Posted: April 25th, 2013 | Author: Jacky Yap | Filed under: Cradle, Cradle Fund, featured, funders, Funding, investments, investors, Johnathan Lee, malaysia, News, Opinions, southeast asia, startup, Startups | Comments Off
Johnathan Lee, VP of Commercialization & Ventures for Cradle Fund shares why he thinks there is no lack of funding in Malaysia.
Earlier this week, we wrote that Malaysia based media The Star has just announced their latest US$6.59 million dollar fund to invest in technology startups. Other than the new accelerator fund, Cradle Fund is another Malaysia government linked technology investor.
Cradle started in 2003 under the purview of the Malaysia Ministry of Finance to address the lack of early stage funding in Malaysia. 10 years on, Cradle has helped provide funding and various trainings to startups through the Coach and Grow Program. Over the years, Cradle has also played a very important role of helping grow the private sector participation through the lobbying of the angel tax incentives and also angel investors locally.
We have also been keen to find out more about the investment activities in Malaysia. For that, we speak to Johnathan Lee, the VP of Commercialisation & Ventures for Cradle Fund.
Could you share a bit on the fund size and how does a startup qualify for the Cradle fund?
At Cradle, we offer two funding options – CIP Catalyst (Pre-Seed) and CIP 500 (Seed). As the names suggest the two funding is target at different stages of an entrepreneurial journey. CIP Catalyst funds technology development and prototyping projects to the tune of up to RM150,000. CIP 500 offers up to RM500,000 in funding for commercialization and growth of young start-ups with less than 3 years track record. Whilst, the two funding options are catering to quite different stages, the eligibility criteria are also quite different.
What are some of the startups Cradle has funded and among them, which one do you personally think has the highest potential?
To date, Cradle has funded over 450 CIP Catalyst projects and over 120 startups. We always believe that all of our funded recipients has the potential to be extremely successful.
In a nutshell of the 450 CIP Catalyst projects, around 280 are completed and out of that 58 percent are successfully commercialised in the marketplace, or, the technology was licensed or sold, or, some securing further rounds of investments. A bulk of these would be small to medium size start-ups catering to the marketplace, which are fine. However, from time to time, we would get some being invested by a large VC or being acquired by larger companies. The latest one being Tribehired; a recruitment site that leverages off Facebook’s large social network. They recently received over US$500,000 investment from TNF Ventures and a couple of angel investors – Ben Ball and Ben Chew. A couple of years ago, another CIP Catalyst recipient in the Content Delivery Network – Aflexi, was acquired by the UK based OnApp. You’ve probably heard of MyTeksi, a mobile app that allows taxi ordering in a jiffy. Since launching late last year, MyTeksi is now connected with over 600 taxis in and around Klang Valley area and they are now looking beyond this geographical space.
In our CIP 500, one of our bigger successes was Carlist.my – currently the largest online car listing site in Malaysia. They were acquired by Catcha Group and subsequently listed as part of a regional grouping of car listing portals called iCar Asia in the Australian Stock Exchange. Another one to watch out for is Perfectsen – these guys are the pioneer of the Personal Finance Management who are currently servicing Malaysia’s largest bank – Maybank. Contrary to popular sentiment, Cradle has also funded non-Information Communication Technology (ICT) start-ups. One such example is AseaCyte, a biotech startup that offers services to drug discovery companies to help them understand about the biological properties of their potential drug before embarking on the expensive animal or clinical testing.
Read also: Social recruitment site Tribehired secures US$560K from TNF Ventures and angel investors
Many startups complain about the lack of funding in Malaysia. What are your thoughts on this?
I believe that this complains are also echoed in many places even in developed markets like Singapore, and also parts of the US. I personally don’t think that there is lack of funding. The funding is there. It is about finding the right funders for your startup.
Just because a startup has failed to raise money, it doesn’t mean that there is no funding. It could just mean that the startup is not ready for the funding or worst, it just isn’t good enough to get the funding. The reality is that all investors wants to invest in the best start-ups, the cream-de-la-crem, the top dog, the winning horse – No one likes to bet on the weakest one. Early stage investment is already a very risky space even if the start-ups has a high growth potential. If your start-up is not ready (market, team, product) then be prepared to be bypassed by investors.
