Kuala Lumpur has more than the Petronas Towers. Here are 3 upcoming startups you should not miss in 2017

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December 28, 2016

Last week, we introduced our coverage on Kuala Lumpur with the city’s ecosystem report as part of our Oddup X ASEAN Series #4. As mentioned in the report, we expect to see more startup activity and media attention in Kuala Lumpur’s startup ecosystem in 2017.

Here are three upcoming startups we have been watching at Oddup, From different industries including ecommerce, transportation and recruitment, these startups are helping grow the ecosystem in Kuala Lumpur.

 

iPrice

 

 

Company Description

Co-Founders: Heinrich Wendel, David Chmelař

Industry: Ecommerce

iPrice is an ecommerce platform for users to discover new items, compare prices, and use coupons to get the discounts in Southeast Asia. The platform is a meta-search platform covering electronics & gaming and fashion & beauty in 6 Southeast Asia countries and Hong Kong.

What do we like/dislike about this startup?

 Product: We like the idea of meta-search platform for consumer products, which functions as a marketing platform for its partners (traditional ecommerce platform like Zalora, Lazada, Qoo10 and Reebonz) who are willing to pay for referral traffic. We believe this one-stop and consolidated destination positioning is smart, especially under this booming period of ecommerce, where users will see many new ecommerce website every day. iPrice can save users’ time from browsing more and more websites.

 Marketing: In our view, iPrice is trying to takes advantage of the growing Southeast Asia e-commerce market and significant consumer demand from >600 million population. We believe it is well positioned and its newly secured US$4 million series A funding could provide sufficient resources for expansion in the next two years, when we expect to see a booming year for ecommerce development in the region.

Competition: Traditional ecommerce platforms are not its competitors, but revenue sources. In our view, we expect competition in the Southeast Asia ecommerce field to be more intense. However, the intensifying competition would benefit iPrice as traditional ecommerce platforms would need to rely on the startup to increase traffic and market shares. Even better, some industry giants may choose to acquire the company (Ctrip’s acquisition of Skyscanner is a good example from travel industry).

 Company expansion: We believe the company is already doing a good job in terms of country coverage. In 2017, we expect its focus to be marketing (acquiring users), business development (securing more partnerships) and most importantly, the mobile version. So far, we do not see any mobile version of the product and we believe it is critical as social-commerce and mobile-commerce is the key for Southeast Asia.

Also Read: WOW! Early X’mas for Skyscanner’s Staff (est. £122m in the pocket)

 

Kaodim

 

 

Company Description

Co-Founders: Jeffri Cheong, Choong Fui-Yu

Industry: Recruitment & Job Marketplace

Kaodim is a services marketplace in Southeast Asia. The company aims to providing a faster, more dependable way to hire services users need, from plumbers to photographers. The company name “Kaodim” is the same as “Done” in Cantonese.

What do we like/dislike about this startup?

 Product: Service marketplace is nothing new in many countries. However, it is relatively new in Southeast Asia and it seems working. According to the company, Kaodim‘s platform has achieved US$10 million GMV in the first 4 months of operation. In our view the rapid rump-up of the transaction amount has already proven that there is demand for the services. Looking ahead, the growing income level and increase in middle class in the region will further underpin the demand.

 Investor and Partnership: Including the US$4.0 million series A in November 2015, the company is now backed by many famous names in Southeast Asia, including East Venture, 500 Startups and KK Fund. We believe the network and industry knowledge from these investors will bring significant value to the company in the next round of expansion.

Company expansion: In our view, what holds key for service marketplace like Kaodim is the coverage, both geographical and product coverage, since the amount is relatively small per transaction. We believe Kaodim is doing well in both areas. It is already operating in Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Johor in Malaysia, Manila in the Philippines, and Singapore, we expect to see further regional expansion in 2017. Meanwhile, Kaodim also expanded its product offerings to include services in the home, lifestyle, wellness, education and business categories.

 Competition: When the market could be big and with high potential, there are existing competitors too. For example, Malaysia based ServisHero (backed by Golden Gate Ventures) and RecomN are direct competitors in Malaysia when we also see Seekmi in Indonesia.

Also Read: Oddup’s Kuala Lumpur Startup Ecosystem Report

 

CatchThatBus

 

 

Company Description

Co-Founders: Ashwin Jeyapalasingam, Viren Doshi

Industry: Transportation

CatchThatBus is an online travel agent (OTA) that specialises in bus-related travel in SE Asia. The company focuses mainly on cross-border bus service between Malaysia and Singapore.

What do we like/dislike about this startup?

 Product: In our view, the service could be well positioned for the large amount of migrant workers flowing between Singapore from Malaysia. This is especially true when the Malaysia government is now trying to develop Johor region (which is right next to the border) as another business hub outside Kuala Lumpur.

 Company Expansion: We see potentials for online booking platform for bus service in Southeast Asia as people rely more on bus as key transportation mode due to the relatively poor infrastructure. Therefore, after using the cross-country business as a foundation, we believe the company can replicate its model and apply it to intra-city bus service too.

 Competition: There’ve been a number of services similar to CatchThatBus running in Asia. BusOnlineTicket is one example. India’s RedBus is probably the most successful example of such a startup, and it’s now eyeing Southeast Asia for expansion.

Also Read: Oddup’s Kuala Lumpur Startup Ecosystem Report

 

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Want More?

If you’re keen to read more, about deeper analysis and similar startups, or want more in depth analysis about startups, visit us at Oddup.com.

 

 

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