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Second batch of startups for SPH Plug and Play Accelerator Program take centre stage at Demo Day

Singapore, 17 June 2016 - The eight startups from the second batch of the SPH Plug and Play Accelerator Program took to the stage after a gruelling and rigorous 14-week syllabus and presented their updated business models and future plans as part of “Demo Day’. Demo Day marks the eight startups’ graduation from the program. 

The program is a joint venture between Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), Silicon Valley-based global startup accelerator Plug and Play, and Infocomm Investments, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA).

Held this afternoon at the *Scape’s Ground Theatre, the event was attended by more than 200 guests including senior management of the three partner organisations as well as members of the startup communities such as angel investors, venture capitalists, leaders from corporates and government sectors, and the media.

The SPH Plug and Play Accelerator Program was set up in 2015 to help startups that have innovative business and product ideas which will transform and revolutionise the media industry. 

During the 14 weeks, the startups went through a series of workshops on business models, growth hacking, pitching and fundraising as well as numerous networking events where they engaged with the movers and shakers of their respective product categories and industries. 

To date, this second batch of eight startups has attracted more than S$500,000 in follow-on funding committed before the end of the accelerator program. 

Some highlights of the eight startups’ business development updates are as follows (listed in alphabetical order): 
1. Fixir – www.fixir.coFixir started off as an app that offers quotation for car servicing. During the program, it pivoted its focus to be a concierge for on-demand car services application that solves car-related problems.

2. GOtixs - www.gotixs.comGOtixs developed and launched its platform during the program, and in the space of 40 days, achieved more than S$10,000 in revenue by managing over 40 curated experiences across events, attractions and music festivals which served audience size of more than 1000 participants each.

3. Makerscut – www.makerscut.comMakerscut partnered with more than 40 designers across four countries - Austria, Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore. It has gone live with 18 crowdfunding campaigns, nine of which were successfully funded and have a revenue of more than S$15,000 during the course of the accelerator program.

4. Optimate – www.optimate.coOptimate secured 85 clients from major brands and agencies including sports retailer Decathalon, online services provider Alibaba Cloud and SPH Digital. It underwent a rebranding exercise during the program, and was previously known as Ad+ Platform.

5. Refash – www.refash.sgRefash opened its fourth pop-up store at The Grand Cathay during the program with two more pop-up stores in the pipeline. Refash pivoted following its participation in the program and is currently adopting a hybrid retail strategy, with a monthly revenue of S$40,000.

6. Reserv - www.reserv.sg Reserv worked on several notable property developments such as The Cliff @ CBD and Orchard Scotts Residences during the program. It has achieved double digit growth since its launch and is on track to hit the million-dollar mark in revenue within six months.

7. Soulscape - www.soulscape.asia Soulscape underwent a rebranding exercise during the program and integrated its offline events and online platform. They have recently conceptualised a unique wellness festival series to be launched in 2017 and supported by the Singapore Tourism Board.

8. Wondertech – www.wondertech.ioWondertech, which started as a data aggregation platform, has pivoted during the program to running plug-ins that turns articles into wiki, calledhyperlinked.io. It is currently working with AsiaOne to pilot this product and the beta launch is scheduled for August 2016.
Mr Glenn Ong, Co-founder of Fixir said: "The support given has been incredible. From mentors to the SPH Plug and Play team, they always made it a point to provide us useful input, contacts and advice. Thank you for everything!" 

Mr Ivan Chang, Co-founder of Wondertech said: "The SPH Plug and Play Accelerator Program is one of a kind. We went in with just our natural language processing technology and walked out having a real-life customer, funding from qualified investors and the operation chops to execute our plan for the next 12 months!"

The pioneer batch of the SPH Plug and Play Accelerator Program startups have to date raised over S$3.5million in funding, with Snapask (a provider of on-demand academic support services) having successfully participated in a funding round at a valuation of US$9 million. 

Mr Rudy Lim, Head of SPH Plug and Play, said: “Media is in the midst of unprecedented change. Upholding our core purpose to enrich lives through distribution of high-quality news and information, we strive to push ourselves and others to find the best ways to do so, and we believe that SPH Plug and Play can be a part of that process through grooming this new batch of startups.”

Mr Jupe Tan, SVP Global Operations for Plug and Play, said: “Plug and Play is proud to be part of the journeys of another batch of startups in Singapore and we look forward to working with the teams to accelerate them to greater success.”

For more information on the SPH Plug and Play accelerator program, visit

Website: www.sphplugandplay.com
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/SPHxPnP


Issued by Singapore Press Holdings Ltd
Co. Regn. No. 198402868E


For more information, please contact:

Carinna Goh (Ms)
Marketing and Community Manager
SPH Plug and Play 
Email: carinna@sphplugandplay.com

Yeo Siew Chi (Mr)
Manager
Corporate Communications & CSR
Singapore Press Holdings Limited
DID: 6319 1586
Email: yeosc@sph.com.sg 

Amanda Kwek (Ms)
Communications Manager 
Infocomm Investments Pte Ltd
DID: 6996 6431
Email: amanda@infocomminvestments.com


SPH MEDIA FUND

SPH Media Fund is the corporate venture capital fund of Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (“SPH”) with a fund size of S$100m. The fund has a global mandate and seeks to invest in early-stage innovative companies in the areas of Digital Media (including advertising technology and content aggregation/ distribution/ consumption) and Consumer Internet (including e-commerce, marketplaces, social media, education technology, financial technology, etc). Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (SPH) is Asia’s leading media organisation. Incorporated in 1984, SPH is listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange and is in media, online classifieds, properties, events and out-of-home advertising as well as other businesses.  

PLUG AND PLAY

Plug & Play is a global startup accelerator that specializes in growing high tech startups. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, Plug & Play’s network includes over 200 corporations, investors, universities and other partners across verticals such as Retail, Fin-Tech, Internet of Things, Media and Cloud. Through the investment arm, which began as Amidzad Partners in 1998 and is now Plug & Play Ventures have invested in over 350 high tech startups globally. 

INFOCOMM INVESTMENTS

Infocomm Investments Pte Ltd (IIPL) builds and invests in Singapore and global infocomm technology start-ups. Managing a fund size of more than US$200 million, it accelerates the development of start-ups in their formative phase, and invests further as they grow and expand. Through its investments, partnerships with stakeholders across private and public sectors, and global reach, IIPL plays a central role in building a vibrant and sustainable ecosystem in Singapore for start-ups to flourish. IIPL is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore.