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Captain’s Log, Sept 7: Kaskus co-founder makes first angel investment, iResidenz gets new CTO

e27 Sept 7, 2017

Deliveree launches new courier service using CDE trucks, while RajaMobil raises its first external investment round


Campaign CEO William S. Gondokusumo (left) with Ken Dean Lawadinata. Image Credit: Campaign

Campaign raises funding led by Kaskus founder Ken Dean Lawadinata

Social enterprise platform Campaign announced on Wednesday that they have raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Ken Dean Lawadinata, who is widely known as co-founder of Indonesian discussion forum and e-commerce platform Kaskus.

Campaign provides a platform for communities and individuals to promote their social campaigns. The startup also provide consultation and training for individuals and organisations in running a successful campaign.

According to several media reports, prior to the investment, the company has been running their business through bootstrapping and by acting as tech consultant for corporations.

Lawadinata left Kaskus in October 2016. He had previously been quoted saying that he was “no longer interested” in tech startup investments.

iResidenz announces new CTO

Kuala Lumpur-based online resident portal iResidenz today announced the appointment of John Choo as its CTO.

Reporting directly to founder and CEO Ramesh Balakrishnan, Choo will focus primarily on strategic planning, product development, and “spearheading innovation” on the platform.

He brings 15 years of experience spanning across fields related to real-time distributed apps, high-volume transactional systems, marketing technology, digital engagement strategies, and product management, vision and roadmap.

Also Read: Captain’s Log, Sept 6: PolicyStreet raises US$500K, Mobike goes to Malaysia

RajaMobil raises funding from Ideosource

Indonesian online marketplace for automotive RajaMobil announced on Wednesday that it has raised an undisclosed funding led by Ideosource, according toDailySocial.

Stellar Capital and angel investors such as TP Rachmat of Triputra Group, Boy Thohir, Fatimah Kalla, and Erick Thohir through Beyond Media (Mahaka Group) also participated in the funding round.

The report also named Assa Rent, Nasmoco, and “several other automotive companies” as investors.

The funding round marks the company’s first external funding.

RajaMobil connects potential car buyers to car dealers through a desktop and mobile site. The company plans to use the funding to push for product development and marketing.


Image Credit: Deliveree

Deliveree launches CDE truck service

Southeast Asian logistics marketplace Deliveree has launched a new service utilising two-tonne capacity CDE trucks in Greater Jakarta Area.

The starting price for the CDE truck service is IDR320,000 (US$24) for the first five kilometer and IDR7,000 (US$0.52) for every kilometer thereafter. Customers can also book a CDE truck for a 12-hour full day service with unlimited distance for IDR900,000 (US$67).

In the upcoming months, the startup plans to launch other new services utilising CDD and Wingbox trucks.

Source :

iResidenz cracks an elusive market

Digital News Asia Sept 06, 2017

  • Freemium model plus add-on paid services such as tenant management for owners
  • Sees opportunities in property tech sector, aims for 1 mil users by 2020

RAMESH Balakrishnan (pic), founder and chief executive officer of Malaysia-based online property management portal iResidenz, is focused on market acquisition rather than increasing the startup’s revenue stream. “We want to grab the market share to create a barrier to entry,” he reveals. Once iResidenz, which caters to condominiums and gated communities, amasses enough customers it will then shift its focus to increasing number of people in those properties who use the portal.

iResidenz, owned by startup The Residenz Solution Sdn Bhd, has 55 condominiums on its books. Currently, about one-third of the residents in each of these condominiums use the platform for transactions such as making payments or bookings and for communication with their property’s management.

iResidenz does provide an incentive for users – a monthly lucky draw where 10 users are randomly selected from across all the condominiums to get RM100 cash back each.  The numbers have been increasing slowly, says Ramesh, with the total amount of transactions made via the portal hitting the US$234,000 (RM1 million) mark in June. [Para rewritten for accuracy.]

Ramesh acknowledges this is not a big amount for 55 condominiums and about 18 months of operations. “With our limited resources, we had to decide what to focus on – customer acquisition or increasing usage. We decided that we can increase usage any time but getting the market quickly is what we need to be doing now,” he says, sharing that it aims to have 100 properties using iResidenz by year end.

Ramesh was previously running a web and software development company, first in the UK and then in Malaysia when he returned in 2005.

Revenue through added services

The iResidenz platform provides a dedicated portal with a customised url for each property. Basically, the platform connects residents, owners and management. It allows residents to access their bills, make complaints and bookings, check notices and even make payments.

The management office can post notices, manage complaints, use and SMS gateway to send target messages to residents, and keep track of residents’ details. The resident committee has access to a dashboard that shows all the current issues brought up by residents and how they are being managed.

