Forbes Asia 100 To Watch 2022

As published by: Forbes


Asia-Pacific’s small companies and startups on the rise


As Asia-Pacific moves into post-pandemic mode, the qualities of creativity, resilience and capacity for change shine through in the second Forbes Asia 100 to Watch list. We spotlight 100 small companies and startups across the region that are addressing real-world challenges with fresh thinking and innovative products and services. These include faster blood tests, more accessible elderly care services, and well-being apps to help those struggling with isolation or burnout. Others on our list are taking aim at climate change, through uber-long-lasting batteries, for example, and more-resilient crops. Some offer fintech solutions to digitalize—and connect—underserved markets. Fifteen countries and territories are represented across 11 categories that include biotechnology and healthcare, e-commerce and retail, and finance. Singapore’s vibrant startup community contributed 19 companies to the list, followed closely by Hong Kong with 16.


Edited by John Kang and Catherine Wang


Editing assistance and reporting by Yue Wang


Additional reporting by Jayde Cheung, Zinnia Lee, Yessar Rosendar, Simran Vaswani and Ardian Wibisono

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METHODOLOGY: To select our 100 to Watch, Forbes Asia solicited online submissions, and invited accelerators, incubators, SME advocacy organizations, universities, venture capitalists and others to nominate companies as well. The final 100 was selected from over 650 submissions. To qualify for consideration, companies had to be headquartered in the Asia-Pacific region, privately owned, for profit, have no more than $50 million in its latest annual revenue and have no more than $100 million in total funding through Aug. 1. Our team evaluated each submission, looking at metrics such as a positive impact on the region or industry, a track record of strong revenue growth or ability to attract funding, promising business models or markets, and a persuasive story. The editors reserve the right to remove or replace any company or individual included in a list in light of any new information that would disqualify them from inclusion.

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AgroStar

India


Category: Agriculture

Year founded: 2013 • CEO: Shardul Sheth

Key backers: Aavishkaar Capital, Accel, Bertelsmann India Investments, British International Investment, Chiratae Ventures, Evolvence, Hero Enterprise, International Finance Corporation, Rabo Frontier Ventures, Schroders Capital


From left: AgroStar cofounders Shardul Sheth and Sitanshu Sheth.

COURTESY OF AGROSTAR


AgroStar’s mission is to “help farmers win” by providing advisory services to improve crop yields and the chance to connect with exporters. It also launched a quality assurance lab in May to test seeds and fertilizers. The startup says its digital network spans over 6.5 million farmers across India, and it processes roughly 70 million data points a month to tailor recommendations. Through the AgroStar app, farmers can ask questions to experienced “AgroDoctors,” watch tutorials on topics such as soil quality, and network with other farmers. So far it has raised $96 million in funding.

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AI For Pet

South Korea


Category: Biotechnology & Healthcare

Year founded: 2020 • CEO: Euna Hur

Key backers: Google for Startups, Industrial Bank of Korea, Korea Asset Investment Securities, Postech Holdings, Shinhan Square Bridge


AI For Pet operates an app that can detect eye and skin diseases in cats and dogs using software that analyzes photos users take with their phones. Over 1 million samples of imaging data, labeled by veterinary experts, were used to develop its AI models, the company says.

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Alami

Indonesia


Category: Finance

Year founded: 2019 • CEO: Dima Djani

Key backers: AC Ventures, East Ventures, FEBE Ventures, Golden Gate Ventures, Lendable, Tryb Group, Quona Capital


Alami aims to transform the Islamic finance industry, starting with its Sharia-compliant peer-to-peer lending platform for small and midsized businesses. The startup says its annual disbursement growth tripled over the past two years as it tapped into Indonesia’s growing fish farming and logistic sectors, to bring the total to over $200 million disbursed so far.

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Ami

Singapore


Category: Biotechnology & Healthcare

Year founded: 2022 • CEO: Justin Kim

Key backers: Collaborative Fund, Goodwater Capital, January Capital, K3 Ventures, Meta, Strong Ventures


Ami, a “human-centric” mental wellness startup, pairs employees with mental-health professionals to help improve workplace well-being in Asia. The startup has raised $4 million to date and serves over 20 companies and startups in Singapore and Indonesia, with plans to expand into South Korea, Hong Kong, Thailand and Vietnam.


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Animall

India


Category: Agriculture

Year founded: 2019 • CEO: Neetu Yadav

Key backers: Beenext, Rocketship.vc, Susquehanna Asia


Animall lets farmers in India trade cattle directly with each other via its app. The startup, which began in 2019, has now reached more than 8 million dairy farmers, it says. Animall has supported 850,000 cattle sales in the past three years. It also trades its own animals.

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Apartmentary

South Korea


Category: Consumer Technology

Year founded: 2015 • CEOs: Junyoung Kim, Soyeon Yoon

Key backers: Daol Investment, KB Investment, Reverent Partners, Samsung Venture Investment, Shinhan Capital, SoftBank Ventures Asia


Apartmentary aims to digitalize South Korea's large but fragmented home renovation market. The Seoul-based startup developed a website and app for end-to-end home renovation services. It claims almost 60% of its customers were very satisfied with its services, higher than the industry average.