In the local ecosystem, there are a number of new Venture Capital setting up in Malaysia. The latest one was launched last week by Malaysia’s largest news media company – The Star Publications, called the Star Accelerator Fund. By the end of this year, there should be a couple more being announced, my fingers are crossed. On top of these, there is a spurt in local angel investors with the advent of the Angel Tax Incentives that was launched this year. The Angel Tax Incentive is currently being managed by Cradle. It is never been a better time to “startup” literally with all the support from the Government and private sector initiatives. The question remains, are the startups good enough to get the funding?
Read also: The Star launches $6.59M fund to invest in Malaysian startups
What do you think is the main challenge startups in Malaysia face? Do you think the next Facebook will come from Malaysia?
I would believe that the Malaysian start-ups would face similar challenges as their regional counterpart. The following would briefly cover some of the these concerns:
- Technology – How unique/innovative is it? Will anyone pay or use it? How fast can I develop and launch? Costs?
- Market – Is it attractive or large enough? Is it growing? What are the barriers to entry and market adoption rate?
- Team – Is the team capable or well rounded? Is the team passionate and committed to delivering success?
Rather than having the next FB coming from Malaysia, I think Malaysian start-up would do well to play to its strength and having successes that will rival that of FB but not necessarily in the same space. In that sense, I am eternally hopeful that the next big success will come from Malaysia. As mentioned, there are already many successful tech companies here that are on the way up – MOL, Jobstreet, MyEG, iProperty, Catcha Media, Nuffnang and many more.
Read also: Tax exemption for Malaysian angel investors with Cradle Fund
The post Cradle: There isn’t a lack of funding in Malaysia appeared first on e27.
Posted: April 25th, 2013 | Author: Jacky Yap | Filed under: 500 startups, acquisition, Dropmyemail, dropmysite, featured, Funding, Investments & Acquisitions, philippines, Singapore startups, southeast asia, Startups | Comments Off
Singapore-based Dropmysite has officially announced that they are part of the 500 Startups family.
Founded by John Fearon, Dropmysite helps you back up your online data, such as websites, emails, chat, as well as social media. Dropmysite currently claims to back up a quarter of a billion emails and websites per day for nearly a million users globally.
While the actual amount is undisclosed, Dropmysite revealed that the investment is at 500 Startups’ usual quantum of US$25,000 to US$250,000. The investment will also see 500 startups recommending Dropmysite’s corporate email backup solution, Dropmyemail Business, to its network worldwide.
“Very few people think about backing up their e-mail, voicemail, or SMS until it’s too late, and most carriers and ISP’s can’t help you if they lose your data. Dropmysite, however, solves that problem and allows any SMB to backup their e-mail or whatever else they need simply and cost-efficiently. It’s a great cloud-based business that has the potential to go global”, said George Kellerman, venture partner of 500 Startups.
Aside from the investment announcement, Dropmysite also recently partnered up with GMO Cloud in Japan and Xpress Hosting in Mexico. Both partnerships acts as distribution channels for Dropmysite to offer its back up solution to those countries. Dropmysite also revealed that they will be announcing another reseller deal in Singapore as well as “acquisitions underway that will strengthen the product offering and consumer base of Dropmysite”.
Back in June, Dropmysite also acquired OrbitFiles as its ticket to enter North America. With this being the second acquisition by Dropmysite, it definitely made us curious.
Read also: Dropmysite acquires OrbitFiles, takes advantage of its slow growth as a ticket to enter North America
Acquisition of companies seems to be a way for companies like Dropmysite or even BillPin to extend its reach overseas, away from this little red dot called Singapore. You might recall the acquisition news by BillPin earlier this month: it acquired its main competitor BillMonk to get access to valuable user data base as well as insights into user behaviours.
While things seems to be exciting and rosy for Dropmysite, founder John has made it public that he faces difficulties in raising a series A round in Singapore.
Earlier in March, founder John revealed in a video interview with Singapore based accelerator JFDI that in the next two to three months, the deals and partnerships which they have secured will “easily make them profitable in the next four to five months.” However, raising a series A round in Singapore is proved to be a challenge for the team.
