Malaysian startup makes Klean sweep at Pitch@Palace Asean

  • Klean joins global group of entrepreneurs to pitch at final event in December
  • Remarkable gathering of 18 entrepreneurs in first Asean level Pitch@Palace


Malaysian startup makes Klean sweep at Pitch@Palace Asean


WHO says you can’t save the environment and solve poverty at the same time? Malaysian startup Klean proved that it could do just that as it made a splash at the recently concluded Pitch@Palace Asean 1.0 in Singapore.

Klean was voted by the audience as the best startup among 17 others from Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Myanmar and Vietnam as they pitched their ideas to an audience of investors, mentors and business executives.

With the motto “Turning Waste into Money”, the company’s chief executive officer Nick Boden outlined Klean’s objective to change the world’s attitude towards waste by making plastic “too valuable” to discard.

Klean is doing so by developing a Reverse Vending Machine that accepts empty polyethylene terephthalate (PET) or plastic bottles and aluminium cans, prepares them for recycling and rewards donors with talk time on Digi, top-up value for Touch ‘n Go or converts it to investment-grade nano gold that is provided by their partnership with HelloGold.

“We really want to make a difference in people’s lives by changing their attitude towards plastic by making it too valuable to throw away,” said Boden.

Through this method, Boden wants to address the plastic problem that is plaguing the world and assist those less fortunate at the same time.

Klean aims to secure US$3 million in funding to help it further research and develop and launch 50 machines across Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.

A global endeavour

Apart from Klean, the two runner-ups were Singaporean food medtech startup Alchemy Foodtech that aims to reduce diabetes through its 5ibrePlus food composition that lowers glucose levels in normal white rice, and Thai startup Globish Academia, with its online English learning platform.

Meanwhile, Indonesia startup Gofit, that connects individuals with personal trainers and coaches, won the Pitch@Palace Asean 1.0’s People’s Choice Award through public votes held at

The winners will get a chance to pitch at the Pitch@Palace Global at St. James Palace in the United Kingdom come December 2018.

Pitch@Palace is an initiative founded by The Duke of York in 2014 to serve as a platform to amplify and accelerate budding entrepreneurs. This year marks the first time Pitch@Palace widened its scope to include startups from around Asean.

Held in Marina Bay Sands, Pitch@Palace Asean 1.0 was held in partnership with IMDA, innovfest unbound and strategic partner, AirAsia.

“It is my ambition to build our programme across Asean and Singapore could not be a better place to start this from. I am therefore very pleased with the response of the programme and excited with the inspiring cohort we have this year,” said the Duke of York, Prince Andrew.

Among the other startups accepted were 42Lab (Singapore), Adzymic (Singapore), BioMers (Singapore), CtrlWorks (Singapore), Dathena Science (Singapore), (Vietnam), Flexible Pass (Myanmar), Hinounou (Singapore), Instachk (Singapore), Qiwii (Indonesia), RubBUDD (Thailand), SellEz (Malaysia), Simple Motion (Malaysia), UPROOT Aquaponics (The Philippines) and Velox Networks (Singapore).

The programme’s alumni includes Malaysian startup, Vidi (formerly Touristly). AirAsia took a 50% stake in the company for US$2.6 million in 2017.

Echoing this was AirAsia deputy group chief executive officer (digital, transformation and corporate services) Aireen Omar who said the strategic partnership with Pitch@Palace is crucial in AirAsia’s bid to find the talent in the Asean region specifically in the digital space.

“Pitch@Palace serves as a platform that allow us to find talents that not could potentially improve the operations of AirAsia but create new market areas for us to provide other product and services to our customer base,” she said.


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