Start Singapore: Online media platform for experts

Mr Chew, founder and editor-in-chief of Existgreat, a website for millennials to learn about entrepreneurship, healthcare, self-help and other serious topics.
Mr Chew, founder and editor-in-chief of Existgreat, a website for millennials to learn about entrepreneurship, healthcare, self-help and other serious topics.PHOTO: EXISTGREAT

Online media platform for experts

A young Singaporean has set up an online platform to help fellow millennials learn about entrepreneurship, medicine, healthcare, self-help and other serious topics.

The website, Existgreat.com, launched yesterday by Mr Theodoric Chew, 20, invites experts from anywhere in the world to contribute articles on these serious topics.

The portal has about 60 to 70 articles contributed by a global network of 90 doctors, entrepreneurs, self-help gurus and other experts.

Founder and editor-in-chief Mr Chew said: "I've observed that online media sites like Buzzfeed are all about entertainment. And they are targeting millennials. I like entertainment but I think that millennials, including myself, would like to read about other serious things too. So I decided to start Existgreat."

He poured his life savings of $15,000 into developing Existgreat with the aim of creating content with intellectual value for readers.

He is collaborating with about 15 contributors and editors based overseas who provide articles and edit others received by Existgreat. He has about five employees here and is also collaborating with digital marketers overseas who will help promote the content on social media.

Mr Chew wants to raise about US$300,000 (S$402,000) in a crowdfunding campaign to help him create video content for Existgreat.


Ninja Van gets $40 million funding

Singapore-based logistics start-up Ninja Logistics has raised US$30 million (S$40 million) led by international equity investor The Abraaj Group.

Other investors include Monk's Hill Ventures, B Capital Group and YJ Capital.

Ninja Van plans to use the funds for technology development and business expansion in new markets including Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines, said a media release from The Abraaj Group this week.

It will also be hiring more customer service headcount, especially in customer support.

Ninja Van, founded in January 2014, has developed algorithms that allow its delivery personnel to optimise their routes and offer faster and more reliable services.

The start-up delivers about 15,000 parcels a day for about 3,000 clients across a range of industries.


Line develops 'Singaporean stickers'

Local software developers of Japanese Internet messaging start-up Line are helping to localise its digital stickers for users here.

One approach is to develop stickers with Singlish expressions which would be appreciated by local users, said chief executive Takeshi Idezawa, who was here for the Tech In Asia conference last week.

Line has about 250,000 stickers in its database, but he did not disclose how many Singapore stickers there were.

Mr Idezawa told The Straits Times that the Japanese start-up is collaborating with companies based here, like retailer Uniqlo.

"Some of Line's local sticker characters are printed on Uniqlo shirts and sold here," he said.


Online foreign exchange comparison

Travelling to India or Thailand soon? You can use a new website, get4x.com, developed by local start-up 4xLabs, to get the best foreign currency exchange rate for the Indian rupee or Thai baht.

Founded in 2012 here by French entrepreneur, Mr Julien Labruyere, the get4x app is now available to users in Bangkok, Hong Kong and Mumbai this week.

get4x is unique in that it provides live "retail" rates from money changers directly, instead of mid-market rates used by banks.

"We are providing transparency in this industry and solving the problem at the root by allowing users to enjoy cost savings through get4x," Mr Labruyere said.

"Each time a user changes his cash at the airport, or worse, uses his credit card or ATM overseas, he is paying an extra surcharge of up to 15 per cent."

Over the next few weeks, 4xLabs will be rolling out a "Request to Book" feature in get4x that will allow users to lock in rates that they see in real time with their preferred money changing outlet.

Upon confirmation of the booking by money changers, users will be able to pick up the currency that they order within the same day, at the exchange rates they book it at.

Grace Chng

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

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 21, 2016, with the headline 'StartSingapore'. Print Edition | Subscribe