“So basically for us, there are almost no venture capitalist in Singapore that can lead a round. It’s quite interesting because outside of Singapore, we have been able to get interests for more than $6 million dollars of funding, but they will only follow a venture capital lead. And there are no leads.”
Read also: Dropmysite partners with Mexican web hosting company, looking for investors to lead series A round
The post Dropmysite funded by 500 Startups with new acquisition target in sight appeared first on e27.
Posted: April 25th, 2013 | Author: Terence LEE | Filed under: Companies, ds3, featured, Interviews, Singapore | Comments Off
The DS3 family. Teik Guan is wearing a yellow shirt. Photo: DS3
For twelve years, Tan Teik Guan has been carrying the weight of the company and its employees on his back, first as DS3‘s CTO and then as CEO in 2006.
One wrong move could affect not just his 50 employees but also their families. It’s a huge burden to bear, especially since a startup lacks the stability of a large company.
“I didn’t just have my own kids to think about — all my employees are like my children,” he said.
But his reprieve finally came. In April this year, the management successfully sold the Singapore-based IT security firm to Gemalto, a multi-national corporation in the same industry. DS3 has been making profit by selling authentication software to banks.
While the specifics of the deal cannot be disclosed, he and the other co-founders, Zvi Efroni and Kelvin Teo, are happy with how it turned out.
For Teik Guan especially, who left his cushy government job to join an unknown company as the first employee post Dot-Com bust, the rewards were especially sweeter.
“Oh my gosh, it was a huge burden off my back,” he said.
Teik Guan and DS3 are part of the second generation of Singapore’s tech entrepreneurs that are starting to see the fruits of their labor. The first, represented best by Sim Wong Hoo of Creative Technology and Ong Peng Tsin of Match.com, made their fortune in the Dot-Com days.
DS3′s contemporaries include HungryGoWhere, which was sold to SingTel last year, sgCarMart, which was acquired by Singapore Press Holdings, and PropertyGuru, which partially exited after raising a USD 48M round.
Read: Cheatsheet of tech startup acquisitions in Southeast Asia
These companies were all connected by the fact that they thrived despite the lack of a startup ecosystem in the early to mid noughties.
“The region lacked that pool of people who can roll up their sleeves and bring you through different stages of a company,” Teik Guan explained, adding that while the situation is starting to change, such management expertise is still hard to find.
“You can count the number of exits with your hands. There aren’t many.”
On being a CEO
Because of the lack of guidance, the company at times was forced to take things a little slower, or as the Chinese saying goes, ‘cross the river by feeling the stones’.
As a result, early on, DS3 devoted most of its resources on systems integration, while keeping some time for the more fun stuff — R&D.
Eventually though, the management team saw potential in DS3′s research and decided to steer it towards being a product company. It was not an easy choice to make.
Ultimately, a CEO’s job is to make the right decisions that will keep the company from stagnating. In Teik Guan’s view, CEOs need to avoid strategic decisions that will reinforce the status quo, and instead aim to help the company jump to the next level.
“Jumping is really scary. You can jump up or, more likely, jump into a hole. But if you don’t make these decisions, your company will become mediocre,” he said, ”these decisions will eat into you when you’re eating, sleeping, and bathing. It dominates your life.”
It doesn’t help that choices had to be made with only 20 percent of all available information, making C-level management more of an art than a science.
Take DS3′s partnership with IBM as an example. Before the tech giant came into the picture, DS3 had a cosy relationship with Sun Microsystems from 2005 to 2007 that moved the company along.
But the management team realized that working with IBM could take them even further. Since working with a partner like IBM would drain most of DS3′s resources, they had to decide whether to cut the partnership with Sun Microsystems. It meant weaning off the lifeblood that was sustaining the company. And that was scary.
“Many companies that partnered with IBM got run to the ground. They require a lot from you.”
On hindsight, the decision turned out to be the right one. In 2010, Sun Microsystems was acquired by Oracle, which led to a lot of uncertainty. Whatever working relationship DS3 might have had with Sun would have been put at risk. Teik Guan called it a “lucky break.”
Do-or-die decisions are not just restricted to the big, strategic ones. Sometimes it’s as simple as deciding how to pitch to an important potential customer.
