Start Singapore: Crowdo enters Indonesia market

Visual technology from Singapore start-up ViSenze will help shoppers find products in Flipkart's database by uploading photos.
Visual technology from Singapore start-up ViSenze will help shoppers find products in Flipkart's database by uploading photos.PHOTO: REUTERS

Crowdo enters Indonesia market

Home-grown crowdfunding portal Crowdo has expanded to Indonesia to offer peer-to-peer lending to businesses there.

Crowdo will use its platform to match Indonesian investors with companies there which need loans for working capital.

Borrowers repay the principal sum with interest.

Since Crowdo will offer only collateralised loans, the interest borrowers pay is expected to be lower.

In a pilot run over recent months, 200 companies were successfully funded and recorded no defaults on payments, said a statement from Crowdo.

The site will go public later this year.

Crowdo is inviting select investors seeking higher yields with new investment opportunities to participate in these deals.

Co-founder Leo Shimada said: "Our clients have robust businesses with sound repayment capabilities but are unable to access traditional financing systems due to the lack of existing relationships with financial institutions."

It is a multibillion-dollar market, he said, as small and medium-sized Indonesian companies are underserved by banks. Last month, Crowdo was licensed by the Malaysian authorities to run an equity-based crowdfunding platform there.

With its expansion to these two countries, Crowdo, formerly known as Crowdonomic, is the first South-east Asian crowdfunding operator to offer debt-based and equity-based crowdfunding.


S'pore start-up behind Flipkart image search

Indian e-commerce firm Flipkart is using Singapore-developed visual technology to improve its customers' shopping experience.

The technology from local start-up ViSenze lets Flipkart shoppers search by uploading photos of fashion items.

They can then look for products that are similar in colour, pattern or style inFlipkart's merchandise database.

The visual search is still in a trial stage and will be open to Flipkart users soon.

The technology eliminates keyword guessing in product searches and simplifies the search process.

ViSenze co-founder Oliver Tan said: "We're very excited to partner with Flipkart and offer their users an enhanced shopping experience powered by our visual search.

"We are proud we managed to offer a solution that is also capable of handling unique needs for the Indian market, such as ethnic wear."

Flipkart is India's biggest online megastore selling electronics, home furnishing, books, fashion items and more.

It has a database of more than 30 million products and more than 45 million registered users.


Learn more on medical device regulations

Entrepreneurs looking to develop healthcare products will find valuable information at a half-day symposium on medical device regulations next month.

Mr Tim Lin, a senior technical consultant from UL Life and Health Science, will share his experience on regulatory affairs and technical documentation.

UL Life is a global independent safety science company.

The symposium will be held on Aug 18 from 12.30pm to 3.30pm at Block 79, Ayer Rajah Crescent, #01-13/14. To register, go to eastar.eventshub.sg

Grace Chng

• Send news on start-up developments to chngkeg@sph.com.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 09, 2015, with the headline 'StartSingapore'. Print Edition | Subscribe