The unexpected road to entrepreneurship
- Alvin Ea never wanted to be an entrepreneur, but filial piety led him down this path. Being the dutiful eldest son, he joined his father’s company and never looked back since.
- He eventually started his own company in the same industry with Co-founder Sebastian Shen. Today, 500-backed Haulio is one of Southeast Asia’s largest container haulage platforms! The company has partnerships with 98% of Singapore’s container haulage companies, and is growing its presence in Indonesia and Thailand.
- Their goal? Fully digitizing this highly traditional sector across Southeast Asia by the year 2025.
- One of many great lessons Alvin learned from his dad: “My father taught me to be true to myself as a business leader, to have integrity and ethical values. We don’t have to step on others to climb.”
- Read the full interview on Tatler.
Growing from strength to strength
- Flowers can truly brighten up our day, but the buying experience can be underwhelming. Co-founders Giden Lim and Penny Choo encountered boring floral designs, as well as poor product quality and customer service, which drove them to set up 500-backed e-gifting platform BloomThis.
- The last two years saw a staggering 500% growth for the startup, and they delivered over 100,000 orders in the last 12 months. Now, the couple aims to expand regionally, and they were recently selected by Endeavour Malaysia, a platform that supports high-impact entrepreneurs, to participate in their growth program.
- BloomThis leverages technology to provide on-demand deliveries within 4 hours, but the team has bigger goals in sight. “Our vision is to deliver flowers and gifts across Southeast Asia within 1 hour to 1 million customers,” said Giden and Penny. “As we scale BloomThis together with Endeavor, we aim to create more moments of happiness for more customers in Southeast Asia.”
- As part of Endeavor’s network, the entrepreneurs will gain access to comprehensive support services, including introductions to local and regional business mentors, and investors.
- Congratulations Giden, Penny, and BloomThis!
- Read the full article on Digital News Asia.
Keeping it safe and circular
- Shopping online is easier than ever — and so is falling for scams. Cho Tot from the 500-backed Carousell family launched the Protected Payment feature to enhance the safety and convenience of transacting on the platform.
- With more than 10M unique monthly users and more than 1M used items listed every month, this is welcome news! A recent Carousell survey found that 70% of Vietnamese respondents cite poor product quality as the reason why they’re reluctant to buy secondhand, while 40% said that authentication or warranty would increase their confidence.
- The feature is an escrow payment system that holds payment until a transaction is verified by both the buyer and seller. Buyers will be refunded in full if they do not receive items or if the items do not match the description.
- “With the feature of ‘Protected Payment’, we are reshaping the experience of buying and selling used goods to be safer and more convenient. We are planning to develop a comprehensive ecosystem for recommerce,” Hoang Thi Minh Ngoc, Chief Growth Officer of Cho Tot, said. “In addition, Cho Tot also partners with organizations advocating for circular economy and sustainable development to encourage consumers to prioritize used items as their first choice, moving towards sustainable consumption.”
- Read the full announcement here.