Indonesia: Convergence leads $2.1m funding into Thai startup Helpster

Convergence Ventures has led a $2.1 million seed round of investment into Thailand-based startup Helpster, with participation from Wavemaker Partners and other strategic investors. The funding will mainly be used to accelerate product development and to fund its recent expansion into Indonesia, the VC said.

Started in January 2016, Helpster is a blue collar staffing platform that helps people in the services industry find jobs. It connects businesses in F&B, hospitality, events and logistics to a large network of curated and verified workers.

“We are very excited about the next phase in our journey as we expand into Indonesia, and are honored to have the support of both Convergence and Wavemaker as we work to make it easier for businesses and job seekers to make valuable connections, and improve the overall efficiency of the labour market,” said John Srivorakul, co-founder of Helpster.

Workers on Helpster are available for both permanent and temporary employment, making it easy for businesses to find staff for urgent short term work assignments.

There are over 100 million people and over $200 billion in wages paid every year to this sector of the workforce in South East Asia.

Mathew Ward, co-founder and CEO of Helpster said, there is a tremendous opportunity to reinvent the way hiring works, especially with increasing smartphone and internet penetration in this sector.

“We started Helpster after speaking with many businesses in these sectors who still cite hiring and staffing as their biggest pain point in running their business,” said Mathew Ward, Co-Founder & CEO of Helpster.

“They were looking for a solution that enabled them to tap into the large labour supply quickly and cost efficiently, and traditional methods such as job boards or agencies weren’t fast enough and just didn’t deliver the quality of workers they required. Helpster is changing that,” he added.

After launching in Thailand in April, Helpster has quickly grown to over 35 staff in Bangkok and Jakarta. They have also recently hired Pear Moskwa, former Head of GrabTaxi in Thailand, as Helpster’s new Thailand CEO.

Commenting on the recent investment, managing partner at Convergence Ventures Adrian Li said that the enormous, fast growing F&B and hospitality sector in Indonesia will benefit from the app.

“Mat and John are exceptional entrepreneurs with successful operating history in technology enabled businesses… we’re excited to join them on this journey to create a revolutionary hiring platform for the region,” Li said in a statement.

Led by Li and Donald Wihardja, Convergence Ventures is one of Indonesia’s most active VC firms. The company recently announced the final close of Convergence Capital I with over $30 million in commitments, or 20 per cent higher than the original target of $25 million.

The fund has already invested in over 17 seed and early stage startups, many of which have raised up-rounds demonstrating clear market leadership. These companies include local restaurant review and search directory Qraved and social dating application Paktor, which recently closed its last round led by Yahoo Japan.

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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.