Prominent media organization Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) announced today that its wholly owned subsidiary, SPH Interactive, has invested US$709,000 in a joint venture with Malaysia-headquartered #startup RecomN, according to an official filing.
RecomN confirmed to Tech in Asia that the joint venture by SPH Interactive and RecomN Singapore will result in a new website, Recommend.sg, which will incorporate SPH’s online business directory portal, STDirectory, which contains around 100,000 small businesses. It will be operated by RecomN.
Co-founder Jes Min Lua says the startup will be in charge of tech and operations while SPH will lead the marketing side. “We are really excited about this collaboration as it gives us assess to a marketing powerhouse, and makes us the largest service platform in Singapore on the day we launched,” she says via email.
RecomN launched in Malaysia in 2014 to be a portal for a number of different services, from cleaners to technicians to music teachers. It recently rebranded to Recommend.my, allowing users to contact service providers directly, browse user reviews, and check their portfolios through photo albums.
After bootstrapping since launch, it raised US$1 million in seed funding from Gobi Ventures in early 2016 and expanded to Indonesia as Sejasa.com and to Thailand as Helpdee.com. The platform currently claims to have 20,000 professionals across the region, the bulk of them being in Indonesia.
SPH is experiencing a sea change at the moment, as the company is trying to diversify its services – to the point of acquiring nursing home operator Orange Valley for US$119 million.
In September, CEO Alan Chan, who has helmed SPH for the last 15 years, will step down, to be replaced by former Neptune Orient Lines CEO Ng Yat Chung.
Converted from Singapore dollars. US$1 = S$1.38