2016 has not been a complete bummer after all, and these startups know best. From Grab to Lazada, things have definitely never been better for these brands.

Samantha Tay  |  Singapore
Published 2016-11-29 10:24:06

Running a business is a tricky business – you never know when the economic climate might suddenly change for the worse, or when a bad customer service decision might crumble your entire reputation. (Looking at you, The Western Co.)

But even in one of the worst economic climates Singapore has seen, there are those who manage to weather the storm and come out even more successful than before.

We’ve covered the entrepreneurs and their brands who didn’t manage to make it – but not everyone has it bad.

These are the startups who have not just survived 2016, but pulled through #likeaboss.

1. Shopback

Image Credit: Joyfulmess
Image Credit: Joyfulmess

Ah, Shopback, the shopping platform that returns you cash whenever you shop via their platform. In January, the company announced that it was expanding its presence to include the enormous spending potential that was India, and they have.

In local news, they were also named the Top free app in the shopping category in the iOS App Store, as well as number one in the top free apps category. People love to shop, but since they also love saving money, Shopback has definitely hit a goldmine.

2. Carousell

Image Credit: Carousell

What started out as an online marketplace for used textbooks has now conquered multiple countries within Asia. Now, they are even looking to expand past the boundaries of SEA. Although there has been no announcement as to where exactly, the US$35million that the startup raised in August is certainly a very strong start

And even in Singapore, they are still growing. With their recent acquisition of Caarly, Carousell shows no signs of slowing down just yet.

3. Fynd

Image Credit: blog.fiit
Image Credit: blog.fiit

Singapore startup Fynd is a repair service that connects you with a technician for your broken tech devices, and at the convenience of your preferred location.

After having announced a $385, 000 funding just this year, Fynd has already become a popular go-to option for many, and successfully set up branch in Jakarta. Everything has just been going according to plan for the startup.

4. Vanitee

Image Credit: vulcanpost
Image Credit: vulcanpost

Beauty-provider app Vanitee announced the acquisition of their competitor startup Mefitted this year. This move automatically opened up the B2B market for Vanitee, an area in which they lacked strong reach. With the acquisition, they gained Mefitted’s 10,000 monthly active users.

With the burgeoning success of Vanitee, the company is already looking at further expansion in early 2017.

5. Grab

Image Credit: klgadgetguy
Image Credit: klgadgetguy

Valued at just over US$3billion, Grab is now Southeast Asia’s second largest startup. A list of Grab’s accolades this year include raising US$750million in funding in September, building partnerships with self-driving vehicles nuTonomy, and the rolling out of the GrabChat app.

As part of the newly-established Singapore’s National Private Hire Vehicles Association (NPHVA), Grab drivers’ interests will also be better protected.

6. Glints 

Image Credit: Glints
Image Credit: Glints

18 months ago, Glints had 7,000 users. Now they have almost hit the 170,000 users mark, bagged US$2 million worth of Series A funding, and has more than 4,000 companies having built partnerships with them, including Grab, Carousell and Adidas.

And that’s not all they’re doing. As of September, Glints has officially expanded into Indonesiaand raised US$2 million in a Series A funding round.

7. Lazada

Image Credit: startupjobs
Image Credit: startupjobs

Jack Ma is not a force to be trifled with, and is known for making smart business decisions, so considering that Alibaba has put in a stake of $1billion into Singapore’s e-commerce site Lazada is truly telling of the strength of the business.

In November, Lazada also announced that it was acquiring online grocery site Redmart for between US$30 million to US$40 million. So AmazonFresh might be coming to Singapore, but it will definitely have strong competition on its hands.

2016 Isn’t So Bad – For These Startups, At Least

The year is almost coming to a close, and with the burgeoning strength of the startup industry with new players coming in all the time, it will be interesting to see how these startups continue to fare.

Featured Image Credit: Techinasia, Marketing-interactive, whereiscebu

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