3 min read

Daily Markup #563: Khailee Ng is ‘Highest Rated’ mentor; Hydroleap leaps forward after GIA program; Bukalapak supports MSMEs with practical tech

Ching Yee Ho



Credit: The Founder Institute

 Mentors matter

  • Congratulations to Khailee Ng, Managing Partner at 500 Global, for being awarded the ‘Highest Rated’ mentor in South & Southeast Asia in the 2022 Global Startup Mentor Awards!
  • Established by The Founder Institute (FI), ‘Global Startup Mentor Awards’ spotlights the top mentors devoting time and energy to make an impact on the next generation of startups. Mentors are selected based on founder ratings, network recommendations, and time contributed.
  • According to FI, it is the world’s most proven network to turn ideas into fundable startups, and startups into global businesses. Since 2009, their structured accelerator programs have helped over 6,000 entrepreneurs raise over $1.75B in funding.
  • Based in Silicon Valley and with chapters across 95 countries, their mission is to empower communities of talented and motivated people to build impactful technology companies worldwide.
  • Check out the full list of winners here.
Credit: Hydroleap

A platform to leap forward

  • “The first step to entering into any market is to have a better understanding of what the common practices and pain points are. This can be done efficiently if startups meet customers and partners who are ahead of the rest, in the adoption of new technologies in that market,” said Mohammad Sherafatmand, CEO of 500-backed water treatment startup Hydroleap.
  • Thanks to the GIA (Global Innovation Alliance) Acceleration Programme, Hydroleap was given the opportunity to do just that. Through the virtual GIA Bangkok Smart Cities Tech Showcase in 2021, the company struck up a partnership with Bangkok Industrial Gas to run a commercial project for a leading Thai beverage manufacturer.
  • Moh added that Hydroleap has received “significantly higher” interest in its solutions since taking part in the Bangkok Tech Showcase. The team is even currently in talks with Thai investors for their Series A fundraising round!
  • The GIA is a network of international partners in 15 cities worldwide. Their acceleration programs consist of workshops, 1-to-1 mentorship with industry experts, networking opportunities, and an overseas immersion trip.
  • Read the full story in The Business Times. A subscription may be required.
Credit: CNBC

A change in perspective

  • “The key is not looking at it from an e-commerce perspective,” said Teddy Oetomo, President of 500-backed marketplace Bukalapak. “Look at it from their (MSMEs) business. What do they need? They need to be able to source products faster at cheaper and better pricing.”
  • So, how do you encourage MSMEs to participate in digital technology? Teddy said they already are. “If you look at every single mom-and-pop kiosk, everybody has smartphones. Everyone is on WhatsApp. The key is how to provide practical, value-added services to help them make more money.”
  • He added that whenever Mitra Bukalapak enters a new region, the company spends sales and marketing dollars to acquire only 10% of their target market. Bukalapak helps them increase their revenue by 2-3x, and the kiosk’s neighbors and competitors start to notice. That’s how the team captures the remaining 90% organically.
  • That’s also how Bukalapak brings its acquisition cost down from $20 to $6 — not just by cutting down on introductory and promotional costs, but because of the growing organic signups.
  • Watch the full interview on CNBC.

Ching Yee Ho