QBO Innovation Hub and Microsoft announce the three startups selected to participate in the “AQELERATION: B2B Startups Disrupting Industries” program:
- Steer: A no-code operations digitalization platform that helps companies transform the way they do business.
- Mayani: An agri-ecommerce and supply chain platform that connects smallholder farmers to buyers.
- Last Mile Incorporated: A shared logistics platform ecosystem that aims to solve the challenges for businesses that operate their own logistics operations and those who rely on third-party providers.
The three startups will receive intensive training, dedicated mentorship, a financial grant from QBO, and strategic support to ensure that they scale and grow faster. The 6-month program will start in September 2021 and run through February 2022 and is designed to empower B2B tech startups—currently the largest startup segment in the country—as part of QBO and Microsoft’s shared commitment to nurturing the greater Philippine startup community.
“Digital transformation has become a priority to ensure that businesses can continue to operate and adapt to changing conditions,” shares QBO Innovation Hub Executive Director Katrina Rausa Chan. “With this acceleration program, Steer, Mayani, and Last Mile can build and improve on the support that they currently deliver to enterprise clients, leveraging on the unparalleled network and resources that QBO and Microsoft are able to provide.”
Digitizing operations with no-code solutions
Steer has been helping companies in multiple countries over the past 18 months digitalize processes in maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO). Steer’s flagship MRO automation suite offers clients in manufacturing, heavy equipment, and automotive industries a platform to implement their own custom mobile and web solutions in as fast as two weeks. The company is currently experiencing 30% MoM growth and has business partners across Asia Pacific, Latin America, the US, and the Middle East.
“In addition to streamlining scheduled and on-demand maintenance/repair of equipment and facilities, the Steer team is also making advancements in AI and IoT- enabled predictive maintenance. We are excited to be a part of the program to catalyze our company’s growth,” said Arup Maity, Steer CEO and Co-Founder.
Bridging farmers and clients with technology
Mayani focuses on agri-marketing and supply chain fulfillment, where it consolidates the different farmers’ cooperatives’ crop production at scale and directly distributes their fresh produce and agri-products to commercial clients like Shell, Robinsons, WalterMart, Healthy Options, UCC Group, Cara Mia, and much more. Mayani envisions to fully unlock the $9B agriculture industry in the Philippines by digitizing the agri-supply chain and making it more efficient, equitable for farmers, and more dependable for buyers. Mayani currently covers over 200 commercial partner touchpoints and is growing at a 20% MoM.
“Philippine agriculture is currently at the cusp of change. And we consider the joint backing of QBO and Microsoft as a huge boost for us to double down on our impact-driven agri-supply chain play through a more robust tech backbone, especially for our thousands of smallholder farmers. The Mayani team is beyond excited for this transformative journey,” said JT Solis, Mayani CEO and Co-Founder.
Solving the challenges of business logistics operations
Last Mile Inc. is a shared logistics innovation company that changes the way a business operates their Last Mile deliveries. Their offering consists of a digital products ecosystem designed to address the core issues of a business logistics operations. Last Mile Inc. currently has over 90 clients and are experiencing 10% MoM growth with its clients.
“We are extremely honored to be part of this Microsoft AQELERATION program where we aim to share the benefits of having our Last Mile platforms in business operations,” said Jeff Sarmiento, Last Mile CEO and Co-Founder.
A total of 36 startups creating solutions in the B2B segment to digitize businesses in the Philippines applied for the program, and the three finalists were selected based on the following criteria: size of the market opportunity, user base and growth to date, uniqueness and technology behind the solution, ability, and capacity of the team to execute, and plans for future growth.
“These three organizations represent key economic drivers and growth areas in the Philippines so the potential and motivation to scale their operations beyond their current capacity is both exciting and critical. With the right support and empowerment, Filipino startups can have a broader and more lasting impact towards positive economic outcomes for the country and the world. We believe this fully and we’re grateful to find a common vision and dedication to this greater agenda in our partners at QBO Innovation Hub,” said Abid Zaidi, Chief Marketing & Operations Officer at Microsoft Philippines.