Taiwanese startup Velodash announced that it has completed a NT$21M ($800K) angel round, which sees participation from National Development Fund (NDF), a government fund for startups, and NIPPON Platform Group, a Japanese company providing a wide variety of payment solutions for retailers.
The two-year-old company is known for its app that allows users to plan their cycling routes and enjoy rides with a group of friends while keeping track of where they are and how fast they ride at any moment. It also serves as a market where users can find cycling events they may be interested or create their own ones.
Also, the company offers a platform called Velodash Staff for event organizers to manage their events more efficiently. In 2018, it was picked by the Singapore government as the official app to record the performance of the participants in a cycling event on the National Day.
With the new capital, Velodash will be able to optimize these two products by expanding its software team and promote its services to Japan and other Asian markets.
“We believe that Velodash’s products have a huge potential in Japan,” said Taiki Sekiguchi, Executive Assistant of CEO at NIPPON Platform Group. “They may upgrade the sports industry and push forward the burgeoning placemaking projects here.” Indeed, Velodash’s app was used in Japan not long ago, in Green Tour Kyoto, a cycling event that aims to revive the old town with a new form of tourism.
It’s the Japanese firm’s first attempt to invest in a Taiwanese startup. But surprisingly, Molly Huang, one of the co-founders of Velodash, said the deal was clinched soon after they approached the founder of the group, Jun Takagi. “He told me he saw a team that is highly motivated and competent,” she said.
So far, the service that the team provides has been a boon to a number of cycling events across Asia, and they plan to boost many other outdoor activities in the future.