Tech start-up gives thumbs up to changes but...

SeeChat founders Swami Sekar (left) and Radhakrishna Hiremane (right) with Medianusa manager Christine Tan and managing director Christopher Wan. Medianusa launched directory platform SgBiz Chat, which is powered by SeeChat.
SeeChat founders Swami Sekar (left) and Radhakrishna Hiremane (right) with Medianusa manager Christine Tan and managing director Christopher Wan. Medianusa launched directory platform SgBiz Chat, which is powered by SeeChat.PHOTO: MURU-D SINGAPORE

Mr Swami Sekar, a Singapore permanent resident and chief executive of communications technology start-up SeeChat, welcomed the EntrePass enhancements, but feels one piece is still missing in the framework.

To qualify for EntrePass, start- ups, if registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority, must be less than six months old on the date that they apply.

Mr Sekar said: "Our company was registered as soon as we had the idea and we chose to register it here. We knew it would be here."

The trouble is that his co-founder, United States citizen Radhakrishna Hiremane, has found it difficult to get a long-term visa and is thus US-based.

The pair started SeeChat in November 2014, when Mr Hiremane was still working with Intel here.

"Having him back here would be very crucial for us," said Mr Sekar. "So changing that legacy criterion to one that defines a start-up by its funding stage might be better."

Nevertheless, the lengthening of the EntrePass validity period from one year to two after the first renewal is "perfect", Mr Sekar. said

"Typically, a software business will take two years to mature - all the research and development will make one year very short."

SeeChat helps directories like Yellow Pages start digital directories with chat and payment functions.

Marissa Lee

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 25, 2017, with the headline 'Tech start-up gives thumbs up to changes but...'. Print Edition | Subscribe