Durians Daily #306: Seppure awarded ~US$1.5M in Singapore & Canada this year; Carousell wins silver for quick response to the pandemic; RedDoorz on its value to hotel owners amid COVID-19
A winning solution
- 500-backed separation tech startup Seppure has finished as a finalist in The Liveability Challenge 2021. Seppure was awarded a ~US$74,000 investment from Planet Rise and ~US$37,000 from Amasia.
- The startup emerged as one of six finalists out of 400 companies. The Liveability Challenge is a platform calling for viable solutions to the toughest challenges facing Southeast Asia’s cities in the 21st century.
- Earlier this year in May, Seppure was awarded ~US$1.44 million funding by Emission Reduction Alberta to implement its technology in Alberta-based vegetable oil processing facilities.
- The project is expected to reduce 1,800 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year (tCO2e/year) greenhouse gas emission, with up to 50,000 tCO2e/year upon commercialization.
Moved by kindness
- 500-backed second-hand marketplace Carousell was awarded silver for “Best PR by an In-House Communications Team” at Marketing-Interactive’s PR Awards 2021. The recognition was for its handling of panic buying and scams when the pandemic first hit Singapore.
- Carousell activated its content moderation team to take down listings and reach out to sellers directly to regulate prices on its platform with the relevant agencies.
- The startup also launched the #ChoosetoGive campaign, highlighting do-gooders on its platform and rallying the wider community to give items freely on Carousell.
- According to the article, the startup ignited a nationwide giving movement, turning negative news into overall positive sentiment about the brand within just a few weeks.
- Read the full story on Marketing-Interactive here.
Against the odds
- Amit Saberwal, CEO of 500-backed hospitality startup RedDoorz appeared on a podcast to speak about how the startup is prevailing against the pandemic.
- In Indonesia, RedDoorz is serving the domestic travel market. Amit shared that hotel owners needed services like RedDoorz’s even more. In addition to its track record of getting an occupancy rate of 10% more than the market, the startup also launched the HygienePass certification program and helplines for hotel owners’ staff.
- On getting where the startup is currently, Amit offered two pieces of advice for new entrepreneurs. One is building a company culture from day one, which he said is “very difficult, if not impossible, to course-correct in the future”. The second is to hire a good accountant. “If you get both these things, right, at least 50% of the job is done,” he concluded.
- Listen to the full podcast on IndoTekno here.
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500 Startups is a venture capital firm on a mission to discover and back the world’s most talented entrepreneurs, help them create successful companies at scale, and build thriving global ecosystems. In Southeast Asia, 500 Startups invests through the pioneering 500 Durians family of funds. The 500 Durians funds have backed over 200 companies across multiple sectors from internet to consumer to deep technology. It continues to connect founders with capital, expertise and powerful regional and global networks to help them succeed.
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