Singapore Digest: UK’s Entrepreneur First unveils latest cohort; WhatsHalal raises funding

Entrepreneur First co-founders Alice Bentinck and Matthew Clifford

Entrepreneur First, a UK-based deep-tech talent investor, has unveiled its latest cohort of 19 deep tech startups in Asia. In a separate development, Singapore-based foodtech startup WhatsHalal has secured an undisclosed funding from FundedHere.

UK’s Entrepreneur First unveils 19 startups in latest cohort 

UK-based deep-tech talent investor Entrepreneur First has unveiled its latest cohort of 19 deep tech startups from Asia from countries such as Singapore, India (Bengaluru city) and Hong Kong, according to a statement.

The startups will pitch their ideas to investors to solve some of the biggest global challenges in businesses, environment, and society at large. These could be as diverse as programming smart microbes to replace synthetic materials with sustainable products, to an intelligent platform that monitors the performance of electric vehicle batteries.

“While Asia has made leaps and bounds in the adoption of digital technologies, deep tech is still largely at a nascent stage and we’ve barely scratched the surface,” said Entrepreneur First co-founder and CEO Matt Clifford.

“Our latest Asia cohort represents the vast potential, diversity and innovative spirit in the region’s deep tech ecosystem. We’ve seen such extraordinary growth in Asia, and we look forward to continuing working with these exceptional people to change the world,” he said.

Since its entry into Asia in 2016, Entrepreneur First has supported more than 600 co-founders, who have built over 120 companies across the region. The application process for its next cohort in Asia is currently open and it is slated to close on May 31, 2020. The next cycle of the programme will start in July 2020.

The startups in the current cohort comprise Healium Digital Health, Qzense, Real Analytics, Recreate, Sensight, UnboxRobotics, OPEN, PixCap, RC Labs, Spidfier, Energy Lite, Fairphonics, Lytehouse, Milkyway, Navarasa, Plutwo, Poseidon, Quantship, and TeOra.

Singapore’s WhatsHalal raises seed funding

Singapore’s foodtech startup WhatsHalal announced that it has secured the first tranche of seed funding from FundedHere, a Singapore’s first Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) licensed crowdfunding platform.

The company said in a statement that the investment, which brings the company’s valuation to S$4.5 million ($3.2 million), will mainly be allocated to fund WhatsHalal’s regional expansion and develop its proprietary technology platform, which provides enterprise solutions to the ‘halal’ industry.

WhatsHalal’s Assurance and Traceability Management System (ATeMS) allows companies to make quick decisions to enter any halal market globally with information about its products and ingredients.

ATeMS claims to enable merchants to reduce the time taken to prepare certification documentation by up to 66 per cent and to cut the total cost of obtaining ‘halal certification’ by up to 50 per cent.

Since its inception in late 2019, the ATeMS has gradually begun onboarding merchants in Singapore and is planning to begin onboarding merchants in Indonesia and the region from the second quarter this year.

According to data from research and advisory firm DinarStandard, the global Muslim spending across lifestyle sectors is expected to grow to $3.2 trillion by 2024, with spending on ‘halal food’ projected to reach $1.97 billion in 2024.

WhatsHalal is enrolled in Batch 6 of Plug and Play Indonesia’s innovation program and was also a part of the first batch of startups participating in Tribe Accelerator, Singapore’s first government-supported blockchain accelerator.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.