In early March, 11 companies were chosen to receive an investment of RM250,000 (US$61,844) each to grow their business regionally from Scale Up Malaysia and Quest Ventures.
ScaleUp Malaysia’s Cohort 2 key partner, Quest Ventures is a regional venture capital firm based out of Singapore that counts Temasek as one of their key investors. With more than 50 investments under their belt, Quest Ventures’ investments boast regional powerhouses like Carousell, 99.co and Carro.
Head’s Up will be interviewing all 11 chosen startups to discuss further on the challenges they face as a startup to grow regionally and how the investment will impact their journey moving forward.
Third in the list is HAUZ, a TimeClock, Workforce and Operations Management Solution that has served various key sectors such as Security, Construction, Engineering & Cleaning Services and has proven to reduce up to 40% of their operation costs.
Di-Yan Ho, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer and Shah Fariq Aizal Sha Ghazni, Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer share their story with Head’s Up.
Can you share more about your startup and what has the journey been like so far?
HAUZ is a TimeClock, Workforce and Operations Management Solution that has served various key sectors such as Security, Construction, Engineering & Cleaning Services and has proven to reduce up to 40% of their operation costs.
We focus a lot on micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) as the hourly blue collar and grey collar workers segment have not been fully accommodated with the right solution. For us, we want to keep MSMEs afloat.
How it all started is when we have constant meetings with business owners from MSMEs from various sectors in the service industry. From traditional attendance punch cards to managing workforce operations to piles of unproductive paperwork and getting these reports delivered to HQ before the end of the month is old school to us.
Journey has been great. For both of us being self-learning entrepreneurs, it's never short of challenges and this is how we strive to be better and improve things we plan to achieve not only for individual goals but for the growth of HAUZ as well.
We spent countless late nights trying to figure out how traditional businesses in Malaysia can be more efficient, to help them expand and grow after using HAUZ. We aim to be more than just a TimeClock, Workforce and Operations solution in the future. We have this amazing product roadmap to make it possible for every business to function digitally in Malaysia and regionally.
Were you confident of getting selected to receive the investment?
We were very confident of getting selected for this investment as we have grown organically and further strengthened our business throughout 2020 and early 2021. The synergies we have in the company also played a role and complemented the success of our growth and revenues.
How will you be utilising the RM250,000 investment coming from the partnership?
Product development and business development. There are also a couple of new features that we have been wanting to work on and plan to release by the end of Q3 2021.
What are the challenges does a startup like yours face in growing regionally?
Complacency is one major problem to a growing startup. Never assume that your team will continue to be successful simply because you have been in the past.
Regularly revisiting and revising your business plan can help a startup adapt to the changing market conditions and the need to respond to them.
For us, we have to be fully committed to a planned strategy, even if it is going to take us out of our comfort zone. This includes hard decisions such as pivoting your business and the way it operates.
Which country do you think holds the biggest potential to market your product?
We want to build a global ready SaaS product and grow globally with it instead of penetrating into country by country and start localising the features accordingly, which will be a hassle.
If possible, we want to tap into all countries instead of just focusing on just ASEAN countries.
The pandemic has proven to be some of the most challenging times for a lot of businesses. How did you overcome the challenges?
The pandemic has actually accelerated our business growth as the essential services sectors needed a digital solution to manage their mobile hourly workers that work in multiple locations. This has helped them a lot in streamlining and monitoring of their operational activities and reports.
What opportunities do you think this investment will give rise to for your startup in the long term?
We want to grow our business together with the great minds behind Scale Up Malaysia and Quest Ventures. It's not just investment we are seeking but also a great team that can help us achieve what we want to do with HAUZ as a brand, a solution and company, moving forward.
How important do you think these initiatives are for startups in the country?
Very Important. We hope to see more investment initiatives available for all startups in Malaysia.