4 min read

Daily Markup #297: Aerodyne taps into Italy’s US$17B planned infrastructure works; Koo welcomes the president of Nigeria within first week of app launch; Neuron Mobility reduces congestion & air pollution in the UK

500 Southeast Asia Team



Credit: Alessandro di Marco/EPA-EFE

Taking wing

  • 500-backed drone startup Aerodyne Group announced a collaboration with Dron-e to offer drone solutions in infrastructure maintenance and agriculture in the Italian market.
  • Founder and Group CEO of Aerodyne, Kamarul A. Muhamed said, “This strategic collaboration is synergistic and will allow both parties to service the US$17 billion works planned in the Italian and pan-European electricity grid segment for the next ten-year period.”
  • He estimated that the Italian infrastructure inspection market was worth about US$900 million in 2020. It is forecasted to grow annually by 3% in the next 5 years.
  • The startup claims that its AI-powered asset management solution, vertikaliti, lowers costs by 15% and shortens inspection times by 4x.
  • Read the full story on Digital News Asia here.
Credit: The Dispatch

Hatching a new plan

  • 500-backed micro-blogging platform Koo recently launched in Nigeria. Within a week, the government and the president of Nigeria joined the platform.
  • The app has since been downloaded more than 250,000 times in the country. Koo is available in 8 languages, including English, and claims over 7 million downloads in total.
  • “[We] are now planning to introduce local Nigerian languages as well, which will enable wide adoption of the platform,” revealed co-founder and CEO Aprameya Radhakrishna.
  • He said the startup is focused on growing aggressively in India while expanding globally through its entry into Nigeria. “These experiences will enable us to launch in other countries,” he said, adding that there are countries across Southeast Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe where the majority of the population are non-English speakers.
  • Read the full interview on Goa Chronicle here.
Credit: micromobilitybiz

A safe and sustainable ride

  • 500-backed e-scooter startup Neuron Mobility has released the findings from its rider survey, showing that 40% of its e-scooter rides have replaced journeys that typically would have been made in a car.
  • An almost even split was found when it came to the type of trips that were taken on Neuron’s e-scooters. One half was for commuting, getting to appointments, and completing jobs, while the remaining half was for leisure and recreation.
  • George Symes, Expansion Manager at the startup, said: “It’s really encouraging to see how well our e-scooters have been embraced in the cities that we operate in — and the data proves that they are helping to boost the local economy as it recovers from the effects COVID-19.”
  • A spokesperson at Newcastle City Council added that the e-scooters also help to reduce congestion and improve air quality by displacing car journeys.
  • Read the full article here.

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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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500 Southeast Asia Team