The next big thing
- “You can actually make a lot of money by serving a population which doesn’t have that much money,” said Khailee Ng, managing partner at 500 Startups.
- In an interview with CNBC Make It, he elaborated that startups can be too focused on targeting wealthy consumers in advanced economies.
- He believes there are important — and potentially lucrative — problems to be solved in poorer, developing economies.
- I definitely think Southeast Asia has stepped into a new phase now, where building start-ups which fall into increasing people’s productivity (will) be the next wave,” he added. “I look forward to seeing more entrepreneurs actually build more companies that can serve the broader populations.”
Give and take
- Hong Leong Bank has awarded 500-backed cloud-based procurement and inventory management platform Food Market Hub ~US$12,300 to pilot a project addressing food security.
- The bank sought to identify startups with innovative digital, adaptable, and sustainable solutions to help Malaysians adapt and thrive in this new normal.
- The startup recently launched a callout to players in the food and beverage industry to apply for a ~US$1,200 digitalization grant.
Fresh and fashionable
- Two 500-backed startups, Grab and Pomelo, have come together in a collaboration to launch fashion apparel.
- The designs pay special tribute to Grab’s drivers and delivery partners, who have continued to serve the community throughout the ongoing global pandemic.
- More recently, Grab also made the headlines for its partnership with Panasonic.
- Across four countries, 5,500 GrabCar Premium vehicles will be showcasing an air purifier that fits into a car cup-holder.
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500 Startups is a venture capital firm on a mission to discover and back the world’s most talented entrepreneurs, help them create successful companies at scale, and build thriving global ecosystems. In Southeast Asia, 500 Startups invests through the pioneering 500 Southeast Asia family of funds. The 500 Southeast Asia funds have backed over 240 companies across multiple sectors from internet to consumer to deep technology. It continues to connect founders with capital, expertise and powerful regional and global networks to help them succeed.
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