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ArchiREEF

Hong Kong


Category: Construction & Engineering

Year founded: 2020 • CEO: Vriko Yu

Key backer: HKSTP


A spinoff company from the University of Hong Kong, ArchiREEF is on a mission to restore coral reefs destroyed by climate change with 3D-printed terracotta tiles. The company works with the governments of Hong Kong and Abu Dhabi, and aims to replace 4,000 coral fragments across the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans by 2025.

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Astro Technologies

Indonesia


Category: E-commerce & Retail

Year founded: 2021 • CEO: Vincent Tjendra

Key backers: AC Ventures, Accel, Citius, Global Founders Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Sequoia India, Tiger Global

COURTESY OF ASTRO TECHNOLOGIES


Astro Technologies promises a 15-minute delivery of groceries to 50 locations in the greater Jakarta area. To ensure on-time delivery, it operates a network of dark stores—distribution centers for online shopping—and claims to have 1,500 dedicated drivers. The startup says it raised $91.6 million from three funding rounds.

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Atom Semiconductor Technologies

Hong Kong


Category: Enterprise Technology

Year founded: 2020 • CEO: George Yuan

Key backers: Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund, HKSTP, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Qiming Venture Partners


Founded by George Yuan, a Hong Kong University of Science and Technology electrical engineering professor who earned a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, Atom Semiconductor Technologies is one of Hong Kong’s few semiconductor companies. It designs high-performance signal-chain chip solutions for the Internet of Things, with consumer, medical and industrial applications.

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Avant Meats

Hong Kong


Category: Food & Hospitality

Year founded: 2018 • CEO: Carrie Chan

Key backers: Artesian, China Venture Capital, CPT Capital, HKSTP, Lever VC, ParticleX


Using cell-culture technology, Avant Meats is growing fish filets and fish maw (air bladders), which are considered a delicacy in China. The startup has raised about $14 million in funding so far, and is planning to launch a pilot plant in Singapore next year.

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AwanTunai

Indonesia


Category: Finance

Year founded: 2016 • CEO: Dino Setiawan

Key backers: Global Brain, IFC, Insignia Ventures Partners


AwanTunai provides Indonesia’s larger grocery stores as well as mom-and-pop shops with online financing and payment services, helping to digitalize an otherwise offline sector that mainly relies on cash transactions. Its app also connects stores with suppliers and provides inventory and order management services.

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Backpackr

South Korea


Category: E-commerce & Retail

Year founded: 2012 • CEO: Donghwan Kim

Key backers: Altos Ventures, IMM Investment


Backpackr operates an online marketplace for handmade goods called Idus, a Korean version of Etsy. Idus has garnered more than 5 million downloads on the Google Play store and about 30,000 artisans are on the platform. In 2015, Backpackr acquired crowdfunding site Tumblbug to develop a creator ecosystem.

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Baraja

Australia


Category: Logistics & Transportation

Year founded: 2016 • CEO: Federico Collarte

Key backers: Blackbird Ventures, HESTA, Hitachi Construction Machinery, InterValley Ventures, Main Sequence, Perennial Partners, Regal Funds Management, Sequoia China

From left: Baraja cofounders Federico Collarte and Cibby Pulikkaseril.

COURTESY OF BARAJA


Based on lidar technology—which uses lasers to detect objects—Baraja developed a product called Spectrum-Scan that makes self-driving safer. The Sydney-based startup says Spectrum-Scan uses refractive optics to increase the resolution and range of object detection. Last year, Baraja raised A$40 million ($28 million) in series B funding led by Blackbird Ventures.

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Bifrost

Singapore


Category: Enterprise Technology

Year founded: 2019 • CEO: Charles Wong

Key backers: Cap Vista, Champion Hill Ventures, Hustle Fund, Lux Capital, Sequoia India, Wavemaker Partners

From left: Bifrost cofounders Aravind Kandiah and Charles Wong.

COURTESY OF BIFROST


Bifrost is addressing the biggest hindrance to developing AI: collecting and annotating vast amounts of data. Instead of manually collecting data, the startup builds virtual worlds to create synthetic datasets that train AI models for applications in areas such as gaming, the metaverse, mobility, robotics, space and defense.

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Bijak

India


Category: Agriculture

Year founded: 2019 • CEO: Nukul Upadhye

Key backers: Bertelsmann India, ON Mauritius, RTP Global, Sequoia India


Bijak aims to digitalize India’s agricultural sector through its B2B commodity trading platform. To simplify the process of finding reliable trade partners, its app supports online payments, and includes a rating system for users to leave reviews. The startup says its 30,000 users are spread across 27 Indian states.

