Why We Invested: Hong Yea, Aaron, Matthew, The Three Great Minds Behind GRVT – The New Standard for Crypto Derivatives Exchanges

Johnny Chuang, Analyst (莊子揚 / 分析師)

Johnny is an Analyst covering web3 founders both in AppWorks Accelerator and AppWorks Funds portfolio. Before joining the team in 2023, he worked as a DeFi Strategist at Diamond Protocol, where he was responsible for portfolio management, protocol architecture design, and liquidity provision strategies backtesting. In this experience, Johnny successfully helped the protocol grow from zero to one.

Johnny graduated with a Bachelor’s in Finance from National Taiwan University. During this time, he interned at AppWorks and a hedge fund, and was the captain of the basketball team of the finance department. Outside the realm of work, he enjoys shooting hoops, working out, and losing himself in sci-fi novels and movies.

Since their inception, crypto derivatives exchanges have experienced robust growth and adoption. Bitmex, a standout among early platforms, revolutionized the industry by introducing the concept of the “perpetual contract.” This breakthrough dramatically simplified the use of leverage in crypto trading in eliminating expiries and rollovers, unleashing a surge in trading activities that has sustained its momentum to this day.

However, most trading activity has historically been confined to centralized exchanges. While platforms like dYdX aimed to be trailblazers in the decentralized derivatives exchange arena, their challenges in performance and complex user experiences, caused by the limitations of underlying blockchains and the need to sign every single transaction, has stymied the mainstream transition to decentralized platforms.

The limitations of centralized systems didn’t fully register as a pressing concern until the watershed FTX event of November 2022. This incident served as an industry-wide wake-up call, highlighting the perils of over-centralization and reviving the old adage once ubiquitous in the crypto community: “Not your keys, not your coins.” It became abundantly clear that the industry requires a more advanced form of derivatives exchange—one that mitigates the high counterparty risks associated with centralized finance (CeFi) while delivering a seamless user experience.

It is against this backdrop that we are elated to extend our support to Hong Gyu Yea, Matthew Quek, and Aaron Ong, the visionary trio behind GRVT. The GRVT team is pioneering a next-generation hybrid derivatives exchange built on zkSync technology, promising to offer the best of both worlds: the high-performance capabilities of a centralized trading engine, paired with the security of self-custody for users’ funds. This innovative approach positions GRVT as a game-changer, poised to redefine the future landscape of crypto derivatives trading. 

The Mechanism of GRVT

The prevailing challenge confronting derivatives exchanges today is the difficult trade-off between low performance and high counterparty risk. Existing platforms often fall into one of four quadrants based on these criteria. However, GRVT disrupts this paradigm by implementing a hybrid model fortified with a comprehensive array of innovative features designed to elevate user experience. Let’s delve into how GRVT is poised to be a transformative force in the industry.

High-Performance Off-Chain Orderbook and Secure On-Chain Settlement

GRVT employs a cutting-edge off-chain orderbook matching system capable of processing an astounding 600,000 transactions per second, all while maintaining a latency of under two milliseconds. This high-performance engine is complemented by a secure on-chain settlement process facilitated by smart contracts deployed on zkSnyc Era. Users retain self-custody of their funds in their own wallets, significantly mitigating the risks associated with potential exchange failures. This dual-layer approach allows traders to operate with unparalleled speed and security, granting them peace of mind.

Comprehensive Financial Instruments in a One-Stop Shop

GRVT is not merely a derivatives exchange, but rather a comprehensive trading platform offering both options and futures contracts. Additionally, the platform supports Request for Quote (RFQ) trading for complex derivatives combinations and structures. Traders can now bypass the cumbersome experience of managing margins across separate options and futures platforms. Instead, they are able to execute a wide array of intricate trading strategies directly within the GRVT ecosystem.

Capital-Efficient Cross Margin Model

GRVT introduces a finely-tuned cross margin model that calculates the overall delta of a user’s positions across both options and futures. This innovative approach significantly enhances capital efficiency, making the platform particularly well-suited to meet the sophisticated needs of institutional traders.

Robust Transaction Privacy

Leveraging Validium technology on the zkSync appchain, GRVT ensures that each transaction is encapsulated and shielded from visibility to other traders. This feature adds an extra layer of security and privacy, allowing users to trade with confidence.

In summary, GRVT’s groundbreaking hybrid model and suite of advanced features positions it as a game-changer in the derivatives exchange landscape, offering a balanced solution for the industry’s most pressing challenges.

