We're stoked for everyone to meet Iterative’s Summer 2023 batch! (If you've been following us on LinkedIn, you might have already seen the full list.)
This time around, we got to meet the founders in person because we hosted an in-person kickoff in Bali! We held office hours and workshops to share Iterative's Methodology so that founders have a common language for the next three months, invited speakers like Tessa Wijaya, Aaron Yip and Rob Liu to share their knowledge, and connected with each other to kick off the program.
For this batch alone, we've received over 810 applications and spent hours interviewing companies. (To our Venture and Visiting Partners, thank you for helping to reviewing applications!) We then narrowed it down to these 19 amazing companies:
- Blackbox AI (Singapore) - AI employees: The future of intelligent work.
- bukaPO (Indonesia) - Pre-order community web-based marketplace.
- CL1CK (Hong Kong) - AI to optimise B2B sales teams' email outreach.
- Chodeli (Vietnam) - F&B supply chain and B2B marketplace.
- Decube (Malaysia) - Unified platform for your data stack.
- Fluid (Singapore) - A one-click payment checkout for B2B marketplaces & commerce.
- Flywheel (Singapore) - Help robotics companies deploy faster.
- Fuzzy Sequence (Singapore) - Streamline and automate AI deployment on hardware devices.
- Goro (Indonesia) - Indonesian fractional property investment platform.
- Homefectionery (Bangladesh) - Bangladesh's largest home-cooked food subscription network.
- Kentara (Indonesia) - Digital financing agent platform in Indonesia's logistics & transportation industry.
- Matida (Vietnam) - Connecting Southeast Asian young mothers in an AI-Powered community.
- MedPiper (India) - Middleware platform for health insurance.
- Needle (Singapore) - AI copilot to help e-commerce businesses grow.
- Nuflow (Singapore) - Provides no-code tools for B2B companies to manage money movement.
- Pasima (Indonesia) - All-in-one app for easy access to automotive-related services.
- Roomable AI (Singapore) - Generative AI to revolutionise the interior design process.
- Setoko (Indonesia) - Platform to create a free online shop in 12 seconds.
- WavTool (Singapore) - AI-accelerated music production.
This is our fourth year of running Iterative and our seventh batch of companies - but it feels like we're just getting started. To the founders, thank you for joining us and having Iterative as part of your journey. Stay tuned for Demo Day featuring these 19 companies in September. Until then, our founders are back in their respective countries and hard at work.
Lear more about the companies below:
AI employees: The future of intelligent work.
Why we're excited: AI employees are an old idea in science fiction but unlike a lot of science fiction, they're probably inevitable. We didn’t anticipate it would happen so soon but with the advances in LLMs, it might be here sooner than we think.
That’s what Blackbox is working on. If you work remotely, the experience isn’t that different from working with people but only through Slack. You securely give them access to data, tell them what to do and they do it for you. Ask them to create HR onboarding checklists, be your social media person, etc. They can react and take action. Like we said, real life science fiction.
Pre-order community web-based marketplace.
Why we're excited: bukaPO empowers home cooks through their pre-ordering app. Providing consumers food via a network of home cooks rather than restaurants provides numerous benefits - there’s a greater diversity of food, it’s more authentic, food is likely more sustainably sourced, it creates a social and cultural connection with the community, and is logistically easier to fulfil. Indonesia thrives on these types of ‘loose networks’, and bukaPO is just bringing what is already happening on the ground to go digital. We’re excited to see where this goes.
AI to optimize B2B sales teams' email outreach.
Why we're excited: CL1CK enables businesses to test and send better emails. It’s estimated at 300 billion emails are sent per day, with the vast majority of them being from businesses that are trying to convert leads to customers. Most of this is noise that really should go away. We’re excited to back CL1CK to reduce spam while helping businesses better target, optimise, and personalise emails. We think the future of email send looks like continuous improvement and experimentation rather than set-it-and-forget-it drip campaigns.