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Bijnis

India


Category: E-commerce & Retail

Year founded: 2015 • CEO: Siddharth Vij

Key backers: InfoEdge, Matrix Partners India, Sequoia India, WaterBridge Ventures


Bijnis cuts out the middleman and lets India’s manufacturers sell directly online, while also offering them credit, payment and logistics services. The startup says its app is used by more than 5,000 factories producing apparel and lifestyle products. Its separate "buyer app" serves more than 100,000 retailers.

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Blue Wall Technologies

China


Category: Construction & Engineering

Year founded: 2019 • CEO: Jeffrey Bai

Key backers: GGV Capital, Hearst Ventures, ZhenFund


Blue Wall Technologies' cloud-based collaboration platform allows real estate companies to manage projects throughout the sales cycle, including tenders, construction, sales and leasing. Despite the Chinese property downturn, Blue Wall Technologies in March bagged $7.4 million in a round led by the venture capital arm of U.S. media giant Hearst Corp.

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Bone's Technology

Hong Kong


Category: Biotechnology & Healthcare

Year founded: 2018 • CEO: Chi Ma

Key backers: HKSTP, Hong Kong Innovation and Technology Commission, MiraclePlus, Sequoia China, Shukun Technology


Bone's Technology develops surgical robots and computer systems to make orthopedic surgery safer and bone health assessments more accurate. The startup says its technology, developed by chief technology officer Huan Qi, who earned a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Oxford University, can raise the accuracy of bone quality testing from 60% to over 90%.

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Cakap

Indonesia


Category: Education & Recruitment

Year founded: 2019 • CEO: Tomy Yunus Tjen

Key backers: Heritas Capital, Indonesia Impact Fund, KB Investment, Mandiri Capital Indonesia, MDI Ventures


Cakap helps Indonesian workers learn other languages online. According to its website, the startup has connected over 2.5 million students studying English, Japanese, Korean and Chinese with over 1,500 teachers through text and video calls. Cakap has also begun to explore using virtual reality and a metaverse platform for its services.

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Cooby

Taiwan


Category: Enterprise Technology

Year founded: 2020 • CEO: Wen Shaw

Key backers: Pear VC, Sequoia India


Customer relationship management software Cooby helps streamline B2C sales on WhatsApp. Its platform for the messaging app allows businesses to analyze conversations with customers, aggregate contacts and share statistics about team performance. With a total of $2.9 million in funding, the startup claims its users span over 80 countries.

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DataMesh

China


Category: Construction & Engineering

Year founded: 2015 • CEO: Jie Li

Key backers: IDG Capital, Lenovo Capital, Susquehanna Asia


Using extended reality (XR) technology, DataMesh enables real-life inspection of construction projects before completion. It has been deployed to simulate the construction of the venue for the SAGA2024 Japan Games and National Sports Festival for People with Disabilities. DataMesh says it has about 200 clients.

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Desty

Indonesia


Category: E-commerce & Retail

Year founded: 2020 • CEO: Mulyono Xu

Key backers: 5Y Capital, East Ventures, Fosun RZ Capital, January Capital, Jungle Ventures


Using Desty's service, merchants in Indonesia with no coding skills are said to be able to easily create online stores and social media landing pages. The startup also offers features to manage inventories and provide customer metrics. Desty claims nearly 1 million merchants use its services.

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DimOrder

Hong Kong


Category: Food & Hospitality

Year founded: 2019 • CEO: Ben Wong

Key backers: Cyberport, HKSTP, Pareto Holdings, Y Combinator


DimOrder started out helping restaurants digitize their menus and then expanded to providing a one-stop platform that enables order and inventory management, payment processing, income analytics and marketing. In the past year, more than 1,000 restaurants started using its platform, it says, including Singapore billionaire Zhang Yong’s Haidilao hotpot chain.

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Doctornow

South Korea


Category: Biotechnology & Healthcare

Year founded: 2019 • CEO: Jiho Jang


Key backers: CRIT Ventures, Hashed, Saehan Venture Capital, SoftBank Ventures Asia


The telemedicine startup partners with hospitals and pharmacies to provide remote treatment and prescription-drug delivery services. Its app has reached more than a million downloads on the Google Play store, making it one of the top medical apps in South Korea. The startup said it raised $32 million in funding in June.

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DP Technology

China


Category: Biotechnology & Healthcare

Year founded: 2018 • CEO: Weijie Sun

Key backers: Baidu Ventures, Crystal Stream Capital, Hillhouse Capital, Matrix Partners China, Source Code Capital, Qiming Venture Partners, Vision Plus Capital


DP Technology seeks to reduce the high cost associated with drug discovery through AI. The company uses quantum mechanics to develop algorithms that simulate how disease-causing proteins may work. Its partnerships with biopharma companies include Wuxi Biortus Biosciences and Hong Kong-listed Hansoh Pharmaceutical.

