We're in our third year running Iterative, but it feels like we're just getting started. This is our fifth batch of companies for Summer 2022 - and our biggest one yet.
We've received over 430+ applications, spent over 200+ hours on interviews (thank you, visiting partners!) and selected these 19 amazing companies.
Iterative Summer 2022
- Barikoi (Bangladesh) - Mapping API’s and solutions for Bangladesh
- Bueno! (Singapore) - B2B buy-now-pay-later software
- ConcreteAI (Singapore) - Real-time concrete strength monitoring
- Coverio (Singapore) - Payroll using crypto payment rails
- Gobble (Singapore) - Discounted group-buy for take out with friends
- Kipin (Indonesia) - Access to education for schools with no internet
- Metabox (Singapore) - Hyper casual puzzle games as a gateway to the Metaverse
- Mindpod (Vietnam) - Tiktok for short-form audios
- Nodeflair (Singapore) - Career transparency platform for tech talent
- Oyen (Malaysia) - Malaysia's best pet insurance
- Qalboo (Indonesia) - Islamic wellbeing platform
- Rebel (Singapore)- Consumer fitness content and coaching app
- Soulgood Health (Hong Kong) - Premium online mental health therapy
- Thrive EdTech (Bangladesh) - Personalised tutoring at scale
- ULive (Malaysia) - Live-commerce platform for social media sellers
- Waffle (Singapore) - Point of sale that gets FnBs more sales
- Worq Health (Singapore) - Marketplace for on-demand healthcare professionals
- Yippy (Indonesia) - Corporate gifting API to gift at scale
- YPay Financial Services (Pakistan) - The easiest investing app for Pakistan
The program is underway, and the founders are already heads down, hard at work. To the founders, thank you for having us onboard your journey! We're excited to be working with you.
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Mapping API’s and solutions for Bangladesh
Having accurate geocode for mapping is a basic need of all internet services - we need goods delivered to the right locations, we need to know where our fleets (e.g. ambulances, buses) are, we need to know where to go for an open house.
In Bangladesh, this infrastructure just hasn’t been done properly. Google Maps doesn’t even get you close.
Not only has Barikoi built this dataset and infrastructure, it goes even further and integrates direct solutions into companies that don’t have the engineering muscles to do it themselves.
B2B buy-now-pay-later software
Businesses look for financing (BNPL) solutions, but often don’t have the resources (or know how) to build it themselves. They’d rather focus on their own core competencies.
Bueno! will be the plug-and-play solution for them. Want financing options for your customers, suppliers and vendors, and not have to worry about late payments, defaults, reporting or underwriting? Let Bueno! handle it for you.
Real-time concrete strength monitoring
Concrete quality during the curing process today is still tested with manual means. Workers will make extra blocks of concrete and crush them at different stages to make sure slabs are cured properly. The process is manual, creating not just large delays in projects, but also large amounts of concrete and CO2 emission waste.
ConcreteAI solves this with an embedded device that monitors strength and temperature in real-time, speeding up project schedules, reducing waste and ensuring quality. The cost and manpower savings outweigh the low cost of the device, so it’s not inconceivable that every poured concrete project will be using ConcreteAI in the near future.
Payroll using crypto payment rails
Traditional payments infrastructure is fraught with inefficiencies and middlemen creating fees at every step. While intermediaries serve a purpose, the infrastructure was built decades ago - and inefficiencies still exist today because it’s just too costly to switch.
Coverio uses crypto payment rails to decrease two things: the cost of transactions (by 1000x) and speed of transaction (from days to minutes). The use cases for a 10x improvement in cost and speed of moving money is endless. Coverio will start with payroll and eat every adjacent market that requires moving money (there’s a lot!)
Discounted group-buy for take out with friends
The pandemic gave rise to food deliveries, but now that lockdowns aren't likely to return and social dining is in, what's next? Group-buy takeout. Most of us, especially students and young working adults, are already doing this - we just don't have a platform for it.
Gobble is filling in the gap. It's the take-out app for friends, where group orders can easily be made. Want to save more with group discounts when eating out with friends? Use Gobble. Not sure what to have for lunch? You can use social media platforms to discover new places, but you can't follow your friend's exact orders or get discounts from there. On Gobble, you can. The takeout market is huge in Southeast Asia, and Gobble is tapping right into it.
Access to education for schools with no internet
Kipin enables digital learning for hundreds (and soon thousands!) of rural schools in Indonesia who don’t have internet access. They do this by providing a device pre-loaded with tens of thousands of books, videos, quizzes and curriculum content that connect with student and teacher devices.
Schools love them and more than 80 million books have already been downloaded and interacted with. The internet has enabled a pace of learning that we’ve never seen before. We love Kipin because not only is it a great business, it’ll enable 30M+ students and an entire generation of students to reach their full potential.
Hyper casual puzzle games as a gateway to the Metaverse
Wordle captured the minds and imaginations of a global population and showed that simple well-designed puzzle games can reach, well, pretty much everyone in a short amount of time. Unfortunately, they were acquired and the innovation stopped.
Metabox picks up where they left off and is creating puzzle games using AI mechanics. Its first game, Arti.GG, is already in private beta, and soon everyone around you will be playing it.
- Logan Ye (CEO)
TikTok for short-form audios
TikTok created the genre for short form addictive video, but no one has done it for audio. Audio is interesting because the format lends itself to underutilised times during the day - during commutes, at the gym, while doing chores, on walks, etc.
Your hands or eyes get tired, but your ears rarely do. Podcasts have exploded in usage, but what does the short form version look like? What about the version of audio that looks like trends, memes, and other mixes of user-generated content? We think Mindpod has the winning solution (they’re already exploding in Vietnam!) and are excited to watch it gain mass adoption.
