From robotics to food delivery to education technology, we’ve covered startups that are changing their industry through technology or just passion and strong business models. We reached out to entrepreneurs to find out what they expect to be the next big thing for their industry.

Smartbite CEO Gabriele Fadda shares his thoughts on food delivery and what he thinks will be the disruptive force in this growing industry. SmartBite is changing food delivery in Malaysia, but removing on-demand and focusing on delivery efficiency and data to drive prices and waiting time down.

We also spoke to David Wong, CEO of golf startup Deemples. With a presence around Southeast Asia and a growing pool of golfers that use Deemples to find other players they can play a few rounds.

We find out what’s next for the Proptech industry?

What can we expect from Foodtech in Southeast Asia?

Gabriele Fadda CEO and Co-Founder
Gabriele Fadda, CEO and Co-Founder, SmartBite

Gabriele has changed food delivery in KL and is looking to expand his business within Malaysia and possibly the region. With over 20,000 users and serving over 3,900 offices, SmartBite is taking a significant ‘bite’ out of the food delivery market in Malaysia.

We spoke to Gabriele earlier about his vision and where he sees his business growingFind out what he believes is coming up in 2019.

Big Data

Food is an essential part of our life and is at the centre of our cultural conversations worldwide. As the food and beverage industry is a major industry and a global economic force, it is no wonder that the food tech industry more often than not are leveraging on big data-driven analytics in order to gain an edge in the competitive landscape. We expect the durable trend of using big data in the food tech industry to continue in 2019 with expected advances in the optimisation of predictive and, perhaps, prescriptive analytics. Currently, SmartBite is particularly invested in predictive analytics and is improving our algorithms to review data such as recent purchase history and consumer sentiment to predict consumer demands in advance with increasing accuracy. This trend of improving big data analytics feeds into the trend of consumers demanding increasingly personalised engagement.


One size no longer fits all when it comes to delivering food to the masses. The past few years have seen personalisation transforming the food and drink industry, and thereby the food tech industry. Innovations in this area are especially important given the competitive industry with exponential number of food choices and many food tech companies fighting for attention. Brands are beginning to step up by using data-driven technology to create hyper-relevant experiences for their consumers. With food, personalisation can come in various forms – personal customisation such as their names on the packaging (e.g. Share a Coke campaign), personalisation to their preferred food tastes (this is something that SmartBite is focused on) and customising to individuals’ health requirements. Trends are showing that consumers are still demanding more in terms of customisation and personalised brand experiences; consumers want increasingly sophisticated approaches so that they can play the role of critic, connoisseur, and creator in their experiences with food.

What is next for the HR tech industry in Southeast Asia?

What can we expect from marketplaces?

David Wong, CEO and Co-Founder, Deemples

Through Deemples, David is focusing on making golf as accessible as ride-sharing. His startup and mobile app has grown considerably since its inception and they have built an impressive community of passionate golfers throughout Southeast Asia. We caught up with David earlier last year to find out his journey so far.

Find out how he sees marketplaces evolve in 2019.

There seems to be a platform for almost everything out there. Connecting drivers to riders, landlords to tenants, buyers to sellers, husbands to wives, employers to employees. Even niche activities have community platforms too, that connect people within similar interests.

Within similar categories of platforms, there are multiple players out there within the same jurisdiction. While fighting for market share is what everyone is doing, we feel that 2019 is where companies will get smarter and start to consolidate. No point fighting and killing each other, when you can leverage each other and solidify a vast majority in that category.

We’ve seen big consolidation happen in the ride-sharing category and accommodation category. Younger startups will learn from this and not wait til too much blood has been lost before consolidating efforts, merging instead of fighting.