For this week’s “Early Stage,” KrASIA writers highlight three companies that focus on wellness, and one that is tapping a growing trend in online entertainment.
Singapore’s agritech startup GLife managed to raise USD 1.2 million in seed funding from Global Founders Capital, 500 Startups, and co-founder of chat software maker Zopim, Royston Tay. The company’s platform serves as an automated middleman that connects farmers with restaurants—an idea that came to co-founder Justin Chou when he was building Greendot, his vegetarian food chain, and encountered obstacles when attempting to source quality ingredients. GLife says it already has 150 restaurants in Singapore using its service, and it will use its new cash to fuel its technology development. The company will raise Series A funding six to nine months later, which it hopes to spend on regional expansions to Malaysia and Indonesia.
While our pick from Singapore will help you eat healthy, over in Indonesia, another company will help you get in shape by sweating it out. DOOgether, an app that lets you book fitness classes, raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from Gobi Agung, Everhaus, Prasetia Dwidharma, and Cana Asia. Doogether currently hosts 200 fitness facilities on its platform, covering Greater Jakarta, Bandung, and Bali. It aims to expand its listings to include more than 500 locations.
In Vietnam, video and live streaming app Uiza pulled in USD 1.5 million from Surge, an early stage startup accelerator program organized by Sequoia Capital. The platform allows companies to build their own video-hosting infrastructure without using major hosting services like YouTube. Uiza is among Surge’s first batch of startups. One of its co-founders, Kevin Nguyen, also established Topica Edumall, an online education platform with two million students who have picked up skills ranging from word processor usage to child-rearing.
Singapore’s DancingMind is another company that is part of Surge. It is developing VR-based therapy modules for patients with dementia, Parkinson’s disease, or who are cognitively impaired or have had strokes. The idea is to make limited therapy options more accessible by offering pre-set options, which can also bring down costs. DancingMind has already secured contracts with 15 healthcare facilities in Singapore and the United Kingdom. The company’s founder, Jennifer Zhang, is an inventor who, at the age of 15, created a detection system that identifies when a dementia patient has fallen over.
“Early Stage” is a series where the writers of KrASIA highlight startups that caught our eye for the week, whether they achieved an important milestone, rolled out a truly innovative product or became embroiled in controversy.