We just reported that Bindo, winner of Startup Arena at our Startup Asia Singapore 2014 conference, landed US$1.8 million in seed funding from East Ventures. The team’s wasting no time putting the investment to use, as it just opened an office in Singapore, its first in Southeast Asia.
Bindo’s Benedict Wong, tells Tech in Asia that the startup has roped in a team of local developers and several business development reps with extensive experience in POS and payments. While Bindo maintains offices in Hong Kong and New York, the team had long considered setting up an office in the Lion City due to its relatively sophisticated retail industry, and its status as the economic hub of Southeast Asia.
There is huge growth potential in Asia, especially emerging markets such as SE Asia. Singapore is great because it already has a relatively sophisticated e-commerce industry, so we do not need to do too much education in the market.
Wong also added that the team’s success at Startup Asia Singapore 2014 not only helped connect it with East Ventures, but also helped generate lots of interest from potential clients.
Since the Tech in Asia coverage on us, we have been getting a lot of increase in inbound traffic, and we are almost having issues finding enough sales people to handle the overwhelming amount of leads we’ve been receiving – which is a good problem to have! We connected to Willson [Cuaca, cofounder and managing partner of East Ventures] via the Startup Arena competition. After doing some research, we agreed they would be huge value-add, especially given both their founders’ personal experience in the e-commerce space in Southeast Asia, as well as their fund’s consumer-heavy investment portfolio. We needed mentors who understood the Southeast Asian market well, and East Ventures seemed perfect for us.
In addition to seeking out customers in the US and Southeast Asia, the Bindo team currently is hard at work on developing Bindo Marketplace, which will serve as a mobile shopping hub for all the local businesses it serves. The startup expects to release the app towards the end of the year.
Disclosure: East Ventures is also an investor in TechinAsia. See our ethics page for more information.