On the Move: Early Stage

Moving money, information, and goods.

Photo by Timon Studler on Unsplash Photo by Timon Studler on Unsplash

In this week’s “Early Stage,” we highlight up-and-coming companies in Indonesia, Singapore, and Myanmar who have created services around financial management, information, and moving goods.

Stockbit, a stock investment app in Indonesia, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding in a Series A round led by East Ventures. Convergence Ventures and FreakOut were also investors. Stockbit’s app integrates retail stock trading with information aggregation and social networking. The company also recently launched Bibit, a robo-advisory app that helps users build a personalized investment portfolio. Last week, Bibit entered a collaboration with Go-Jek’s fintech arm, Go-Pay.

Singapore’s new fake news law has drawn criticism from rights groups, but that hasn’t deterred some entrepreneurs from making headway in the realm of digital media. 7.5 Degree, a Chinese-language platform established by two graduates from Nanyang University, has secured seed funding from East Ventures. The firm calls itself the “explorer of the new ‘One Belt One Road,’” and takes its name from the minimum calibration of the compass used by the 14th- and 15th-century maritime explorer Zheng He, the most accurate directional instrument of its time.

Other seeds have been planted in the city-state too. Butler, a startup that offers hospitality services and real estate management for residences and commercial locations, pulled in USD 540,000 in seed funding from individual investors who happen to be the company’s existing customers. As expected, Butler will use its new funds to scale up and expand its staff size. The company also runs Butler Academy, a four-month training program for housekeepers.

Over in Myanmar, Kargo raised USD 800,000 in a pre-Series A round led by Cocoon Capital. The company distinguishes itself as the country’s first tech-driven logistics and supply chain startup. It was also a member of the first cohort of Yangon’s Phandeeyar startup accelerator, and the winner of Seedstars Yangon 2017. In March, Kargo was the first company in Myanmar to receive unsecured financing in a loan of USD 130,000 after this type of lending was approved in the country. It plans to expand beyond Myanmar in the coming year.

“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.