Start Singapore: GoGoVan gets funding for business expansion

Mr Lam said the funds will help the logistics start-up improve its product offerings for different businesses.
Mr Lam said the funds will help the logistics start-up improve its product offerings for different businesses.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

GoGoVan gets funding for business expansion

Logistics start-up GoGoVan has generated a multimillion-dollar fund for business expansion and engineering development.

Hong Kong private equity firm New Horizon Capital led the investment effort. Other local and foreign investors included Singapore Press Holdings and Taiwan-based Hotung Investment Holdings. There were also more funds coming from existing investors.

Chief executive Steven Lam said the funds will be used to improve product offerings for different businesses, including individual online retailers and multinational companies.

In a recent media statement, the start-up said it will develop new products and solutions by using state-of-the-art machine learning, artificial learning and programming techniques.

GoGoVan will also enhance its technical resources by hiring world-class developers and programmers.

A key solution to be introduced at the end of this month is GoGo Enterprise, a new delivery management feature allowing businesses to provide both scheduled and on-demand delivery.

GoGorilla acquired for talent, market access

Singapore event-based cashless payment start-up GoGorilla has been acquired for an undisclosed sum by a Swiss firm.

Digital payment conglomerate Sandpiper Digital Payments is buying GoGorilla for its talent and as a way to enter the Asian market.

Mr Lam said the funds will help the logistics start-up improve its product offerings for different businesses.

GoGorilla provides wireless-based solutions like cashless payment transactions and ticket fulfilment for events such as concerts, conferences, product launches and road shows, as well as theme parks.

A media statement yesterday said that the six employees of GoGorilla will join the Sandpiper Asia team to help the company expand in the region. In the next three months, the team will double. The Sandpiper Asia team will be able to expand its platform and service offerings with full support for venues and long-term installations such as theme parks and stadiums.

Mr James Kane (photo), founder of GoGorilla, said in a media statement that the acquisition will allow the firm to expand and provide bespoke solutions for the public at venues and events. This will also help position Sandpiper Asia as a one-stop shop for digital payments, he added.

Sandpiper is a publicly listed company in Switzerland. It focuses on the consolidation of the fragmented payment landscape by pursuing a "buy and build" strategy in the area of cashless payment systems for sports and events as well as education and retail markets.

GoSwiff partners Rwandan bank

Local fintech start-up GoSwiff has partnered Rwandan KCB Bank to roll out a mobile payment solution (mPOS) for Rwandan merchants.

This is the first-of-its-kind payment service in Rwanda. GoSwiff, a global payment acceptance solutions provider, had earlier rolled out a similar service in Kenya.

The new service enables businesses of any size to accept digital payments in Rwanda, with the simple use of a mobile app and an mPOS terminal.

A media statement yesterday said the mPOS system will bring efficiencies in areas such as the mass collection of insurance premiums, the collection of public payments and market purchases.

Managing director of KCB Bank Rwanda Maurice Toroitich said: "We are always aiming to provide financial solutions to our customers and, with mPOS, payment of goods will be quick, secure and convenient."

Ms Belinda Aka, GoSwiff's head of business development in Africa, said the partnership is another step in the start-up's regional expansion in Africa.

"We are building the infrastructure to bring the unbanked and under-banked to electronic payments," she said.

Online firm offers gowns, accessories for rent

Looking for a gown for your company's annual dinner and dance? Try Gowns4Rent at The local start-up is barely three weeks old but already has listed over 100 designs of gowns and accessories.

Senior manager for marketing Janelle Yeo said Gowns4Rent operates in a similar fashion to accommodation-sharing platform Airbnb. People can put their own gowns up for rent for those needing them on a temporary basis.

"We've people who have signed up as vendors to put up gowns and accessories for rent on our website. It is encouraging to know that there is a demand for the solution we are offering."

Grace Chng

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 12, 2016, with the headline 'Start Singapore'. Print Edition | Subscribe