Peter Thiel in his book Zero To One explains that a startup is the largest group of people that are convinced to change the world through technology. This year we’ve seen many aspiring and experienced entrepreneurs pursue that very aim by setting up shop in their respective industries.
Startups tend to be the incubator for new technology and the new way of doing things, and while most of them are fueled by passion and a healthy sense of delusion, they still need to operate as a business. And to help many realize that aim and to support their growth, they often need to bring investors on board.
Given that this year has been quite eventful in the startup scene, here’s a short list of startups that have managed to secure large amounts of seed funding from various types of investors.
This list is arranged in descending order and it only highlights startups that raised capital for their seed round of funding this year.
Also, I didn’t include those that didn’t disclose the amount they raised for obvious reasons – the amount is undisclosed.
Seed Amount: US$ 3.25M
KFit is a service that offers you a monthly membership to train at various gyms, fitness studios and activities in your city. This service essentially gives its subscribers the option of trying out various fitness-based activities at different locations every day.
Spearheaded by Joel Neoh, Danny Yeung and Chen Chow Yeoh they raised a seed round of US$3.25M from Sequoia Capital.
2. Wonderbucks Berhad
Seed Amount: US$ 1M
Fashioned as a social network, WonderList is a property-based platform that enables realtors to upload, search or promote their listings and it also helps them perform co-broking, and co-selling on every single listing.
It enables them to conduct negotiations and to create a digitalised record right through the app. Clients on the other hand get to choose the realtor they’d like to deal with and provide feedback on each one of them. According to TechInAsia, they raised US$1M.
Seed Amount: US$ 550K
Kaodim is an e-marketplace that connects users with local service providers such as plumbers, decorators, and fitness instructors, among others. Having officially launched at the end of last year, co-founders Jeff Cheong and Choong Fui-Yu managed to secure a seed round of US$550K in February. East Ventures led the seed round, and other VCs like 500 Startups and KK Fund also participated in the round.
They later went onto raise their Series A round of financing worth about US$4M, the same year with Venuturra Capital, BEENEXT, and a few other startups.
Seed Amount: US$ 550K
iprice is a referrals platform that curates numerous products from a range of different sellers, and it saves customers the hassle of having to visit various other sites when they’re looking to shop online. It also offers brands the opportunity to win over new customers and to grow their traffic through the platform.
Founded by David Chmelar and Heinrich Wendel, the platform was able to secure a seed round of US$550K from investors like Asia Venture Group, Rocket Internet, Zalora Group, among others. They currently offer 3 million products from more than 10,000 local and international brands.
5. Be Malas
Seed Amount: US$ 500K
Co-founded by Suthenesh Sugumaran, Adlin Yusman, and Puvanendren M Maniam, Be Malas is a personal concierge service that prides itself in fulfilling any legal request that you might have.
Seed Amount: US$ 500K
Bookya is an Airbnb-like platform that links artists and promoters together. It helps artists by connecting them with the right people and by helping them get more gigs and bookings while streamlining the entire process. The platform essentially offers a standardised and flexible booking process for artists and promoters.
It also uses a unique location-based discovery tool to match artists and promoters together. This is one of the few platforms that were able to secure US$500K in seed funding this year even before they launched.
Seed Amount: US$ 400K
Kendrick Wong founded Shoppr not because of his love for fashion but his fascination with behavioral economics and pattern recognition. Shoppr is an app for fashion that helps the everyday girl find inspiration from the outfits of famous trendsetters. The app also recommends where you can buy an outfit that you see through image recognition.
TechInAsia reported earlier this year that the startup raised US$400K in seed funding from East Ventures, 500 Startups and another angel investor.
Seed Amount: US$350K
Carsome.my is a one-stop online portal where you can discover, purchase, or even sell cars. The platform allows users to compare prices, specifications and other information with up to five different cars. The platform essentially offers the user a hassle-free experience where they can compare, research and selects the best price that’s offered to them by the dealers.
Having been co-founded by Eric Cheng and J.Teoh, the platform was able to raise US$350K during its first round of seed financing from 500 Startups and Idea River Run (IRR).
It’s also important to note that although these startups were able to secure significant amounts in seed funding, it doesn’t instinctively mean that they are the only ones that have the greatest proclivity for change. There’s more than enough room for other startups to influence change in their respective industries.
Given that there have been quite a few number of startups that have been funded this year, especially in the US$500K range, I only added the ones that I thought were noteworthy.
If you know any that I might’ve missed, you can mention the startup in the comments below or on Facebook.