In DS3′s case, it can come down to figuring out whether to pitch a systems integration deal or an in-house product deal. Making the wrong choice could cause negotiations to fall through.
Faced with a lack of information, CEOs often have to rely on other tools in their arsenal when deciding where to go. Listening to the gut is one, the other is their moral compass, consisting of a set of internal values.
Teik Guan believes that even before joining a startup as a co-founder or CEO, individuals must be certain of what they stand for, and make sure that their values are aligned with the prospective company. Not doing so will screw up both the CEO and the company.
This principle also led DS3 into sealing a fundraising round led by venture capital firm JAFCO Asia. While not the best offer from a monetary perspective, Teik Guan found himself reassured about going into a working relationship with both JAFCO Asia and Infocomm Investments (IIPL), which joined the round.
The folks at IIPL helped Teik Guan refine his pitch for investors. He learned that funds, at the end of the day, care most about making a return on their investments and where the company will be in 5 to 10 years time, rather than what the company is doing now and the great products it has.
JAFCO Asia, meanwhile, sounded sincere and understood what DS3 wanted to do. Teik Guan liked their story, the consistency in which they told it time and again, the timelines they gave, and the parameters they wanted.
“They didn’t want us to change the business model. They bought into our vision. But they just wanted us to run a little faster,” he said, adding that while JAFCO Asia requested monthly reports, they weren’t intent on being micro-managers.
While Teik Guan is adamant that every startup must have an exit strategy, he doesn’t believe in running a company with the goal of being acquired. His aimed to stabalize the company to the point where it would be able to prosper on its own.
“I was running the company towards an IPO. But if an acquisition happens, then it happens.”
Relieved that his employees are now being taken cared of by Gemalto, Teik Guan is now cherishing the experience of working in an MNC and spending more time with his family. At this stage, he’s keeping an open mind about the future — which means he hasn’t thought much about contributing back to the startup community in Singapore and the region.
But he knows what he doesn’t want to do. Starting another company and going through the entire entrepreneurial process is out the question, at least for now. The idea of “mentorship” repulses him too — he does not believe in dishing out armchair advice and instead wants to put his skin in the game should he be involved in anyway.
As for going down the angel investment route, Teik Guan wouldn’t give a firm answer, but he seems open if the right opportunity comes along.
“For me, it’s not about sowing seeds and striking the lottery. But if a team is worth helping and its worth my time, then I’ll do it,” he said.
Teik Guan has always been about seeking new experiences and challenges. Startup investments just might be a new frontier to get him excited. Not that he has committed to anything now.
“Ask me again in two or three years. I’m just enjoying what I’m doing at the moment.”
The post Being a CEO eats into you, says Tan Teik Guan of recently-acquired DS3 appeared first on SGE.
Posted: April 24th, 2013 | Author: Jacky Yap | Filed under: asia, australia, australia startups, Echelon, Echelon 2013, Echelon Ignite, featured, Startups | Comments Off
On May 8, we will be heading down to Sydney to organize our second Echelon Ignite following the previous one in Thailand. Here’s some updates on the event.
Great line up of speakers and Southeast Asia centric content
The main goal of Echelon Ignite Australia is to encourage startups in Australia to have a regional mindset when planning their growth as a startup. This goal is achieved through a Southeast Asia focused keynotes and panel of discussions.
Some of the key panels which will be taking place includes Southeast Asia in the eye of investors, regional case studies and investments, the state of the Australian tech ecosystem, and how Southeast Asia plays a role in its growth, and many more. For more information on the agenda, please head over to the Echelon Ignite Australia website.
You can register for the event here.
11 startups to pitch on stage
Further to the keynote and panel of discussions, perhaps the highlight of any Echelon Ignite would be the startup pitches. We are humbled to have received many applications to pitch at Echelon Ignite Australia. After screening through all the applications, here are the 11 pitching startups:
- Divvy Parking
- Feedback Loop
- (121Cast) SoundGecko
Not only will the 11 startups be pitching for the Most Promising Startup in Australia, the selected startup will have the the opportunity to pitch alongside 10 of Asia’s most promising startups at the main Echelon 2013 event on June 4.
Echelon Ignite: Australia is a one-day tech and business event for the Australian tech industry happening 8 May 2013. Join us and listen to content from leading Southeast Asia business mentors and experienced investors.
