Unlike past editions, the investment firm held preliminary events at their regional offices in Seoul, Beijing, and Jakarta prior to the finals where 15 teams, including 5 foreign startups, competed by pitching their product to attendees.
Last year smartphone-based livestreaming app TwitCasting won the top prize, and the startup subsequently fundraised $5 million. Among the 15 participating startups this time, Space Market was chosen as the audience favorite.
Top prize winner: Space Market (also winning the Recruit Career prize and the Sumitomo Fudosan prize)
Space Market lists unused or idle venues and allows users to pick one to rent on demand for business needs such as corporate meetings, shareholder meetings, training courses, and other events. Reservations are made online.
2nd Prize winner: Hachimenroppi (also winning the AGS Consulting prize)
Hachimenroppi buys fish from markets and brokers across the country and delivers it to Japanese restaurants or diners, according to specific needs. It was previously outlined in specific details about how it works, so please check it out
3rd Prize winner: VIP Plaza (from Indonesia)
Co-founded by former Rakuten Indonesia director Tesong Kim and former investment banker Yoga S. Sugiharto. VIP Plaza lists fashion items from international and Indonesian brands at daily discounts of 30% to 80%. They plan to add other categories like men’s fashion, beauty and home products, aiming for expansion into other countries in Southeast Asia.
The Tohmatsu prize winner: Utagoe
Utagoe’s Moment Diary is a free journal app with a calendar, allowing users to make notes with timestamps, adding texts, images, videos, and audio. Since its launch in January 2011, the app has acquired over 5 million unique users with 30 million downloads from 211 countries on iOS and Google Play. Women in Asia region make up the majority of users. The company plans to integrate the app with wearable devices. They fundraised from KLab and KLab Ventures in January.
The SMBC Nikko Securities Prize winner: iCare
ICare provides a cloud-based medical record management platform for occupational physicians called Catchball. It helps physicians better serve patients and share updates with the companies that these patients are working for to improve their working conditions.
The Intelligence Prize winner: Glider Associates
Glider Associates provides news curation app Antenna, which delivers over 600 articles from over 230 news media oulets. Big companies had been allocating promotion budgets for mass media advertising for many years, but the company thinks it can encourage these companies to partially set it aside to run native ad promotions on the news app. They plan to launch an English version for global expansion.
The following startups did not win but gave interesting pitches.
Bequ.com is a travel-focused social networking service, allowing users to connect with official tour guides and fellow travelers. It also provides tools to create travel plans and record travel experiences.
Pocket Supernova provides a video clip decoration and sharing app called Unda, which allows users to create 20-second video message clips for private use as well as for sharing with other users. They graduated from 500 Startups. See our previous interview with the Pocket Supernova team.
Developers of the Oriflamme team previously worked at DeNA where they produced the global hit game Blood Brothers. They want to overwhelm the global market with castle building RTS (real-time strategy) games as well as social games casting popular characters.
Toyro provides a comparison platform focused on life insurance and medical insurance products called Insnext, gwhich gives the best answer to consumers using the life expenses simulator. The company fundraised an undisclosed sum of investment from CyberAgent Ventures in November.
Kabuku provides a 3D printing marketplace called Rinkak, where anyone with 3D data can open shops on the platform and sell products based on their designs. The startup fundraised $2 million from CyberAgent Ventures, Fuji Startup Ventures, and Nissay Capital in June.
Japanese beverage company Calpis runs a time-limited promotion campaign using the Rinkak 3D printing platform where a user can win a “miniature statue” with his or her face by uploading their portrait.
Tunedra is an iOS app that allows users to create original songs. When singing or humming a tune while launching the app, it will automatically add chords or an accompaniment to the melody and allow the user to share it with others.
Matchmove Global (Indonesia)
Matchmove Global provides an entertainment platform for international brands. As credit cards are not common in Southeast Asia, the company issues pre-paid cards approved by global credit card brands and sells them to consumers at convenience stores or retail stores.
Similar to regular credit cards, their pre-paid cards have unique card numbers so that users can settle online payments at e-commerce or in-game app purchases by entering the numbers.
- Disclaimer: The author was one of the selection judges. ↩