Up and coming Singapore tech companies

Up and coming Singapore tech companies

Innova Technology

Innova Technology wants to make sure you never lose your valuables again. 

This Singapore start-up was co-founded by Mr Rick Tan and Mr Jonathan Lim, both 27.

While studying at the Singapore Management University, Mr Tan met Mr Lim and they became friends. The idea of opening a company came to Mr Tan in early 2011, when he lost his passport while on a trip overseas.

This sparked the idea of a device to alert people when they get separated from their valuables.

The idea found favour with Red Dot Ventures - a technology incubator approved by the National Research Foundation - which invested $589,000 in Innova in 2012.

This year, the start-up launched the Protag Duet (right) - a Bluetooth tracking device roughly the size of the new $1 coin, which can be attached to important items. When paired with a smartphone via Bluetooth, the alarm on the Duet goes off when it and the smartphone are separated by more than a set distance.

That helped the company to earn more than $500,000 last year.When the project to build the device was launched on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo, it raised $130,000 in pre-orders mainly from Singapore and the United States.

This year, it released the Protag Elite, a thin, credit card-sized gadget that works like the Duet, but is more suitable for slotting into wallets and passports, for instance.

The company says its products are now sold in 10 countries and it plans to launch two more products early next year.

It is also looking to expand into the commercial sector. It is developing a Bluetooth beacon designed for location tracking.

It plans to apply to Apple for iBeacon certification. This is Apple's trademark for small, cheap Bluetooth transmitters made by third-party manufacturers. They are used to signal nearby iOS 7 devices.

For example, if an iOS 7 user passes a beacon in a store, the retailer's app, if installed, could alert the user to a special offer.

Gavio

You might be surprised to hear that Gavio is a home-grown brand. 

With their slick packaging and fashionable designs, the headphones they make would not look out of place next to a fashionable pair of Beats cans.

Founded by McCoy Holdings in 2010, the company also makes tablet cases, portable chargers and other accessories, but focuses primarily on headphones and portable speakers.

Its products come in two styles. One line-up targets younger buyers, and showcases headphones with loud colours and striking designs. The other aims for elegance, featuring speakers with sleek, curved designs and headphones in muted, understated colours.

Gavio has already won several awards here, including the Most Popular Brand award in 2012's Singapore Prestige Brand Awards.

Last year, it partnered DC Comics and Warner Bros to launch a Superman-themed series of headphones and other accessories.

Gavio said it has eight employees and earned US$5 million (S$6.25 million) in sales revenue last year. It sells mostly in Asia, but plans to expand its channels and distribution worldwide.

It will launch new products next month at IFA Berlin 2014, an international consumer electronics and home appliances show.

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