Local tech start-ups spread their wings

SMART: The ClickDrive black box will allow drivers to access their apps, and will offer details about the performance of their cars.
Local tech start-ups spread their wings

SUCCESS: Mr Lim is the CEO of social-monitoring site JamiQ, hailed as one of last year's fastest-growing tech sites in the Asia-Pacific.


    Jan 03, 2014

    Local tech start-ups spread their wings

    CHECK out what two home-grown start-ups have planned for the new year:

    Track car performance with app platform

    Local start-up ClickDrive wants to make your car app-enabled.

    No, the app cannot drive your car automatically. But it can collect information to give fastidious drivers more details about the performance of their cars.

    For example, how much fuel is used when accelerating and slowing down. Or the torque of a car when it turns.

    Founded in 2012, the start-up has developed a suite of tools called Open Platform.

    App developers can use them to build apps for all models of cars, said ClickDrive's founder, Mr Mark Sutheran.

    Drivers will be able to access their apps through a smart black box that ClickDrive will make this year.

    This box has to be installed in a car, usually under the steering wheel, to access the car's data. Drivers can access the apps and the data through their smartphones, tablets or laptops.

    The start-up, which spent the last two years developing its technology, is now ready to market its product and services globally.

    Mr Sutheran said that ClickDrive will launch Open Platform on Monday to app developers worldwide via Thunderclap, an online marketing site for developers.

    On Jan 31, it will launch its campaign to raise about US$100,000 (S$127,000) on United States-based crowdfunding site Indiegogo. The money will be used to build the black box.

    The two initiatives "will allow us to market the product, generate interest and gather input from our end-users, who are car drivers", said Mr Sutheran.

    ClickDrive will also be able to extend its immediate market reach and validate the product and market fit before the black box is even built, he added.

    JamiQ gets tech-ranking boost from Deloitte

    Social-monitoring site JamiQ has been ranked by management consultancy Deloitte as one of the fastest-growing tech sites in the Asia-Pacific last year.

    Founder and chief executive Michael Lim said what distinguishes his start-up from other local social-monitoring start-ups here - such as Brandotology and Fisheye - is its multilingual capability.

    "We've built a library of local slang used in Asian languages like Tagalog," he said.

    "This lets us identify more accurately the sentiments of netizens who are making comments on different types of forums, like news and computer gaming, as well as messaging apps like Weibo."

    The five-year-old firm has expanded its services to include business analytics.

    It can collect data on two competing airlines, for example, to find out what customers are saying about their prices.

    The data will give the airlines insights, which they can use for decision-making.

    "Companies tell us what they want to do. We collect the data which can be used for different activities, from marketing and product pricing to threat analysis and information leakage," said Mr Lim.

    The start-up, which is profitable, has more than 200 customers, such as MTV, United Overseas Bank, Cisco and Dentsu.

    It has five employees and has offices here and in Indonesia and India.

    It is seeking additional funding from strategic partners that will let it expand its business in industries such as banking and telecommunications.