Even though Singapore can’t really be called the Silicon Valley of the East, it seems to be headed in that direction because of its thriving startup culture. Due to its highly business-friendly economic policies, Singapore’s seen a massive influx of venture capital investment from across the world that has helped build the foundations of numerous successful businesses.
It’s a great time to be an entrepreneur in Singapore, especially if your business model is based online. The age of the internet has played the biggest role in globalisation, and it’s no surprise that it has revolutionised the global corporate workflow as we know it. Online startups are free from the shackles of hefty initial capital or excessive maintenance and marketing costs. This is why we are seeing so many Singaporean entrepreneurs break-even in ridiculously short spans of time and watch their business flourish before their hair starts graying.
If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur with a great online startup idea, then let us help you with a dose of inspiration to get you started by showing you five of the hottest online-based startups in Singapore:
With a steady funding amounting to US$1.24 million supporting it, Luxola is a 2011 venture that bills itself as the very first legitimate online beauty store in Southeast Asia. In a market primarily dominated by black and grey market competitors, Luxola has worked hard to maximise its brand credibility by offering fully authentic products to beauty enthusiasts.
Their efforts garnered great support from the cosmetics industry, which is hell-bent in routing the thriving piracy issue in the market. Luxola now ships to a majority of Southeast Asian countries such as Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand.
Founded by John Fearon, this online tech startup kicked-off in mid 2011 and has proved to be one of the fastest growing startups in Asia, earning a record 630,000 followers across Twitter, Fab.com and Pinterest. It recieved funding of US$800,000 from investors inclusing Crystal Horse Investments and Stanley Street Labs.
Dropmysite’s business model utilises cutting-edge cloud data storage services to back up everything from websites and e-mails to social media interactions and chats. It operates two websites, namely, Dropmysite.com and Dropmyemail.com.
Earning a mammoth capital investment worth US$68.4 million from leading VCs such as Sequioa Capital, Northgate Capital, Singtel Innov8, Comcast Ventures, etc., there is not the slightest doubt in the minds of competitors that Bubble Motion’s future will be anything less than extremely bright. Running a popular social media service called Bubbly since 2010, Bubble Motion has been able to aggregate over 20 million users so far. Amazingly, that’s almost twice as much the user traction Facebook or Twitter were able to get in their initial two years.
The Bubbly platform broke into the mobile social networking scene when the competition there was very minimal. It allows friends, family and followers to share SMS and voice updates with each other. Bubble Motion has simultaneously launched the iOS and Android version of its app for the convenience of all smartphone users scattered around the world.
This Jungle Ventures funded project earned a beefy initial capital investment worth US$1 million in late 2012 and has bloomed into a promising online startup since then. Travelmob aims to be the quintessential social marketplace for all travelers planning a trip in the Asia Pacific region. It is a secure platform that facilitates the accommodation booking process over diverse locations and gives people access at special rates.
For every booking finalised through its portal, Travelmob earns a fixed sliver from the pie as a service fee. It also doubles up as a vibrant social community for guests and hosts to interact with each other.
Founded by Singaporeans Kenneth Yap and Daryl Low, Quantine is a fantastic niche online startup that has established a healthy reputation since its launch in 2009. Powered by an US$800,000 funding round by SPRING YES, Quantine is essentially the first Asia Pacific company to put forward a complete package of pre-recorded video interviewing techniques and aptitude testing tools for the benefit of HR professionals.
Quantine’s flagship product named Next-5 helps jobseekers give recruiters a lot more personal perspective from the get-go by sending them your video introduction in addition to your standard resume.