The startup tale is a romantic one: underdogs in the business world relying on a formidable combination of guts, creativity and heart, with sometimes little to no funding, cultivated into huge powerhouses in time.
But the reality is not all startup stories have happy endings, with many startups not making it to profitability. That is why it is important for aspiring entrepreneurs to learn from successful predecessors to figure out their winning formula.
Keep in mind that the same tactics that work for another startup might not work for yours. Learn, but do not slavishly copy.
Here are five promising startups in Malaysia to inspire your own journey into startup stardom.
Video-on-Demand service iflix was founded by Patrick Grove, CEO of Catcha Group, Mark Britt, and merchant bank Evolution Media Capital (EMC).
It has grown quickly since its launch, operating not just in Malaysia but also in the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Brunei, with plans of expansion to other emerging markets.
Since then, the company has built strong partnerships with Telcos, through bundled offerings of both services. With the service being easily accessible via both mobile and the Web, iflix has reached an enviable level of brand visibility, despite the entrance of Netflix into Southeast Asia.
By building strategic partnerships of high value, its products become easily accessible to the masses.
Founded by Ching Wei Lee and Bruno Araujo, personal finance website iMoney has carved an interesting niche for itself: playing the middleman between financial institutions and users looking for financial products.
What the website does effectively is simplifying the process of comparing different financial products, all from a single website. Customers can now reach out to representatives of financial institutions to apply for credit cards, personal loans or more.
Today, the company estimates that it refers at least US$70 million worth of business to financial institutions monthly. iMoney’s goal is to generate US$1 billion worth in total business for banks and more.
Provides objective representation and simplifies the time-consuming process of comparing and purchasing different financial products.
Photo Credit: Kaodim
With its quirky moniker, Kaodim has built a name for itself as a one-stop services marketplace. It was launched by two former lawyers, Choong Fui-Yu and Jeffri Cheong.
Whether you require the services of a cleaner, wedding photographer or plumber, Kaodim is the place to find quotes and possible contractors. With impressive growth in its number of successful referrals, Kaodim has now expanded its services into Singapore and the Philippines.
Kaodim charges a fee to providers of services, while allowing service seekers to use the service for free. An instant on-demand service request is also available for those who want a service provider quickly without having to go through the quotation process.
Successfully addresses an unmet market need, that makes these services more convenient and accessible for both service providers and seekers.
KFit was founded by Joel Neoh, who previously founded GroupsMore – the group-buying site that eventually transformed into Groupon Malaysia.
With KFit, customers are no longer tied down to expensive gym memberships, and instead pay a minimal fee to pick and choose classes from various gyms at their own convenience.
While it first started out by offering flexible fitness passes, KFit has now expanded its services to include other health-related services, such as spas, salons and massage centers.
The simple sign-up process, attractive monthly fees and holistic lifestyle approach, as compared to traditional gym memberships, makes KFit a value alternative for today’s health-conscious customers.
Offering the freedom of choice at an attractive rate.
Founded by Mark Koh, Supahands revolves around helping busy entrepreneurs and businesses alike through an outsourcing platform. Clients can seek help with either one-time or recurring tasks by outsourcing them to a skilled team of SupaAgents who work hard behind the scenes, freeing up their resources to focus on core activities.
To help ensure quality interactions with its customers, an online dashboard is also made available for easy client management and assistance.
Its success lies in making outsourcing a simple and painless process, as opposed to the usual messy and lengthy process of reaching out to third party agencies.
Making it fast and easy for busy entrepreneurs to get help whenever it is needed.
Have some entrepreneurial tips to share? Submit your ideas at Share your Juices.