SPH unit in joint venture to launch service portal

The Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) News Centre.
The Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) News Centre. PHOTO: ST FILE

A Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) unit has formed a joint venture with online service company RecomN Technologies to launch a portal for customers to hire services, such as caterers, here.

The portal will initially focus on the events space, helping customers find service providers such as party planners, photographers and food and beverage providers before gradually expanding to other categories like home and lifestyle.

As well as business listings, the portal - called Recommend.sg - will let users reach the right service providers quickly, with customer reviews, previous portfolio, online chat and the ability to request quotes online.

SPH said in a statement yesterday that the venture between RecomN and its SPH Interactive unit will empower small businesses and freelancers with a new way to find and engage consumers online.

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SPH will be licensing its ST Directory intellectual property to the venture and provide support in marketing strategy. All existing ST Directory business listings will be migrated to Recommend.sg.

RecomN Technologies will operate the portal and provide its technology platform and operational best practices from other markets. The firm was founded in Malaysia in mid-2014. Getting US$1 million (S$1.4 million) in seed funding from venture capital firm Gobi Ventures allowed it to expand operations to Indonesia and Thailand in 2015.

SPH Interactive has taken a 33.33 per cent stake in RecomN Singapore for $980,000, comprising cash of $10,000 and consideration in kind of $970,000.

"When I first met the RecomN co-founders, I was impressed with their vision of transforming the services industry and their fast execution to become the market leader after two years," said Mr Julian Tan, executive vice-president of SPH's digital division.

Said RecomN co-founder Alex Tan: "We wanted to work with a partner that is deeply entrenched in the lives of Singaporeans, and there is no better-known name than SPH."

Businesses interested in getting online can contact the team at hello@recommend.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 09, 2017, with the headline 'SPH unit in joint venture to launch service portal'. Print Edition | Subscribe