Malaysia: 1337 Ventures to invest in three startups

Visual of 1337 Ventures homepage.

Malaysia’s 1337 Ventures will invest in three startup ventures following a recent Alpha Startups pre-accelerator programme. These teams will receive $25,0000 in funding, AWS support and mentorship.

These ventures are DobyBox, a 24/7 Mobile-powered locker laundry collection service; HomeTaste, an on-demand, home cooked meals service which saw Andy Sitt from 123RF co-investing; and Bayar, a social mobile wallet that secured additional funding from undisclosed angels from Seek Asia and Google Japan.

“Sometimes an early stage startup needs connections and access more than money. We’re glad that some of the mentors that dropped by not only gave advice but also helped open doors. In the case of DobyBox, the founder gained access to pilot his service in 2 new locations.” said Bikesh Lakhmichand, founding partner of 1337 Ventures. 

The Demo Day gathered investors from various local and international VCs, angel investors and aspiring corporates like Digi that are taking an interest in working with startups.

Out of the 20 teams that were accepted into the programme, 11 gained entry to the demo day. Of these, more than half were at the ideation stage with no minimum viable products (MVPs) and the remaining had basic prototypes.

“With each batch, the level of applicants are significantly improving. We’re seeing more domain experts attempting to launch products to significantly expand their businesses,” adds Lakhmichand.

According to Lakhmichand, these currently range from an accountant attempting to build a micro-SME focused tax and accounting system to a launderette owner (DobyBox) attempting to find new ways to scale the existing business.

“We are inspired to see HomeTaste progress further in their quest to liberate urbanites in search of local meals on demand. They were graduates of the inaugural Digi Incub8 programme in partnership with Alpha Startups, which was aimed at nurturing early stage ideas from East Malaysia. This team and recent graduates of Alpha Startups has proven that there is plenty of promise in young Malaysians launching viable businesses.” said Praveen Rajan, Head of Digi-X.

The next intake of Alpha Startups will be focused on the game development vertical and jointly organised with Media Prima Labs and with the support of MDEC and Digi.

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