F&B supply chain and B2B marketplace.
Why we're excited: Cho Deli is a B2B marketplace that allows restaurants, eateries, and kitchens to purchase their supplies with the click of a button. Using technology, they’ve been able to onboard thousands of merchants and replaced the traditional supply chain middleman (traders, wholesale markets, and local suppliers). As emerging markets develop, we think a large part of the supply chains will be aggregated by tech players. Cho Deli is already off to a great start here.
A unified platform for data stack.
Why we're excited: Bad data causes millions of dollars in revenue loss. Companies today hire legions of data engineers to build robust pipelines, ensure data quality, and decrease the risk of data breaches. Unfortunately, that’s still not enough because apps and data change all the time. Decube automates the entire process of observing, governing, cataloguing, and making decisions on data pipelines. We think the future of data pipeline monitoring looks more automated than it does now.
A one-click payment checkout for B2B marketplaces & commerce.
Why we're excited: Fluid is a B2B payments platform that allows businesses to extend net terms to their customers. This makes it easier for manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors to increase sales and improve their cash flows. Asia in particular is fraught with fragmented payment methods and a lack of structured credit. We think there is a lot of white space for a fintech player like Fluid to better serve the cash flow and credit needs of businesses.
Streamline and automate AI deployment on hardware devices.
Why we're excited: Deploying AI models today on edge hardware devices is difficult. You might want to do this to enable visual detection on CCTV cameras, detect defects directly on manufacturing production lines, optimise water distribution via measuring devices on farms, etc.
While creating new AI models is difficult, it turns out that deploying them onto a device might be even harder. On average it takes a data scientist 90 days to figure out how to deploy and maintain their models on particular chipsets. Fuzzy Sequence can do this deployment in hours, saving data scientists time to do what they’re actually good at - building models, not deploying them.
Help robotics companies deploy faster.
Why we're excited: One of the challenges autonomous robotics companies face is generating and collecting data to train models for autonomy. Larger companies can afford to build their own internal tools to do this but smaller companies can’t afford to do that.
Flywheel solves this by providing a platform companies can integrate with, that allows a human to remotely operate the robots (even from their phone) and automatically collects the data to train models. By doing that, Flywheel significantly decreases a robotics company's deployment time.
Indonesian fractional property investment platform.
Why we're excited: Real estate investing is the path to wealth for the average middle-class income earner. Unfortunately, Indonesia’s market is so opaque, nuanced, and regulatory complex that it’s hard for locals, let alone foreigners to access high-yielding homes. Goro unlocks this for the masses, enabling anyone to fractionally buy into properties that have rental yields that rival many other countries. We think tech will enable transparency, liquidity, and fairness to developing markets and Goro is on a great path to doing that for Indonesia.
Bangladesh's largest home-cooked food subscription network.
Why we're excited: Like BukaPO, we believe the future of food delivery in emerging markets looks more like a network of home cooks. It gives consumers greater variety, creates community, and is logistically easier to implement. Homefectionery takes it one step further by aggregating food into blocks, usually delivering a variety of food to lots of hungry office workers daily.
Digital financing agent platform in Indonesia's logistics & transportation industry.
Why we're excited: Most people have heard of the large logistics companies but what they don’t know is the deliveries are often subcontracted to the over 200,000 trucking companies in Indonesia. These small businesses suffer from a chronic cashflow problem because they have to buy gas and pay their drivers to make the deliveries but don’t get paid until the end of the month. Sometimes longer.
Kentara is solving this problem by providing financing. They’ve developed a novel way of underwriting the trucking companies by having them use their own invoicing software to verify the validity of the invoices. Starting earlier this year, they’ve already disbursed over US $100K in loans and grew 2x from May to June.
Connecting Southeast Asian young mothers in an AI-Powered community.
Why we're excited: Matida empowers pregnant parents with personalised content relevant to the stage of their baby’s development during pregnancy. They provide a baby week-by-week tracker and relevant content via video, podcasts, text, and live talks.