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EasyTransfer

Singapore


Category: Finance

Year founded: 2013 • CEO: Michael Shang

Key backers: IDG Capital, Taiyou Fund, ZhenFund


Founded by former international students, the fintech startup helps process tuition payments from overseas students. EasyTransfer says it has serviced more than 250,000 students from over 30 countries since its founding. It has also developed an anti-money laundering platform, based on machine learning, that improves compliance reviews and fraud risk identification.

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Endowus

Singapore


Category: Finance

Year founded: 2017 • CEO: Gregory Van

Key backers: K3 Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Prosus Ventures, Singtel Innov8, SoftBank Ventures Asia, UBS


Digital wealth platform Endowus provides investment advisory services and allows users to manage their private cash savings as well as contributions to Singapore’s Central Provident Fund. The startup is looking to expand to Hong Kong this year.

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EntryLevel

Australia


Category: Education & Recruitment

Year founded: 2020 • CEO: Ajay Prakash

Key backers: Blackbird Ventures, Possible Ventures, Startmate, TEN13


Education startup EntryLevel’s mission is to reskill 1 billion people through online cohort-based programs. To join a six-week class, users pay a $99 bond, which is refunded when they graduate, or they can opt for premium perks like extra content. The startup says its course completion rate is up to 20 times that of competitors, such as Coursera or General Assembly.

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Etaily

Singapore


Category: E-commerce & Retail

Year founded: 2020 • CEO: Alexander Friedhoff

Key backers: Ayala Ventures, Foxmont Capital Partners, Gobi Partners, JG Digital Equity Ventures


Etaily aims to digitalize retail in Southeast Asia by helping stores embrace e-commerce. Its smart services for shops include tech support, operations, branding and data management. Led by former executives of online fashion retailer Zalora, Etaily claims its revenue growth increased eightfold in 2022.

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Euler Motors

India


Category: Logistics & Transportation

Year founded: 2018 • CEO: Saurav Kumar

Key backers: ADB Ventures, Blume Ventures, Jetty Ventures


Euler Motors’ flagship product is an electric three-wheeler called HiLoad, which touts a driving range of up to 151km and can be charged within 15 minutes. The startup also operates its own charging network and an app that lets users monitor their vehicles.

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Fable Food

Australia


Category: Food & Hospitality

Year founded: 2019 • CEO: Michael Fox

Key backers: Blackbird Ventures, Grok Ventures, K3 Ventures


Cofounded by a vegetarian, a fine-dining chef and an organic mushroom farmer, Fable Food offers a plant-based meat alternative made from shiitake mushrooms. The startup provides ready-to-eat meal boxes, such as “beef” stroganoff and curry rice, and supplies food chains including Australia’s Grill’d Healthy Burgers.

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Fano Labs

Hong Kong


Category: Enterprise Technology

Year founded: 2014 • CEO: Miles Wen

Key backers: HKSTP, Horizons Ventures, Saltagen Ventures, University of Hong Kong


Fano Labs founder Miles Wen.

COURTESY OF FANO LABS


An AI startup spun off from the University of Hong Kong, Fano Labs specializes in speech recognition and natural language processing technologies. Its products help companies with their customer service, compliance and sales. The startup says it counts over 40 finance and telecoms companies and government bodies as customers.

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Finhay

Vietnam


Category: Finance

Year founded: 2017 • CEO: Huy Nghiem

Key backers: Insignia Ventures Partners, Openspace Ventures, Thien Viet Securities


Through its micro-investment and wealth management platform, Finhay aims to offer a one-stop shop for investors in Vietnam. The startup says its 2.7 million app users can start investing with as little as $2.20, improving financial inclusion. Finhay's institutional partners include Dragon Capital and Malaysian bank CIMB Group.

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FRND

India


Category: Consumer Technology

Year founded: 2018 • CEO: Bhanu Pratap Singh Tanwar

Key backers: Elevation Capital, India Quotient, Krafton


From left: FRND cofounders Hardik Bansal, Bhanu Pratap Singh Tanwar and Harshvardhan Chhangani.

COURTESY OF FRND


Dating app FRND helps users connect while playing online games. To help break the ice, the company’s matchmakers kickstart audio-based conversations, which are designed to be fun—and safe—experiences. FRND says the app has been downloaded more than 5 million times, and has a rating of 4.2 out of 5 on Google Play.

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G-hcare

China


Category: Biotechnology & Healthcare

Year founded: 2018 • CEO: James Chiu

Key backers: BAI Capital, CCV Capital, Unity Ventures


G-hcare works with Chinese insurers including China Life, China Taiping and Ping An to develop and sell tailored life and healthcare insurance products. It also provides add-on services such as healthcare consulting and insurance for overseas treatment, which its enterprise customers can then market to their users.

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Gense Technologies

Hong Kong


Category: Biotechnology & Healthcare

Year founded: 2017 • CEO: Justin Chan

Key backers: Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, ParticleX


Gense Technologies aims to make medical checkups possible at home. The startup developed a medical-imaging device and accompanying app to identify diseases in the lungs, kidneys and liver at an early stage. The technology can also monitor chronic diseases affecting vital organs.

