Daily Markup #261: OhmniLabs launches customizable robots that can be built in a matter of hours; Carousell set to take on electric vehicles; Kata.ai’s journey from layoffs to closing a 6-figure contract

Credit: Forbes

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  • 500-backed robotics startup Ohmnilabs has launched a new Ohmni Modular Robotics Platform that allows customers to customize their robots from a base model.
  • Our mission from day one has been to democratize robotics and accelerate the adoption of robotic solutions around the world. This new platform is one way we are working towards that goal — by enabling businesses to build robots which fit their specific needs, and get their concepts to market at a fraction of the time and cost of other providers,” said Thuc Vu, co-founder and CEO at OhmniLabs.
  • The platform is composed of a variety of base designs and a library of more than 200 robotic components that have been tested and proven in the real world.
  • According to the startup’s media release, new designs can be fabricated in a matter of hours in OhmniLabs’ 3D printing facility. In comparison, traditional molding can take up to three months.
  • Read the full article on Robotics 24/7 here.
Credit: Carousell

Taking on the auto world

  • In April, 500-backed second-hand marketplace Carousell Group launched Carousell Auto Group. According to the startup, the autos vertical is the Group’s largest, contributing a third of its revenue.
  • According to an interview with Gaurav Bhasin, Carousell Group’s new Chief Strategy Officer and Malaysia CEO, second-hand autos are a big focus for the startup, including electric vehicles (EV).
  • He shared that the auto group will work on updating the platform to better serve the needs of EV sellers. “There also needs to be strong partnerships with car manufacturers… Securing strategic partnerships is an important focus for Carousell Auto Group and we will make announcements in the months to come,” he added.
  • Read the full story on Vulcan Post here.
Credit: Growth Multiplier

Programming for success

  • CEO and co-founder Irzan Raditya of 500-backed chatbot startup Kata.ai appeared on a podcast to speak about its predecessor YesBoss and how it pivoted from serving end consumers to becoming a B2B (business-to-business) startup.
  • YesBoss offered virtual assistant service through SMS and mobile apps. While the startup grew to be profitable, he found that it was not easy to scale. He added that they made a mistake trying to be “everything for everyone”.
  • But Irzan saw a silver lining even after having to lay off 90% of his workforce. They were approached to work with chat app LINE and Unilever with the goal of developing a virtual friend on LINE to engage with Unilever’s consumers and collect data about them, particularly female millennials.
  • Irzan and his team delivered on the contract successfully, and this set them on the path to pivoting to Kata.ai.
  • Listen to the full podcast here.

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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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