“The residents will basically have a management office that is open 24/7 and accessible from anywhere because everything is online. The real-time reporting tools improve the efficiency and productivity of the management office, and the dashboard ensures accountability,” says Ramesh.

Its freemium model means there is no subscription fee and the startup is also waiving the setup fee as part of its market acquisition campaign.

It generates revenue mainly through its payment gateway services – users are charged a RM3.18 convenience fee each time they make payments online, a portion of which goes to the payment gateway provider MOLPay and the rest to iResidenz.

The platform also provides value-added services to residents. A partnership with BP Healthcare Group leverages on the group’s doctor on-call services where residents can book a doctor for a home visit for an exclusive rate – RM50 less than the posted fee.  [Para rewritten for accuracy.]

Free parcel locker services from Sunway Popbox are provided at some properties; this services was instated early this year and is not in every iResidenz property yet but Ramesh says that it eventually will. Sunway Popbox pays iResidenz about RM150 per locker per month and generates revenue from wrap-around advertisements on the lockers.

Home improvement services are provided through on-demand services platform RecomN; iResidenz gets a referral fee from every booking. iResidenz will also soon be providing laundry pick-up and delivery services; it is in talks with service providers.

While all these services are part of the platform, iResidenz also provides an add-on tenant management service for owners at RM10 per month, where owners can send monthly invoices and payment reminders to their tenants.

The startup’s tech team, led by chief technical officer John Choo (pic), is working to build more add-on paid services – a visitor management system and a system for developers to make the handover process more efficient and convenient. Choo reveals that the plan is for these systems to be completed by the end of the year.

iResidenz also obtains revenue through advertisements on the platform. It utilises data gathered from users’ behaviour for targeted advertising.

Interestingly, both BP Healthcare Group and Sunway approached iResidenz to propose the partnerships, which Ramesh attributes to them seizing opportunities to work together and target the same market that iResidenz targets. As for RecomN, Ramesh met its co-founders when they were all part of Cradle’s Coach & Grow Programme in 2013.

Market expansion after funding

iResidenz came into being in May 2013 and secured its first customer in July that year but Ramesh says that the startup went through a period of very slow organic growth – what he calls its ‘hibernation period’ – because it was operating extremely lean.

Growth really picked up from May 2015 after iResidenz secured its first round of funding through an angel investor, and further angel investment in November that year, though Ramesh declines to reveal the amount. iResidenz closed its pre-series A round in March this year for an undisclosed sum from e-commerce platform manager Interbase Resources, which manages, among others,

The funding will be used to drive its market acquisition strategy as well as expand the tech team and start local and regional expansion.

The majority of iResidenz customers are in the Klang Valley but there are three in Johor Bahru (capital of Malaysia’s southern-most state Johor) and two in Kota Kinabalu (capital of East Malaysian state Sabah).

“A large part of Malaysia is still untapped for us, but at the same time we are exploring some regions outside of Malaysia,” Ramesh explains. iResidenz is currently in talks with a developer in the northern Malaysian state of Penang, as well as with potential partners in Singapore and Indonesia for possible joint ventures.

Choo says that though Singapore is certainly a more mature market in the sense that property management platforms are more widely used there compared to Malaysia, there are still big opportunities for iResidenz in that market.

As for Indonesia, iResidenz has found that there is a lot more demand for property management platforms there than supply, making it a market ripe for plucking. Because iResidenz is targeting high-end properties in Indonesia, Ramesh says that language will not be a problem and the service will continue to be in English for the time being.

iResidenz aims to be in Singapore and Indonesia by the end of this year, which will contribute to the 100 total properties it has ‘live’ on the platform. According to Ramesh, the platform should have about live 150 properties by the first quarter of next year.

More opportunities in growing industry

Though similar platforms do exist in Malaysia and certainly in the region, Choo says that what differentiates iResidenz, besides its freemium model, is that it with its added services the platform provides a whole ecosystem from which a vast amount of user data can be gathered.

Ramesh admits that iResidenz has not fully used the data it gathers to add even more value to the platform, but says the focus is on market acquisition – for now.

Even so, iResidenz is performing relatively better than competitors on the market – it has the largest number of live properties on its platform. It must be noted that Ramesh does not consider platforms that started out as accounting systems and have extended their services to include resident management in this estimation. “We do acknowledge there are players in the market doing something similar. But so far we don’t see any big competitor in terms of market share,” says Ramesh.

“As much as we’re unofficially leading, we don’t want to claim to be number one with just 55 properties. We can confidently say we will be number one by the end of next year.”