Bringing expertise into crypto space 

The trio at the helm of GRVT brings a wealth of experience and expertise, uniquely positioning them to address the pressing challenges in the industry. Matthew, serving as the COO of GRVT, previously spearheaded the Blockchain & Payment team at DBS in Singapore, where he explored various blockchain initiatives in traditional finance (TradFi). His background equips him with the acumen needed to bridge the gap between conventional and digital asset trading.

Aaron, the CTO of GRVT, formerly held the role of tech lead for two data privacy frameworks at Meta. His transition to GRVT is strategic as he continues to tackle complex issues surrounding transaction privacy and trading efficiency. His deep-rooted expertise in technology and data privacy is invaluable in creating a secure and efficient trading environment.

Hong Yea, the CEO of GRVT, is a seasoned trading veteran with an impressive nine-year tenure at Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs in Hong Kong. Known for his relentless ambition and determination, Hong Yea has consistently pushed himself to achieve greater goals throughout his career. With GRVT, he is seizing the opportunity presented by the industry’s current challenges, aiming to revolutionize the way trading is conducted.

Together, these three founders have assembled a team of crypto-native professionals over the past year, each bringing their own specialized skills and backgrounds to the table. We believe this collective expertise makes them exceptionally well-suited to address long-standing issues in the crypto space. Armed with their combined knowledge and experience, the GRVT team is poised to navigate the complexities ahead and bring their visionary concept to fruition.

The ultimate form of derivatives exchange is GRVT

We are thrilled to hereby announce our support for Hong, Matthew, and Aaron as they embark on their journey to break new grounds in establishing a state-of-the-art derivatives exchange. We firmly believe that through their efforts, the future standard of trading platforms will be set. In an industry currently plagued by the opacity and credibility gap of centralized systems, they are in a unique position to reintroduce time-honored yardsticks of transparency and integrity, thanks to the innovative value proposition that GRVT brings to the table. 

At AppWorks, our mission is to identify and collaborate with exceptional founders who are driven to make a transformative impact in their respective domains. We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Hong Yea, Matthew, and Aaron. Their relentless pursuit of greater solutions is not only pushing the boundaries of what a derivatives exchange can be but will also redefine the future landscape of trading in the web3 ecosystem.

If you are a founder working on a startup in SEA, or working with web3 and AI / IoT, apply to AppWorks Accelerator to join the largest founder community in Greater Southeast Asia.

Why We Invested: Muhammed “Didit” Indraputra, Co-founder & CEO of PrimaKu


Jun Wakabayashi, Principal (若林純 / 協理)

Jun is a Principal leading the Beacon Funds Arm, that is in charge of meeting, helping, collaborating with, and investing in emerging venture capital GPs to grow the startup ecosystem in Southeast Asia and web3. By immersing himself in local markets and engaging with both founder and investor communities across SEA, Jun has been able to establish an extensive network that keeps AppWorks top of mind for startups seeking funding, community, and support. Prior to AppWorks, Jun attended NYU Stern where he received a B.S. in Finance, and spent the following years conducting sector-based market research at Focus Reports. Outside of work, Jun is an avid meditator and invests an inordinate amount of time maintaining both his physical and spiritual wellness.

Children are often said to be our future. In emerging economies like Indonesia, however, the healthy growth and development of a child is actually not a given. Things like malnutrition, poor hygiene, and overall lack of education have led to some of the highest rates of childhood stunting worldwide, thereby significantly throttling the economy’s inherent potential.

That’s why we were incredibly excited to back Didit, the co-founder and CEO of PrimaKu, an Indonesian community-based parenting app providing services to improve childhood growth and development. The company was initially set up as a CSR initiative led by a few well-meaning doctors, providing an app-based tool to help parents track the growth and nutrition of their babies in line with recommended standards. Didit later joined PrimaKu in 2021 to help scale the organization and create a one-stop solution for all parenting needs across every stage of child development. 

Second time at bat

We’re big fans of repeat founders, especially those that were not successful the first time around. Building a startup is like navigating one long, complex, ever-shifting maze. Having tried navigating it once before, you’ll have at least some baseline familiarity with routes that could and do work, versus those that absolutely don’t—granted the context is different every time. 

Didit took his first pass at the maze in 2019 with a company called AgenKan, a collateral-based lending platform targeting unbanked Indonesians. This was after 6 years of working as an esteemed private equity investor at Saratoga, after which point Didit finally decided to take a leap of faith and transition to the other side of the negotiation table. He put together a co-founding team, raised a bit of money from VCs, and then it was off to the races.

It was certainly a promising value proposition at first glance. The company issued small-ticket loans for more underprivileged citizens while securing their mobile phones as collateral. At its peak, AgenKan and its vast network of agents were disbursing roughly US$ 30K a month, with a 60% loan-to-asset ratio and < 15% default rate (< 3% credit loss due to collateral). Unluckily, COVID swept the world by storm not even a year after they started, with lockdowns effectivelybringing their business to a standstill. 