Echelon Ignite is brought to you by Optus and Singtel Innov8.
You can register for the event here.
The post 11 Startups to pitch at Echelon Ignite Australia appeared first on e27.
Posted: April 22nd, 2013 | Author: Joash Wee | Filed under: android, Apps, asia, B Dash, B Dash Camp, chat, featured, games, iOS, Japan, Kakao, KakaoTalk, line, messaging, mobile, News, Opinions, Sirgoo Lee, SOUTH KOREA, talk, World | Comments Off
Sirgoo Lee, CEO of Kakao Corporation, shared what made KakaoTalk a hit messaging platform in Korea and its rapid expansion.
Born from two failures, KakaoTalk was created by Brian Kim and his founding team as their “killer application.” Having built two web applications that have failed, Buru.com (social bookmarking serice, 2009) and Wisia.com (social ranking service, 2008), the appearance of the smartphone came at the right time for the company, then named iWILAB, to revive its efforts in the application space. According to CEO Sirgoo Lee, the team threw away all the code for the web service and decided to do something called “application service.”
With just four people, KakaoTalk was created in two months. Sirgoo shared that they have since tried to keep to the “4 by 2” spirit where they aim to create something with the least amount of resources in the shortest amount of time. The reason was, when they were building web services, the team focused on creating products that had no flaws, and that is why they failed. KakaoTalk taught them to release products as quickly as possible and to continuously improve the product.
Read also: Chat wars continue: KakaoTalk hits 10M downloads in Japan
KakaoTalk currently has 86 million registered users, with 70 percent of them in Korea, 29 million daily users and send 4.8 billion messages daily. In 2012, the company reported revenues of US$42 million and had its first profitable year in six years, pulling in US$6.5 million in profits. The company’s main revenue stream is its platform and ads.
Kakao currently has 360 employees. Sirgoo explained that when KakaoTalk began to distribute games through its platform, no one believed that it would work because they did not understand why people messaging each other would want to play games together. Today, KakaoTalk has proven the model with eight of the Top 10 Google Play games being Kakao games. Using the case study of the Anipang Game, Sirgoo shared that it had 20 million downloads, 10 million daily active users and a maximum concurrent users of three million, all because of the power of the social graph.
Sirgoo said that that is the power of the KakaoTalk platform, using the power of the social graph. He said, “Games are just the beginning. With the social graph, with the social function, you can also stimulate growth in digital content like books, musics and movies. You can also stimulate growth in e-commerce by allowing users to show their friends what they have bought.” Sirgoo also mentioned that Kakao is in the process of creating a music service.
During his session, Sirgoo also revealed a more “community” side of Kakao where it is looking to build up the technology community. He mentioned that the company has a target to hit one million profit-making partners within three years. As KakaoTalk is a service, Sirgoo knows the importance of understanding the local businesses and culture in order to provide what users want. Like its partnership with Yahoo! Japan, Kakao is looking to work with local players and content providers in other countries.
As Akira Morikawa, CEO of LINE was also present, moderator Gen Miyazawa of Yahoo! Japan managed to get the two rivals talking. An interesting comment from Akira was that LINE’s timeline is not as heavily used as KakaoTalk’s. Sirgoo also admits that Kakao, being a smaller company, had lots to learn especially in global strategy from LINE.
Read also: Bringing the global market on LINE
Kakao accelerating the adoption of games
The post The Kakao story: Rising from the ashes of failure and being lean appeared first on e27.
Posted: April 22nd, 2013 | Author: Joash Wee | Filed under: Akira Morikawa, asia, B Dash, B Dash Camp, chat apps, Corporations, featured, IM app, Japan, line, LINE Corporation, messaging app, mobile, Mobile Messaging, News, NHN Japan, PEOPLE, southeast asia, World | Comments Off
At B Dash Camp, LINE Corporation CEO Akira Morikawa shared the strategies behind the company’s rise and how they plan on continuing its expansion.
At the B Dash Camp in Fukuoka, CEO of LINE Corporation Akira Morikawa shared with the crowd some insights into the company’s strategy in making its instant messaging application one of the leading global platforms for communication. With Ryuichi Nishida, Senior Investment Manager at B Dash Ventures as the moderator, the session had some interesting takeaways.