Choo adds that though there are entrepreneurs trying to create similar platforms, it is difficult to make such a platform work because of the complex technology that it is built on.

Speaking as a developer, Choo says that the property tech industry is a very exciting industry to be in, especially in terms of innovation. “It’s not very mature yet, which is the best thing, because there are a lot of things to learn and apply.”

The immaturity of the industry, however, also means a lot of hard work. “It’s a chicken-and-egg problem when you have a platform but not enough people using it,” he says.

Ramesh says that iResidenz aims to breakeven sometime next year and the long-term plan is to have 1 million residents by 2020.

“We have the same aspirations as any other startup – we want to grow, perhaps be a unicorn and list. 2020 is in three years, so our focus is very much on accelerating growth.”

Source :

iResidenz solves pain points of highrise living

MANY people have opted for highrise residences due to land scarcity, convenience, and better security.

However, condominium living can be a hassle when it comes to booking common facilities, parking, and paying fees as residents can only visit the property management office during working hours.

On the other hand, the management office has to deal with the frustration of collecting maintenance fees from residents, managing paperwork, and dealing with maintenance problems.

Recognising these pain points, home-grown technology start-up The Residenz Solution Sdn Bhd offers digital solutions to address the problems.

Managing the collection of maintenance fees remain  a pain point for property managers, says Ramesh

“I live in a condominium and know the pain and frustration of living there,” its founder and CEO Ramesh Balakrishnan says.The company owns an online resident portal, iResidenz, which caters to condominiums and gated communities.

It claims to make property management and communications easier for owners, tenants, and property management offices by connecting the parties to expedite payments, bookings of facilities, complaints, notices and more.

The workload of the management office is also reduced through automation of administrative tasks.

iResidenz also serves as a platform for property management companies and property developers where they get access to real-time reports of multiple properties and other features.

The Residenz Solution was formed in 2013 when Ramesh received a request to build such a system.

His client wanted the system as he had problems sourcing for localised property management software.

“There are such softwares from the US and Australia but they are not as flexible and could be expensive to run,” he says.


To date, the system is deployed in over 54 properties across the Klang Valley, Johor, and Sabah.

Among them are Summer Suites KLCC, Ampang’s M-City, Desa ParkCity’s The Mansions, Cyberjaya’s Mirage by the Lake, and Waldorf and Windsor in Sri Hartamas.

Of the 54 properties, it is used by two commercial ones and eight gated communities.

The difference in the system is that the booking function is absent in the commercial properties and gated communities version as such properties do not have condominium facilities.

“We are looking at an average of 350 units per property in our system. One of our highest users has over 1,400 units in a condominium project,” says Ramesh.

Users of iResidenz are charged a convenience fee of RM3.18 per transaction performed through its payment gateway service.

Ramesh says this function is optional for residents who can still make physical payments at the property management office. However, the system’s take up rate has been encouraging.

The payment gateway, which was introduced early last year, has since surpassed the RM1 mil transaction milestone.

As many of the properties on iResidenz consist of high-end condominiums, Ramesh says property owners who are likely to be landlords, prefer to opt for online payments as they rarely set foot on their tenanted properties.

For property management offices, managing and tracking payments are one of the biggest headaches faced.

“There are some property management offices that allow you to transfer money to their account and then provide them with a proof of payment such as a transaction slip or receipt.

“However, it is cumbersome to track as there have been instances where payment has been made but the resident forgot to attach any proof of payment,” he says.

Ramesh points out that he has seen unclaimed or untraceable deposits ranging from a few thousand to as high as RM40,000.

Payments made on iResidenz are tracked and traceable as the process is automated, making it easier for both parties to monitor.

Target audiences for the system, he says, are existing and soon-to-be completed properties. “When we work with property developers, it makes sense as they may have existing projects,” he says.

A Knight Frank Malaysia report on the real estate sector for H1 says the cumulative supply of high-end condominiums and residences stood at 47,380 units.

Following the recent completion of The Sentral Residences, Arcoris Mont’ Kiara and 28 Dutamas, the figure has increased by another 1,333 units.

Condominiums are a common part of urban life. But living in one calls for more convenient management

MonetisationRamesh says iResidenz is developed as a “freemium” model for property management offices with the option to subscribe to add-on modules such as visitor management, committee management, and tenant management models.

(Freemium is a pricing strategy by which a product or service, typically a digital offering or application such as software, media, games or web services, are provided free of charge, but money (premium) is charged for proprietary features, functionality, or virtual goods).

“We are planning to introduce our committee management model by Q4. It will allow the joint management body (JMB) of condominiums to document meetings and their outcomes,” he says.

