Start Singapore: Crowdo gets provisional MAS licence

Ms Lim (left) and Ms Lin Tan are co-founders of Coaching- GoWhere.
Ms Lim (left) and Ms Lin Tan are co-founders of Coaching- GoWhere.

Crowdo gets provisional MAS licence

Singapore fintech start-up Crowdo has received a provisional capital market services licence from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to offer both equity crowdfunding and peer to business (P2B) lending solutions in Singapore.

With this licence, it has become the leading crowdfunding outfit in the region, said co-founder and chief executive officer Leo Shimada.

Last year, the local start-up received a licence from the Malaysian banking regulator to start equity crowdfunding there. In March, Crowdo launched its P2B lending operations in Indonesia.

In a media statement, Mr Shimada said: "I see our multi-market licensing and operational presence as an invaluable competitive advantage in an increasingly crowded, yet nascent industry."

In Malaysia, its first deal saw a non-tech firm, called The Parenthood, raise close to $900,000, surpassing its target by 250 per cent. The Parenthood organises activities for parents and children.

Looking ahead, Crowdo aims to expand into other countries in the region using funds it will raise. Other equity crowdfunding start-ups include Capbridge Capital which received its MAS licence last month.


Fintech firm raises $3m for expansion

Mesitis, a Singapore fintech start-up, has raised US$2.25 million (S$3.1 million) for business expansion and hiring of more staff. The bulk of the new investments came from existing investors including founder and chief executive officer Tanmai Sharma and chief data officer Martin Pickrodt.

Mesitis' key product is Canopy, a wealth management service that aggregates financial data from multiple banks, currencies and asset types into a single portfolio.

Mesitis will also offer a souped-up version of Canopy for its robo adviser service. This service is offered under Mesitis Capital which has an investment licence to provide investment advice to wealthy people.


Online service for executive coaching

CoachingGoWhere is a new start-up to help executive coaches showcase their qualifications.

Founded in September last year, it is the first online coaching hub in Asia. It also allows its users to rate the coaches they use from the site, said a media statement.

Co-founder and creative director Minny Lim told The Straits Times it is a one-stop shop for coaching with a directory of coaches and resources. CoachingGoWhere makes coaching accessible, saving people time, and increasing the chances of finding a match. The portal showcases coaches in seven areas including health and fitness, business, career and personal branding.

Coaches list their experience and qualifications. Users are able to submit independent reviews. The portal lists 25 coaches and has about 100 members who are able to join for free.

Ms Lim's two co-founders are Ms Anna Tan and Ms Lin Tan, both of whom are certified executive coaches.


Tips on employment law for start-ups

If you are a start-up founder ready to hire your first employees, this workshop will give you a quick overview of hiring laws.

Grow Your Team is a two-hour event where industry professionals will discuss the fundamentals of Singapore employment law.

It will tackle practical issues like whether it is better to hire or to outsource work to a third-party vendor and how to supervise an employee who is working remotely.

The workshop will be held on May 13 at The Hub in Prinsep Street. The fee is $10 per person. To register, go to http://peatix.com/event/146444


Shopee launches free postage service

Shopee, a peer-to-peer mobile shopping app owned by tech firm Garena, is now providing free normal postage for products sold through the platform. This means sellers can register to get their shipping costs reimbursed by Shopee.

The platform has also launched Shopee University, an entrepreneurship training programme which will give sellers tips on e-commerce essentials such as photography and online marketing.

These moves come on the back of Garena's US$170 million (S$231 million) Series D fund-raising round. The initiatives are part of efforts to set Shopee apart from the competition and build a stronger mobile commerce ecosystem, chief executive officer Chris Feng told The Straits Times.

The free-to-use platform, officially launched last November, has more than 12 million products listed across categories such as fashion, beauty and consumer electronics. It is available in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines and Taiwan.

Grace Chng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 05, 2016, with the headline 'Start Singapore'. Print Edition | Subscribe