Start Singapore: Israeli company eyes Catalist listing

Eat, drink and be merry, and get home safely. Jocky, a local start-up, has developed an app to connect car owners and users with designated valet drivers. Each trip costs $38 but surcharges, such as for waiting time, apply.
Eat, drink and be merry, and get home safely. Jocky, a local start-up, has developed an app to connect car owners and users with designated valet drivers. Each trip costs $38 but surcharges, such as for waiting time, apply.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Israeli company eyes Catalist listing

Israeli start-up Brandshield, which offers technology to protect brands from counterfeiters and logo infringement, is looking at a possible listing on Catalist, the second board of the Singapore Exchange.

It wants to raise about US$10 million (S$14 million) to expand its sales and marketing operations worldwide.

Chief executive Yoav Keren (below) said: "Listing in Singapore is good because the country has good intellectual property protection and it is an important business hub.

"People here understand the loss of revenue caused by the sale of fake goods and the infringement of trademarks and logos."

Founded in 2013, Brandshield offers automated software to help companies monitor and find online trademark infringement, sale of fake goods and brand abuse across websites, social networks, mobile apps and e-commerce platforms.

Regular search engines can find only 10 per cent of online fake sites and brand infringements, he said.

"Our software can do a deep dive into the Internet and look for the fakes or trademark infringements across online properties as well as in multiple languages like Chinese and Hebrew."

Using technologies such as visual recognition, artificial intelligence and big data, Brandshield's software searches for domain names and Web content as well as monitors Web traffic that potentially links to the sale of fake goods and infringement of trademarks and logos.

"We look for risk patterns. Then we give a score to the websites and mobile apps. A score of 10 means the risk of counterfeit is very high."

Once the sites are discovered, brands and lawyers can take legal action, such as demanding that Internet service providers and e-commerce sites like Amazon, and Taobao remove the offending sites.

Previously, brands and companies could search for the offenders using only a manual search, which is tedious and takes days to complete.

With Brandshield, once a brand has keyed in its name and specifications, the list of potential fake sites is usually available within a few hours, said Mr Keren.

Brandshield is selling the subscription service worldwide and has only recently started to market its service. Its clients include New Balance, Credit Suisse, Universal Studios and Shimano.

Companies also use the service to look for contractual infringements. A fashion brand, for example, has a deal with a franchisee to sell products only in a physical store.

"By using our service, the brand manager can identify that the franchisee is selling online, which is an infringement."

Singtel Innov8 part of start-up mentoring group

The innovation arms of Singtel and three European telcos - Deutsche Telekom in Germany, Orange in France and Telefonica in Spain - have formed a group called Go Ignite to support the start-up ecosystem in Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.

Go Ignite's first project is a global challenge for start-ups to submit business ideas in five areas: Internet of Things, cyber security, big data analytics, content delivery and customer experience enhancement.

Submissions close on April 30. Up to five start-ups will be selected. They will receive business guidance from the telcos as well as mentoring and introductions to potential business partners. Significantly, they will also have a chance to market to the telcos' combined one billion mobile customers on five continents, including Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

Go Ignite's formation and its global challenge were launched yesterday on the sidelines of the Mobile World Congress taking place in Barcelona.

Mr Edgar Hardless, chief executive officer of Singtel Innov8, said: "The Go Ignite alliance helps start-ups succeed in multiple markets by providing them with the right resources that are critical for their commercialisation."

Innov8 is the corporate venture arm of Singtel. Mr Hardless said in a statement yesterday that by combining the telcos' resources, the Go Ignite programme could give start-ups a better chance to scale across markets worldwide.

In the statement, Ms Nathalie Boulanger, start-up ecosystem director of Orange, said the telcos can help start-ups "tap into the support and business development opportunities they need at a critical time when speed and agility are of the essence".

Need a valet after a night of drinking? Get Jocky

Partygoers no longer need to worry about drink driving as they can get a valet to drive them home at the touch of a button.

Jocky, a local start-up, has developed an app that connects car owners and car users to designated valet drivers.

Co-founder Bernard Leong said he liked driving but saw his "buddies get into drink-driving incidents".

He gave up his advertising job nine months ago and started developing the app called Jocky with two co-founders, Mr Andrian Tee and Mr Roy Ho, who previously worked at digital advertising agencies.

Valets have to pre-register with Jocky. When a partygoer needs a ride home, he can use the Jocky app, which will connect him to a valet nearest to his location. The valet will arrive to drive him home in his car.

"We want to keep people, especially pedestrians and other drivers, safe on the roads. We also don't want to see drinkers getting caught for drink driving. Jocky is designed to help all these people," said Mr Leong.

Each trip costs $38 but surcharges, such as for waiting time, apply.

Grace Chng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 25, 2016, with the headline 'StartSingapore'. Print Edition | Subscribe