New acquisitions: Early Stage

Philanthropy, clean data, and healthcare.

Image credit to 123rf.com.cn.

After Ofo and oBike folding in Singapore, the city-state’s disused shared bikes are finding a second life. With the help of homegrown bike rental firm Anywheel, Yangon-based nonprofit Lesswalk has acquired 10,000 bicycles—4,000 that belonged to Ofo and 6,000 from oBike. They were originally destined for the scrapyard, according to The Strait Times. The bikes will be refurbished and given to students in Myanmar who would otherwise spend up to an hour walking to school. Lesswalk was founded by Mike Than Tun Win, who spent 18 years in Singapore. He established Lesswalk to make the commutes of students in Myanmar’s rural areas just a little easier. This batch will be given away by the end of the year, then Than Tun Win may be looking further afield to do the same in Laos and Cambodia as well.

For artificial intelligence systems to function, they need to be “taught,” and it’s no surprise that the process of generating massive data sets for this education can be outsourced. Malaysia-based Supahands does just that, and their niche business was recognized by investors in the form of an undisclosed amount of Series A funding led by Patamar Capital and Cradle Seed Ventures. The company’s previous investors include 500 Startups and the Axiata Digital Innovation Fund, and it stands out as being a primarily women-led firm. With its fresh funds, Supahands plans to expand in the Asia-Pacific region, bringing clean data to firms that seek to rapidly train the software brains in social networks, e-commerce platforms, autonomous vehicles, and more.

Over in Singapore, four-year-old healthtech startup Klinify has been acquired by healthcare services provider Zuellig Pharma, one of the largest groups in Asia’s health industry. Klinify calls itself a digital medical assistant and provides cloud-based data storage and business intelligence for clinics. So far, more than 800 doctors in Malaysia have adopted Klinify’s system in their practice, making the startup an attractive acquisition in Zuellig Pharma’s quest to build a digital platform in the Asia-Pacific region.

“Early Stage” is a series where the writers of KrASIA highlight startups that caught our eye for the week, whether they achieved an important milestone, rolled out a truly innovative product, or became embroiled in controversy.