The following 5 months would put Didit’s conviction as an entrepreneur through the wringer. Multiple iterations would be tried and tested. A bridge round would then be raised from existing investors, putting Didit’s credibility as a founder and his personal capital on the line, all just to keep the company afloat. Unfortunately, given their largely offline-centric model, no amount of iteration could overcome the severity and stringency of lockdowns, despite Didit’s incessant willingness to press forward and dutifully generate a return for his shareholders. Towards the end of 2020, at the encouragement of his investors, a consensus was eventually made to shutter the company and move on to bigger and better things.

If you ask Didit today, he’ll still pinpoint this as his biggest failure, and one that characterizes the lowest point in his life. So much of his self-worth had been tied to the success of AgenKan, but the pandemic had brought the global economy to a halt and unfortunately his startup was not spared. Most sentient beings have a tendency to pursue pleasure and avoid pain; it is simply wired in our mammalian brains. But for Didit, although the proceeding few years would certainly include a brief period of healing and introspection, the majority of his time would be spent rebuilding his skill sets as an operator and in turn reinvigorating his passion for startups—eventually leading to part two of Didit’s founder journey as the co-founder and CEO PrimaKu. 

Everything app for parenting needs

Indonesia is a country that we’ve been covering for many years now, and for several reasons. Chief of which is its sheer size and more specifically the number of lives that can be positively impacted through technology. The Indonesian archipelago is not only home to the world’s 4th largest population but also ranks among the top 5 countries in terms of the number of babies born per year.

Healthcare outcomes, however, are still far from ideal. We were quite surprised to learn that the rate of stunting among babies under the age of 5 years old stood at 31% back in 2018—substantially higher than the average of 13% seen among middle-income countries. It’s actually been a significant public health concern for several decades now, largely brought on by malnutrition, poor sanitation, infectious diseases, and undereducation. Although this rate has since come down to 22% as of 2022, latent fears around the healthy growth and development of babies still deeply permeate the minds of recent mothers and caregivers alike. 

A father of three himself, Didit understands full well the challenges of raising healthy children and the accompanying anxiety shared among parents. That is what largely drove him to join PrimaKu in 2021, which was originally established a few years prior to help parents track the growth of their newborns and create some peace of mind. Since assuming the CEO role, Didit has helped PrimaKu cement widespread visibility among pediatricians and parents, thanks in large part to the establishment of an exclusive partnership with the Indonesia Pediatric Society (IPS). The app has been downloaded by millions of parents now, and has become the de facto parenting companion for many with just the growth tracking tool alone. 

Limitless potential for mom and babies

PrimaKu currently has an ecosystem of several hundred thousand highly engaged parents using their app every month, with several thousand more organically becoming new users every day. Consequently, the company has many potential avenues to drive early monetization efforts. 

The first of which came about from one of PrimaKu’s earliest users, Didit’s wife. She had complained about the hassle of booking vaccinations and tracking their babies’ vaccination schedules, which would often require up to 30 shots, in some cases at US$ 70 per jab, by the time they reached 2 years old. And so the good founder and husband that he is, Didit listened to his users and got to work. He spoke to a few clinics that were interested in driving up vaccination revenue and then sent out a simple google form to PrimaKu users to see who might be interested in booking an appointment. Turns out his wife’s pain pains were shared among many other users. 

But this is just the beginning. Didit’s ambitions extend far beyond vaccinations to also include things like teleconsultations, health records, and e-commerce—ultimately becoming a truly full-stack digital solution for all stakeholders across the board. 

Throughout the course of our many conversations, it was clear that Didit brought forth a unique blend of investor and operational experiences, underpinned by natural levels of empathy which have allowed him to more deeply connect with counterparties—a particularly crucial asset when tackling an industry as traditional and relationship-driven as healthcare. His resiliency, passion, and judgment as a founder have been self-evident, and collectively made our decision to invest all the easier. We look forward to helping him become an even more seasoned founder and accompanying him on this journey of transforming early childhood growth and development in Indonesia. 

Why We Invested: Harshet Lunani and Tommy Martin, the dual-core behind Qoala

Sophie Chiu, Principal (邱敬媛 / 協理)

Sophie is a Principal leading the Southeast Asia Arm, that is responsible for meeting, helping and investing in great founders in the region. She joined AppWorks as an Associate in 2020 and was subsequently promoted as a Principal in 2023. Prior to AppWorks, Sophie had 10 years of public equity experience. She was part of the portfolio management team at Neuberger Berman, focusing on emerging market opportunities. Prior to that she served as a research analyst at Credit Suisse, JPMorgan, and London-based Autonomous Research. Sophie holds a Master of Finance with distinction from Warwick Business School and BS Finance from National Taiwan University. Her passion and expertise, however, extend far beyond just researching companies and industries. She is also an author of two published poetry books and holds a keen interest in human psychology and human behavior.

