An online portal that empowers foreign workers to ensure the salary they remit back home is not abused won top prize in the inaugural Dsion Startup Challenge held at the PSB Academy at Marina Square on Sunday (9 December).
Beam And Go, a three-year-old startup that allows Filipinos working overseas to remit money in the form of vouchers, fended off nine other competitors to win the votes from a six-man judging panel, which included the head honchos of the event’s main sponsors Dsion – a global blockchain investment platform – and Singapore-based investment firm Block On Capital.
It won S$15,000 in cash, and its chief executive officer Jonathan Chua said the money will go to boosting the company’s investments in sales and marketing, product development, and partnerships with merchants,.
Chua, a Chinese Filipino in his 40s who has lived in Singapore since 2003, started the website in 2014 to give foreign workers a tool to manage their remitted money, so that the cash would not be abused back home to fund bad habits like gambling, drugs or alcohol.
Beam And Go’s e-vouchers allows the families of foreign workers to redeem anything from groceries, mobile phone top-ups to health insurance.
“There are so many good startups out there and we’re just surprised to be selected for the top prize,” he said. “We’re very excited. This is an affirmation of what we do and that we are on the right track.”
Lendor, a startup that created a rental market place, came in second. Good For Food, a firm that supplies smart bins that can document the kind of food that are thrown away at restaurants so as to reduce food waste, finished third. They took home S$3,000 and S$2,000 respectively.
Finalists are also set to receive access to a pool of S$80,000 in incubation fund, grants and services offered by event partners.
Dsion chief executive officer Seo Jong-pil, who was among the panel of judges, said he is impressed by Beam And Go’s pitch.
“What they have offered is a crucial and needed service,” he said. “I believe the numbers of foreign workers around the world will increase in time, and it will develop into an important system.”