Co-founders of Whatfix with Hanwha CEO S&C Kim Yong Wook
Whilst Asian Games in Incheon is coming to an end, Asian startup battlefield heats up in Seoul with passionate entrepreneurs competing for their innovative ideas. DreamPlus Alliance, an alliance composed of top accelerators from 12 Asian regions, announced the winner of its two-day startup competition DreamPlus Day 2014 in the South Korean capital this week. Altogether fifteen startups from member accelerators around the region go head-to-head to vie for a US$300,000 equity funding as well as considerable localization supports from DreamPlus.
Backed by one of Korean’s largest conglomerates Hanwah S&C, the Seoul-based program helps member accelerators to share their respective success stories and discover effective opportunities for cooperation. It provides various supports in service localization, legal, accounting, marketing for startups venturing into foreign markets.
The alliance members include an in-house ICT accelerator DreamPlus Accelerator (Korea), Chinaccelerator (China), InnoSpace (China), GSF (India), ideosource (Indonesia), ONL (Japan), MAD Incubator (Malaysia), Ideaspace (Philippines), Fatfish Group (Singapore), Pinehurst Advisors (Taiwan), M8VC (Thailand), and Egg Accelerator (Vietnam).
Whatfix, an incubatee of Indian accelerator GSF, is crowned as winner of the event. Whatfix helps to enhance self-serving capability of any web based products and applications. Whatfix is a cloud platform where product teams can collaborate to create interactive guides and integrate inside as well as outside applications. It is applicable across large medium and small enterprises and valid for all Internet and external applications. QuickoLab, the operator of Whatfix, was co-founded Khadim Batti and Vara Kuma, two former employees at Huawei, in 2010 and their first product was SearchEnabler.
With the new funding, Whatfix, as a globally-natured service, planned expand into more markets, said Khadim Batti in a back-stage interview after winning the honor. Whatfix already supports in different languages like English, French, etc., we hope it can be quickly adopted to Korean and South-east Asian markets, he added. The money will also goes in recruiting more talents in technology and marketing.
Here’s a look at the other amazing stratups that pitched at event:
Pyra (Korea) is a social platform and a new communication tool that helps integrate fragmented communication between people with a common goal in a single space. The company aims to make teamwork more productive with better communication by connecting people and their information in one place. Pyra uses a “cell” concept to allow users to coordinate their files and communicate with each other in a single time-line.
Hivenest (Korea) provides a variety of customer experiences through SNS integration management and analysis solutions for services like Facebook. Hivenest offers a number of B2B digital marketing solutions and B2C online services.
Earthtory (Korea) is a travel service that assists travelers to find information anywhere and anytime. Using a location-based system, the travelers can easily find key attraction, shopping, restaurants and lodgings displayed over a map. Users can create their own personal travel guidebook by choosing their favorite places and then save them in a PDF.
Carffeine (Korea) is a mobile first platform that connects car owners and mechanics. Carffeine’s Cartool solution is a proprietary software for mechanic shops. The platform provides custom car diagnosis reports and other services customized to each individual car owner. Cartool is undergoing a pilot run in five car service centers and is expected to expand into 12 more within the year. The company also offers an extensive database of articles, reports and references from in-house repair experts of car owners.
Neonan (China), web portal startup, offers digital publications on fitness and dating advises for Chinese young men, helping them to be a better version of themselves. The company was founded several years ago by two serial entrepreneurs Michael Yang and Willie Chou. Supported by self-developed contents focused on fashion trends, the brand achieved 300% YOY growth in 2011-2014. As a recent graduate from Chinaccelerator, the company just received seed funding.
Wokamon (China) is a app that combines the functionality of a pedometer and a virtual pet, aiming to motivate fitness device and app users to continue their fitness plans. The principle is quite simple–the more you walk, the more it grows. Every single step you take helps feed your little Wokamon friend and the more active a user is, the more their Wokamons grow and thrive. The app helps to refresh the fun and reduce frictions of the fitness process. Here’s our previous interview with Mars Zhu, co-founder of the company.
Gimmie (Indonesia) is a loyalty platform with native advertising. Points and rewards are given to customers in various ways and analytics are provided to heighten efficiency and sales. Gimmie is a global entity with its customers located in Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, and Malaysia. The company was founded in August 2011 by David NG who has been working in business development and sponsorship sales for the U.S. and Singaporean companies.
StudyPact (Japan) motivates the world to study harder by allowing online learners to put moneys at stake so as to increase the retention rate of online study services. The learners can set stakes of up to 50 dollars at the platform. The users who missed their study goals for the week will lose them, but if they can achieve the targets, they will get paid from those who have failed their jobs. StudyPact Android app is tied with major learning apps like Duolingo, Coursera, and Udemy. The study retention tool is current running in data version and has generated positive results from users. The users who successfully fulfilled their pact on the platform accounts for 83.1 percent of the total learners, against to only 5% retention rate of regular online learning services, according to the company. StudyPact is based in Tokyo, Japan.
Tapway (Malaysia) provides insightful actionable data to improve business performance to bring online analytics back to offline world. Based on its WiFi and video technology, Tapway offers essential store analytics, chainwide comparison, shopper demographics, and shopper behavior & activity. It targets at cafes, supermarkets, boutiques, etc.
TimeFree Innovations (Philippines), is an SMS-based virtual queuing solution that aims to cater for the growing customer demands in more efficient ways. TimeFree Virtual Queuing System helps businesses to have a more efficient customer flow management and promotes positive customer experiences. The individual customers will not dread going to various offline services because they know they will not be stuck in a long line waiting for their turn. It also provides key analysts to keep track of staff performance on a daily basis. The company is planning to release a new mobile app that monitors queue flow in real-time in Q4 2014. TimeFree monetizes its service on a subscription-based revenue model.
CloudDesk Technology (Singapore) focuses on developing and marketing of desktop virtualization software. Started at the end of 2012, CloudDesk Technology allows Microsoft Windows apps to run on iOS and Android devices via Internet. It is specialized in solve pain points of education and government institutions that have large number of Pcs. CloudDesk Technology is based in Malaysia and also has presence in Singapore.
Q.L.L. (Taiwan), which is shot for quick language learning, offers apps targeting children ages 3-8 years old. The company has published over 150 iOS and Android titles based on step-by-step learning system. The apps are in 5 languages of Traditional & Simplified Chinese, English, Japanese, Korean and Spanish, falling into the categories of language acquisition, children’s stories and general learning. The company recorded 6.5 million app downloads in Taiwan and 300K monthly active users. Q.L.L also helps content providers to digitalize their contents via a web authorizing platform. It is planning to raise US$6 million funding to expand QLL platform, leverage on multiple interfaces, and explore other markets, etc.
Hankster (Thailand) sets up meetings for groups with the aim to change the way people hangout and met new friends in a funnier way, with less pressure, and safety insured. All they have to do is to create their gang, pick the nights, and pick the zones with their mobile apps. The service price starts at US$25 per person per match.
Kooltech (Vietnam) is a Kickstarter project specializes in embedded system hardware/firmware design, wireless and multimedia digital signal processing algorithms, smartphone appcessories, cloud services. KoolTechs products and design services target the emerging IoT market with specific applications in wearables using low-power sensor, iBeacon and Bluetooth Smart, SmartHome automation, home healthcare. The company planned to raise US$500K for marketing and manufacturing.