Start@SG: RedDoorz raises $1.4m

RedDoorz raises $1.4m

Online budget hotel booking chain RedDoorz has raised US$1 million (S$1.4 million) in venture debt from InnoVen Capital, a venture lending firm jointly owned by Temasek Holdings and United Overseas Bank.

"In the last one year, our revenue has grown 12 times while maintaining best-in-class unit economics, and with this additional funding, we aim to leverage the strength of South-east Asia's economies to grow RedDoorz to become the largest online budget accommodation brand in the region," said founder and chief executive officer Amit Saberwal.

RedDoorz, established in 2015, has about 500 properties on its platform, mainly in Indonesia in cities including Jakarta, Bali, Bandung and Surabaya.

The company recently launched its operations in Singapore and said it will be expanding elsewhere in the region.

$2.8m fund for start-up Nova Satra

Nova Satra, a Singapore-based molecular diagnostics start-up, has raised US$2 million (S$2.8 million) from Genting Bio Cellular, a unit of Malaysian conglomerate Genting.

The company intends to use the funds for regulatory approvals and commercialisation of its lead test, a non-invasive blood-based diagnostic test for breast cancer.

As part of the funding, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Genting Bio Cellular has also acquired the exclusive right to distribute the test in Malaysia.

FundedHere going places in S-E Asia

Singapore-based crowdfunding platform FundedHere is expanding across South-east Asia with Malaysia and Indonesia as its first stops.

It is also opening up its Singapore platform to private investors other than accredited investors - defined as individuals with at least $2 million in net personal assets or $300,000 in annual income.

Until recently, FundedHere was open only to accredited investors, in accordance with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) guidelines.

The MAS removed this restriction in February, allowing FundedHere's platform to be opened up to "mass affluent" investors.

FundedHere co-founder and executive director Agnes Siaw said: "We've established a strong foundation within Singapore's legal framework and have proven that equity and debt-based crowdfunding can be a vital component in Singapore's ecosystem for start-ups and growth companies.

"Looking ahead, an expansion to Malaysia and Indonesia is the next logical step. Many start-ups and smaller listed companies aim to expand beyond our shores and by extending our footprint, we will be better positioned to support local businesses in their growth journey."

FundedHere also said it has helped seven Singapore companies raise a combined $4 million through its online platform over the past year.

SGX links with Crowdo, Venture Hub

The Singapore Exchange (SGX) has signed two memoranda of understanding (MOU) separately with equity crowdfunding platform Crowdo and PwC's Venture Hub.

SGX and Crowdo have agreed to work together to raise awareness among companies and the investing community about channels for raising funds; share information to create efficient access to capital; and develop guidelines for cross-referring potential clients.

The MOU between SGX and PwC's Venture Hub covers areas of collaboration, such as promoting Singapore as an attractive ecosystem for start-ups; arranging regular dialogues to develop thought leadership; and raising awareness about opportunities to grow in the Asia-Pacific region, using Singapore as a hub.

Chia Yan Min

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 04, 2017, with the headline 'Start@SG'. Print Edition | Subscribe