500 Southeast Asia
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500 Southeast Asia

Durians Daily #84: Singapore space tech startup to provide cost-effective 5G with a laser network; Doyobi launches a pilot program with six global partners; Fave works with Singtel and DBS on digital payments

Lightning-fast lasers

  • Centauri is a device that uses laser communication to create a wireless distribution network between buildings, traditional cell towers, street-level poles, and other physical infrastructure.
  • The Centauri is compactly shaped like a shoebox and weighs less than 3kg.
  • Created by 500-backed space tech startup Transcelestial, the goal is to “deliver a step-change in internet connectivity globally”.
  • Co-founder Rohit Jha tells e27 that two versions of the device are available: 1Gbps Full Duplex (4G & Enterprise ready) and 10Gbps Full Duplex (5G-ready).
  • “Last-mile connectivity is a big challenge in countries like India where extremely complex land rights issues prevent high-speed fibre deployments and ownership at low cost,” he said.
Credit: e27
  • When the device is paired with a telco infrastructure, it reveals the status of connectivity on a large scale. This is possible with a network monitoring and management software sold with every Centauri.
  • “We can help telecom companies rapidly set up high-speed cell tower networks (especially for 5G) and for enterprises on their internal networks,” he added.
  • With 5G soon becoming a reality in Singapore, Transcelestial believes Centauri can play a part in the roll-out process.
  • “In Singapore, fibres go to most buildings. But to get a 5G network dense enough, the telcos will need to deploy on-street furniture, shophouses, street lamp posts, etc. All of this will incur massive costs and lots of time (it takes usually ages to get permits in Singapore to dig roads) if fibre is used.
  • “Transcelestial’s Centauri helps offset that massive additional cost and time of fibre rollout for SG telcos. 5G can hence be rolled out significantly faster and with much scalable CAPEX to telco and end customers,” Rohit said.

Start coding

  • 500-backed edtech startup Doyobi has officially launched its Pilot Programme with six global partners. They range from a coding school in India, to swimming coaches in the Philippines, to a tutoring marketplace in Brazil.
  • Partners in the respective countries will kick off the “Science with Code” course over the following months and collate feedback from students and parents.
  • Throughout the program, Doyobi staff will assist their partners to ensure they get the support required.
Credit: Doyobi
  • Science with Code” is an all-rounded curriculum comprising 10 projects over a 20hour period, complete with interactive videos, quizzes, and projects. According to Doyobi, the curriculum is inspired by Singapore MOE’s Primary Science syllabus themes.
  • A coding background is not required to get onboard as Doyobi provides self-study materials and training workshops for educators.
  • Applications for the pilot program are now open, accepting educators from anywhere in the world.
  • For more information on the pilot program, visit Doyobi’s official website here or get in touch here.

Fave x DBS x Singtel

  • 500-backed digital merchant Fave is joining forces with Singapore’s DBS Bank and Singtel Dash to offer payment options.
  • DBS PayLah! and Singtel Dash users can transact digitally via the scanning of SGQR codes at Fave-partnered merchants to enjoy instant merchant cashback of up to 20%, starting from August and early September 2020 respectively.
  • Scanning can be done at over 12,000 F&B and retail merchants around Singapore.
Credit: Fave
  • “We are enabling merchants to extend their loyalty and cashback beyond Fave’s ecosystems to more Singaporeans via different mobile wallets, while concurrently offering more payment choices to all Singaporeans, regardless of what payment apps they use,” said Ng Aik-Phong, regional managing director of Fave Singapore and Malaysia.
  • To date, Fave is available across 35 cities in Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia with over 30,000 merchants on its platform specializing in F&B, beauty & wellness, retail, services, fitness, travel.

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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.

This post is intended solely for general informational or educational purposes only. 500 Startups Management Company, L.L.C. and its affiliates (collectively “500 Startups”) makes no representation as to the accuracy or information in this post and while reasonable steps have been taken to ensure that the information herein is accurate and up-to-date, no liability can be accepted for any error or omissions. All third party links in this post have not been independently verified by 500 Startups and the inclusion of such links should not be interpreted as an endorsement or confirmation of the content within. Information about portfolio companies’ markets, competitors, performance, and fundraising has been provided by those companies’ founders and has not been independently verified. Under no circumstances should any content in this post be construed as investment, legal, tax or accounting advice by 500 Startups, or an offer to provide any investment advisory service with regard to securities by 500 Startups. No content or information in this post should be construed as an offer to sell or solicitation of interest to purchase any securities advised by 500 Startups. Prospective investors considering an investment into any 500 Startups fund should not consider or construe this content as fund marketing material. The views expressed herein are as at the date of this post and are subject to change without notice. One or more 500 Startups fund may have a financial interest in one or more of the companies discussed.



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