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singapore’s hottest startups

20 Startups to watch in 2013

Check out these hot startups offering a range of products and services from online beauty and fashion stores to stock market simulation apps to aerial vehicles for non-military purposes.


ingapore Business Review brings you 20 of the hottest startups in the city that started operating from 2007. Find out how the founders managed to make their business flourish with initial funding that ranges from as little as $15,000 to as much as $68.4 million. We have gathered some exclusive information on who the founders are, how much funding each startup received and what products they offer. Read on and see how each startup can best serve you this year. 1. Luxola Founders: Alexis Horowitz-Burdick; Camille Schu Funding: $1.24m, WaveMaker Labs and National Research Foundation Start of operation: September 2011 Luxola bills itself as the first legitimate online beauty store in South East Asia. It competes with other online beauty stores selling grey and black market products. It boasts itself as the only online beauty store in the region selling 100% authentic products and being backed by every single brand they work with. A year after its founding, Luxola started shipping to Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Brunei. It plans to ship to more countries in 2013 such as the Philippines and Vietnam.

2. GushCloud Founders: Vincent Ha; Althea Lim Funding: US$500,000, F&H Fund Management Start of operation: 18 February 2012 GushCloud runs the website GushAd which bills itself as the only platform that brings consumers into the advertising game through incentivised engagement. It allows them to perform actions on behalf of brands in exchange for a cash reward - tweeting a message and a link, completing surveys for marketing research companies, signing up or downloading apps and even buying and sharing about products. The range of rewards is between $0.50 to $100. 3. Travelogy Founders: Winnie Tan; Eric Koh Funding: $250,000; Crystal Horse Investments, Singapore Media Development Authority via 34 SINGAPORE BUSINESS REVIEW | FEBRUARY 2012

the i.JAM Reload scheme Start of operation: August 2010 Travelogy builds scalable online travel portals with a focus in Southeast Asia. It has two main products: and Tripzilla is an outbound travel portal which according to founders has seen more than 100,000 visits monthly. They add that both traffic and user registrations are growing at more than 15% every month. As for, it is a destination marketing platform for inbound visitors. It aims to be a one-stop travel portal that engages visitors at every stage of their trip to Singapore.

4. TradeHero Founders: Dinesh Bhatia; Dominic Morris Funding: $600,000, TNF Ventures through the Technology Incubation Scheme under Singapore’s National Research Foundation Start of operation: Mid-December 2012 TradeHero is a free stock market simulation app which draws real-world data from stock exchanges to create an unrivalled global social investment network. Users can compete with friends from their social networks, or on the global leaderboards with users from across the world. According to founders, the app brings novice and knowledgeable traders together, allowing novice traders to subscribe for stock tips via push notifications, and top traders to earn subscription fees from followers.

“GushCloud allows users to perform actions on behalf of brands in exchange for a cash reward.”

Singapore Business Review  
Singapore Business Review  

February-March 2013 issue