Malaysia’s Cobnb wins Startup of The Year at APICTA 2019 awards

  • Self-funded startup has over 500 properties on property management platform
  • APICTA awards a form of benchmarking for Malaysian tech companies

SW Tan and Glenn Wong, posing with the Malaysian flag after winning Startup of The Year at the APICTA 2019 Awards on 26th Dec.

For the past 18 years, the Asia Pacific ICT Alliance Awards (APICTA) has been recognising award winners and startups from 16 member economies.

APICTA is an alliance of national information and communications technology (ICT) organisations representing their respective economies to build and enhance a mutually cooperative network to promote ICT and enhance technology innovations while encouraging the development of indigenous ICT solutions for the global market.

For 2019, a Malaysian-based startup was conferred the Startup of the Year 2019 at the APICTA 2019 Awards, held 27 Dec 2019 in Halong Bay, Vietnam.

Cobnb Sdn Bhd, a Short-Term-Accommodation (STA) and property management company offering leasing and short-term management solution featured its Short Term Rental Management System (STRMS) and bagged the top award among 15 other contestants from countries like Hong Kong, Thailand, China, Chinese Taipei, Bangladesh, and Myanmar.

Incorporated in 2017 intending to optimise the property performance of its customers, the company leverages workflow automation, pricing, and financial analytics to create a sustainable rental income for its customers. Cobnb’s clientele includes private property owners, property developers, hotels and resort villas. Cobnb is managing more than 500 properties and was self-funded by both its founders SW Tan and Glenn Wong.

"By having the industry knowledge and combining the multi-platform property management system, Cobnb is well-positioned to tap on this exciting digital economy by introducing its short-term rental management solution. This solution is targeted to serve a wider community, like the accommodation partners, developers, and independent hosts," said Tan.

Having won the PIKOM APICTA 2019 Merit Award in Malaysia last year, Tan and Wong knew that the international stage was an entirely different level of competiton. “But we worked hard to articulate the values of the solution and with the traction received in our home country, it convinced the judges to see how digital adoption in property management can be a game-changer," added Tan.

Coming back from their winning experience, Wong still finds it difficult to believe that they had won at the international level. "We are grateful to PIKOM and MDEC for the opportunity given to us to represent Malaysia and to compete at APICTA 2019," he said.

According to MDEC's Chief Executive Officer Surina Shukri, MDEC's main goal is to create a competitive environment to produce innovation and creative startups. “The APICTA awards are a form of benchmarking and a great way to gauge how the local ICT industry is fairing. It is a platform for them to do their best to promote their innovation on a world stage while making Malaysia proud as the heart of digital ASEAN.”

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