AVIATION | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Daily Briefing: SIA awarded highest rating for 'hospital-grade' health and safety in global audit; Turochas Fuad launches BNPL startup 'Pace' with 7-figure seed funding

And Volopay raises $2.79m to make expense tracking easier for startups.

From ChannelNewsAsia:

Singapore Airlines has received the highest rating in a global audit of airlines' health and safety standards amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the national carrier announced on 19 January.

The "diamond" rating is awarded to airlines that reach "hospital-grade level health safety", according to a press release by audit organisers, the nonprofit Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) and aviation marketing firm SimpliFlying.

"Singapore Airlines' commitment to customer well-being shines via contactless journey management bolstered by best-in-class onboard hygiene," said APEX CEO Dr Joe Leader.

The airline has invested in passengers' wellness by implementing the latest advances in testing and health passport technology, he added.

SimpliFlying CEO Shashank Nigam said SIA has "raised the bar" for health and safety standards with initiatives such as near-touch check-in kiosks, mobile notifications for baggage delays, and digitisation of in-flight menus and magazines.

Read more here.

From e27:

Turochas “T” Fuad, a veteran entrepreneur and founder of co-working space provider Spacemob (acquired by WeWork in 2017), has launched a new venture in the fast-growing buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) space.

Named Pace Enterprise, the fintech startup aims to bring in financial access and inclusion by facilitating extended buying limits to underserved segments in the Asia-Pacific region.

Headquartered in Singapore, Pace is also available in Malaysia, Thailand, and Hong Kong.

Additionally, the BNPL startup has raised a “high seven-figure seed round” co-led by Vertex Ventures, and Alpha JWC.

The capital will be used to further develop its platform and offer progressive services and solutions to consumers and merchants.

Read more here.

From e27:

Volopay, a Singaporean startup providing expense tracking solutions to enterprises, has announced that it has closed a seed funding round of $2.79m (US$2.1m).

The investment round was led by Tinder founder Justin Mateen. Other investors joining the round were Soma Capital, CP Ventures, Y Combinator, VentureSouq, the founders of Razorpay (Shashank and Harshil), Antler, and other prominent angel investors.

Volopay intends to use the new funding for hiring, product development, international expansion, as well as to build strategic partnerships.

Launched in January 2019 by Rajith Shaji (CEO) and Rajesh Raikwar (CTO), Volopay was born when the co-founders experienced the hurdles of tracking different company spendings such as subscriptions, vendor payments, and employee reimbursements.

“The whole process was broken. I would spend hours noting down each individual spend and then have to reconcile it with receipts. Once submitted through the company’s expense platform, I would wait a whole month before being reimbursed the funds,” Shaji said.

Read more here. 

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