FB Pixel no scriptThese 20 early-stage startups are solving local problems across Southeast Asia | KrASIA

These 20 early-stage startups are solving local problems across Southeast Asia

Written by Alibaba Cloud Project AsiaForward Published on   5 mins read

The teams took part in the Alibaba Cloud x KrASIA Global Startup Accelerator Demo Days.

Southeast Asia’s dynamic tech scene reflects its social and cultural diversity. The problems that need to be solved in Singapore differ greatly from those in nearby Malaysia or archipelagic Indonesia. Local startups in these and other countries are developing impactful solutions that solve critical problems within their home markets, and Alibaba Cloud’s Project AsiaForward has been involved with many of these teams.

Here’s a roundup of 20 startups in Southeast Asia that were part of Alibaba Cloud’s Project AsiaForward in 2021 and 2022.

Rovula is a subsea robotics developer that is building autonomous machines to perform subsea inspection, repair, and maintenance.

Runnex Technology developed Fitforce, a mobile game that combines fitness and fun, turning workouts into games that do not require gym equipment or consoles. The game lets users set up their exercise plans and track progress like calories burned in real time.

Bantubumi has developed an app to solve some of the problems in Indonesia’s plastic recycling sector. Out of the 6.8 million tons of plastic that is trashed in the country each year, only 14% is recycled. Bantubumi currently operates a B2B app that digitizes the business operations of plastic recycling businesses. It has a B2C app in the pipeline for Indonesia’s general population to locate the nearest recycling drop point.

Koinpack developed Indonesia’s first reusable and returnable packaging system. Its packaging is used for cosmetics, home care products, and food. This means FMCG brands can utilize the startup’s offerings to sell zero-waste products. Koinpack was one of the Asia Stars of the Alibaba Cloud x KrASIA Global Startup Accelerator Demo Days.

Jaramba operates on the premise that traffic congestion in Indonesia’s dense urban areas is solvable—all it takes is the introduction of reliability and organization to public transportation. Jaramba’s app, which was released in January 2022, makes route recommendations and enables digital payments to pay traffic fares and tickets, encouraging commuters to take advantage of underutilized infrastructure.

LingoTalk is making it possible for anyone who uses its app to learn new languages or improve their linguistic skills by studying under a customized curriculum. It offers instruction in English, Mandarin, German, Spanish, French, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Thai, and Bahasa Indonesia.

AiTreat developed a robot masseuse based on traditional Chinese medicine principles. EMMA, which stands for “expert manipulative massage automation,” is an ache-relieving machine that is already being used in clinics and has provided more than 15,000 treatments.

MeetMumz is a community-building platform that supports mothers from pregnancy to motherhood by connecting them online and at in-person events. Originally set up as a Facebook group, MeetMumz operated with the goal to ensure that mothers always have sources of support, no matter where they are.

Ayoblajar offers edtech services through its website and mobile app with an emphasis on two-way learning, which involves meaningful interactions and feedback between the instructor and student. Its lessons are available in live classes and video-on-demand, and the startup aims to improve the standard of education in Indonesia and make it accessible to anyone in the country with an internet connection.

Prosa.ai trains computer systems to recognize human speech in Bahasa Indonesia. The startup is giving businesses and institutions a way to process the massive troves of data that they already have, such as recordings made by call centers. It has already developed chatbots, text and speech processing algorithms, and biometric technology that is used to authenticate customer or user identities. Prosa.ai was one of the Asia Stars of the Alibaba Cloud x KrASIA Global Startup Accelerator Demo Days.

CeriTech uses the internet of things and cloud-based systems to develop solutions for the coffee industry. By giving coffee growers a system to monitor and track post-harvest activities, such as fermentation and drying, CeriTech is introducing a way to produce coffee beans that adhere to fixed quality standards.

Allure AI operates a platform that processes a user’s selfie and responses from a survey to provide personalized recommendations for skincare routines. The startup works with beauty brands to showcase products to their users.

Sati App provides mental health support by mobilizing volunteers who have undergone basic mental first aid training and are ready to respond to calls for help. One of its co-founders, Amornthep Sachamuneewongse, drew from his personal experience of failing to find help while navigating depression to build the app.

Curlec gives businesses in Malaysia a way to collect recurring payments through automated billing. It enables direct debit that is arranged after a one-time authorization, skipping the process of issuing invoices and chasing after owed balances.

Roote Trails is a tourism guide platform equipped with maps, multimedia about touristic sites, and themed routes. It has a strong emphasis on environmental sustainability and promotes local businesses to its users.

GridMarkets moves processing power for graphics rendering to the cloud to give animators and video producers the resources that were once only available to major studios. The startup has already expanded into drug discovery to facilitate the process of developing new drugs. GridMarkets was one of the Asia Stars of the Alibaba Cloud x KrASIA Global Startup Accelerator Demo Days.

SipJoy developed an app that connects independent coffee shops in Malaysia with their customers. The app offers passes with a fixed price that allow users to redeem beverages at cafes of their choice.

Vicuna is a Singaporean edtech company that equips educators with Scholaebot, a lightweight, AI-assisted workbook and educational content generation engine. This gives educators a way to manage their question banks efficiently, while Scholaebot will recommend additional questions that can be added to their collection.

ClicknCare provides online and offline healthcare services for Bangladeshi migrant workers and other Bengali speakers in Malaysia. The platform connects its users with doctors who speak their language and charge affordable prices for consultations.

Moden KOL provides training to prospective influencers by offering workshops that confer skills such as personal branding, video production, and copywriting. It also connects them with job opportunities.

The Alibaba Cloud x KrASIA Global Startup Accelerator Demo Days were organized to engage startups based in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Hong Kong.


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