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GoKwik

India


Category: E-commerce & Retail

Year founded: 2020 • CEO: Chirag Taneja

Key backers: Matrix Partners India, RTP Global, Sequoia India, Think Investments


GoKwik cofounders.

COURTESY OF GOKWIK


Launched during the pandemic, e-commerce startup GoKwik’s mission is to help direct-to-consumer brands and marketplaces increase their sales. Its AI and machine learning software assists online checkouts, automatically correcting addresses and confirming orders. The startup claims it has been used by over 250 brands, to help create more than $1 billion of gross merchandise value.

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GramHeet

India


Category: Agriculture

Year founded: 2020 • CEO: Pankaj Prakash Mahalle

Key backers: Acumen, Indian Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare


GramHeet, a blend of two Marathi words that translates into “prosperity of the village,” aims to help India’s farmers store and profit from their harvests. Through its app, farmers can access GramHeet’s storage services, which the startup claims can increase the shelf life of grains by up to 12 months, and directly sell to buyers.

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Grand Rise Technology

Hong Kong


Category: Biotechnology & Healthcare

Year founded: 2019 • CEO: Tenny Lam

Key backers: HKSTP, Hong Kong Polytechnic University




From left: Grand Rise Technology cofounders Pauline Li and Tenny Lam.

COURTESY OF GRAND RISE TECHNOLOGY


Using proprietary nanotechnology, biotech startup Grand Rise Technology makes health and safety products derived from biodegradable materials, including crustacean shells and thyme. The startup’s InnoCoatex antimicrobial coating is applied to textiles like masks and wipes. It also makes an edible coating that can protect foods from germs and extend the shelf life of fruits. As sanitizing becomes the norm in the wake of the pandemic, Grand Rise Technology says its formulation is safer than that of commercial disinfectants.

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Grit Biotechnology

China


Category: Biotechnology & Healthcare

Year founded: 2016 • CEO: Yarong Liu

Key backers: Apricot Capital, Decheng Capital, Hillhouse Capital, Matrix Partners China, Sherpa Capital


Novel cell therapy company Grit Biotechnology seeks to treat cancer and tumors by enhancing lymphocytes, a type of immune system cell. The startup extracts and then cultivates a patient’s disease-fighting lymphocytes before re-injecting the modified cells. Grit Biotechnology says it entered clinical trials in China in April, having raised a total of $40 million.

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Gusto Collective

Hong Kong


Category: Entertainment & Media

Year founded: 2020 • CEO: Aaron Lau

Key backers: Animoca Brands, Gaw Capital


Gusto Collective is taking marketing to the next level, helping brands engage customers through metaverse technology, including virtual and augmented reality. In February, the startup partnered with auction house Phillips to launch an NFT. Gusto Collective says it has about 90 clients, including Sino Group and The Peninsula Hotels.

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Halter

New Zealand


Category: Agriculture

Year founded: 2016 • CEO: Craig Piggott

Key backers: Blackbird Ventures, DCVC, Icehouse Ventures, Promus Ventures


Halter developed solar-powered, GPS-enabled electronic collars for cows. The collars use noise and vibration to direct cows without the need for farmhands, dogs or fences, allowing farmers to manage and monitor their herds remotely through Halter's accompanying app. The startup says the app can save up to 20 hours of work a week.

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HiCura Medical

Singapore


Category: Biotechnology & Healthcare

Year founded: 2019 • CEO: Cailin Ng

Key backers: Enterprise Singapore, National University of Singapore


Using ultrasound imaging and AI, HiCura Medical developed a device to help anesthetists administer an epidural more accurately to women in labor. The startup claims its technology improves the success rate for initial needle insertion.

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HoloMatic

China


Category: Logistics & Transportation

Year founded: 2017 • CEO: Kai Ni

Key backers: BAI Capital, GAC Capital, IDG Capital, Sequoia China


Self-driving startup HoloMatic develops autonomous parking and autopiloting systems. Its HoloParking software can be enabled remotely from a user's smartphone and guide cars into preferred parking spots. A strategic investor of the startup, China's Guangzhou Automobile Group will use HoloMatic autonomous driving software in car models slated for market debut later this year.

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Homage

Singapore


Category: Biotechnology & Healthcare

Year founded: 2016 • CEO: Gillian Tee

Key backers: East Ventures, Golden Gate Ventures, HealthXCapital, Temasek




Homage founder and CEO Gillian Tee.

COURTESY OF HOMAGE


Inspired by the founder’s experiences of struggling to find caregivers for her ill mother, Homage aims to help customers quickly obtain personalized medical support for their loved ones. The startup’s healthcare services platform caters to adults and the elderly, connecting households with licensed caregivers, nurses, therapists and physicians. It claims its network of over 10,000 care professionals has rendered over 1 million hours of services, including doctor consultations, in-home living assistance, rehabilitation and specialized treatment for conditions like Parkinson’s disease and dementia. Already available in Malaysia and Australia, Homage plans to expand in the region with its $30 million funding round in September.

