Malaysia’s RHL Ventures invests in US-based tech startup Sidestep

RHL Ventures' Partners Lionel Leong, Rachel Lau and Raja Hamzah

Malaysia-based venture capital firm RHL Ventures has invested an undisclosed amount in US-based technology startup Sidestep Technologies Inc along with other A list co-investors in Hollywood, marking RHL’s first investment in the West, it said in a statement Friday.

Among others that have invested in the company are music mogul and singer Beyoncé Knowles’ music manager Troy Carter, actor Jared Leto, Jamie McCourt — former CEO of Los Angeles Dodgers and Chris Cornell of Manhead Merchandise.

Sidestep is a mobile commerce application with the slogan “Skip the Line” and creates a platform that allows their users to skip long queues during live music events when buying merchandise and other exclusive items. Instead, fans attending such events can pre-order their merchandise through the app and pick up their order at the show.

This allows for better planning in terms of stock the new solution to skipping queues and achieving a more efficient and enjoyable concert experience. Also, this leads to less leftover merchandise and fewer missed sales.

“RHL Ventures is excited to be part of Sidestep’s journey as they present the much needed innovation and disruption to the live event merchandising business.” said Raja Hamzah, Partner of RHL Ventures.

Sidestep is based in Los Angeles, CA and founded by Eric Jones (CEO) and Matt Gardner (CTO) in 2014 . It has helped artists such as Beyoncé, Adele and Fall Out Boy significantly increase sales of their concert merchandises.

Moreover, in addition to improving customer experience for fans, Sidestep provides artists and merchandisers with transparency and access to real time sales data, leading to more efficient procurement process.

“While the live event merchandising business is a billion dollar industry in the US, the industry is a nascent industry in Asia and we see great opportunities in replicating its success here in Asia Pacific as well as extending the verticals into sports,” Hamzah said.

RHL Ventures, the firm that was started in 2015 looks at investing in tech firms however in an interaction last year, Hamzah had told DEALSTREETASIA that while the firm was sector-agnostic, there were a few areas where it looked to make investments based on the strength of its promoters, including financial services, property, health and wellness and health care.

Besides their investment in Sidestep, RHL Ventures has also recently announced its maiden investment in Singaporean technology startup Perx, a mobile customer engagement platform.

Further, RHL is aiming to expand their investments mainly across Southeast Asia, making their investment in Sidestep their first foray into the West.

Also Read:

Malaysia’s RHL Ventures open to longer exit horizon, to lend strategic support to investees

Malaysia’s RHL Ventures invests in customer engagement platform firm Perx

Malaysia: Cradle partners six more, will put $3.26m together in tech 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.