Qoala is an InsurTech company that has experienced remarkable growth, now boasting a presence across three Southeast Asian markets: Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia. Harshet Lunani and Tommy Martin, Qoala’s co-founders, possess strong insights and a deep understanding of the pain points found throughout the insurance industry value chain. Although this industry seems mature and proven in developed markets, its complexity and strict regulation have made it challenging for technology adoption. Meanwhile, the correlation between insurance penetration and economic growth is not guaranteed, which presents an inherent risk. However, it is precisely this challenging path that attracts committed and insightful founders like Harshet and Tommy. Their dedication to making a difference is a key reason why we are placing faith in them and Qoala to continue growing and transforming the insurance landscape in Southeast Asia.  

Dedicated builders driven by ambition and unwavering vision

For some people, life is full of hero’s journeys. They will always end up on a challenging path. At first, it may seem to be deemed by fate. Eventually, it becomes a deliberate choice as a less traveled or seemingly impossible path usually bestows the richest life experiences and most fruitful outcome or even profoundly impacts the world. This is what Harshet has been through and shaped his experience as a founder. 

Hailing from a small town in India without much privilege, Harshet learned the lesson of survival from a young age. He left home to study in a (non-privileged) boarding school from age 8 to 17, where he became ‘battle-tested’: rigorous daily routines, necessary social skills to survive among teenagers living 24/7 together, being a top player in cricket, and remarkable academic performance. His grit and determination eventually secured him a sponsored master’s degree in math at University of Oxford and job offer in London, working at Merrill Lynch and then Lehman Brothers. However, Harshet joined these two banks during the Global Financial Crisis in 2007-2008. So, he soon witnessed how a seemingly large and impregnable financial institution could collapse overnight, and how it had an impact on so many individuals losing their life savings. This seeded a deep-down entrepreneurial desire for Harshet to build something that could make the world a more secure place. After working in finance, Harshet joined BCG and later Endeavor, where he gained access to large corporations and startups to learn about business models and entrepreneurship. When he had the chance to help BIMA, an InsurTech startup from Ghana, launch in Indonesia, Harshet immediately jumped on the opportunity. 

As the General Manager of BIMA for four years, he set up the entire business from scratch, growing the business to US$1.5M scale with 80 employees in Indonesia. Unlike when he started his career in finance, this time, Harshet experienced the storm face-first. Smartphones were experiencing massive penetration in Indonesia and Gojek had just reached unicorn status. Harshet foresaw the inevitable dead-end of BIMA’s business model based on selling insurance products from phone balances. Unable to convince the Ghana headquarters, Harshet remained resolute to continue his journey on InsurTech but instead building something on his own. This is a field where he built tremendous expertise and track record, and recognized the potential to create significant value for stakeholders and individuals alike, resonating with the vision of the world he wanted to build. However he knew he had to take the lead role in creating such a business, and ultimately left to launch Qoala in 2018.

Before Qoala, there was actually a first attempt that fell short called Kelola. Undeterred, he met with Tommy Martin, the investor behind Kelola, who has a strong background in fintech. Tommy’s experience as an engineer at Nokia, business consultant at Accenture and EY, and product and marketing lead at Traveloka offered a holistic perspective that complemented Harshet’s skills. They quickly found that they had great compatibility and set sail to start Qoala together. Tommy’s expertise in product development and business strategy has been crucial in enabling Qoala to build products that cater to the intertwined interests of all users and stakeholders in the industry. Tommy, like Harshet, had witnessed the transformative power of a successful business firsthand through his parents, who turned their family’s fortunes around through entrepreneurship. So that Tommy could be the first generation in his family to live a comfortable life and even study abroad. However, watching his parents conquer their life ambitions helped Tommy form a deep-down desire to build something on his own too. Tapping into his entrepreneurial DNA, Tommy felt compelled to take an 80% pay cut and go against his parents’ wishes by returning to Indonesia. This unwavering determination serves as his guiding light, and he is committed to building a business that can change people’s lives and create his own path. 

