Ten Japanese startups go head-to-head in the regional round of Startup World Cup, participating in a series of pitch contest as they fight for the chance to be their national representative in order to participate in the grand finale which will be held in Silicon Valley, San Francisco next year.
In the end, the regional champion turned out to be UniFa, a startup enterprise providing an Internet of Things (IoT) solution for parenting and child development which has won the judges’ votes amidst other competition. The panel of well-known judges was from Japan’s own technology and startup’s system, that is SNS founder Takafumi Horie, ABBA Lab CEO Osamu Ogasahara, and Gumi CE0 Hironao Kunimitsu.
Some of the competition that UniFa has headed up against includes Alpaca, a fintech startup based in Japan and US which leverages on artificial intelligence to create an automated trading platform, and D Free, a medical wearable that detects the user’s intestinal tract activity and alerts the user that it’s time for them to use the restroom.
UniFa, on the other hand, offers the solution of a small robot called Meebo, an application that is designed to track kindergarteners’ physical and mental growth. It functions as a smart thermometer, and a smart bed collecting data from kindergarteners in order to provide parents with a better idea of their child’s feelings and experiences. The robot is also said to be able to cut down the unnecessary workload of handling paperwork for kindergarten teachers, which thus would allow them to concentrate on the child’s education.
With this, UniFa will be able to bring their company mission, that is to lessen the communication gap between children and their parents to the global platform as UniFa has withheld a place as one of the top 16 startups from 14 countries that will go head-to-head on March 24, 2017, in San Francisco where the next wave of entrepreneurs will be born and the winner takes all.
About Startup World Cup:
Looking for the world’s brightest mind across the globe and groundbreaking solutions that will move ecosystems forward, Startup World Cup is an event organized by Fenox Venture Capital that is dedicated to launching and advising the world’s next wave of leading entrepreneurs.
For more information, please visit: http://www.startupworldcup.io/
Organization: Unicorn Media
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.
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.
SMRT, alongside Cyclect Electrical of JV SMRT Corporation have established a joint venture company in conjunction with Cyclect Electrical Engineering. Cyclect Electrical Engineering is a Singapore-based business which serves the industrial plant building industry including offshore, marine, transport and logistic segments of the industry. The newly formed joint venture, known as SMRT-Cyclect Power, will establish electrical systems for both land transportation as well as supply of rail system solutions including the likes of the Singapore’s own Light Rail Transit System and the Mass Rapid Transit System by subscribing to 60 percent of the joint venture’s cash consideration, approximately S$600,000 all internally funded. The initial targeted focus of the business is Australia, Southeast Asia, and New Zealand with plans for future expansion into China, India, and Africa.
PSL Holdings has raised S$2.96 million in a private placement subscription agreement with three investors in order to issues 7,734,000 new shares at an issuing price of 38.25 cents per share. Representing a discount of 10 percent to the weighted average price of 42.5 percent based on its company shares. Sources at PSL offer that the corporation will utilize 80 percent of proceeds to enhance expansion and growth while 20 percent will be used for working capital.
In related Asia news, wellness and health screening Asiamedic has entered discussion regarding merger and acquisitions in relation to new business opportunities. A source from the firm responded to questions amid unusual trading reported by the Singapore Exchange. With an intraday high of 10.6 cents, an increase of 51 percent prior to the previous day’s close of seven cents. A final closing of 9.1 cents was a result of 27.5 million shares traded. Asiamedic reports to shareholders that no certain agreements have been reached advising shareholders to be cautious in trading as the company explores expansion opportunities hoping to enhance value and increase growth across the board.