Asian business start-ups

Asian business start-ups

It bodes well for prospective businesses in the Philippines that there is currently a resurgence in technology-orientated start-ups elsewhere around the Pacific rim. Here is our overview of some of the more exciting developments.


An Indonesian innovation, BrandClozet offers Indonesian users a weekly service, offering flash sales of both local and global labels. BrandClozet is run by its founder, Detty Wulandari, affiliated to Fazzione. This organization has been offering flash sales to members since 2012.


ReferralCandy is an app that has been developed by Anafore, a business start-up operating from Singapore. This has been designed to allow users to implement ‘refer a friend' type programs, using the platform of email marketing. ReferralCandy is integrated with major e-commerce resources, such a Magento and Shopify. An oversubscribed funding round recently saw 778,000 being raised in US dollars for this start-up.


Cinnamon is a start-up based in Japan. They pitched a popular photograph manipulation app, Seconds, at the Startup Asia Singapore conference recently. In addition, they have also announced receipt of $1.5 million worth of funding, received from CyberAgent Ventures, Golden Gate Ventures, Incubate Fund and TSB Innovation Partners. This welcome injection of cash has arrived just in time for Cinnamon's launch of PicChat – the revamped version of Seconds, the latter having been removed from Google Play and the App Store.


ITviec, based in Vietnam, is an IT-specific recruitment agency that has been ticking over nicely since its inception last July. ITviec can be relied upon to provide interesting background information on the IT industry's trends, that is of use to technologically-driven employers and employees beyond Vietnam.

Kelas Cinta

Indonesia's KelasCinta (which translates as love class) are aiming to be a one-stop answer for dating and relationship needs. It is the brainchild of offline training company, Hitman System, who have been educating Indonesian singletons since 2006!


Based in Malaysia, Apzillo allows application developers to promote the apps they are working on through the advertising medium of dedicated website space. In this way hits can be transformed to more user-generated revenue.

Art Loft

Singapore's Art Loft, launched at the end of last year, is a website for the renting and buying of various types of art. It was instigated by an art enthusiast, along with the founders of a Singapore start-up called Soldgers. The latter had previously dabbled in the penny auction business. Art Loft currently has over 500 piece of art listed in the site, and are actively looking at ways of generating more interested investors.