Daily Markup #13: iPrice reveals the unexpected items Singaporeans search for while WFH and…

Gnowbe’s online course reaches Pakistan.

Condoms, webcams, video games

  • Those are some of the items Singaporeans search online following the “circuit breaker” measure that is currently in place ’til 4 May to curb the coronavirus spread.
Photo by Thomas Lefebvre on Unsplash
  • As 5.6 million dwellers of the Lion City camp indoors, 500-backed meta-search website iPrice dived into online search habits around the country and found interesting trends.
Credit: iPrice
  • In the study conducted, the demand for unexpected products under categories like healthcare, electronics, gaming, home & living, appliances and drinks have soared since February.
  • Freezers and coffee saw a spike as well. But none came close to Sony’s ubiquitous PS4 at 713%.

Gnowbe’s free online course on Covid-19 in Urdu

  • A timely online course on prevention and control measures by 500-backed microlearning platform Gnowbe is now available in Urdu, a major language spoken in Pakistan.
  • The launch is a collaborative effort between the Singaporean startup and the Punjab Skills Development Fund.
  • 30 minute-long and free, the course is taught in the form of informative videos, tutorials, and quizzes.
  • The course is hosted here. Alternatively, it’s also in English.

Free chatbots

  • In helping founders with their business continuity planning through digital avenues, 500-backed Kata.ai from Indonesia is offering free FAQ chatbots and channel integration into one of many popular social media platforms.

  • The ongoing pandemic has strong-armed many businesses, especially those that never had a digital imprint, to pivot with haste and adopt a leaner approach to keep up with the changing times.
  • Kata.ia counts on AI to create multi-purpose virtual assistants or bots and companies. Its products are used by companies spanning industries like FMCG, telecommunications and financial services.

How are founders reacting to this whole WFH fad?

  • WFH may be the new universal routine. But just how receptive are startup founders toward the practice?
  • A survey studying 165 founders on how they’re adapting to WFH discovered eye-opening insights.
  • For starters, 76% of respondents believed that the change to working from home will benefit their company’s productivity in the long run.
Credit: CultureGene
  • Thoughts, founders? Do you think working from home will slum or increase your team’s productivity? Let us know in the comments below.

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500 Startups is a venture capital firm on a mission to discover and back the world’s most talented entrepreneurs, help them create successful companies at scale, and build thriving global ecosystems. In Southeast Asia, 500 Startups invests through the pioneering 500 Southeast Asia family of funds. The 500 Southeast Asia funds have backed over 240 companies across multiple sectors from internet to consumer to deep technology. It continues to connect founders with capital, expertise and powerful regional and global networks to help them succeed.

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