SEA Digest: SG’s Pulsifi raises $1.8m; Grab Ventures Ignite Vietnam announces 5 winners

Five startup winners at Grab Ventures Ignite's awards ceremony

Singapore- and Malaysia-based AI human resources platform Pulsifi announced on Wednesday that it has raised $1.8 million in angel funding, while Grab Ventures Ignite has announced five Vietnamese startups as winners in its first batch.

HR startup Pulsifi raises $1.8m

Singapore- and Malaysia-based AI human resource platform Pulsifi announced on Wednesday that it has raised $1.8 million in angel funding, which will boost its plans to expand to Europe and also accelerate product enhancement.

New investors in this round included Malaysia’s industrial supplier KVC group of companies’ founder Aaron Chen, Malaysia-based venture capital firm Kairous Capital, and Singapore’s online supermarket RedMart co-founder and former CTO Rajesh Lingappa, who were joined by existing investors, Pulsifi said.

This investment brings Pulsifi’s total funding to $4 million, the company said.

With this latest round of funding, Pulsifi aims to strengthen its product development across the talent lifecycle from hiring selection, to high-potential employee management, personalised learning, and development.

“With COVID-19, we had to adapt our plans for 2020. We are fortunate to still hit the goals we set out to achieve. During the pandemic, we expanded to serving customers in the healthcare, high-growth manufacturing, and telco sectors,” said Pulsifi co-founder and CEO Jay Huang. “As employers became more selective in hiring, we took the opportunity to enhance our platform to better support our customers with existing employees as well.”

Pulsifi is expanding its market coverage through partners, from Southeast Asia to Europe. Pulsifi is also strategically partnered with SAP SuccessFactors, a human capital management software platform.

Pulsifi has operational bases in Malaysia and Singapore, and customers in six Southeast Asian countries including food and beverages giant Nestlé, beer company Heineken, Singapore-based telco Singtel, Malaysia-based glove company Hartalega, among others.

Pulsifi’s People Data Platform predicts outcomes of people at work with over 90 per cent accuracy, helping enterprises significantly improve quality and efficiency in talent acquisition and talent management, the company said.

Grab Ventures Ignite Vietnam announces 5 winners

Grab Ventures Ignite, an accelerator programme for early-stage startups in Vietnam, has announced bePOS, Stringee, GoDee, Papaya, and Vbee as the five winners of its first batch.

This milestone marks the successful completion of Grab Venture Ignite’s first-year of nurturing the tech startup ecosystem and growing the next generation of technology leaders in Vietnam, according to an announcement.

Since launch last year, Grab Ventures Ignite has been supporting 13 participating startups by equipping them with practical knowledge and experience to thrive their businesses in the new normal. The programme is part of the ‘Grab for Good’ development roadmap in the country.

“Many startups have challenges in scaling past the early stage due to difficulties in optimising funds, scaling effectively in a high-growth and dynamic market, and pivoting business models to cope with the rapidly changing landscape,” said Nguyen Thai Hai Van, Managing Director of Grab Vietnam.

Vietnam is the first country where Grab introduced Grab Ventures Ignite, even as the Singapore-headquartered firm kicked off its regional post-seed startup programme Grab Ventures Velocity in 2018, which has supported 15 startups across two batches.

The six-month accelerator programme has signed a strategic partnership with Vietnam’s National Innovation Center, an entity under the local investment ministry, to jointly execute the initiative. Grab Ventures Ignite has also collaborated with Gobi Partners, Vietnam-based Toong Coworking Space, law firm YKVN and Amazon Web Services to provide support to startups.

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.