500 Southeast Asia
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500 Southeast Asia

Durians Daily #89: BukuKas co-founder shares why he’s building a digital ledger for Indonesia; Space tech firm Aliena recognized in Singapore Parliament; Movel AI is looking for new talent via Singapore’s deep-tech traineeship program

From India to Indonesia

  • Krishnan Menon moved to Jakarta after graduating from BITS Pilani, one of India’s premier tech institutes.
  • He then worked at e-commerce giant Lazada before stepping into the startup scene with Fabelio, the 500-backed online furniture company that he exited in 2019.
  • But it wasn’t the end of Krishan’s entrepreneurial journey.
  • He moved on to start BukuKas with Lorenzo Peracchionea, whom he knew from Lazada.
  • BukuKas is a digital ledger helping Indonesian MSMEs manage their bookkeeping via a user-friendly mobile app.
  • With many micro-entrepreneurs still relying on pen and paper to record their expenditures, BukuKas’ solutions provide end-to-end visibility on cash flow, allowing them to stay updated with the health of their businesses through a digital lens.
Credit: BukuKas
  • As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to limit physical interactions, BukuKas saw a spike in user numbers.
  • In March, BukuKas onboarded 15,000 businesses, which then jumped to 100,000 in July, Menon revealed.
  • To date, BukuKas has close to a million merchants registered on the platform, with 250,000 daily active users. Earlier this month, the company secured US$9 million in pre-Series A funding.
  • Read Krishan’s full interview here.

Parliamentary representation

  • Dr Mark Lim, the founder of 500-backed space tech firm Aliena, was mentioned during a parliamentary seating in Singapore recently.
  • MP Shawn Huang was presenting on the importance of grooming homegrown talent for emerging technologies.
  • He cited Dr Mark as a prime example of the work he’s doing with Aliena.
  • The company focuses on cost-effective technologies that enable satellites to maneuver smoothly in space.
  • These technologies provide plasma-thruster systems, which give satellites longer lifetimes, compared to conventional thrusters that are prone to failure after extended periods of operation.
Credit: The Straits Times
  • “Aliena and Dr Mark are prime examples of how through pursuit of mastery, young Singapore companies and individuals can leverage expertise within their domains to do well on the global stage, and to break new ground in emerging frontiers such as space.,” he said.
  • Catch MP Shawn Huang speak about Dr Mark and Aliena here.

Attention, tech talents!

  • A slew of job openings and opportunities are opening at two separate virtual events in Singapore, perfect for those keen on diving into the world of deep tech.
  • More than 30 deep tech start-ups and companies will be offering over 200 apprenticeships and full-time positions for students, fresh graduates, and mid-career professionals.
  • The first event “New Frontier: Deep Tech Opportunities and Jobs” will feature positions including technical roles in areas such as software development and robotics engineering, as well as sales and business development.
Credit: Movel AI
  • Separately, “Power X”, a new full-time and 9 month-long deep-tech traineeship program allows participants to acquire insightful experience through on-the-job training.
  • The course will run over nine months, with trainees undergoing structured formal training with assessments and a capstone project in the first phase, and then doing full-time, on-the-job training at the attached companies during the second phase.
  • They can potentially be placed in full-time robotics roles in their partner companies.
  • 500-backed Movel AI is taking part in the program. Co-founder Abhishek Gupta said this is a good opportunity for trainees to put their knowledge into practice.
  • “There is a high demand for good robotics engineers, but most candidates with a good foundation may lack essential or industry skills to put this knowledge into practice. Trainees who have acquired relevant skills through formal and hands-on training will definitely be potential candidates for our team,” he said.
  • Founded in 2016, Movel AI delivers human-like precision and movements to robots for different industries, from AGVs (automated guided vehicles) traversing factory grounds for logistical movements, to inspection robots scanning structural defects within multi-story buildings, to enabling automated navigation in personal mobility devices.
  • To know more about Movel AI, visit their website here.

Missed out the last Durians Daily? Go here to check it out.

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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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