Strategic approach to innovation and staying ahead of the curve

The partnership between Harshet and Tommy has proven to be a powerful combination. Harshet’s experience building BIMA allowed him to identify the tremendous potential of the next paradigm shift, while Tommy’s insights into major digital platforms enabled Qoala to establish its initial product-market fit through a collaboration with Traveloka. This success was no mere coincidence; the duo had devised a methodical roadmap for expanding Qoala’s presence within the existing value chain. They first targeted areas with high traffic and data concentration, which allowed Qoala to develop unique products. With these products in hand, they focused on building critical distribution channels, eventually becoming vital partners for insurers. This entire process has been tech-enabled, and as the momentum grew, Qoala expanded into Thailand, a larger market essential for a VC-backed company’s growth.

Today, the rest is history. Qoala achieved fourfold growth in gross written premium over the past two years, with a primary footprint spanning three markets. However, the ambitious founders show no signs of stopping. They are now exploring an additional step in the growth flywheel by testing direct-to-consumer (D2C) channels with the data and know-how accumulated over the past four years. Although still in early stages, Qoala possesses all the necessary elements to capture the market quickly as consumers become more mature and educated. It is hard not to be inspired by visionary founders who always stay ahead of the curve. 

SEA a nascent landscape for InsurTech to make their mark

While advanced APAC countries boast an average insurance penetration rate of 9%, Southeast Asia’s figures have remained relatively low at 1-3% for Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines. In comparison, India demonstrates a higher penetration rate of 4-5%, despite having a lower Gross National Income (GNI) per capita. While the mandatory auto insurance requirement in India is one primary driver of adoption, there’s also an intrinsic hidden risk: The correlation between insurance penetration and economic growth is not guaranteed. Or we should say, the correlation depends on many external factors such as money supply and stock market capitalization as demonstrated by several academic studies (Chang et al., 2012, Pradhan et al., 2016, Dash et al., 2018).

The insurance sector is a tough space. A green field like Southeast Asia has huge uncertainties, while mature markets have left limited room for startups to disrupt. In high penetration countries such as the US, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and South Africa, market structures are relatively unshakeable due to stringent regulations and high barriers to entry. Drawing from our experience in Taiwan, we have observed that most digital players face challenges in scaling their businesses. For consumer-focused ideas, the market size often has an actually lower ceiling than expected, limiting growth potential. Meanwhile, enterprise-focused initiatives struggle to expand as enterprise customers possess substantial bargaining power and resources, which enable customers to implement digital solutions independently.

That silver-lining is the digital-native mindset of Southeast Asia. From Qoala, we’ve seen that insurance companies in the region are increasingly open to collaborating with digital solutions, while digital platforms (such as Shopee, Traveloka, Tiki, etc.) are motivated to monetize their traffic through financial products. Additionally, individual consumers in the region have also embraced digital technologies, making them more receptive to innovative insurance offerings. 

AppWorks is here to support great entrepreneurs in the region

Success in this market requires visionary founders with a deep care for users across the entire value chain. Harshet and Tommy, the founders of Qoala, have demonstrated this through their exponential growth. Their methodical approach, combined with their complementary founder qualities resulted in amazing growth traction and market expansion. Most importantly, they are both ambitious and driven by their ultimate north star. As a firm believer in supporting great entrepreneurs, AppWorks is proud to back Harshet, Tommy, and the Qoala team, and we look forward to contributing to their journey with our ecosystem of 400 active startups and over 1,400 likeminded founders.

If you are a founder working on a startup in SEA, or working with AI and web3, apply to AppWorks Accelerator to join the largest founder community in Greater Southeast Asia.

Why We Invested: TeleportDAO – the Cross-chain Musketeers

Jack An, Associate (安良方 / 投資經理)

Jack became an Associate in 2023 and focuses on meeting, helping and investing in promising web3 founders. Before joining AppWorks in 2019 as an Analyst, he co-founded an InsurTech startup and through the experience, he developed a deep interest in product design and user experience, and has since been passionate about these areas. During his time as a founder, he purchased his first BTC as well as ETH, yet subsequently paid dear tuition to the 2017 go-go ICO era. Prior to embarking on the entrepreneurial path, he worked as an underwriter at Chubb Insurance in New Zealand. Jack earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Waikato University, where he studied classical piano and developed a deep appreciation for Mozart. He loves to cook, read, and is a practicing stoic. He’s on the hunt for the next web3 application that will onboard millions of users and make the world more open, permissionless, censorship-resistant, and trustless.

The blockchain industry is rapidly expanding, and new theories on how to build blockchains arise virtually every day. These ideas frequently cross-pollinate, resulting in new competition that benefits the sector as a whole. As a result, a multi-chain environment has emerged, necessitating the use of cross-chain solutions to mitigate excessive fragmentation.

