Hi everyone. Taro here.
With the year now in full flight, we are looking at ways to strengthen our network with new connections. We are in the process of organising something, but if you have any ideas please let us know with this form — we are keen to hear what you want as a startup founder, team member, or VC.
On another note, I recently played the video game Stray, which allows gamers to play as a cat in a futuristic world. I was amazed to discover cats actually get distracted by it. A great game and a lot of fun for all cat owners.
This week, we look at interesting startups from Accelerating Asia’s cohort 7 that recently pitched at the demo day in Singapore.
- EasyRice – They have developed AI solutions to improve rice quality inspection, rice cultivar purity inspection, and data management systems for farmers. Looking to start a Series A round in Q1 2024.
- Ulisse – Uses 3D sensing technologies to analyze customer foot traffic and movements in spaces for retailers to improve customer experience. Currently raising a USD 1.2m round with USD 1.1m committed.
- Hishabee – Based in Bangladesh, this app helps Bangladeshi SMEs that may not have any technical background to digitize and move their business operations online. Recently closed a USD 340K pre-seed round.
- SafeTruck – This AI-powered platform allows logistics companies to better manage their fleet, analyze performance, track real-time data, and monitor fuel efficiency. Recently closed a USD 250k round and looking to raise USD 1.6m for their next one.
Nothing But Net
Recent Startup Wins
- Islamic content streaming platform Durioo+ closed a seed round of USD 2.85m from a range of investors including Y Combinator, Uncommon Capital, Gobi Partners, Lynett Capital, New Venture Order, and Innate Capital.
- Supply chain tracking startup The GrowHub closed a USD $3 million pre-series B round.
Pick & Roll
Interesting Drops From the Week
- As part of International Women’s Day, my colleague Melody ran a spotlight on Sapna Chadha, the Vice President of Southeast Asia and South Asia Frontier at Google Asia Pacific. The interview covers some of the challenges she has faced as a female leader in tech and her thoughts on improving equity. The spotlight is the first in a series that will run throughout March.
- Here’s an interesting article about the lack of interest in SEA from Australia and its reduced influence in the region as a result. [via ABC]
- Elsewhere down under, scientists there have discovered an enzyme that can convert air into electricity. However in its current state the amount it can generate is tiny so it’s still a long way away from being viable for everyday use. [via Phys Org]
- KrASIA recently spoke with Cake DeFi CEO and co-founder Dr. Julian Hosp on his thoughts on the crypto space and their approach to establishing trust.
On the Road
Events to check out
- The BRICS-Singapore Innovation Competition is held in Singapore and aims to attract international tech companies to expand into China via Singapore as a gateway. Organised by Transfong Ventures, the competition consists of two stages: finalists are first screened based on their business plan and supporting documents, and then put to the test in a pitching competition. Six winning pitches will receive a combined total of US$26,000 cash prize. Click here to register.
- The annual Singapore SME 500 Awards are now open for applications. The awards aim to recognise SMEs across sectors that perform at a high level and have achieved success within their field.
If you are a startup that is raising funds, or have an interesting story or lead for us to feature in this newsletter, please fill out this form.