Daily Markup #46: This Singapore-based startup created a temperature-taking tablet with face…

Just scan your face.

Covid-19 safety with AI

  • Amidst the current pandemic, Varun Chatterji of 500-backed computer vision startup Seventh Sense, made the decision to put other projects on hold to create an automatic temperature screening solution.
  • Using machine learning and facial recognition, the technology is programmed into a tablet that scans visitor temperatures omitting the manual work of doing so.
Credit: Seventh Sense
  • Thus far, Seventh Sense has collaborated with Singapore’s largest mobile network operator and the solution is currently being rolled out in enterprise and retail markets.
  • The tablets are placed at building entrances, where temperatures are taken and tagged to the visitor’s face ID with a timestamp.
Credit: Seventh Sense
  • Anybody entering the premises for the first time will have their NRIC scanned while voice notification will trigger visitors with an elevated body temperature or those not donning a face mask.
  • For more information, visit Seventh Sense’s LinkedIn page.

New funding

  • 500-backed fintech company Wallex announced that it has successfully raised an undisclosed amount in a Series A round led BAce Capital, SMDV, and Skystar Capital, along with some existing investors.
  • Speaking to the press, co-founder Hiroyuki Kiga revealed that the funding will be channeled to scale its presence in Asia, where 52% of global trade happens, and enhance its core products.
Credit: Wallex
  • With a team of over 75 employees, Wallex had seen a steady 20% month-on-month growth, resulting in an annualized gross transaction value of $1bn.
  • “We’re excited to partner with our new investors as it gives us a foothold into the largest and exciting economies of the world. We will continue to drive on our mission to empower SMEs by providing them with the tools to grow their business,” Hiroyuki said.
  • Founded in 2015, Wintax specializes in serving the foreign exchange and cross-border payment needs of small and medium-sized enterprises.

Getting online

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  • As the co-founder of one of Indonesia’s largest e-commerce companies, Fajrin Rashid of 500-backed Bukalapak strongly believes digital literacy is important to uplift the island-nation’s overall economy.
  • SMEs are the backbone of Indonesia, accounting for 97% of domestic employment and contributing to 27% of GDP, according to statistics.
Credit: Prestige Online
  • In an excerpt from an Oxford Business Group report, Fajrin highlights two things that will help address the need. Offline-to-online (O2O) platforms and government initiatives.
  • Specifically, these O2O platforms provide digital exposure for sellers to promote their products. Aside from connecting unbanked entrepreneurs with banks, O2O platforms provide an avenue for businesses to sell their products virtually.
  • For Bukalapak, it links four million micro SMEs — or warungs — in the archipelago with consumers across Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Brunei.
  • Last year, it partnered with Google to drive digitalization by assisting businesses on Mitra Bukalapak onboard to Google My Business, and appear in Google search results to gain more traction and exposure.
  • Most recently it collaborated with fellow unicorn and 500-backed Grab to launch an initiative allowing kiosk owners to continue earning and diversifying income amidst the pandemic.

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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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