Layer 1 blockchains share fundamental characteristics such as record decentralization and the capacity to securely reach consensus on those records. Nevertheless, the underlying technology used to accomplish this differs greatly, making it difficult for users and apps built on top of different chains to efficiently communicate and connect with one another. 

Many have attempted to cut corners in order to reap short-term benefits by developing primarily notary-based cross-chain solutions. This approach, however, has proven to be an exceedingly costly problem for the industry as they suffer from a single point of failure. The sector lost US$1.3 billion in cross-chain hacks in 2022 alone. As a result, it is essential to invest in proper cross-chain bridges that can maintain security and prevent catastrophic losses.

That is why we are delighted to support TeleportDAO creators Niusha Moshrefi, Mahyar Daneshpajooh, and Ali Saheli. Who are dedicated to constructing a decentralized, trustless, and lightweight cross-chain bridge that is capable of truly facilitating the next generation of multichain applications. 

From blockchain labs to building a cross-chain bridge

Niusha and Mahyar, the co-founders of TeleportDAO, have been fascinated by blockchain technology since their undergraduate days. They both studied electrical engineering at Iran’s leading institution, Sharif University of Technology, and participated in the university’s blockchain labs. Niusha was particularly interested in decentralized systems because they can provide more transparency in decision making and direct control back to system participants. The majority of Niusha’s academic work focused on light clients for Proof of Work blockchains.

Mahyar has also been immersed in blockchain development, having contributed to the creation of CarChain, a decentralized carpooling protocol that sought to lessen the footprint that platforms have in carpooling. Ali, the third co-founder, is a serial entrepreneur who established Foro Technologies in 2013 before selling it to Fundamental Applications Corp. The trio joined together with the purpose of creating a decentralized and safe cross-chain bridge, and left their former roles to focus solely on TeleportDAO.

Although they have their work cut out for them, the founders are determined to seize the opportunity presented by the blockchain industry’s growth and build a successful cross-chain solution. With their combined knowledge and experience, the team is well-poised to navigate challenges ahead and realize their vision. 

The future of multichain is trustless

TeleportDAO allows participants to move data between different blockchains in a secure and decentralized manner. Teleporter nodes collect user requests from the source chain and offer proof on the target chain to do this. The request is fulfilled after the proof is validated by the smart contract on the target chain. The system is completely decentralized, and anyone can become a node. Furthermore, the underlying cost of sending requests discourages bad actors from making invalid requests because they would not earn a reward to pay their costs. This enables the system to function as long as there is one honest Teleporter.

Currently, cross-chain is largely used for asset swaps. Yet, more crucially, the future of multichain is to enable apps to connect with one another in an efficient and secure manner. This is where TeleportDAO comes into play. Their solution is a lightweight and trustless approach that can accommodate the complexity of blockchain interoperability by leveraging Teleporters.

As more money is invested in various chains and more dApps are created specifically for each ecosystem, the necessity for a decentralized and trustless bridge will grow. TeleportDAO will seek to bridge liquidity into new ecosystems before expanding to bridge applications to provide customers with the best multichain experience possible.

Interoperability made easy

We are excited to be supporting Niusha, Mahyar, and Ali as they launch next-generation cross-chain bridges with TeleportDAO. In the high-value and fast-moving cryptocurrency market, having a secure-by-designed underlying infrastructure is critical to avoiding potential asset loss. We are certain that TeleportDAO will make an important contribution to the development of a free, open, trustless and permissionless multichain future.

At AppWorks, we search for talented founders who want to make a huge difference in their respective verticals. We are thrilled to work with Niusha, Mahyar, and Ali as they continue to push the boundaries of decentralized cross-chain bridges and the fast evolving web3 landscape.

If you are a founder working on a startup in SEA, or working with web3 and AI / IoT, apply to AppWorks Accelerator to join the largest founder community in Greater Southeast Asia.


WeMo Raises Series A+ Round to Accelerate Southeast Asia Expansion, Led by AppWorks

WeMo CEO – Davidd Liu 劉于遜 (Left), WeMo Co-Founder & Vice Chairman – Jeffrey Wu 吳昕霈 (Right)

Editor’s note: We’re thrilled to back WeMo Scooter, a pioneer in urban mobility technologies. With its proven track record in smart transportation and fleet management, WeMo is working with partners in Southeast Asia and around the world to realize net zero carbon emission transportation. The press release from WeMo is below:

(漢文在下) WeMo Corp, a pioneer in urban mobility technologies, announced the completion of a Series A+ round led by AppWorks, with participation from Taiwan National Development Fund.