This function allows new property managers elected by the JMB to have a clear idea of what happened in the past and be able to pick up faster from where the previous officials left off.

Other monetisation options include tailored advertisements on the portal. Ramesh says residents who are booking the tennis court, for example, may be prompted with an advertisement for tennis coaching lessons.

The advertising module is still in its experimental stage and has yet to have a fixed pricing structure.

“We have residents and property managers coming to us with ways to improve the system, but any new feature we launch will have to satisfy the majority first,” says Ramesh.

Funding the business

LOCAL technology start-up The Residenz Solution Sdn Bhd has been knocking on the right doors to fund its business.

Its first round of funding from angel investors was in May 2015, followed by another similar one in November that year.

The company, which owns property management web portal iResidenz, raised a pre-series A funding round in March from Interbase Resources Sdn Bhd, which operates online shopping marketplace

Interbase Resources managing director Richard Tan says: “This move is in line with our long-term direction to partner and invest in online communities.

“As a pioneer in the e-commerce industry, we are happy and excited to be involved with iResidenz’s growth aspirations and the team under Ramesh Balakrishnan (the company founder and CEO).”

The funding has also helped iResidenz look into potential expansion outside the country by increasing its talent pool.

Though the amount of the funding remains undisclosed, it is believed iResidenz’s entire funding exercise could have secured them a seven figure investment in total.

At this juncture, Ramesh says the business is not yet profitable.

“Our focus is to gain market share. Once we have achieved that, there is so much we can do in terms of monetisation and revenue,” he says.

iResidenz, having  54 properties already on board,  has a captive audience of 18,900 users based on the average 350 units per property, while offers to collaborate with it are already coming in.

“If we have 100 properties with a captive audience of 35,000, there is so much more we can do,” Ramesh says, adding that he hopes to achieve the figures by the end of next year.

This article first appeared in Focus Malaysia Issue 248.
Source :

What is Good Property Management? – Part 1

What is Good Property Management? Written by Ken Lo. Edited by iResidenz.

What is the definition of “good”?

More often than not, what is considered “good” for some, is “not good” for others.

I had a friend living in the same condominium, where I served as a Chairman, and every time she saw me she would complain that the cleanliness of the common area was not good while a majority of the other residents had no such complaints. I later discovered that she was a perfectionist.

If you were to ask ten condominium residents what they consider good property management, in every ten responses, you may get something like:

“Good property management is when…

…you have nothing to complain about; only praise.”

…there is no corruption.”

…there is no in-fighting with the Management Corporation council.”

…the manager is not hopeless!”

In the Strata Titles Act 1985 (Act 318), Section 43 (1) (a) spells out the duties & powers of the Management (either the Joint Management Body, Management Corporation Council, the Developer or the Developer’s appointed Property Manager) as:

“to manage and properly maintain the common property and keep it in a state of good and serviceable repair

The definition of “a state of good” is very subjective, unless there is a minimum standard established and agreed by the majority, e.g. how clean is clean.

What is “property management”?

I spoke to an expert who has been a Property Manager for over thirty years and he told me that property management is, essentially, about people management. Things do not cry, but people cry if common property is not kept in a state of good and serviceable repair, since it lowers their standard of living.

Expectations of good service have to be managed. When a complaint is lodged and there is no response from the Management for weeks, is that considered good management? How many condominiums have Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to respond to complaints?

A resident once lamented that his complaints had not been dealt with. I asked him if he had filled in the complaint form and he said yes. Then I asked him if he had a copy of the form acknowledged receipt by the management office. He said no. So I checked with the management office where his complaint form was and they told me that they didn’t receive it.

There are two possibilities:

  1. He did not lodge a written complaint.
  2. The form was lost for whatever reason.

Since he did not keep an acknowledged copy and the office has no record, he has to go through the complaint process again and is not a happy soul.

Good property management requires an SOP to be made known to all the residents and have a fail-safe system in place to capture residents’ complaints.

Since every condominium is unique, each management should establish their own SOP, especially for Security & Safety. If residents are not aware of the SOP, how will they know whether the security guards are doing their jobs? If you are a resident, ask your management for a copy of their SOP.

Ken Lo, B.Eng (Hon) UK, CFP, is the Chairman of the first Subsidiary Title Owners & Purchasers Association of Sabah (STOPS). He has been involved with property management in various capacities in Kuala Lumpur & Kota Kinabalu for more than 15 years.

If you’d like to learn how iResidenz can help you capture your residents’ complaints, call us for a presentation at +603 6201 6400.

Contact Us


The Residenz Solution Sdn Bhd
29-07, Jalan Riong, 59100 Bangsar Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia