Aug 31, 2020 by Hsu Han Ooi
Today, we’re excited to introduce you to Iterative’s first batch of startups in our Summer 2020 cohort!
In three short months we met with 200 founders from all over Southeast Asia and narrowed it down to the eight startups you see below. We’ve also included a short blurb on why we’re thrilled to have them as a part of our program.
The program starts June 1st and currently culminates with a virtual Demo Day in August. To stay informed for future events and announcements, please sign up for our newsletter.
If you’re working on a startup and you’re interested in joining a future cohort, apply here.
Transforming cosmetic dentistry with affordable, convenient teeth straightening.
85% of the population has some form of teeth misalignment but in Asia Pacific, less than 1% are treated. This is due to how cost prohibitive existing treatments are. We believe this will change significantly over the next few years.
That’s where Become comes in. Based in Malaysia, Become’s invisible braces cost SG $1,400, they offer consumer financing and customers can order from the comfort of their home.
Halal-only food delivery platform.
Bungkus provides food delivery for halal merchants only. The Muslim religion forbids the mixture of halal items with non-halal (harem) items. Grab, Deliveroo, and FoodPanda can’t guarantee that drivers won’t mix halal and harem items in their delivery baskets.
Bungkus provides an essential service for Muslim customers by only serving halal merchants and has seen tremendous growth amid COVID-19. Without any paid marketing, they’re seeing explosive demand for their deliveries.
The market opportunity in Singapore alone is significant as Singapore’s population is 14% Muslim and boasts a US$2bn food delivery market. In addition, nearby Indonesia posts the largest population of Muslim’s in the world with 225 million Muslims and Malaysia adding 20 million more.
At scale, their goal is to be the largest delivery platform of halal goods in Southeast Asia.
Singapore’s largest digital container haulage network.
When containers arrive on ships to the port, they need to be unloaded and transported to the right warehouse for further distribution. That’s Haulage. It’s one of those huge industries that are obvious but you’ve never thought about.
Before Haulio, a ship arrives at the port and someone has to call around to the different haulage companies to see who has the right trucks, availability, etc. That’s a tedious process given that 90% of trucking companies in Southeast Asia own less than 10 trucks. Furthermore, for the trucking companies, after delivering to a warehouse, they would head back to the port with an empty truck. Not knowing there was a container a few warehouses down that needed to be transported. The whole process is inefficient stuck in the age of paper and phone calls.
Haulio is modernizing this process by aggregating the demand and making it available to the haulage companies.
Structured data collection via WhatsApp
WhatsApp is quickly becoming the next big distribution channel in developing markets. Recent YC startups like Vahan in India and Alana in Latin America have built entire businesses taking advantage of WhatsApp as a way to recruit people for on-demand blue-collar jobs.
There are a few reasons why this is happening:
Outside Voice is taking advantage by building a structured data collection layer on top of WhatsApp. A financial services company that’s having a hard time getting people to complete KYC? Outside Voice can help you collect the data you need on the platform they spend most of their time on, WhatsApp.
Losing half of your prospective clients when you ask them to upload a picture of their identity card to a web form? Through Outside Voice, it’s as easy as sending a picture to a friend.
Outside Voice also has unique access to WhatsApp tightly controlled platform as a participant in Facebook Accelerator Singapore.
Tech-powered real estate agency
Singapore and SE Asia is seeing the same shift that’s happened in the US for more digital and tech-enabled real estate services. Traditional real estate brokerages are limited by scale - they grow by growing their base of real estate agents and struggle to maintain quality across their entire agent base.
Propseller brings to Singapore and SE Asia what Redfin did in the US - by using technology to “productize” the user experience, Propseller delivers excellent and consistent service for clients throughout the entire journey, from research and viewings, to offer negotiation, diligence, and close, allowing Propseller to pass parts of the commission back to clients saving them money and hassle on on of the most significant financial transactions in their lives.
The real estate brokerage market is unique in SE Asia, consisting of about US$100b of transaction value and US$5b of agents’ commissions per year. It’s time for a digital-first operator to bring this business to the 21st century.
Services platform for household chores
One in six (17%) Singaporean households employ a domestic helper. For the rest of the households in Singapore finding helpers for household chores is time-consuming and unreliable.
Sendhelper does all the heavy lifting finding the best and most reliable household service providers through their online services platform.
The home and laundry consumer segments in Singapore generate US $300M in annual revenue. As laws around hiring domestic workers tighten we expect the shift into the gig economy for home services to continue to accelerate. Starting with chores, Sendhelper is smartly positioned to expand into all household services.
Digitizing Corporate Secretary Firms in Singapore
Most businesses still use traditional corporate secretary firms in Singapore. Each corporate secretary firm serves thousands of business entities in Singapore and they all still use old and complex software or traditional pen and paper filing. Onboarding companies and keeping track of compliance is painful and corporate secretaries struggle to keep up and stay organized.
They’ve created a simple platform to easily import paper filings and digital data into a cloud-based SaaS platform. Firms can send and receive documents to be signed in a single click and handle reminders automatically.
As Singapore continues to flourish as Southeast Asia’s corporate hub, the need for corporate secretaries will continue to expand. Their approach and tools will become integral to scaling the traditional corporate secretary firm’s business.
Installment shopping for the Philippines
Less than 4% of the population in the Philippines has access to credit cards - that’s largely because the process of getting one is very cumbersome, and interest rates are also quite aggressive.
TendoPay provides widely available, fairly priced, and easy to obtain financing option to help Filipinos shop online whenever they need and want at the same time unlocking the full potential of e-commerce market in the country. The team is now also rapidly integrating and working with employers to provide credit for all their employees.
The online installment loan market is already a $23B market in Southeast Asia. With their new employment integrations, we believe the opportunity is even bigger. Lesser developed markets allow for very vertically integrated finance platforms to be built. We’re excited to see TendoPay combine the best of fintech giants, Affirm and Earnin, in the US to create something unique for the Southeast Asia market.