Pregnancy information (especially in developing markets like Vietnam) is oftentimes lacking. With parents not even knowing what to search for, we think the future of pregnancy information looks like a tracker with relevant info during each stage of development rather than just a Google search.
Middleware platform for health insurance.
Why we're excited: MedPiper is the middleware layer between health insurers and consumers starting with PPMCs (pre-policy medical checks). It turns out there’s quite a bit of inefficiency still in underwriting consumers for health care insurance. Oftentimes insurers have absolutely zero information on the past medical history, let alone the current medical status of a person. They need this data to properly price risk.
In India, PPMCs are now required and MedPiper is the channel insurers go to to make sure they can collect, analyse, and enforce this requirement. We think PPMCs are just the beginning of what will be a large need from insurers to be increasingly more data-driven. MedPiper is well-positioned to provide for this need.
AI copilot to help e-commerce businesses grow.
Why we're excited: We’re very bullish on AI’s potential ability to sift through a large dataset, analyse it and come back with interesting findings and recommendations. As a data analyst a very long time ago, there’s so much of that process that can potentially be automated.
That’s why we were excited to learn about Needle. Most e-commerce businesses have data across a variety of platforms (Shopify, Google Ads, Shopee, Instagram, etc.) and typically do not have enough money to hire a data analyst. Needle helps business owners by integrating with the various platforms, analysing the data and making concrete recommendations to the business owner. It’s like having an e-commerce business consultant but for a fraction of the cost.
Provides no-code tools for B2B companies to manage money movement.
Why we're excited: Nuflow helps businesses track and reconcile partner payouts. While giant marketplaces like Airbnb, Grab, Booking.com, etc have built internal tools to do this themselves, smaller/medium marketplaces don’t have the luxury of deploying engineering resources here, resulting in finance teams usually tracking all payments through Excel sheets. This is error-prone and a revenue-losing method, leading to customer dissatisfaction. Nuflow provides the no-code tool to do this in-house so you don’t have to build it yourself.
All-in-one app for easy access to automotive-related services.
Why we're excited: Pasima has an intriguing different model for buying and selling cars. First, they are introducing an agent model. Think about having someone on your side guiding you through the process. Similar to a property agent when you’re buying a house. Second, instead of buying inventory like the other players, they are working with dealerships directly to help them sell their inventory.
Dealerships were so excited by the model, Pasima onboarded over 50 dealerships and 750 cars before launch.
Generative AI to revolutionise the interior design process.
Why we're excited: Imagine an interactive, generative Pinterest board for your home. Rather than look for pictures of homes that you like, you can upload a picture of your home and Roomable will generate images of it in as many styles as you’d like. That’s just the beginning.
We believe they have the opportunity to be the default tool used by consumers, interior designers, contractors, architects, etc. when designing a space.
Platform to create a free online shop In 12 seconds.
Why we're excited: Setoko is building mobile Shopify-like stores for Indonesian merchants, with integrated logistics, multi-payment methods integration, user management, sales channel management, and inventory and order management. Getting offline businesses to be successful online is tough. We think there’s room for a tech player to provide a dedicated and holistic solution for merchants in Indonesia.
AI-accelerated music production.
Why we're excited: Prior to talking to Keith and Sam, we knew nothing about DAWs (digital audio workstations). After talking to them, we learned that they were outdated, took years of training to learn and looked like they hadn’t been updated since the 90s.
WavTool is a modern solution built with the latest advancements in AI. If you’re a beginner, you can talk to WavTool through chat (”give me a beat”, “make the drums more echoey”, etc.) and it will generate the sounds directly into your track. If you’re a producer, it’s your creative partner that you can tell to “add a piano part with the same chords as Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus” as an experiment. All from within the browser.
The Summer 2023 batch is underway, but that doesn't mean our applications are closed. We're always open - and we're already looking for companies for the Winter 2023 batch next year. If you're a founder and working on something, apply here.