Speaking about the recent spin-off of LINE Corporation from NHN Japan. Akira mentioned that it was a strategic move in order to allow the messaging platform to be more competitive against its Western competitors. The move also leveraged on the LINE branding and its popularity. Currently, all the decision-making for the company takes place in the Japan office.
According to Akira, one of the main reasons that made LINE into a big hit as a messaging service was partly because they were fortunate enough to get the timing right. He also mentioned that the team initially focused on launching an app that is simple to use, which helped in the adoption rate. LINE was first launched as a basic messenger, without all the stickers and games that are currently now available, in order to provide early adopters with an easy user interface. Making sure that LINE had a single function that could be used in three steps allowed for growth among early adopters.
In Akira’s opinion, once users know how to use your app, they will also know how to use other features, as well. The approach to build a smartphone application should be different from a desktop application, as too many functions for a smartphone application makes it confusing for users. Akira stated that creating a rich user experience means selecting the functions that you fell the best to provide to users, rather than creating many functions.
Read also: Startups alert! Which LINE character are you?
During his session, Akira also mentioned that LINE is looking for partners that will help build the brand. This includes game developers that can benefit from distributing their games on the platform. Even though LINE’s API is not currently available, Akiro replied to a question from the audience that they do open up access specifically to companies that they see fit.
As LINE continues to spread across the globe, Akira said that the team is deployed across borders at an ad-hoc basis. LINE Corporation currently does not have plans to established subsidiaries overseas, but prefers to fly representatives to various places as opportunities arises.
In the latest update, Akira shared that there are 15 million users each in Thailand and Taiwan, and 10 million in Spain. LINE Games currently has 20 titles available, and is planning to launch 4 titles per month. LINE Games has already surpassed 100 million downloads.
A question posed by e27 CEO Mohan Belani on how LINE is coping with competitors like Path and Facebook copying its sticker feature prompted Akira to reply that the key is speed. Copying and adopting available technologies to improve one’s service is common in the industry, and it depends on how well and how fast the team can copy and innovate that will determine how successful LINE can be.
The post Bringing the global market on LINE appeared first on e27.
Posted: April 22nd, 2013 | Author: Jacky Yap | Filed under: asia tech resources, bundles, e27, e27 startupkit, featured, News, Resources, Singapore, southeast asia, startup kit, Startups | Comments Off
e27 aims to be the best tech resource in Asia, and we are proud to share something we have been working really hard on: Bundles.
Bundles has been something we have always wanted to do. Here’s our pitch: Have you ever wanted to pay less all the great products and services you are using? Yes, we’d like that, too. Bundles does just that. We truly believe that Bundles will bring a lot of value to companies and startups around the ecosystems in Asia and we have been working on this since February.
We are excited to be working with some of the best partners we can ever hope for to bring their products and services to you at a preferred rate. Some of these partners include Facebook, Airbnb, 99designs, Google Apps, Freelancer, Shutterstock, Zendesk, VSee, .CO, as well as nince coworking spaces around the region. We deliberately keep the nature of the Bundles global: No matter which industry you are, which country you are based in, Bundles has something for you.
We are featuring 6 Bundles for our first launch:
- Marketing Bundle – Marketing tools to help you grow your business, includes Facebook advertising credits.
- Travel Bundle – Services that helps you save cost when you are travelling around the region, includes access to our elite network of regional coworking space partners.
- Customer Bundle – Connect with your customers using these services, includes Zopim, Zendesk, Hoiio, Moo and Pandaform.
- Collaboration Bundle – Collaborate with your colleagues with these tools. Includes VSee, which has military grade security and bandwidth usage lower than Skype.
- Hosting Bundle – Features great hosting services for your newly launched product, includes Asia’s Dropbox, WP Engine as well as .CO.
- Creative Bundle – Everything you need to manage your creative works, including Shutterstock, Freelancer, 99designs, and DesignCrowd.
Every Bundles features products are available at a discounted price, and this ties back to what we at e27 are dedicated to becoming — the best tech resource in Asia. Valued at more than USD2000, you can enjoy all the products and services at only USD99.