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I2Cool

Hong Kong


Category: Construction & Engineering

Year founded: 2021 • CEO: Martin Zhu

Key backers: China Prosperity Capital, City University of Hong Kong, HKSTP


I2Cool, a spin-off company from City University of Hong Kong, invented an exterior paint to cool down hot buildings. The startup’s iPaint reflects sunlight and dissipates thermal radiation to lower indoor temperatures without consuming energy.

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I-Kingtec

China


Category: Enterprise Technology

Year founded: 2017 • CEO: Fangping Chen

Key backers: BlueRun Ventures, Hongtai Capital, Suzhou Industrial Park


IoT startup i-Kingtec develops industrial drones and related analytics software. The startup claims its Orca and Tiger Den drones are fully autonomous, with batteries that charge on return to a portable control platform. The drones’ uses include building inspections and emergency rescues.

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Igloocompany

Singapore


Category: Enterprise Technology

Year founded: 2015 • CEO: Anthony Chow

Key backers: EDBI, Insignia Ventures Partners, K3 Ventures, Kickstart Ventures, Wavemaker Partners


Igloocompany's vision to “create a world without keys” underlies its smart access management products. Besides its smart locks for homes, the company helps businesses monitor, control and manage access to properties and facilities like data centers. The startup says it remotely serves over 400 enterprise customers and has issued 5 million digital credentials, as the pandemic spurred demand for contactless access.

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Intellect

Singapore


Category: Biotechnology & Healthcare

Year founded: 2019 • CEO: Theodoric Chew

Key backers: DG Daiwa Ventures, East Ventures, Headline, HOF Capital, Insignia Ventures Partners, JAFCO Asia, K3 Ventures, MS&AD Ventures, PERSOL Holdings, Singtel Innov8, Tiger Global, Y Combinator


Intellect provides a wide range of mental health services to workforces across Asia through its app. Employees can speak with behavioral health coaches and subscribe to self-guided programs. The startup, which has raised $23 million in funding, says it has connected 3 million people to mental health professionals across 20 countries.

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Inteluck

Philippines


Category: Logistics & Transportation

Year founded: 2014 • CEO: Kevin Zhang

Key backers: Creo Capital, East Ventures, MindWorks Capital



Inteluck CEO Kevin Zhang.

ADAM DEAN FOR FORBES ASIA


The tech-driven logistics startup initially helped logistics companies track their vehicle fleets. Today, it facilitates first and mid mile delivery on its data-driven trucking platform. Clients include Coca-Cola, Nestle and billionaire Lucio Tan’s Asia Brewery. The company aims to expand into Vietnam and Indonesia next year.

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Jiwa Group

Indonesia


Category: Food & Hospitality

Year founded: 2018 • CEO: Billy Kurniawan

Key backers: Capsquare Asia, Openspace Ventures


From a single coffee shop in 2018, Jiwa Group now manages three food and beverage chains, comprising over 1,000 outlets in more than 100 Indonesian cities. The company attributes its growth to collaborations with other brands, including those for cosmetics and apparel.

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Kargo Technologies

Indonesia


Category: Logistics & Transportation

Year founded: 2018 • CEO: Tiger Fang

Key backers: AC Ventures, AirAsia Group, Intudo Ventures, Sequoia India, Tenaya Capital


The Indonesia-based "Uber for trucks" startup Kargo Technologies is trying to bring down logistics costs by removing middlemen and reducing empty trips. The startup says it has 75,000 trucks and 30,000 shippers on its platform, serving small and midsized businesses and bigger clients like Coca-Cola, Danone and Ula.

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Kmong

South Korea


Category: E-commerce & Retail

Year founded: 2012 • CEO: Hyeonho Park

Key backers: Altos Ventures, Company K Partners, IMM Investment, InterVest, Mirae Asset Venture Investment


Kmong is the largest online freelance marketplace in South Korea as measured by users, with over 1 million downloads on the Google Play store. In 2019, it launched an enterprise version of its platform that connects skilled freelancers with employers. The Seoul-based startup raised $28 million in series C funding in May last year.

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Leapstack

China


Category: Finance

Year founded: 2016 • CEO: Jason Liu

Key backers: 360 DigiTech, Danhua Capital, DCM, Fomou Assets, FinVolution Group, Gaorong Capital, Puhua Capital, Legend Capital, Lingfeng Capital, UpHonest Capital


Leapstack helps insurers in China control risks, using AI and big data-driven algorithms to calculate payments and detect potential abnormalities, such as excessive fees and fraudulent claims. Building on its total of $50 million in funding, the startup plans to expand outside mainland China—it’s already established offices in Vietnam and Hong Kong.

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Lifelab

South Korea


Category: E-commerce & Retail

Year founded: 2016 • CEO: Hyunjoo Yeon

Key backers: Altos Ventures, Daol Investment, Kakao Ventures


Lifelab operates Cleaning Lab, one of the most popular house-cleaning apps in South Korea. The app, which connects cleaners with residents, has more than 1 million downloads in the Google Play store. The Seongnam-based startup is led by Hyunjoo Yeon, the former head of Kakao's O2O home services business.

