KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s BrioHR, DoctorOnCall, Dropee and iHandal Energy Solutions are among the Forbes Asia inaugural “100 to Watch” list, which focuses and highlights notable small companies and startups on the rise across the Asia-Pacific region.
In a statement on Tuesday, the editor of Forbes Asia, Justin Doebele said these 100 companies are making remarkable progress and impact in spite of the challenging climate brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Their inclusion on the list comes in part from addressing significant problems with innovative solutions,” he said.
The 100 to Watch list features a diverse range of companies spanning industries such as biotechnology & healthcare, e-commerce & retail, food & hospitality and education & recruitment.
The 100 to Watch list, which can be found at www.forbes.com/100toWatch and in the August issue of Forbes Asia, is sponsored by FedEx.
Seventeen countries and territories from Asia Pacific are represented, with the lively startup communities in India and Singapore producing 22 and 19 companies respectively. As for Hong Kong, it has 10 and Indonesia has eight companies on the list.
To select the 100 to Watch list, Forbes Asia solicited online submissions, and invited accelerators, incubators, SME advocacy organizations, universities, venture capitalists and others to nominate companies as well.
The final 100 was selected from over 900 submissions. To qualify for consideration, companies had to be headquartered in the Asia-Pacific region, be at least one year old, privately owned, for profit, and have no more than US$20mil in its latest annual revenue or total funding through Aug 1.
Forbes Asia editors evaluated each submission, looking at metrics such as a positive impact on the region or industry, a track record of strong revenue growth or ability to attract funding, promising business models or markets, and a persuasive story.
Below are details of the four Malaysian companies and start-ups which were recognised in the “100 to Watch” list.
BrioHR -- Category: Education & Recruitment
Year founded: 2018 • CEO: Benjamin Croc
Key backers: East Ventures, Global Founders Capital, Y Combinator.
A cloud-based human resources management platform, BrioHR offers all-in-one services, from recruitment to payroll, for SMEs in Southeast Asia.
A recent graduate of the Y Combinator incubator, BrioHR announced in March that it bagged US$1.3mil from investors including Global Founders Capital and East Ventures.
DoctorOnCall -- Category: Biotechnology & Healthcare
Year founded: 2016 • Managing Director: Maran Virumandi
Key backer: Conny & Co.
DoctorOnCall is a digital health platform that offers telehealth consultations with board-certified doctors, online pharmacy and delivery services, as well as booking services for doctors and specialists.
DoctorOnCall says it serves an estimated three million users nationwide. The company plans to build mobile clinics to make healthcare more accessible to rural communities.
Dropee -- Category: E-commerce & Retail
Year founded: 2017 • CEO: Lennise Ng (above)
Key backers: Vynn Capital, Y Combinator
Claiming to be the country’s leading B2B e-commerce marketplace, Dropee provides an integrated supply chain network that facilitates transactions between businesses and their suppliers.
The company says it serves around 70,000 businesses, with revenue up 600% in the last three years. Dropee says it raised US$1.3mil in seed funding last year from investors including Vynn Capital and Y Combinator.
iHandal Energy Solutions -- Category: Construction & Engineering
Year founded: 2009 • CEO: Aaron Patel (above)
Key backer: Bintang Capital Partners
Building ventilation and heating contribute 10% of global electricity consumption. The company says its systems capture and reuse buildings’ wasted heat and recycle it, offsetting up to 70% of thermal emissions, with energy savings as high as 80%. It says it has raised more than US$5mil in a recent round led by Bintang Capital Partners.