to empower patients to gain better access to healthcare providers, Door2Door Doctor is a startup that offers personalised healthcare solutions. By using mobile health technology and logistics solutions, this startup caters to working adults who need someone to care for their loved ones with significant medical problems.
Since early this year, Door2Door Doctor has more than 1,200 patient interactions and they plan to keep increasing that number to make a real world difference in the lives of their patients and families.
12. Money Lover
Money Lover is a Vietnamese startup which helps its users to manage their financial dilemmas. They have a user acquisition of around 2,500 new users daily, and a conversion rate of 1.5%. They understand that many people do not have the patience to manage their own finances and that is where they step in.
The Money Lover app allows users to monitor their expenses with innovative manual/automatic input methods, detailed and intuitive reports, as well as a complete system of budgets and savings.
Their achievements thus far has been receiving USD120,000 seed funding from an angel investor 3 years ago, as well as being the top startup in Maybank Fintech 2015.
It was really hard choosing 12 startups from the total 37 startups who made their pitch during this Demo Day, if you’d like to see the full list of startups from the ASEAN track of MaGIC’s Accelerator Programme, you can check that out here.