LinkedIn has unveiled a list of Top 10 start-ups in Singapore for the third year in a row. The companies shortlisted this year reflects those that have remained resilient during the COVID-19 and have continued to attract investment, employees, and attention in a post-pandemic world filled with economic uncertainty. Many of these start-ups are digitally-native businesses who have taken advantage of their online presence to meet growing consumer demand for online services, which saw a spike during Circuit Breaker in Singapore.
In order to grow the business and search for new opportunities in a post-pandemic world, some start-ups continue to hire for roles such as software engineer, business development manager, and product manager. However, as we all know, marketing plays a big role in the amplification of any brand's presence to attain the right talent and success.
In this article, we highlight the names of the marketers driving the agenda of these start-ups forward.
Founded in 2018, an all-in-one finance operating system for businesses Aspire raised US$158 million Series B to build a financial operating system for SEA businesses. Taking charge of all marketing-related decisions at Aspire is Joel Leong who is also the co-founder and country head (Singapore) for the past four years. Leong helmed the role of founder and CEO at Grouphunt previously for four years. He was also the founder at HAYSTAKT, an online marketplace for independent makers in SEA. The company is invested by multiple firms such as Insignia Ventures Partners, Sequoia Capital, MassMutual Ventures, and B Capital Group. It has won Startup of the Year 2021 (Asia Fintech Awards) and was considered the number one for the Hottest Startup in 2020 by Singapore Business Review.
2. Doctor Anywhere
Amidst the pandemic, telemedicine software platform Doctor Anywhere became immensely popular in Singapore. The regional tech-led healthcare company was founded in 2017 by Lim Wai Mun. In late 2021, the firm closed a US$65.7 million Series C round to expand further in the region of Southeast Asia.Recently, Doctor Anywhere appointed X.Y. Ng as its new head of marketing. Ng was previously the head of regional marketing at Doctor Anywhere for 10 months. She also worked with companies such as Validus, Perth Energy, HBF Health, and Moodle and all of these companies are based in Perth, Australia.
3. Flash Coffee
Launched in 2020, a tech-enabled coffee chain based in Singapore, Flash Coffee aims to make high-quality coffee accessible to Asia’s rising middle class group. The coffee menu is curated by World Barista Champions. Flash Coffee’s marketing efforts are led by Deniz Kavak who holds the position of head of marketing APAC since August 2020. Previously, he was the co-founder and head of marketing for Flowerstone Group, a company based in Manila, Philippines, for over a little over two years. He also worked for Lazada Group briefly in 2017 as a marketing consultant. Flash Coffee launched eight new branches in a month late last year. To name a few locations such as Millenia Walk, JEM, Keppel Bay Tower, and AMIK Hub.
Founded in 2017 by six partners, a Singapore-based financial technology company, Endowus has raised US$47.9 million in funding from companies such as UBS, SoftBank Ventures Asia, and Samsung Ventures. Jason Huan is the chief marketing officer of Endowus, a leading digital wealth platform in Asia. In his current role, he drives the overall growth strategy of the fast-growing fintech startup as he oversees the branding, performance marketing, public relations and content verticals of the business. Huan has over 15 years of experience across various sectors, but mainly in finance and technology. Under his leadership, the Endowus marketing team has grown by more than 3X in less than two years.
5. Pace Enterprise
Founded in 2020, the online payment platform, Pace Enterprise has raised an eight-figure debt financing round in 2021. The person who is responsible for all marketing-related matters is Darren Goh, VP of growth, Pace. He has helmed the position since September 2020. He previously worked at WeWork and was there for three years and held two positions, marketing director SEA and senior marketing director Asia Pacific. Goh also worked at Spacemob, Philips Healthcare, and Yahoo! He has a total of 15 years of marketing experience across publishers, agencies, corporate, and startup roles.
In early September 2021, Homage secured a US$30 million Series C financing round led by Sheares Healthcare Group. Homage was founded in 2017 by Gilian Tee who returned to Singapore after living abroad for 15 years. Beatrice Lee is the head of marketing at Homage since August 2022. She was previously the company’s head of content and communications and held that position for almost two years. Before Homage, Lee worked at Klook for about five years as a marketing manager and social media and content marketing. She also worked for TheSmartLocal.com.
Founded in 2017, a fintech investment firm ADDX raised US$58 million in a Pre-Series B funding round, which brings its total funds to US$120 million. Ata Haftchenary helm the position of head of marketing and PR at ADDX. He has 15 years of experience in brand development, marketing, and business management. He was previously with P&G for 12 years and held leadership positions at P&G. Haftchenary freelances at Agoda as a senior consultant since July 2019.
8. Cake DeFi
Founded in the beginning of 2019 by Dr. Julian Hosp and U-Zyn Chua, the company claims it has “close to one million customers across 191 countries and claims to have paid out US$230 million in rewards to customers in 2021 alone," according to the Wall Street Journal. Leticia Chua, VP of brand and communications, handles all marketing-related matters at Cake DeFi. She has been appointed the position since July 2022. Previously, she worked for Enterprise Singapore as deputy director of content and digital and was with the company for over 15 years, working in four other positions at the same company.
Spenmo, a company that specialises in managing all business payables in one dashboard was founded in 2019. This Singapore-based fintech firm raised US$34 million Series A that was led by Insight Partners, the New York-based investment firm. The person in charge of marketing at Spenmo is Aaron Goh. He has been head of marketing for nine months. He was previously the founder and director of Launchpad, based in Kuala Lumpur, for five years. He also worked for Corvus Digital Solutions, Pavilion, and Product Marketing Alliance.
Headquartered in Singapore with a global footprint and founded in 2017, LingoAce is an education technology company for language learning. With a growing team of 1,700, 4,500 teachers, and offices in the US, Southeast Asia, and China, LingoAce serve learners across 100 countries and regions, claims the company on its LinkedIn page. Chloe Ang, growth marketing manager is also the head of marketing at LingoAce Singapore and has held the position for over a year. Previously, she worked at executive hub and IH Digital as marketing manager (Singapore and Thailand) and account manager respectively.
The list is based on data from 1 July 2021 to 30 July 2022. LinkedIn measures start-ups based on four pillars: employment growth, engagement, job interest, and attraction of top talent. Employment growth is measured as percentage headcount increase, which must be a minimum of 10%. Engagement looks at non-employee views and follows of the company’s LinkedIn page, as well as how many non-employees are viewing employees at that startup. Job interest counts rate at which people are viewing and applying to jobs at the company, including both paid and unpaid postings.
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