For companies and startups, we hope Bundles can help you grow your business. We will be constantly talking to our existing and new partners to bring more value added services to you. If there are any companies that you wish to see in Bundles, please let us know in the comments below, so that we can make Bundles more relevant to you. It would also help us a lot if you can spread the word about our Bundles to Facebook and Twitter.
If you have any feedback, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us too. Remember, there is no such thing as too much feedback, and as always, we are all ears. Check out our Bundles at e27.co/bundles.
The post [Announcement] e27 Bundles appeared first on e27.
Posted: April 22nd, 2013 | Author: Elaine Huang | Filed under: asia, Contests, featured, line, naver, News, NHN, partnership, promotion, World | Comments Off
Which LINE character are you? And scroll to the bottom to find out how you can win a LINE doll!
There are way too many LINE characters on the chat messenger app. But these are the original (fantastic) four, and we thought their personalities and characteristics resemble main roles in startups as well. So check this out and let us know which one you think you belong to!
James (the business development person):
You have probably met James. By “probably,” we mean you two have definitely been acquainted over beer chugging at a bar or pub late at night with mutual friends. More often than not, he dons neatly ironed shirts and has impeccable taste when it comes to fashion.
He carries more than one phone and according to him, the iPhone is terrible “because it gets heated up when you speak on it for two hours.” He has the patience of a 5-year-old when he does not get what he wants. The laptop is his mortal enemy.
But he’s the go-to man when you want things done and you know you can count on him. He has the connections, contacts and skills to build good relationships. On his LinkedIn account, he calls himself a “people person” and hell, no one in the office will dare to debate that though they all think he swears way too often.
Moon (the Chief Technical Officer):
Moon. Well, that probably isn’t his real name. Like his real name, nobody really knows what he does at work besides “seeing the big picture.” That is only because every time they go up to him and ask, “Hey, how’s it going?” he answers, “Stealth mode on.”
He is an open encyclopedia; he knows everything from coding to droughts in Antartica to African butterflies. There is almost nothing in this world he does not know about. But more than that, he is great at executing long term plans and aligning the company to the technology available outside.
He is a classic workaholic. His work is his entire life. He would never give it up for the world. But occasionally, when bored, he would make puns and laugh at it while the rest at the office raise their eyebrows and wonder whether he knows it is, after all, a Monday.
Cony (the intern):
In a startup, there are always interns. Cony is one of them. She likes to think that she is more than just a miserable intern, and sadly, she is. On her resume, she states that she can “work under pressure” and “multitask extremely well.” She handles everything from working the social networks and making sure everyone is happy online to writing emails to designing the next event poster.
She joined a startup because she read an article on Venturebeat that every college student should. But she has a mind of her own and speaks up every now and then when she thinks the bosses are absolute crazies. For some unknown reason, she can still look like Jennifer Aniston every morning even though she stayed up late the previous night to finish some work.
And yes, she is the mayor of the office on Foursquare.
Brown (the Chief Executive Officer/founder):
He is a jack of all trades and master of, well, some. He has founded startups of all sorts: food, music and even fitness. Brown, like Moon, does not like to go by his real name. Unlike most CEOs, this one sits in the same room with the rest of his employees. Though he could come off as a little stoic, he would often remind you of Richard Branson more than Steve Jobs with his kindheartedness and actions to back it up.
A serial entrepreneur, Brown enjoys generating new ideas and having a good team has helped him do that. But he knows not all ideas can work, and is able to handle the worst of comments. He does not wear a tie to work. Instead, he likes to come in in his usual Threadless tee and Levi’s jeans. But when the occasion calls for it, you will see him appearing in a full double breasted suit and polished leather shoes.
And what did we say about falling in love with Cony, the intern? Just kidding.
LINE has partnered e27 to give five dolls away to our readers!
Want to win yourself an adorable LINE doll? Just follow the instructions and you might just be the lucky one:
- Using the LINE Camera app on iOS or Android, take a photo of yourself or your friends and family
- Use the tools in the app to decorate and beautify the photo!
- Share the photo on Twitter … but before that …
- Make sure you are using a public account. Tag @e27co and #LINEsg so we can track your photo
- Tell your friends to retweet it (the one with most retweets wins!).
