We’re already a sixth of our way into 2018, and on our second startup bundle for the year, but it seems like New Year’s Eve was only yesterday. Time really does fly in the tech world.
The good thing is that the Colombo startup scene is starting to get back into its stride after the expected January lull, as we welcome three new arrivals onto the scene.
In the bundle this month is one startup for the music-heads, and two very interesting new products harnessing blockchain technology, but in two very different industries.
Blockchain is normally associated with Bitcoin.
But Blockchain 2.0 technologies go beyond transactions and enable “exchange of value without powerful intermediaries acting as arbiters of money and information.”
Helios P2P are harnessing this new tech and introducing Blockchain 2.0 into the Sri Lankan personal finance market. They connect investors with borrowers and allow both to obtain competitive interest rates compared to the traditional market.
Roar Tech spoke to one of the three founders, Nuzhi Meyen.
He said, “there are currently no significant players in the Sri Lankan market like Helios. Indeed, to our knowledge we are the first P2P platform to utilize blockchain in the world. The only similar products globally, are Lending Club in the US and Yirendai in China.”
Helios are currently signing up both investors and borrowers and are looking to launch their product by end of March or Mid-April 2018. They are in the process of revamping their website and those who are interested can sign up for more information here.
Another Sri Lankan startup harnessing blockchain technology, Tracified, do so with a very different approach.
Tracified is a product in the food traceability and ecommerce space. Tracified allows online premium food retailers to display the traceability information about each of the products on the website. It is a platform that integrates seamlessly with an ecommerce website and existing data sources; as simple as plug and play.
Tracified uses blockchain technology to verify trust throughout the value chain so there can be no tampering of data.
Food provence is a major concern, globally, and it feels like Tracified are hitting the right industry at the right time. Uthpalie Thilakarathna, one of the founding members of Tracified, told Roar Tech in an interview:
“Tracified was born after we were approached by a Norwegian premium fish exporter who sold their produce through an ecommerce site that was primarily serving the consumer market in China. We looked into why Chinese consumers were buying food online from Europe, and we realized that people want to know where their food comes from: product authenticity, freshness, and quality are key purchasing factors.”
In Sri Lanka, Tracified work with Saaraketha Organics and are in discussions with one of the largest dairy producers and egg producers in Sri Lanka.
They hope to have a full product available as a software as a service (SaaS) by the middle of the year and will be exhibiting it at international events.
Merging Sri Lanka and hipster in a word undoubtedly deserves some attention. But Sripster are more than just a cool name, they are Sri Lanka’s very own interpretation of SoundCloud.
If you’re unfamiliar with SoundCloud, it’s the website that changed music forever. Or, more accurately, a groundbreaking free music portal that allows anyone to upload their tunes and assemble a massive online following . In its origins, it became the backbone of global underground music, uniting bedroom MCs with diehard rap fans, and teenagers with indie idols. But it got big, and soon everyone from Beyonce to Daft Punk started uploading unheard demos, remixes, and live cuts, to the delight of everyone.
It seems Sripster have set out to amass a big following from both music-makers and listeners. There’s no upload restrictions, meaning artists can upload as many recordings as they want. Similarly, there’s unlimited streaming for fans (no premium pay-for service) and at first site visit, it’s super easy to start listening to tracks and assembling playlists.
February’s featured startup are a wonderfully eclectic mix and it’s especially great to see something so inclusive happening in the underground music scene.
Blockchain 2.0 technology is also an intriguing sub-plot to the bitcoin discussion, and we cannot wait to see what else is on the horizon for Sri Lanka.
Cover image courtsey: alltopstartups.com