Online platform Startup-O brings accessible funding for startups
MANILA, Philippines – Startup-O, an online platform based in Singapore, is on a mission to change the old game of getting investments for startups.
More and more millennials are venturing into entrepreneurship, however research shows access to capital is still of the main challenges aspiring Filipino entrepreneurs are facing.
"The old game of getting your idea funded could be effective but it takes up a lot of time and resources as well," says Anuj Jain, CEO of Startup-O.
Most entrepreneurs who have a promising idea start out by joining startup competitions, demo days, and other startup pitching events that may just seem like a 'beauty pageant.'
Some founders in the country also spend resources travelling to countries like Singapore and Malaysia to look for potential investors.
In the Philippines, successful entrepreneurs who got funded early on are mostly Filipino-Americans who studied in the US or have worked with tech companies in Silicon Valley.
What about the wantrepreneurs from the countryside or those who do not have access to the right clout? Startup-O aims to solve this dilemma.
The vision of Startup-O is to democratize the process of raising funds for promising and viable startups, says Jain.
Startup-O curates and connects startups with experts and serial entrepreneurs from different countries.
“Technology is a great leveler. While we are talking right now, a startup from a rural village in any country might be undergoing an interview with one of our expert entrepreneurs,” he added.
While the online platform provides an accessible and fast option to raise money, the 10-week application process composed of online assessments, interviews, and analysis is definitely not easy.
According to Jain, they designed the platform's system in a way that both qualitative and quantitative data from interviews and online assessments complement each other and help them decide if they should fund a startup.
As of this article's publication, 503 startups in 32 countries already registered to the platform. Of them, only 8 startups have successfully received funding so far.
PaidUp, a fintech company enabling cashless transactions between small businesses and their customers, is the only Philippine startup to make it to the list.
Jain mentioned that even if startups don't make it to the final cut of the rigorous 10-week process, they still use the platform to connect and collaborate with other entrepreneurs globally.
The 2017 Philippine Startup Survey estimates there are more than 300 startups present in the country, most of which were founded between 2012 and 2017.
Startup-O will open its next round of seed investments in January 2018. – Rappler.com