Terms and Conditions
The contest will run from April 22, 2013 (SGT 08:00) to April 25, 2013 (SGT 23:59). All dolls have to be collected at e27′s office at 71 Ayer Rajah Crescent #02-15 Singapore 139951. No exchanging will be entertained. e27 holds the right to reject entries that do not fulfill the above criteria. Winners will be contacted via direct message (DM) on Twitter by April 26, 2013 (SGT 23:59).
Now, now, will you be the lucky one?
The post Startups alert! Which LINE character are you? appeared first on e27.
Posted: April 18th, 2013 | Author: Brian Koh | Filed under: 8capita, asia, belladati, BizReach, CloudDock, Conyac for Business, DailySocial, DecoAlbum, designclue, e27, Echelon, Echelon 2013, Events, featured, Global Brain, Hidetaka Fukushima, Hiro Maeda, Japan, luxa, masaru ikeda, million momments, Mohan Belani, Nic Lim, Open Network Labs, Quick Language Learning, rama mamuaya, RegionUP, Rick Martin, Serkan Toto, Startup Dating, Swimmy Minami, TopAdmit, TuTu, Vuzzm SD Japan, Yasuhiko Yurimoto, Zimly | Comments Off
The Japan Satellite will be held at Gate City Ohsaki on 25 April 2013. Read on for more details and how you can participate and join the rest of the community.
Venue: Gate City Ohsaki
Date: 25 April 2013, Thursday
Time: 11.30am – 5.30pm
Address: 1-11-1 Ohsaki, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo-to / 東京都品川区大崎1-11-1他
Reserve your place for free
Conyac for Business
Quick Language Learning
Speakers and Judges
President and CEO – Global Brain
For a full agenda of the Thailand Satellite, please visit the Echelon 2013 site.
The post Echelon 2013: Japan Satellite Details appeared first on e27.
Posted: April 17th, 2013 | Author: Elaine Huang | Filed under: asia, Chumbak, featured, india, Japan, magnets, News, Startups, travel, travel startups | Comments Off
Chumbak struck gold in India and Japan. Still, co-founder Vivek Prabhakar shares that they would rather be the best in India before exploring new markets.
Here is a question: when traveling, what souvenirs do you buy? While some would go for the usual t-shirts with words in tacky fonts, most like to get themselves a fridge magnet to mark the places they have been to. Vivek Prabhakar and his wife were no different. But like seeing a diamond in mere rocks, they realized that there were not many of these fridge-huggers in India. So, they mined this opportunity and started Chumbak.
Based in Bangalore, Chumbak (which means “kissing stones” in Hindi) was founded late 2009. Vivek and his wife had to raise money, so, they sold their house and put together all the funds and stayed in a rental apartment. They got in touch with suppliers online, hired designers, used their place as a warehouse and within six months, Chumbak was profitable. Vivek shared that they were not scared to get their hands dirty – his then 2 year old daughter learned counting by being in an environment where they had to count everything themselves.
Read also: Vincent Sethiwan’s family thought he was crazy to build LAUNCHPAD
While they were in contact with about eight to 10 stores in three cities in India, they realized that their website was already selling to 20 cities all over India. It allowed customers and merchants to get in touch with them, and made it a level playing field for Chumbak to reach their target audience. But diamond finally became gold when Vivek received an email from Tokyo one day.
They could not believe their eyes. Apparently, someone in Japan has seen their products online and want to sell it in their stores. About eight months later, the deal was done. Vivek checked his email and saw the order. He joked, “There were a few extra zeroes in them.” And by the end of 2012, Chumbak was in 150 stores in India and another 100 stores in Japan.
So does Chumbak intend to go into bigger and newer markets? Vivek told e27 that they are actually “aiming for the world!” However, they want to focus their energies first locally. “But there are so many opportunities in India. So, the next 12 months, we are going to focus a lot on India and a bit on Japan.” He also shared that while he could go all over, he would rather be the best in India and then, they will look at another market.
Currently, Chumbak is not all about magnets. They have expanded their product categories to include apparels and accessories, stationeries, home and lifestyle, and even other travel souvenirs.
Image Credit: Chumbak
The post Chumbak saw a diamond in mere rocks, now in India and Japan appeared first on e27.