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Luup

Japan


Category: Logistics & Transportation

Year founded: 2018 • CEO: Daiki Okai

Key backers: ANRI, ENEOS Innovation Partners, East Ventures, FamilyMart, Obayashi Corporation, Mercuria Investment, Mori Trust, Spiral Capital, SMBC Venture Capital, Sankei Building


Mobility startup Luup offers a sharing service for electric bikes and scooters. The startup says its 5,000 vehicles are available in the Japanese cities of Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Sendai and Yokohama. Going forward, Luup plans to introduce rental options with three and four wheels, which will be more accessible to the elderly and people with disabilities.

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MagAssist

China


Category: Biotechnology & Healthcare

Year founded: 2017 • CEO: Polin Hsu

Key Backers: CDH Investments, Cenova Ventures, Guoqian Medical, Huatai Zijin Investment, Med-Fine Capital, Northern Light Venture Capital, Sequoia China, SND Ventures, TigerYeah Capital



MagAssist founder and CEO Polin Hsu.

COURTESY OF MAGASSIST


Medtech startup MagAssist’s ventricular assist device functions as a heart outside the human body, to provide life support to patients with critical heart failure. Called MoyoAssist, it uses magnetic levitation technology and computational models to ensure blood flow and prevent blood clots. In June, a hospital in China’s Shanxi Province used the device to successfully treat a patient in cardiac shock. A hospital in Wuhan in 2021 used it to provide life support to a patient waiting for heart surgery.

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Magnum Research

Hong Kong


Category: Finance

Year founded: 2016 • CEO: Kelvin Lei

Key backers: Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund, Cyberport, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Lenovo Capital, Zheng He


The startup's AI-powered app, called Aqumon, provides automated financial services to retail and institutional investors. Magnum Research says its software leverages 100 terabytes of data from over 100,000 financial instruments. In October 2020, the fintech startup raised $30 million in a funding round.

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Manatal

Thailand


Category: Education & Recruitment

Year founded: 2019 • CEO: Jeremy Fichet

Key backer: Sequoia India


Manatal’s AI-powered software helps HR professionals sift through the online profiles of job seekers and identify candidates who best fit the role. The cloud-based recruitment software developer also helps companies distribute job openings on platforms such as Careerjet, JobStreet and LinkedIn. The startup claims it has $5.1 million in funding.

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Medici Vietnam

Vietnam


Category: Biotechnology & Healthcare

Year founded: 2019 • CEO: Ngo Duc Anh

Key backers: Insignia Ventures Partners, Jungle Ventures, Wavemaker Partners


Combining medical services and insurance, Medici Vietnam aims to make high-quality healthcare “accessible, available and affordable for every Vietnamese.” The startup says its digital ecosystem encompasses doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies in almost 40 provinces and cities. So far, its platform has added over 10,000 e-health profiles.

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Meridian Innovation

Singapore


Category: Enterprise Technology

Year founded: 2016 • CEO: Hock Leow

Key backers: Creative Technology, Excelpoint, HKSTP, Seeds Capital


With its patented thermal imaging technologies, Meridian Innovation developed a line of low-cost thermal sensors. Its products are used in healthcare, transportation and smart home markets.

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Merkle Science

Singapore


Category: Enterprise Technology

Year founded: 2018 • CEO: Mriganka Pattnaik

Key backers: Darrow Holdings, Fenbushi Capital, K3 Ventures, Uncorrelated Ventures


Merkle Science develops compliance and risk monitoring software for the crypto industry. Its products can analyze transactions, flag risks and detect potential fraud.

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Mobidoo

South Korea


Category: E-commerce & Retail

Year founded: 2013 • CEO: David Lee

Key backers: Capstone Partners, FuturePlay, Lotte Ventures, Samsung Next, SparkLabs


Mobidoo is a one-stop live shopping platform. It operates an app called SauceLive, which allows companies to sell their products via shopping livestreams. Mobidoo also provides software that analyzes customer behavior, including viewing time and purchase conversion, and livestream-support services, such as content planning and casting.

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Momos

Singapore


Category: Food & Hospitality

Year founded: 2020 • CEO: Sai Alluri

Key backers: Alpha Wave, HOF Capital, K3 Ventures, Sequoia India


Acting as a “mission control” for restaurateurs, Momos’ software helps restaurants digitalize their businesses. Launched in 2020, during the peak of the pandemic, the software-as-a-service startup now has 60 employees in four countries and says thousands of restaurants use its time-management tools and customer-response features, among others.

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N.Code

South Korea


Category: E-commerce & Retail

Year founded: 2015 • CEO: Jun Jung

Key backers: Coolidge Corner Investment, MashUp Angels, Shinhan Venture Investment


N.Code CEO Jun Jung.

