Starboard, a Singapore-based platform for founders to start and run their companies globally, announced Thursday its $3.5 million Pre-Series A funding round led by Monk’s Hill Ventures.
Other investors for the round include Actium Partners, Iterative Capital, Bruno Poh (General Counsel, Lyte Ventures), Lelaina Lim (CFO, Eu Yang Sang International Limited), Michael Tor (Executive Director, UOB), Soh Gin Wee, Sulyana Binte Abdul Aziz, and Terrence Hoon, Starboard said in a statement.
The funds raised will be used to expand Starboard’s engineering, operations and customer success teams, supporting users in Singapore, Southeast Asia and the United States.
Starboard is focused on building a ‘Company OS (Operating System)’ to address a founder’s need to efficiently run global companies on a single platform with access to a range of corporate services including accounting and bookkeeping, compliance, payroll, visa applications and more. These services also include company formation and structuring, ESOP advisory and fractional-CFO services.
Despite rapid digitization, the firm said the market still sees a large number of traditional corporate service providers (CSPs) that rely on pen-and-paper processes, limiting efficiency and scalability.
In Singapore alone, it said there are 2,000 such providers servicing over 290,000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Starboard’s platform automates workflow for corporate entity management and governance to increase productivity and reduce errors by CSPs. There is a huge opportunity to consolidate this massive fragmented industry. Starboard’s strategy is to roll up smaller corporate service providers with existing books of clients and onboard them all to its platform in order to turbo-charge their growth.
“Founders, today, often have to pull information from multiple sources about their business. Starboard is the ‘one place and one team’ solution for founders to efficiently manage their businesses,
“We are elated to have Monk’s Hill Ventures as our investor and aligned on a common purpose — to enable great founders to build great, enduring companies,” said Melvin Yuan, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Starboard.
The company has onboarded many clients — from high-growth start-ups to small and midsize businesses (SMBs) and asset managers — and it is currently rolling out its proprietary client portal as a web app, iOS and Android App with the aim to create efficient company management at one’s fingertips.
Recently inducted into the leadership team, Starboard Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) Kent Huang advocates the need to support founders at every step of their journey.
Huang, who held the roles of Head of Finance and Chief Financial Officer at Funding Societies and GoBear respectively, and has worked at Intuit and PayPal, understands the challenges of starting and running a business.
“That’s why I’m excited to be here. I am looking to help lead client success, company operations and financial strategy in Singapore and Southeast Asia while supporting Melvin in strategic growth initiatives,” he said.
Starboard has also set up operations in Silicon Valley to enable clients from Singapore and Southeast Asia to manage their US subsidiaries as easily as their local companies. Yuan, a three-time founder himself, strongly believes that US-based companies can easily expand into Asia through Starboard, tapping into the market and talent pool with Singapore as regional headquarters.
“Starboard aims to automate a large portion of their business by codifying knowledge work and synthesizing increasing amounts of available company data, which would dramatically increase the total output per employee,
“We believe that Melvin has laid the groundwork towards becoming one of the largest and most efficient corporate services firms, and we are thrilled to be a part of Starboard’s success story,” said Peng T. Ong, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Monk’s Hill Ventures.
Starboard raises $3.5M pre-series A funding led by Monk’s Hill Ventures.Congratulations to the entire team. I wish you great success in this endeavour.Shishir Gupta, Founder and CEO, StartupLanes
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