Betatron has invested up to US$150,000 into each startup and will guide each one through its three-month program which ends in December 2019. The focus of the program is to accelerate business growth and fast-track each startup to its next funding round.
Each startup gets allocated a lead mentor from Betatron’s network of VCs and selected industry experts and also receives hands-on mentorship and support on marketing, sales, tech development, UI/UX, legal, and accounting.
For Cohort #5, Betatron received 1,301 applications, interviewed 247 startups, and conducted due diligence on 65 of them - resulting in an overall acceptance rate of 0.61%. The eight startups are an international mix of B2B focused companies from Hong Kong (2), Singapore (3), The Philippines, USA, and Egypt.
The Eight Startups in Cohort #5
Bookairfreight (Hong Kong) is an online booking platform which connects SMEs with air freight forwarders - making booking air freight as easy as booking flight tickets. Unlike other platforms, they provide instant door-to-door quotations, save businesses at least 20% on the costs, and reduce the booking process from days to seconds. Within a year of launch, they are averaging 70% MoM growth with a 40% referral rate.
ExpandCart (Egypt) is a comprehensive, cloud e-commerce platform and is essentially building the “Shopify” designed specifically for the Arabic language and MENA region, as global competitors don’t offer Arabic language functionalities due to the complexities of the language structure. ExpandCart enables individuals and businesses to create a professional online shop in minutes by themselves without the need for any technical experience or assistance, whilst also integrating with marketplaces like Amazon, Alibaba Etsy, Ebay, etc. ExpandCart has already received investment from one of the world’s largest logistics companies, putting them perfectly positioned to scale rapidly across its target market.
Next Billion (Singapore) digitizes offline retail data from independent retail stores across rural emerging markets - a large, untapped market as independent stores make up 90% of FMCG sales in Asia, but brands have limited access to this sales data. NextBillion deploys their free POS platform within rural stores, enabling them to aggregate & analyze large amounts of retail data and provide real-time, flexible, and affordable insights to brands. They incentivize stores to use their platform by paying them for verified data, sharing fair royalties when companies buy their data and leveraging their data to extend credit & insurance. Over the last few years, they’ve successfully operated thousands of rural marketing campaigns in Asia & Africa with 25 leading FMCG brands.
Positive Energy (Singapore) helps investors connect with vetted small to medium-sized renewable energy developers/projects - streamlining the full investment process with a secure digital platform. The platform offers matchmaking, standardised and digitalised due diligence workflow, 3rd party verification as well as asset management tools - reducing transaction costs & time by 50%. The team brings together a wealth of experience in the energy industry, from Schneider Electric and Royal Dutch Shell.
Sakay (Philippines) is a transportation and mapping software that understands informal transport networks. More than 500 million people in the developing world can't use apps to plan trips, because their public transport options (like family-owned and independent jeeps/buses and motorcycle sidecars) are invisible to navigation services like Google Maps. Sakay is the Waze/Citymapper for informal public transit and is being built to be the core infrastructure for navigation and real-time analysis of public transit networks worldwide - generating valuable urban planning and mapping data across Asia’s emerging markets. The team has an eight-year proven record of shipping products and solving problems for Fortune 500 companies, social enterprises and governments. Currently, they have 500,000 users in their first launched city of Manilla, Philippines.
SHIPNEXT (USA) is a Digital Automated Shipping Marketplace & Network, that creates an efficient, secure and reliable Cargo-to-Ship matching, freight trading, contracting and documentation flow. Unlike other alternatives, their unique algorithm can process thousands of emails, matching the most suitable transportation solutions with each other in seconds. They have a highly technical and scientific team with over 20 years of experience in the shipping and supply chain industry. The platform connects 85 databases, 5600+ ports, over 25000 ships positions which is 99% of the global map & dry-bulk fleet, and 2600+ users, creating over 4500 freight requests daily.
Toku (Singapore) is a cloud communication provider that enables smart customer engagement via voice and messaging APIs. As a rapidly growing CPaaS (Communications Platform-as-a-Service) player with the largest range of virtual numbers in Singapore, Toku offers a wide portfolio of services ranging from a core telco offering to next-generation communication features. To date, they have signed up over 50 telecom partners and have large customers including Grab, GoJek, and Twilio.
ZhenHub (Hong Kong) is a cloud-based inventory and order management system for eCommerce retailers to automate logistics. The platform enables clients to manage all their inventory and orders from a single online dashboard - eliminating data entry, spreadsheets and emails. The solution integrates sales channels like Shopify and automatically fulfils orders - automating the fulfilment process.
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