COURTESY OF N.CODE


N.Code is trying to solve one of the luxury fashion industry's biggest problems: unsold inventory. Its platform, called D.Code, allows users to pre-order luxury items so that brands can better forecast demand, thereby reducing unwanted items.

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NewBanker

China


Category: Finance

Year founded: 2016 • CEO: Qinghao Li

Key backers: CICC Capital, MindWorks Capital, Matrix Partners China, Genesis Capital


NewBanker taps into China’s growing demand for wealth management products. It develops online marketing and consulting software for financial institutions such as banks, public funds and securities companies. According to its website, the startup works with dozens of top funds in China including China Merchants Fund Management, Harvest Fund Management and Yinhua Fund Management.

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Novelship

Singapore


Category: E-commerce & Retail

Year founded: 2018 • CEO: Richard Xia

Key backers: East Ventures, GSR Ventures, K3 Ventures


Novelship operates an online marketplace for limited-edition sneakers, streetwear and other collectibles such as electronics and figurines. The startup claims to have a user base of half a million across the Asia-Pacific, including Singapore, Australia, Indonesia and Malaysia.

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OneDegree

Hong Kong


Category: Finance

Year founded: 2016 • CEO: Alvin Kwock

Key backers: Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund, BitRock Capital, Cathay Venture, Cyberport, Sun Hung Kai & Co.


The insurtech startup's first product was Pawfect Care, offering pet owners insurance for their cats or dogs. Since then, OneDegree, which is one of four virtual insurers in Hong Kong, has expanded into home and fire insurance, as well as digital asset insurance. The startup raised $28 million in an August 2021 funding round.

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Opharmic Technology

Hong Kong


Category: Biotechnology & Healthcare

Year founded: 2016 • CEO: Langston Suen

Key backers: HKSTP, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Pentepebble, Sino Group


Founded by Langston Suen, a Ph.D. graduate of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Opharmic Technology is replacing needle injections for treatment of retinal disease with ultrasound technology. The company invented drug delivery technology that uses ultrasound to speed up the absorption of drugs administered to the sclera (or white part) of the eye.

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Park+

India


Category: Logistics & Transportation

Year founded: 2019 • CEO: Amit Lakhotia

Key backers: Epiq Capital, Matrix Partners India, Sequoia India


Park+ started as a platform that helped users find nearby parking spaces. It has since expanded into multiple auto-related services such as car washing, insurance and toll payment. It also provides corporate clients with real-time parking data, allowing them to manage parking spaces.

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Partly

New Zealand


Category: Enterprise Technology

Year founded: 2020 • CEO: Levi Fawcett

Key backers: Blackbird Ventures, Hillfarrance Venture Capital, I2BF Global Ventures, Icehouse Ventures


Partly helps businesses throughout the auto parts supply chain to organize their data online. Its software solutions include PartsPal, an inventory management tool that can manage compatibility data and connect to e-commerce platforms. With a total of $3.8 million in funding, the startup says its services reach 20 markets worldwide.

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Payhere

South Korea


Category: Finance

Year founded: 2019 • CEO: Jungi Park

Key backers: Hashed, Kimgisa Lab, Mirae Asset Capital, Postech Holdings, SoftBank Ventures Asia

Payhere CEO Jungi Park.

COURTESY OF PAYHERE


Payhere operates cloud-based software and an app that uses a customer's smartphone camera to transact payments without expensive point-of-sale terminals. More than 20,000 brick-and-mortar stores in South Korea use Payhere, according to the startup's website. In March, it raised about $9 million in series A funding.

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PeopleFund

South Korea


Category: Finance

Year founded: 2015 • CEO: Joey Kim

Key backers: 500 Global, Bain Capital, CLSA Capital Partners, D3 Jubilee Partners, Goldman Sachs, Kakao Pay

PeopleFund CEO Joey Kim.

COURTESY OF PEOPLEFUND


The fintech startup operates a peer-to-peer lending platform focused on South Korean subprime borrowers, whose household debt ranks among the world’s highest. PeopleFund says it has a low delinquency rate, thanks to its AI-powered credit-scoring system. The startup has raised about $80 million in funding, including a $63 million series C round in December.

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Plask

South Korea


Category: Entertainment & Media

Year founded: 2020 • CEO: Junho Lee

Key backers: Bigbang Angels, KT Investment, Naver, Smilegate Investment, SpringCamp, Timewise investment


Plask's AI-powered tool enables even novices to create animations for games and video content using just a webcam. The startup's software turns a person's movement captured through a webcam into motion data and automates most of the animation work.

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Pocket FM

India


Category: Entertainment & Media

Year founded: 2018 • CEO: Rohan Nayak

Key backers: Goodwater Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Naver, Tanglin Venture Partners


Audio streaming startup Pocket FM aims to build an entirely personalized, seamless platform for audiobook and podcast content. The startup claims its app features more than 100,000 hours of content in eight Indian languages, drawing over 15 million monthly active users who tune in an average of 100 minutes a day.

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Point Fit Technology