With its mission to reduce dependency on privately-owned vehicles and decrease carbon emissions, WeMo has amassed a user base of over a million members in its seven years of smart vehicle operations, and has gained a dominant position in the Taiwan market. The company has made dramatic adjustments throughout the pandemic to meet ever-changing consumer needs, and positioning itself for long-term growth, including investments in product and technology that are intended to help governments, businesses, and communities embrace more sustainable ways of transportation and living.

In 2022, WeMo launched a number of new products and services based on emerging consumer demand following Taiwan’s reopening, including: WeMo RenTour, which offers app-based rentals for electric cars, scooters, and bicycles; and WeMo PASS, offering free and discounted rides of electric scooters and other benefits on a subscription basis. Revenue has returned to pre-pandemic levels, recording double-digit growth. The company anticipates accelerated growth over the next few years, building off increasing demand for shared transportation, electrification, fleet management, and resumption of normal economic activity.

In addition to its convenient roadside rent-and-return services, WeMo offers a comprehensive Mobility-as-a-Service platform with a focus on fleet and operations management under one integrated system, which intimately aligns with global market urbanization demand and greenification trends. With WeMo’s modular, efficient, and all-in-one tool “Smart Mobility Center,” fleet operators are able to gain access to historical and real-time data, accurate forecasting, and analytics to improve fleet management. Data and module specifications can be customized to each operator’s region, vehicle type or other needs to help achieve sustainability goals and seamlessly manage vehicle fleets.

“As a pioneer of shared e-mobility in Taiwan, WeMo has gained significant momentum in the island country known to have the highest motorcycle per capita. Over the past seven years, we accumulated valuable experiences in product development, user experience design, and AI / IoT technologies. As WeMo emerges from the pandemic in a position of strength, we are excited to expand our footprint to Southeast Asia where we can help governments and businesses achieve greener transportation and effectively manage their electric fleets,” said Davidd Liu, CEO of WeMo.

With this round of financing, WeMo plans to expand its service to Southeast Asia, with an emphasis on Indonesia and Thailand. In anticipation of rapidly growing demand for electric vehicles and alternative transportation solutions, the company is building partnerships with governments, investors, businesses, and transportation providers throughout Southeast Asia to offer green transportation and fleet management services to support the region’s transition to zero emission.

“In recent years, accelerating impact of climate change and severe weather has created greater impetus to transition to net zero economic and societal models. Throughout the pandemic, the WeMo team has demonstrated amazing resilience and execution through operations excellence, product innovation and a focus on seamless consumer experiences, leading to a sound financial performance that will allow them to expedite expansion and contribute to Taiwan and the Greater Southeast Asia region’s pursuit of zero carbon societies. As an early believer in WeMo, AppWorks has great confidence in this team’s future under the leadership of Jeffrey and Davidd,” said Jamie Lin, Chairman, AppWorks.

“Sustainable green energy development is the predominant global trend for energy and transportation, and is the core spirit of WeMo from inception. Building off the continuous and steady growth of WeMo, we will leverage our proven expertise in electric and shared vehicles to offer sustainable solutions for smart transportation throughout the Greater Southeast Asia region,” said Jeffrey Wu, Founder and Vice Chairman, WeMo.

About WeMo

WeMo Corp is an urban mobility solutions provider developing technology and services with the goal of decreasing dependency on privately-owned vehicles, reducing pollution, and improving urban life for all. WeMo empowers urban residents to enjoy zero carbon transportation on their own terms, including mobile-based rentals for automobiles, scooters, and bicycles. Understanding the importance of mass adoption of green technologies, WeMo’s fleet technology offerings help businesses manage their electric vehicle fleets in real time. As of 2022, WeMo has contributed to positive growth and resolving issues through reducing CO2 emissions by 3.5 million kg.

For more information, please visit http://www.wemoscooter.com

[If you are a founder working on a startup in SEA, or working with web3 / DAO and AI / IoT, apply to AppWorks Accelerator to join the largest founder community in Greater Southeast Asia.]

WeMo Scooter 疫情後穩健成長,AppWorks 2023 年開春加碼增資助攻開啟國際拓展

2020 年初疫情趨峻以來全球經濟市場受到衝擊,亞洲智慧共享運具先驅 WeMo Scooter 憑藉高度彈性應變能力並掌握即時數據,迅速針對消費者需求調整產品與盈利模式,在後疫情時代擴張用戶族群及數量、營收反彈成長,持續穩健發展。此外,WeMo Smart Mobility 團隊擁有三大優勢與核心智慧車聯網技術,既有投資人 AppWorks 看好其團隊具備跨域、跨運具營運能量,可望進軍商機龐大的東南亞智慧運輸市場,於 2023 年開春完成加碼增資數百萬美元助攻,以此展開拓展東南亞市場的初期工作,並啟動更多國際合作並募集海外資源挹注。

