PROTOCOL, a new global startup community connecting founders and investors from Japan, Asia and around the world, held the pitch event, "PRO Pitch: Keisuke Honda & Japanese Investors" on Wednesday, March 2, 2022, in collaboration with PR Station, the Philippines' No. 1 press release platform.
In this article, we will provide an overview and report of the event, along with introductions to 4 Asian startups that we invited.
What is the “PRO Pitch”?
PRO Pitch is an online pitch platform organized by PROTOCOL, a global startup community founded by Japanese soccer star Keisuke Honda.
It allows startup founders to pitch their ideas or businesses directly to a prominent angel investors & venture capitalists from Japan, Asia and around the world.
Know more: https://propitch.protocol.ooo/en
This time, we’re very honored to have invited the 3 experienced investors: Keisuke Honda, Hiroki Asano and Tashi Nakanishi, and 4 promising SEA startup founders.
Organizers: PROTOCOL, PR Station
Investors: Keisuke Honda, Hiroki Asano and Tashi Nakanishi
1. Ditya Nandiwardhana of PETO International, Indonesia
2. JT Solis of Mayani, Philippine
3. Ian Low Jianliang of Trabble, Singapore
4. JunYuan Tan of Homebase, Vietnam
The event was started with the comments from 3 investors.
- Professional soccer player (Top-scoring asian player in the World Cup, wore No.10 at A.C. Milan)
- General manager at Cambodian national team
- Founder and partner at KSK Angel Fund
- Co-founder at Dreamers VC (with Will Smith)
「Hi guys, nice to meet you! I’m looking forward to hearing your projects today. Recently as you know, the world is going crazy somehow. So I hope that I can invest in startups which potentially change the world in better way, making an impact.」
- CEO at Greenfield Capital
- Former investment analyst & technology fund portfolio manager at Fidelity Investments Japan
- Former associate at Merrill Lynch & Nippon Mirai capital
- Former manager at The banks of Tokyo Mitsubishi
「Hi everybody! Thanks for introduction. I also launched ASLEAD Capital based in Singapore in 2019, investing in both public and private equity mainly in Japan. As an angel investor, I invested in about 40 early stage startups. So, I’m very excited to have a discussion with you guys, change makers!」
- Partner at KSK Group and KSK Angel Fund
- Co-founder and managing partner at Dreamers VC (with Will Smith)
- Outside director at PROTOCOL
- Angel investor at Destiny, Playco and Eco- CEO at Greenfield Capital
「It’s nice to meet you all! Obviously I’m excited about this. It’s 3:30 a.m in LA, and I still wanted to join. So, that shows my excitement about the region. Look forward to hearing from you all.」
Then, 4 founders began their pitches and discussions with the investors.
No.1 Ditya Nandiwardhana, founder and CEO at PETO International
PETO International is the No.1 on demand pet services platform in Indonesia, providing solutions for online pet care needs, backed by TELKOM Indonesia, Gojek Xcelerate and ANTLER.Then, 4 founders began their pitches and discussions with the investors.
「I didn’t know that Indonesian people have pets generally. Becase now I’m in Cambodia, and few people have pets as far as I can see. So, which kind of people have pets there?」
「The persona that owns pets is mostly the middle class people, and also Gen Z as well as the Millennials. In average, they have 1 to 5 pets. 」
「Coule you tell me the user activities something like what they see or share and etc. on the platform?」
「What users do is that they create a profile first, and then swipe left/right and match with pet owners. After that they can chat and talk with each other. So, I can say that we have big data about pet owners in Indonesia.」
「I think that the idea of Tinder for pets is super cool. So, what is the business mode? Monetizing in online pet shop or doubling down on the tinder part?」
「Our main focus is on pet services such as dog walking, insurance and etc. Now, we’re trying to group them in a sense so that they can create a community and ask each other, and we’ll provide with articles that is related to them.」
No.2 JT Solis, co-founder and CEO at Mayani
Mayani is the Philippines' fastest-growing Agri-tech platform, empowering smallholder farmers by providing them broad market linkage while minimizing agri-food loss in a digital value chain.
「I’m very interested in this space. I think the difficulty is that farmers don’t know how to use systems and technologies. What are you doing to help users become familiar with your systems and applications?」
「Agri-tech verticle is high-tech and high-touch kind of business. So, you have to win the trust of the farmers and engage them face to face. Concrete initiaves we’re doing is the partnership with the government cause it provides lots of credibility when we engage with farmers on the ground. And also the important thing is that our co-founder is a real farmer. Farmers don’t think that he is an outsider but one of them.」
「I also love this kind of sector. The question I wanna ask is that what is your unfair advantage compared to other service providers?」
「The sources are coming from variety of things. Number one is the locked in relationships, as I said we made a partnership with the government. Second one is network effect. We already have over 72,000 farmers network working with us. Third one is our big vision. We’re providng not only platfrom that give access to customers and farmers, but also solutions to help farmers including access to credit, inputs&seeds and healthcare.」
「What the average income of the farmers right now and how will that income grow by using your service?」
「Right now, the average farmer is earning between $100-140 / month. We’re able to raise at least 50% of farmers income by taking out all 7 layers of middlemen and providing financial services including underwriting loans for farmers using some data points on our platform.」Company information
No.3 Ian Low Jianliang, co-founder and CEO at Trabble
Trabble is the Singapore-based SaaS provider, helping travel and hospitality businesses facilitate end-to-end guest engagement to give personalized services for travelers, using AI and Big data.
「I’m gonna vist Singapore this month, so I’ll try to use your app! Do you have any competitors?」
「Technology it self, we’re more like a omni-channel and guest communication platfrom and there are some same kind of tools, but we can integrate that tools into our system and provide as an all-in-one solution. Furthermore, We’re not B2C model, more like a backend solutions for hotels.」
「I think that this market is very huge and lots of players are joining it. So, what is the benefits for the hotel side?」
「For top line is revenue, we help increce direct booking especially from guests that coming back 2-4 times. For bottom line is cost about the calls. Thinking about call, 1 staff with 1 guests. But when you’re doing with chats, you can manage maybe 5 at the same time.」
No.4 JunYuan Tan, co-founder and CEO at Homebase
Homebase is a Y Combinator-backed proptech startup based in Vietnam that is tackling the home-ownership crisis across Southeast Asia. Homebase provides rent-to-own home financing and serves as an instant-buyer for home-sellers.
「Who is proving the debt? and what is the average interest rate of bank in Vietnam?」
「Basically, US institutional lenders are as well as one from Singapore. And the average interst rate is 12%.」
「What you think is the biggest risk when you’re doing this kind of business? What is the learnings from the Zillow’s case?」
「Why Opendoor is going good is that they built from Day 1 to be operations of heavy business. So, the DNA is completely different between Opendoor and Zillow. Second is about business model. Zillow wanted to be a market maker, Opendoor is a seller.」
Mr. Asano「Do you need some licences to do that kind of business?」
「Apparently under the law. We buy properties and sell them. In case of rent-to-own, we have 3 in-house lawyers. So, we’re all legally checked out!」