Career transparency platform for tech talent
Salary transparency is rarely practised in Southeast Asia, which makes it difficult for professionals to know what fair compensation looks like. It’s just as hard for employers to know what to pay employees.
Nodeflair wants to change this. They're bringing transparency to salaries and work cultures - we think of them a bit like Glassdoor (a unicorn co) for the region. As Southeast Asia matures, it’s inevitable that employees will want to work for the best companies. Smart employers who want to attract the best talent will need to move from incentivising through pay to providing the best work culture. We think Nodeflair will be the first place job seekers go to vet companies, which means companies will need to be there to get the best talent.
Malaysia's best pet insurance
Pets are like family. As incomes continue to rise in SEA, a growing number of families are adopting the standard of care we see in more developed markets for their pets. That means frequent vet visits, medications, preventive care, etc.
It’s getting more expensive to own and take care of pets and insurance is starting to flip from a nice-to-have to a must-have. We think what’s more interesting is that most products like pet insurance haven’t actually worked as well because they needed to be sold via agents on the ground. This is starting to change in Southeast Asia as digital adoption becomes the norm.
Oyen is breaking through the noise by being a D2C insurance play - changing cost structures to reach a new population of underserved customers.
Islamic wellbeing platform
In Southeast Asia, conversations around mental health still carry a negative stigma. This is especially apparent in religious communities, as there's a common belief that poor mental health equates to weak faith. For Muslims, the intersection goes much deeper. There are Islamic laws that aren't aligned with modern techniques, making it harder for Muslims to seek help, let alone speak openly about it.
Qalboo is changing this narrative. The mindfulness and mental well-being app is faith-based - providing Muslims self-care tools and solutions that are integrated with Islamic values.
Consumer fitness content and coaching app
Rebel works with over 200+ trainers, nutritionists and mental health experts to create high quality, accessible content for millions of users in Asia. Fitness and coaching is one of those categories that historically has been hard to monetise and scale... but Rebel’s been able to get this right with premium content produced by excellent coaches in the Philippines. They’ll be expanding into more tier 1 cities like Hong Kong soon to (1) help people get started on their health & fitness journey (2) keep them accountable.
Premium online mental health therapy
Soulgood Health was started by doctors who deeply understand the problems behind the topic of mental health in Asia - access is difficult, improvement is slow, and finding the right therapist is difficult. Soulgood solves this by being a premium service that finds and trains only the best therapists (there's a <10% acceptance rate) to patients. The process can get started as fast as within the hour for text therapy, 1-2 days for online video therapy. That's significantly faster than traditional centres, where therapists are often booked weeks in advance. They’re already signed with the largest digital insurance company in Hong Kong to include their services.
Personalised tutoring at scale
Thrive’s mission is to educate the masses at a fraction of the cost. Today, they do this with a personalised study app targeted around major vocational and educational tests in Bangladesh. With features like weakness identification, targeted practices, instant photo-based solving, and data-driven cohort classes, Thrive’s product speaks for itself. The gap for high quality digitalised (and personalised) learning products in emerging markets is still huge - Thrive’s solution is one of the best we’ve seen in the category.
Live-commerce platform for social media sellers
The pandemic accelerated the growth of livestream commerce - and there aren't any signs of it slowing down anytime soon. Consumers are spending hours on their phones live shopping now and it occupies an estimated 44% of a $109B Asian e-commerce market. Launched only 10 months ago, ULive equips 300+ of its live sellers with essential functions for their live-sellers: product listings, inventory management, payments, analytics, etc. We think ULive has just scratched the surface of its full potential.
- Bryant Khor (CEO)
- Vivien Wee (CPO)
- Ka Weng Kong (CTO)
- Tan Hooi Sin (COO)
- Joycelyn Khoo (Account and Finance)
Point of sale that gets FnBs more sales
Waffle is building a CRM-POS system combo that allows merchants to know exactly what customers bought what items at their stores. With this data, they’re able to allow merchants to send personalised discounts and campaigns to get customers to come back more often and increase referrals. They’re a next-gen loyalty program. Want to send discounts to your most loyal customers for 50% off their next boba tea? Or a buy 1 get 1 free coupon for all tier 1 or 2 customers that refer a friend? Waffle can do that for you. They already have tens of thousands of members across hundreds of locations in Singapore.
Waffle is equipping a generation of local businesses to own their customers' lifecycle, and better yet, turn data into real dollars.
Marketplace for on-demand healthcare professionals
The demand for nurses is far greater than the supply. Understaffing is common in hospitals, and it doesn't help that the traditional nursing agencies are both inefficient and expensive. Worq Health uses matching technology to connect nurses to hospitals for on-demand shift work. This way, healthcare facilities can easily scale according to patient demands (which reduces costs), while nurses can earn more, and have the flexibility in deciding when and where to work. A win-win for everyone.
Corporate gifting API to gift at scale
Corporate gifting is almost like tradition in Indonesia - relations matter, and gifting is business etiquette 101. But the gifting process is time consuming, and more importantly, completely manual. Yippy turns gifting into an API. Want to gift something to employees at their 1 year anniversaries? Hook Yippy up to your HR system and they can do that. Want to send a nice gift to customers when they purchase, or even better, when they are just about to purchase? Yippy can do that too. Yippy takes care of everything for you (personalisation, logistics, packaging, automation, etc) so that you don’t have to think about it.
The easiest investing app for Pakistan
YPay is Pakistan's first regulated online mutual fund platform - and also our first investment in the country 🎉
It’s inevitable for investments (mutual funds, stocks, crypto, etc) to move entirely online and we believe YPay's in a prime position to win this market first in Pakistan. They’re already seeing high double digit growth monthly and already in partnerships with 80% of the largest asset managers in the country.