Goodtizens acquires social enterprise startup Start Now for US$380K

  • 4yr-old startup an alumnus of NUS Enterprise’s Social Venture [email protected] initiative
  • Goodtizens to integrate Start Now software into a social change network
Goodtizens acquires social enterprise startup Start Now for US$380K

SINGAPORE-based social enterprise and ‘civic technology’ startup Start Now Pte Ltd announced it has been acquired by Goodtizens Technologies Pte Ltd, a spinoff company by The GoodWater Company Pte Ltd.
 
The acquisition, officially completed in October, is valued at S$530,000 (about US$380,000), Start Now said in a statement.
 
Originally an online platform for individuals to find volunteering opportunities, Start Now eventually evolved to provide a suite of management software solutions for non-profit and governmental organisations.
 
These solutions include volunteer, donor, event and pro-bono services management software, and white-label community engagement platforms, Start Now said.
 
Eventually, it also expanded into providing management services for corporate social responsibility programmes, with clients such as Singapore’s Ministry of Social and Family Development, Citibank, ING Bank and MediaCorp.
 
Start Now’s cofounders are Ivan Chang, 26, a graduate of Singapore Management University; and Keith Tan, 26, a graduate of the National University of Singapore.
 
“The journey over the past four years, juggling school and running our startup, was incredibly challenging,” said Tan.
 
“When this acquisition offer came, Ivan [Chang] and myself saw the opportunity to pass the baton onto a partner that has the resources and network to take our mission further and to a larger audience,” he added.
 
Goodtizens Technologies intends to integrate Start Now’s software offerings into a social change network, an online marketplace where social points of interest will empower people to trigger community action in smart cities globally.
 
Goodtizens is targeted for a beta launch in the first quarter of 2016.
 
“Start Now has been around for four years and has built an impressive suite of social technologies to great effect,” said Goodtizens Technologies chief executive officer Darren Yong.
 
“Goodtizens will leverage these technologies to bring social actions at your fingertips to a global audience,” he added.
 
Founded in 2011, Start Now was a pioneer incubatee of NUS Enterprise’s Social Venture [email protected], an initiative that supports social enterprises through seed funding assistance, mentoring and incubation services.
 
Start Now was a recipient of the YES! Entrepreneurs Startup Grant from Spring Singapore, the government agency tasked with developing the country’s small and medium enterprise sector.
 
In total, it has raised S$93,000 (about US$67,000) in funding from a mix of grants, angel investments and competition awards.
 
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