A startup enterprise based in Singapore, Refash has recently announced that it has raised S$400,000 (approximately US$294K) worth of fundings for its starting seed round. The funding round was led by Singapore’s Tri5 Ventures and Malaysia’s Tinkbig Ventures.
For those uninitiated, Refash was named after the concept of “refashioning” which means the reinvention of a new type of fashion trend where people can still spot a different outfit daily without burning a hole in their wallet.
The idea was also borne out of the alarming environmental consequences of trending fashion where 41.5 million kilogram of clothings were being disposed by Singaporeans annually.
Hence, Refash hopes to hone and grow the acceptance of Singaporeans in the practice of buying and using second-hand clothings by mediating the process and provide a solution to resell clothing surplus efficiently, easily and quickly.
In other words, Refash aims to help women clear their wardrobe through providing a retail platform for women to buy and sell their clothing items efficiently. The startup also look forward to refashion the concept of “buying” for shoppers, enforcing the idea that they do not have to hold on to the clothes forever.
“The disposing of so much clothing is a real waste, literally. Rather than just throwing away, I believe in the immense potential in the problems we are solving – bursting closets, clothes wastage and rising landfills to dispose these clothes”, said Refash CEO and Founder, Aloysius Sng in e27.
Hence, by creating a system which facilitates fashion resell, users who wish to clean out their closets just have to pack their unwanted items and the rest is handled by the Refash team where the team will then sell the items on their platform and outlets.
“People who want to clear their closets of unwanted clothes just need to pack and have them picked up by Refash. We will do the rest,” Aloysius Sng adds.
Since its launch in January 2016, the idea has been proven profitable as the six-months old enterprise has already earned a revenue of S$250,000. Selling more than half of the 40,000 “looking-brand new” clothing items which it has processed. Additionally, the startup has also successfully cashed out at least S$150,000 to its sellers.
Reportedly on e27, Refash plans to use the fundings on enhancing its technology, both on the front-end platform as well as their back-end inventory system. It also plans to build on its business networking group of resellers to facilitate quicker movement of the items.
Besides that, Refash with Tinkbig Venture on board. also has the ambition to expand its market to Malaysia by the end of the year.
Refash is a Singaporean-based fashion portal that sells second-hand fashion, helping women get rid of clothes they no longer want to keep. Refash collects clothes from sellers and processes them which includes taking snapshots of the item before listing them on the website for sale.
After raising US$1 million in their seed funding round, CloudCherry, an enterprise startup based in Chennai, India has raised to new heights as they recently closed their Series A funding with a six-fold increase of US$6 million.
The funding was led by prominent venture capitals – Vertex Ventures and Cisco Investments plus existing investor IDG Ventures, which now only holds a minority stake in the corporation. This amount by far has made a record for the highest 2016 Series A funding raised by a SaaS startup.
Understanding that a quick, genuine response can always be a game changer to secure a happy customer, CloudCherry was established to help companies by providing a way to act fast on customer feedback.
Thus, CloudCherry set out to provide a platform for companies where companies can apply key metrics to gauge customer experience, capture customer feedback as well as get notified about customer insights in real-time to intervene and fix issues.
The startup enterprise currently works with companies in sectors of banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI), hospitality, healthcare, retail, manufacturing as well as e-commerce whereby their clients include brand names such as World of Titan, HDFC Bank, Caratlane and Central Voonik.
According to Deal Street Asia, CEO and co-founder of CloudCherry, Vinod Muthukrishnan said that “With this funding and their support, we are many steps closer to making our presence globally and becoming the name synonymous with Customer Experience.”
In a separate statement, the CloudCherry co-founder has also expressed his ambitions for the company, as they are looking to expand their business outside of India, targeting the markets of United States, Southeast Asia, and West Asia.
Founded in 2013, CloudCherry is a SaaS firm formed with the coming together of a group of management gurus, business leaders and experts in mobility, analytics and technology sectors. The company based in Chennai, India specializes in customer analytics technology whereby it collaborates with brands to provide real-time analytics of the company’s products as well as to help them track, measure and improve user satisfaction.
Tuplejump, a Hyderabad-based startup with the vision to simplify data engineering recently became the third machine learning expertise acquired by Apple.
Founded in 2013, Tuplejump was helping major companies to stock, process and visualize their data using its unique in-house software, with most operations from both India and United States. But what caught Apple’s eye was Tuplejump’s on-going project called “FiloDB”.
Turns out FiloDB is an open source project working to enable the automation of data pattern recognition without being explicitly programmed. More specifically, the project aims to build a program that can efficiently apply machine learning concepts and analytics to the massive amount of complex data as they streamed in.
