It’s one of the largest startup competitions in emerging markets. Based in Switzerland, Seedstars promotes, connects and invests up to $ 1 Million in startups in emerging markets. Returning to Sri Lanka for its 3rd iteration, once again we saw a collection of local startups participate once again. Here’s what we found at Seedstars Colombo 2018.
There are approximately 150 million fans of cricket in South East Asia. Seeing this, Cricrush is bringing fantasy sports to these fans. This is an app that allows you to pick players and play a game with your friends. Their revenue comes from sponsored leagues, in-app purchases, and subscriptions. Their future plans include launching a Facebook game and cementing partnerships with cricket boards.
The second startup we saw pitch at SeedStars Colombo 2018 was KitGro. This is an e-commerce startup that focuses on kitchen items and groceries. They’ve been operating since Mid-July 2018. In that time they’ve gotten over 1000 downloads. They’ve also partnered with over 100 vendors and 3rd party delivery services. Currently, their primary objective is to obtain funding, which is probably why we’ve seen them before.
Unfortunately, they don’t sell brooms. Rather, this startup offers an online service to pre-book taxis. To be precise, these taxis aim to serve travelers going on long distance trips. So once the traveler posts details about their trip, the taxi drivers would bid an amount. Afterward, the traveler can pick the best price they want.
The next startup we saw at SeedStars Colombo 2018 was a Sri Lankan stock photography website. As the name suggests, this is a website for photographers to upload pictures about Sri Lanka. Agencies can purchase these photographs from the original photographer. Picture.lk would, of course, take a small commission. Additionally, the startup also offers virtual tours.
The next startup we saw was one we met last year as well. DirectPay is a payment platform that utilizes QR codes. For each transaction conducted, it takes a commission of 1%. Since we saw them last year, they stated that they’ve partnered with 3000 merchants. Currently, they have bold ambitions to enable personal fund transfers, insurance services, e-commerce, and government services. Furthermore, they’ve also collected many awards, which includes one at the APITCA Awards 2018.
Afterward, we saw Pikanite. This startup is an on-demand platform that offers last minute hotel deals. The hotels can use the Pikanite mobile and web app to sell their daily unsold rooms by offering them at discounted prices. The team shared with us that they’re primarily aimed at last minute travelers looking for accommodation. They earn money by taking a commission on every transaction conducted through their app. Currently, they’ve partnered with over 200 hotels and have expanded to offer local travel experiences as well.
This is a startup that wants to help you earn money. It aims to do so by helping you find the best rates for fixed deposit accounts. Currently, the startup has signed up with 10 financial institutions. It hopes to partner with 35 more institutions in the future. To do so, they’re looking at obtaining celebrity endorsements.
The next startup we saw aimed to help you plan events. Million Spaces is an online platform that allows you to book venues for events. It does this in a similar manner to PickMe and Uber. It connects event organizers with people that have spaces that are unused, which can become a venue.
This is a startup that collects, analyzes, and shares details of students enrolled in classes. This allows parents and guardians of the students to monitor the progress of their children. Through this, Smartclass aims to create a better learning environment for students.
This was a startup offering a CRM for patients. The platforms allowed hospitals to manage appointments, a clinical health record system, etc. OutPatient offers their CRM system on a subscription basis. Once implemented, they charge a monthly fee from users.
The final startup we saw at Seedstars Colombo 2018 was one we met before as well. Sixer Video aims to change the recruitment process. Rather than using CV’s, Sixer Video offers a platform where potential recruits could send a video pitch instead. It works by potential recruits entering a code and then making their pitch.
So who won Seedstars Colombo 2018?
Once the pitches were done, it was time for the judges to decide the winners. When they returned, we finally got our answer. The winners of Seedstars Colombo 2018 were, Million Space in 3rd place, Pikanite in 2nd place, and DirectPay being crowned the winners. DirectPay will go on to represent Sri Lanka at the Seedstars regional summit in November. If they win there, then they’ll go on to the Seedstars World Global Summit.