ABCs of start-ups storming the world

We round up the who’s who of start-ups that are transforming the way we work and play.


Founded in 2008 by Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia, Airbnb is a website for people to rent out their homes to holidaymakers. With over 800,000 listings in 33,000 cities and 192 countries, the company is growing fast.



An online payment system invented by Satoshi Nakamoto, it was released in 2009 where it took the world by storm with its revolutionary payment system.



With a funding of S$8.8M from Sequoia Capital, Golden Gate Ventures, 500 Startups and Rakuten, Singaporean start-up, Carousell was founded by three founders, Quek Siu Riu, Lucas Ngoo and Marcus Tan. Carousell is a mobile-only app that allows users to create free listings to sell their unused and under-used clutter.


hosting service that allows users to create a special folder on their computers, which then synchronises so that it appears in the same folder regardless of which computer is used to view it.


Have tons of notes scattered around? Or maybe piles of name cards that you can’t keep track of? Meet Evernote, a closed source “freemium” suite of software and services designed for note taking and archiving.


An online social networking site that was launched by Mark Zuckerburg in 2004, Facebook is one of the most frequently used sites (and apps) today. It has impacted the world by bringing people together closer and faster.


Founded by Singaporeans, Looi Qin En, Oswald Yeo and Seah Ying Cong in 2013, Glints is a portal that enables students to find internships and graduates to find jobs. One of the youngest teams to be funded in Asia, it looks like Glints is going to make waves in the online recruitment and education industry.


Instagram is an online mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service that enables users to take pictures and videos after which they can share them on a variety of social networking platforms such as Facebook. It was created by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger in 2010.


Marc Lore,’s founder and CEO plans to help customers save money by offering products cheaper than anywhere else online. It is a members-only shopping club that gets consumers the best price on products every time consumers shop.


Have a project in mind but lacking in cash? Kickstarter aims to fix that problem by providing a global crowdfunding platform. Originally based in the United States and created by Perry Chen, Yancey Strickler and Charles Adler, it is now one of the most widely used apps to fund projects around the world.


A mobile phone application, Lyft facilitates peer-to-peer ridesharing by connecting passengers who need a ride to drivers who have a car. The company has received funding from companies like Alibaba, K9 Ventures, Floodgate and several others


Grace Choi is the inventor of Mink, a product that promises to help anyone print their own makeup using a 3D printer linked to any home computer. The user simply needs to hook up the computer to the Mink printer and then use a Photoshop like tool that could lift a hex color code, which will then be printed on a blank shadow, cream or moisturizer.

Occulus VR

An American virtual reality company founded by Palmer Luckey and Brendan Iribe, it is one of the first few companies to develop an immersive virtual reality (VR) display set. We expect Occulus VR to be a game changer in the world of gaming and videos.


Pinterest was founded by Paul Sciarra, Evan Sharp and Ben Silbermann in 2010, and it is a web and mobile application company that operates an eponymous photo sharing website. It allows users to share pictures of their DIY (Do It Yourself) projects, items that they like on the net and make their own Pinterest board where they are able to access and share to others.


A Singaporean-based online grocery-delivery service founded in 2011 that secured US$37 million in funding from a group of investors including Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin. It was founded by Roger Egan III, Vikram Rupani and Rajesh Lingappa with the purpose of saving time and money spent shopping for groceries and household essentials. With a few clicks on their website or app, choose your delivery time and payment method, and Redmart will handle the rest for you.


Another Singapore-based start-up, Smove is founded by Tom Lokenvit, and it is a car sharing service that brings eco-friendly cars to passengers looking to get around town. It has raised US$1.1 million in funding. So what are you waiting for? Smove it!


Tinder is a mobile dating app launched in 2012 that took the world by storm. It uses location-based technology to connect users within a specified radius. All users have to do is to swipe left or right based on pictures that they see in the app. If two users swiped right for each other, both of them will be able to initiate a chat with each other.


Uber develops, markets and operates the mobile-app based transportation network, and allows consumers to submit a trip request, which is routed to crowd-sourced taxi-drivers. Uber is so well-known that it even created a trend called “Uberfication” in which other companies have tried to emulate its business model.


Vault Dragon is a dropbox for physical items. All users have to do is to take out their smartphones and open the mobile to schedule a delivery or collection. A vault arrives at the appointed time after placing the items, they snap a picture with the app to document the items in the storage box. It was created by Tseng Ching Tse and Vishesh Mittal as a way to store items temporarily.


One of the more frequently used apps besides Facebook and Twitter, WhatsApp is an instant messaging app for smartphones that operates under a subscription business model. It uses the Internet to send text messages, images, video, user location and audio media messages.


Xiaomi is currently the world’s largest smartphone distributor that designs, develops, and sells smartphones, mobile apps, and consumer electronics. Founded by Lei Jun in 2010, it is one of the world’s most valuable technology start-ups.

Yik Yak

Available for iOS and Android, Yik Yak is an anonymous social media app that allows use to anonymously create and view “Yaks” within a 10 mile radius. Founded by Tyler Droll and Brooks Buffington, it was intended for sharing information primarily with those that are in close proximity with the users, thereby making it different from other anonymous sharing apps such as PostSecret and Whisper.


Started by Parker Conrad who was also a co-founder of Wikinvest, Zenefits is a company that offers cloud-based software as a service to companies for managing their human resources, emphasizing on helping them with health insurance coverage.

And this is our take on the  A-Z of start-ups storming the world. In the next issue we will be looking at apps changing the lives of people.


Written by: ( Edited & Illustrated by: Script Consultants Pte Ltd



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