後疫情時代市場詭譎多變,WeMo Scooter 在短期內針對消費者需求調整產品與消費模式,2022 年底用戶數成長驚人,其活躍使用率更是提升逾 10%,不管是新舊用戶黏著度正不斷地升高,顯示疫情後大眾的移動習慣已產生改變。此外,因應消費者及企業端跨域、跨運具需求,WeMo Smart Mobility 團隊在 2022 年第三季推出子品牌 WeMo RenTour,是台灣首個結合手機 App 租賃,整合橫跨汽車、機車及電動自行車等多元運具與不同租賃品牌的服務。並且,團隊觀察到市場對共享運具的需求與使用習慣改變,於 2022 年第四季推出全台首創共享機車訂閱制 WeMo PASS,消費者不再受限過往訂閱的趟次與時數限制所綑綁,訂閱數在首月即獲得佳績,超越預估並翻倍成長。WeMo Scooter 在 2022 年整體營收相較去年以雙位數百分比成長,並回到疫情前水準,可望在未來三至五年再以倍數成長躍進。

WeMo Smart Mobility 團隊三大優勢及核心技術對齊市場剛需及趨勢,既有投資人 AppWorks 看準團隊應變效率與跨域、跨運具適性,加碼增資助攻海外:

  1. 後疫情時代大環境受到衝擊,WeMo Scooter 在一片紅海中非但不以變相削價方式競爭,更打破市場傳統框架推出 WeMo PASS,用戶黏著度創新高,營運含金量再提升。 「智慧城市調度」管理也高度提升資源有效利用,不但滿足用戶需求,更符合 WeMo Scooter 一直秉持的綠色永續發展精神。
  2. WeMo 為智慧運輸車聯網公司,主力產品 WeMo Scooter 在台灣三大城市經營 7 年以來,已打下深厚基礎,擁有豐富第一線營運及服務經驗,並具備完整「數據累積和即時運用」能力,成功應用在跨域及跨運具營運平台及整合租賃業者資源,有足夠成熟能量向海外擴展。
  3. WeMo核心能力不單是提供路邊隨租隨還的便利服務,其完備的車聯網技術與車隊整合系統精準對齊全球市場剛需及趨勢,並在每個開發階段所累積的數據與模組規格能夠彈性應用,達到車聯網服務最大化效能,不再侷限地域及運具,達到環境永續目標。

在經歷三年疫情的衝擊後,產業界開始面對 2023 年全新的政經局勢。國際貨幣基金 (IMF) 預期 2023 年全球將面臨嚴峻挑戰,美國、歐洲及中國三大經濟體將持續呈現衰退,將導致至少 1/3 其他國家陷入景氣衰退。

AppWorks 董事長暨合夥人林之晨指出:「近幾年大家都感受到氣候變遷與劇烈氣象,對生活帶來的衝擊,認知到實現淨零碳排的必要,其中,加速共享、綠色運輸的發展,至為關鍵。因此,AppWorks 長期支持 WeMo Smart Mobility,期望加速其在台拓展與區域化的腳步。過去三年,在疫情反覆衝擊的營運環境下,WeMo 經營團隊展現出驚人的韌性與執行力,不僅在產品與服務上能持續創新,提供用戶更多選擇、更好體驗,在 WeMo PASS 助攻下,財務表現更是屢創新高。AppWorks 相信,進入後疫情階段,經過淬鍊的 WeMo 團隊,結合自身的經驗與優勢,必定能在大東南亞舞台寫下美好的新篇章。」

WeMo 執行長劉于遜表示:「身為台灣綠色共享運具先驅,過去 7 年以來在台灣本土深耕獲得許多寶貴經驗,也累積成熟能量發展各種盈利模式,並隨時保持敏捷滾動式調整策略與腳步,在最壞也是最好的時代從台灣出發,期盼能在海外市場取得更多國際合作與資源挹注。」

全球及亞太智慧運輸市場需求激增,依據 kbvresearch 調查,全球智慧運輸市場正以 8.7% 複合成長率擴張,將在 2023 年達 571.95 億美元的市場規模。越南、菲律賓、泰國、新加坡、印尼、印度等亞太多國皆有重大交通建設工程。WeMo 副董事長暨創辦人吳昕霈強調:「綠能永續發展亦是全球焦點趨勢,也是 WeMo 營運發展核心之一,WeMo 在持續穩健成長之下,將挾三大優勢跨海強攻,並在 AppWorks 加碼增資助攻之下,目標在數位經濟時代以跨國界、跨運具之強大策略武器打開所有可能,建立亞太智慧運輸永續生態圈。」

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