Entrepreneur

10 Lesser-Known Startups Who Proudly Represented M'sia In International Pitch Competitions

Pitching competitions are one way for aspiring entrepreneurs and startups to kickstart their businesses and can be a way for existing startups to accelerate their business growth.

As they’re competitions, there’s no doubt that there will be winners and losers. However, even if a startup doesn’t win, the fact that they got through the application process to be able to stand on stage and pitch their proposals is pretty impressive.

Even more impressive is if they’re one of the lesser-known startups in the scene who managed to pitch on an international stage. So, with Merdeka nearing, we’d like to highlight 10 lesser-known Malaysian startups who pitched in international competitions, with some of them becoming finalists and winners.

The startups below are listed alphabetically, and we’ll be giving introductory summaries on what they do and what competitions they pitched in.

1. EasyLaw

EasyLaw is a legal mobile app startup that aims to make the law accessible via technology. It offers a legal fee and stamp duty calculator to lawyers and property investors that enable them to make hassle-free sales and purchase agreements (SPAs) and loan agreements.

Image Credit: EasyLaw

Representing Malaysia, they pitched and won in the Singapore Venture Day Pitch Slam during TechLaw.Fest in 2018 which led to them qualifying to compete against regional winners from North and Latin America and Europe in the Global Legal Tech Venture Day.

2. Favoriot

Favoriot is a startup that offers IoT solutions by providing companies with an IoT platform, tools and services. They not only help IoT developers come up with new and innovative IoT solutions, but they also have a Crowdsensing Management Platform (CMP) where stakeholders can leverage the collected data to build smarter operations.

Image Credit: Favoriot

In 2019, they pitched at TaqwaTech Pitch Pit organised by Gobi Partners Venture Capital. The competition was for startups to offer products and services for Muslim consumers (B2C), businesses (B2B) and communities around the world, and it also presented the opportunity to win funding of up to US$1 million.

3. HomeCrowd

HomeCrowd is a digital mortgage crowdfunding platform that connects individual home loan borrowers to a group of lenders, and they also provide personal finance management apps/a mortgage planner. Their target is millennial homebuyers, particularly those excluded from the traditional financial system, with more data-driven credit scoring.

Image Credit: HomeCrowd

This year they were a top 10 finalist in the Grand Finale of Techsauce Global Summit 2019’s Startup Pitch Championships where US$30,000 was up for the winner’s taking.

4. HostAStay

HostAStay is a startup in the travel industry that was established to aid property owners in converting their vacant properties into income-generating assets by letting them provide hassle-free homestay experiences for guests.

Image Credit: HostAStay

The startup was shortlisted to pitch at RISE 2019 in Hong Kong against 60 other travel-tech startups from across the globe, and it emerged as a finalist.

5. Klean

Malaysian startup Klean developed a Reverse Vending Machine that accepts empty polyethylene terephthalate (PET) or plastic bottles and aluminium cans and prepares them for recycling. In exchange for donating, donors can get various monetary rewards that further encourages recycling.

Founder Nick Boden on the far right / Image Credit: The Duke of York FB

At Pitch@Palace ASEAN 2018, Klean went up against 17 other startups from Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Myanmar and Vietnam and won the audience vote. Pitch@Palace was founded by The Duke of York in 2014 in an initiative to provide an acceleration platform for entrepreneurs.

6. LeadinHealth

This Malaysian startup has an app called Walnut Wellness that helps corporate employees track and improve their health. This is so that corporates can save money on healthcare claims cost and improve employee productivity.

Image Credit: LeadinHealth

In 2017, LeadinHealth was the only Malaysian and only foreign startup to emerge as a finalist in Hong Kong’s She Loves Tech global startup competition. This competition showcases the relationship between tech trends, entrepreneurship, innovation and the opportunities created for women.

7. Senang

Senang is an insurance platform that offers insurance to low and middle-income Malaysians who operate micro-enterprises. The insurance can cost as low as RM1 and buyers can be insured for just a single day of the week. The insurance can be issued immediately and on-the-go with Senang’s API technology.

Image Credit: Senang

The fintech company pitched at the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF)’s B40 Challenge programme in 2019, and won the chance to work with the UNCDF for over three and a half months to develop and refine their solutions.

8. Simple Motion

Simple Motion is a startup that put out an app called ClicknCare which acts as a healthcare platform for migrants around the world. Its objective is to easily connect migrants to healthcare professionals from their home country thus solving the issue of language barriers in healthcare.

Image Credit: Innovation-Driven Entrepreneurship (IDE) Center

They were also one of the startups that pitched at Pitch@Palace ASEAN 2018 along with Klean.

9. Softinn

Image Credit: Softinn

Softinn is a hospitality technology company that offers e-commerce solutions and property management systems for boutique hotels. In 2017, they won the Startup of the Year award at WIT Startup Pitch in Tokyo for their cloud-based hotel reservation system.

10. Wangi Lai PLT

Wangi Lai is a startup from Kuching, Sarawak that provides IoT solutions and invented the BAWA Cane which is a clip-on IoT device for white canes used by the visually impaired. This device helps empower the users in mobility and navigation as it uses an IoT sensor to help them better perceive their environment.

Image Credit: SITEC FB

They pitched at Selangor International Pitch 2018 and came in second place between two Taiwanese startups, bringing home a cash prize of RM50,000.

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We greatly appreciate these local startups for developing new and innovative solutions to address gaps in the different sectors of our society and industries while representing Malaysia on international stages.

They’re proof that Malaysians are worthy rivals to our often larger and better-funded international competitors, and we’re glad to highlight them (no matter how briefly) to introduce them to our readers.

Featured Image Credit: HostAStay/LeadinHealth/Wangi Lai

 

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