Using technology to tackle social issues

Sakae Foundation and social tech accelerator Tech For Good have launched an accelerator programme aimed at developing start-ups which use technology to tackle social issues. It will focus on firms tackling issues related to financial inclusion, social inequality, nutrition and health, as well as education.

Called Tech With Heart, the four-month programme will start with a competition on innovation, which will be part of the selection process. Applications for the competition will open in June and the programme itself will start in August.

Lunch Actually buys Indonesia's Setipe

Home-grown dating company Lunch Actually Group has acquired Indonesia's biggest online dating service, Setipe.

"In an era where hook-ups and casual dating are the norm, (our) shared vision for helping serious singles is the very foundation that initiated and solidified this integration," Lunch Actually said in a statement. The move will complement Lunch Actually's expansion into Indonesia, said its chief executive and co-founder, Ms Violet Lim.

Setipe chief executive Razi Thalib said: "After three years in operation, Setipe has gained impressive traction and growth but for us to monetise effectively, Indonesia still requires strong offline services because of low credit-card penetration rates and less than half the population having Internet access.

"Lunch Actually Group brings tremendous value to the table by leveraging its vast experience and regional access, and, together with Setipe, provides a comprehensive portfolio of dating services - from offline matchmaking to online and mobile dating apps, as well as date-coaching services."

Singapore biotech firm to list in Taiwan

Singapore biotech firm Aslan Pharmaceuticals has announced its intention to launch an initial public offering (IPO) on the Taipei Exchange this month, and expects to start trading early next month.

The company develops drugs for types of cancer more common among Asians. Dr Carl Firth, the company's chief executive, said: "Taiwan has a strong biotech public market, and investors are knowledgeable, experienced and have strong interest in this industry."

Aslan raised US$23 million (S$32.3 million) in a pre-IPO funding round in June last year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 09, 2017, with the headline 'Start@SG'. Print Edition | Subscribe