Iterative Winter 2021 Batch

In the past 3 months, we’ve met with over 220 companies from all over Southeast Asia and are excited to announce our Winter 2021 batch!

While the main criteria for acceptance is the founders themselves, this batch we’re excited to be working on new categories of opportunities that have arisen because of COVID - everything from new innovations in edtech, healthtech, trade, and even travel.

Iterative Winter 2021

  • String Soul - Remote music lessons for kids
  • Spenmo - Helping companies manage spend
  • GoZayaan - Travel platform for Bangladesh
  • Ferne Health - At-home health screening for women
  • Duoria - Pinduoduo for restaurants and activities
  • CoderSchool - Lambda School for Southeast Asia
  • 1Export - Helping Philippines suppliers go global

To the founders, thank you for having us as part of your journey and we’re stoked to be rolling up our sleeves to build massively impactful companies with you.

String Soul

Remote music lessons for kids.

Why We’re Excited

String Soul merges the quality of a private teacher with the cost and convenience of an online app. They do this by blending live instruction, guided self-service practice, and a camera which allows teachers to provide feedback asynchronously and remotely. Music lessons today is a $2B market growing 16.6% annually. This is an exceptional bet in Asia specifically because of the desire of most parents to have their kids to have an early music education. COVID has also accelerated this trend.

Founders

Jit and Jaclyn are the perfect duo to solve this problem. Jit is a multi-time founder who’s sold a tech company previously and Jaclyn has been a music teacher for the past 11 years who’s taught over 700 students, everything from kids to toddlers to adults. We specifically love both of their passions for education, bent towards figuring out ways to keep kids engaged, and look forward to scaling this company with them.

Spenmo

Helping companies manage spend.

Why We’re Excited

Spenmo started with company cards, but has already expanded into invoices, payments, and credit. Internal payments and controls is oftentimes a massive pain point for CFOs and having software to monitor and manage employee expenses, advertising and operational costs, subscriptions, invoices, and travel is a no-brainer. Similar companies in the US like Divvy are already unicorns working on this problem. With the rapidly digitalization of startups and businesses in Asia, we think it won’t be long before Spenmo becomes the defacto way companies manage their spend.

Founders

Mohandass is one of the most captivating and ambitious founders we’ve met in the region who previously did strategy at Southeast asia unicorn Grab. He’s also been able to build an amazingly strong team around him with Isaq heading up tech and Andika on product.

GoZayaan

Travel platform for Bangladesh.

Why We’re Excited

While most of the US, Europe, Asia have digitalized travel, that’s not the case for Bangladesh. A lot of what we take for granted with booking flights, hotels, etc online simply doesn’t exist or is still very inconvenient there. What makes it worse is using global platforms is impractical because there are limitations to how much foreign currency Bangladeshis can use per year. GoZayaan is rapidly changing this and we think has the potential to capture the roughly $9B travel market in Bangladesh.

Founders

The GoZayaan team is already 40+ people headed by Ridwan who’s been working tirelessly and passionately on this problem for a while. Ridwan is compelling, really understands the dynamics of the space, and on of the fastest executioners we’ve met. We’re excited to join Ridwan in rapidly iterating on the business to capture this rapidly growing market.

Ferne Health

At-home screening services for sexual health.

Why We’re Excited

Female sexual health in Southeast Asia is still heavily stigmatized. Southeast Asian women, especially young women, avoid visiting doctors for sexual health concerns to avoid the societal shame of being sexually active and often judgmental comments from the doctor.

This will and needs to change. Similar to how The Pill Club (The Pill Club raises $51M as VCs find new opportunities in women’s health) was successful in the US with contraceptives, Ferne Health can provide much needed sexual health testing private and judgement free.

Ferne Health’s message has already struck a cord with local media in Singapore.

Founder

Xi moved to Singapore specifically to start Ferne Health. Before Ferne Health, she was a Product Manager at Amazon, an Experience Designer at Adobe and did her Masters in Product Development at Carnegie Mellon. She is the perfect person to start this company. As a women who grew up in China and then moved to the US, she discovered how differently the 2 cultures approached female sexual health. Couple that with her design, product development and product management experience, and her time spent in San Francisco, she has all the right tools to succeed.

Duoria

Pinduoduo for restaurants and activities.

Why We’re Excited

Similar to this article, we believe the rise of social commerce in China will be replicated in other countries. In addition, we believe it won’t be limited to physical goods but services (restaurants, activities, etc.) too. That’s what Duoria is working on in Indonesia.

After downloading their app, you find a restaurant or activity, start a group buy and invite your friends. The more friends that pre-pay and join the group, the larger the discount for the group.

There’s an inherent growth loop built into the product. For every person that starts a group and invites their friends, some of those friends will start a new group, invite their friends and so on. It takes time to get this working right but when you do, these types of products can grow very fast. Pinduoduo did almost $4.5B in revenue after only 5 years.

Founders

Serano and Rui are the type of founders you find in Silicon Valley, and hopefully, increasingly more so in Southeast Asia. Originally from Indonesia and Malaysia respectively, they met during college orientation at Carnegie Mellon, studied Computer Science and graduated only a few weeks ago. While at school, they interned at at Microsoft, Bukalapak and a few startups.

Although they are young, they ask all the right questions and are as smart as they come.

CoderSchool

Lambda School for Southeast Asia.

Why We’re Excited

Coding schools are a tough space. There’s lots of them, they are geographically fragmented, offline schools can’t scale and online schools are typically less effective. We think CoderSchool is unique because they are a successful offline school (already graduated 180 students) that’s moving online. That gives them deep operational expertise into how to design a program for students that work and is a benchmark to measure against.

We think their timing couldn’t be better. We believe COVID has significantly accelerated the adoption of online learning and as a result, the market got significantly bigger quickly.Southeast Asia is still in dire need of technical talent. There’s now room for a dominant player.

Founders

Charles moved to Vietnam 5 years ago to start CoderSchool. Prior to CoderSchool, he worked as an engineer in San Francisco for 9 years and studied Computer Science at Berkeley.

1Export

Helping businesses go global.

Why We’re Excited

1Export helps MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) in the Philippines, sell their products internationally. At the moment, they primarily sell Filipino food-related goods to the United States, Singapore, the Middle East and Israel. Their value lays is in their ability to bundle everything an MSME needs to sell internationally. Specifically, localization (labels, translations, etc.), logistics and being able to sell to retailers in the target countries. We like this space because it’s a continuation of the trends that Stripe and Shopify have set to let any business easily reach a new audience. 1Exports ability to turn any business into a global brand will be important as we move into an era of greater globalization and digitalization.

Founders

The 1Export team is one of the most well-rounded teams we’ve come across. Anna leads the team and has been in the exports space for over 4 years. She’s surrounded herself with great operators, marketers, and tech leaders. We’re excited to be on this journey with them to get SE Asia goods into the hands of global consumers with ease and efficiency.