PayPal, a company that has undergone a dramatic corporate history from its IPO to eBay’s acquisition and spinoff to be run again as a separate listed company. Quite a bumpy ride for a company that is only 17 years old. Anyway, the spin-off is now completed and focus should be on the business itself.
Personally, I think the spin-off weighs more benefits for PayPal as a separate company. I am very glad that I have the opportunities to be invited to their “PayPal Uncovered” event at The Hub, Singapore hosted by Braintree, a payment processing company that PayPal acquired in 2013.
In conjunction to their Global Startup Blueprint program, Braintree aims to help Singapore entrepreneurs to run a mobile or web business. The event started with Mr Tyson Hackwood, Head of Asia, Braintree explaining the need of payment solutions and how startups could benefit from Braintree’s payment processing platform. This is followed by Mr Anupam Pahuja, General Manager, Technology, PayPal Asia Pacific who shared about how PayPal helps startups in developing business beyond payment.
I should not dwell into the details about the presentation. In anyway, payment itself is a complex business case and the problem is even more prevailing in developing countries where comprehensive network infrastructure is basically non-existence. I think that is precisely the positioning strategy of Braintree and PayPal. Leave the payment system to the specialist and focus on growing the business. Entrepreneurs could leverage on this program to kick-start their idea. Through the collaboration, startups receive mentorship from PayPal’s Startup Advisors, who have started a company or worked in an early-staged company before.
The event is followed by networking session with the participating business owners. I have listed some of them whom I have the chance to speak to during the event.
Launch in 2015, Airfrov is a Singapore-based peer to peer marketplace that pairs up frequent travellers who have a little extra luggage space to spare, with shoppers who want to buy specific products but do not have the luxury to travel for it. Through Airfrov, shoppers get to enjoy their favourite overseas products more frequently, while buyers het to make a little profit in exchange for filling the empty spaces in their luggage. The platform now has about 18,000 users on the system and boasts a 70% fulfilment rate for purchase requests within two weeks.
Andios Pte Ltd is a Singapore-based startup that is building the trusted online marketplace for pre-owned smartphones in South-East Asia. Andios is backed by Challenger Technologies Limited, a SGX-listed company (stock quote: 573.SI)
Boxgreen is one of the fastest growing healthy snacks subscription companies in Asia, reinventing the way consumers snack by leveraging the power of technology to deliver a personalized box of healthy & delicious treats to your office desk or doorstep. Part of the proceeds from every snack sold also go to providing meals for the needy in Singapore
Cottony aims to provide amazing print quality services on a variety of items such as t-shirts, hoodies, company polo shirts and baby wear. Using a different method called Direct-to-Garment or DTG. Cottony prints directly onto the fabrics using specialty water-based inks, giving wearers a more comfortable feel that last multiple washings.
Going beyond the usual personalized printing providers, Cottony also enables individuals to start their own label without any upfront costs.
Vanitee is the mobile booking destination for quality beauty services from sought-after independent and emerging beauty professionals. It wants to change the way people think about and book beauty services. The company has a simple mission – to champion small beauty businesses and to provide customers with a great experience every single time.
The Vanitee app lets customers schedule appointments or house calls for manicures and pedicures, makeup and hair styling services, lash extensions, brow grooming services and even massages. With over 500 beauty professionals on its platform, a rigorous 27-step vetting process for professionals, and robust user review system, Vanitee aims to be the Airbnb or Uber of the beauty industry.