Start@SG: EDBI invests in data storage firm Hedvig

EDBI invests in data storage firm Hedvig

EDBI, the investment arm of the Singapore Economic Development Board, has invested in a US$21.5 million (S$30.3 million) funding round raised by California-based company Hedvig, which provides data storage solutions for enterprises.

Besides new investors EDBI and Hewlett-Packard Pathfinder, the round also included expanded investments from Atlantic Bridge Ventures, True Ventures and Vertex Ventures.

Hedvig will use the latest funds to expand into new markets, develop end-to-end cloud and backup solutions for large enterprises, and grow its engineering, sales and channel teams. "With EDBI's support and Singapore as a focal point, Hedvig will expand its development and go-to-market resources across the Asia-Pacific," the company said in a statement.

PolicyPal joins MAS' regulatory sandbox

Digital insurance app PolicyPal is the first financial technology firm to receive approval to join the Monetary Authority of Singapore's "regulatory sandbox".

This programme allows both start-ups and large financial companies to test new products and services.

PolicyPal is testing its solution over a six-month period, starting this month. It is partnering NTUC Income and Etiqa Insurance to distribute insurance products to consumers via its mobile app.

PolicyPal's technology analyses a user's existing insurance coverage and suggests improvements.

"Many people are not sure of their insurance coverage and realise the importance of it only during times of emergencies. PolicyPal was created to keep everyone on top of their insurance coverage so they don't have to wait until it is too late," said co-founder and chief executive Val Yap.

The company has also secured an undisclosed amount of seed funding, with participation from venture capital firm 500 Startups and undisclosed angel investors.

Travel portal Klook expands to Singapore

Online travel agency Klook has officially launched in Singapore on the back of raising US$30 million in Series B funding led by Sequoia Capital China.

Existing investors, including Matrix Partners and Welight Capital, also participated with follow-on investments.

Klook's platform covers more than 80 popular destinations in Asia and beyond, providing more than 10,000 attractions, tours and activities. Last year, the firm helped travellers book a record five million trips.

Klook will be using this round of funds to expand its product offerings and create new tours and itineraries in different countries.

For instance, in Singapore, the firm is "seeing an increasing trend of locals travelling north to Japan and Korea, not just for standard activities, but also for unique experiences that they can't normally find at home", said regional marketing lead Marcus Yong.

S'pore VC firm invests in Malaysian online florist

Singapore-based venture capital firm Reapra has provided seed funding of US$600,000 to BloomThis Flora, a Malaysian florist.

BloomThis Flora intends to expand into the Singapore and Indonesian markets. It will also use the funds to upgrade its technology and expand its flower-delivery business into the wedding space.

The company has seen sales surge 1,200 per cent over the past year.

Chia Yan Min

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 07, 2017, with the headline 'Start@SG'. Print Edition | Subscribe