Week in Review: HelloGold gets its runway to hit 10 mil customers

  • RunCloud.io heads to San Francisco to represent Malaysia in Startup World Cup 2018
  • 110 startups from around the world converged at Hong Kong Electronics Fair


THIS week did not bring the big funding news of the previous week where Zimplistic raised US$30 million (RM116.9 million) in its Series C while Funding Societies raised US$25 million (RM97.4 million) but in Malaysia we did see HelloGold, Malaysia's first shariah-compliant gold savings platform, announce its Series A round (undisclosed amount) from 500Startups via its Southeast Asian fund.

Since that March 2017 article DNA wrote on HelloGold, whose co-founder and CEO Robin Lee is a Digerati50 (2018-2019 batch), the company has moved rapidly to adopt blockchain to its model and, taking advantage of the crypto craze, raised a US$5 million (RM19.5 million) ICO (Initial Coin Offering) last December, by which time of course, it had branded itself as a fintech company.

While its Series A funding may seem puzzling in light of its equity-free US$5 million ICO, HelloGold co-founder Ridhwan Abdullah tells me that while the announcement was only made on Fri April 19th, it actually closed the round in Nov 2017. The paper work held back the announcement being made sooner.

Both ICO and fund raising were done concurrently with both being a success. Though it is frustrating when companies raise funding and decline to share the amount raised, Ridhwan says the team can now focus on building the business where he and Lee have the ambitious goal of securing 10 million customers in the key markets it is targeting which include Indonesia and Thailand.

Making any serious progress towards this target will then set them up nicely to raise their next round, with Ridhwan sharing that having 500Startups on board positions them nicely to seek funding from the Silicon Valley.

And that’s where software-as-a-service cloud startup, RunCloud.io will be heading to next month, having just won the Malaysian regional round of the Startup World Cup 2018, beating nine other interesting startups.

Listening to all the pitches, I actually thought another startup would win. But Runcloud.io will be a solid representative for Malaysia as it is clearly solving a pain point for businesses in helping them dramatically cut the time by 90% in converting their web systems to the cloud, besides making it cheaper as well. Acquiring 6,000 customers across more than 50 countries worldwide since starting in January 2017 is proof positive that Runcloud.io co-founder and chief executive officer Arif Tukiman is on to something.

Meanwhile, my colleague Chong Jinn Xiung had more than his fill of startups during a packed three-day visit to Hong Kong last week for the Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Spring Edition) where 110 startups from around the world were in attendance, hoping to catch the eye.  The long established fair had all this while excluded startups, which were only added last year at the Autumn Edition of the fair. Needless to say, it was a success and you can expect more startups to join in the future as well.

And finally, fintech startups are just spoilt for choice in Southeast Asia as the newest fintech focused accelerator by Accenture is launching in Singapore and calling for entries to join its inaugural intake. Good luck to those applying. Go disrupt the billion dollar brick and mortar players if you can!

With that, I hope you had a restful weekend and here’s wishing you a productive week ahead.


Editor’s Picks:

Runcloud.io is champion of Startup World Cup Malaysia Regional 2018

Jobworks prepares for the gig economy

Hong Kong International ICT Expo 2018: Bringing startups to the fore

Fonebud W: Have data, will travel

Face forward: The future of security in Malaysia

Imagine Cup aims at harnessing digital-savvy mindset

HelloGold secures Series A funding from 500 Startups

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