After the acquisition, Rohit Rai and Satyaprakash Buddhavarapu, two of the three co-founders moved to work with Apple in May while the third co-founder Deepak Alur left to join Anaplan, a planning and performance management platform for businesses.
According to Business Insider, the purchase price was not disclosed though it is said to be lower than Apple’s last machine learning purchase, Seattle-based Turi Inc. which was purchased at the price of US$200 million earlier August this year.
Collin Johnson, a spokesperson for Apple, made their usual standard non-denial statement when questioned by TechCrunch regarding the acquisition saying that, “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”
Nevertheless, Apple currently has their sights set on artificial intelligence, looking to expand into the machine learning industry. As along with Tuplejump, the iPhone maker has to date acquired three machine learning startups including Turi, a company that builds end-to-end intelligent applications in Python and Emotient, a company that uses artificial intelligence to recognize, analyze and respond to facial expressions.
After the easy-bake oven, consumer electronics has advanced by leaps and bounds with the introduction of Rotimatic – the world’s first robot that bakes fresh homemade roti, a flatbread that makes up the staple food diet of the Indian culture.
Entering into this new age of cooking, this idea formed and expanded when Pranoti Nagarkar Israni, a mechanical engineer and her husband Rishi Israni, a computer science graduate spent S$20,000 to create the Rotimatic prototype which won the Singapore Start-Up Competition in 2009 alongside with financial support from investors in their startup, Zimplistic.
Revealed by Tech in Asia, the Singapore-based startup company, Zimplistic since then has raised a staggering amount of US$11.5 million from NSI Ventures and Robert Bosch Venture Capital (RBVC) in their series B investment round held last July 2015.
But moving to realize the Rotimatic faced various challenges as Pranoti Nagarkar Israni explained the difficulties behind converting the four physical moves of making the roti – measuring, kneading, flattening, and roasting to be fully automatic as well as compact and affordable.
“The perfect roti has three layers, and it needs to puff up so the hot air can cook it from the inside,” said co-founder Pranoti Nagarkar Israni in an interview with Mashable. ”It is then do you realize how complex humans are when you try to replicate that with a machine.”
Though it took them 8 years and US$14.5 million, but Rotimatic was finally brought to reality and ready for shipment to the Singaporeans and United State citizens that have pre-ordered the product in 2014. With the pre-orders numbering more than 8000 orders at the retail price of US$999 per unit, Zimplistic has already bagged US$ 5 million worth of sales.
Making one roti every two minutes, Rotimatic has thus revolutionised the way the Indian cuisine can be made. With the machine, people can skip the hard work behind the process of making roti as users now only have to add in the ingredients and push a few buttons selecting the preferred thickness, softness as well as quantities to enjoy a delicious meal of roti.
Rotimatic is the world’s first robot that makes fresh homemade rotis and wraps. The idea dates back to 2008 as co-founder Pranoti Nagarkar Israni found making roti, from the process of kneading the dough to cooking it at the hot stove, to be tedious and time-consuming. As a solution, she created this fully-automated roti-maker that can now cook up to 20 rotis in one round using less than 30 minutes which only requires the easy steps of adding wheat flour, water, and oil and pushing a few buttons.
Singapore’s ambition to be a ‘Smart Nation’ is moving forward as MarvelStone, an Asian private investment group has announced on Tuesday that it will open the world’s largest fintech hub in Singapore next November.
The facility will be known as Lattice80, spanning over 30,000 square feet and to be located in Singapore’s Central Business District, an area that is notably close to the city-state’s key financial institutions, stock exchange, and regulators.
Joe Seunghyun Cho, Chairman of Marvelstone in Crowdfund Insider said, “We think Singapore is the right place for a global fintech hub for a number of reasons. Singapore, being a traditional financial and trading hub, has the legal infrastructure and access to global investors that budding fintech companies would look for.”
Reportedly to be an independent non-profit initiative, one of Lattice80 objective is to establish a global fintech connection. Besides, the project is also aimed to promote local fintech innovations through providing innovation support schemes to existing company and financial institutions.
While for fintech startups prototype, programs such as workspace, events, and educational programs is provided to help develop and expand their business models oversea. These projects are moving smoothly as Marvelstone works closely with Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
Gina Heng, the CEO of Marvelstone furthermore added, “The time is right for innovation, and people are more receptive to the use of technology in financial services. Lattice80 aims to support the fintech ecosystem in Asia and bridge global players to the region.”
Besides MAS, the Marvelstone Group also seeks to bring partners onboard as well, voicing out their intentions to collaborate with other regional Fintech hubs like London’s Level 39, Australia’s Stone and Chalk as well as Israel’s The Floor to create a global ecosystem for fintech innovation.