4 min read

Daily Markup #41: Here’s how this flower delivery platform went from doom to bloom

500 Southeast Asia Team



Digitalization is now a need.

The digital bloom

  • For 500-backed flower delivery platform BloomThis, the coronavirus crisis spelled doom.
  • Fresh off a profitable run during the Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year period, the five-year-old company found itself right smack dab in the middle of a crippling pandemic that is shutting down weddings and large-scale gatherings.
  • Revenue dipped to almost zero. Overseas suppliers had stopped sending in flowers to create the exquisite bouquets many have come to love.
Credit: Vulcan Post
  • But BloomThis persevered. It started sourcing flowers from local vendors. It also doubled down on the tech front, focusing on streamlining e-commerce and operations.
  • Giden and his wife Penny expanded the business beyond flowers by offering toys, chocolates, balloons and cakes.
  • “…we continued to execute the plans that we had around food products like cakes and ice-cream, bundling them with the flowers,” Giden adds. The reception has been positive.
  • Speaking to The Edge Malaysia, co-founder Giden Lim said that the company saw the importance of going digital early on and consistent strategy through the years has paid off amidst this crisis.
  • You can read the full interview with Giden here.

Data for mental health

  • We’re living in stressful times. Possibly even more so with what’s going on at the moment.
  • 500-backed Naluri recognizes the importance of advocating for mental wellness. It combines data science with expertise pooled from its group of mental health professionals, and matches them with machine learning tools to help people cope with their unique struggles.
  • Co-founder Dr. Jeremy Ting talks to Mashable Southeast Asia on the importance of digital healthcare and curated mental wellness programs as society eases its way into a “new normal”.
Credit: Naluri
  • Social distancing measures have made face-to-face consultations difficult. This is where Naluri steps in. It lets users interact with mental health professionals via the app. Through these conversations, Naluri analyzes chat behaviors and patterns. The data is then collated for the Naluri team so they can better understand psychological distress.
  • “By looking at these patterns and comparing it across large populations we can create leading signals for our team to reach out to individuals. This transforms the entire model of care from a reactionary one to a pro-active one,” Ting says.
  • In the interview, Ting speaks at length about the future of mental health care in the next 10 years.

How to WFH safely

  • Mobile working is no more an anomaly, but business as usual. This had led to a spike in phishing and other cybercrime activities. So how do you stay safe in the vast, interconnected cyberspace?
  • At workplaces, you may have a dedicated person taking care of cybersecurity measures. But when you’re remote, away from the office, you may need to pay extra attention to it yourself.
  • Granted, the intricacies of cybersecurity may be hard to grasp. That’s exactly why 500-backed Horangi has released the Work From Home Cybersecurity Explained edition.
  • WFH cybersecurity risks and how to guard against them explained 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