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How A Startup Raised USD$2.9M After 4 Years of Struggling. Part 2

Aston Chia | March 29, 2020
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    How A Startup Raised USD$2.9M After 4 Years of Struggling. Part 2
    Aston Chia

This is part 2 of a 2 part series. Listen to Part 1 first.

Welcome back to season 2 of Ramen To Riches. We’re in part 2 of our conversation with Aston Chia. He’s the co-founder of Overdrive, an IoT, or internet of things startup that automates data sensing of different things from tracking vehicles to machinery, goods and even tracking people, kids, and the elderly. 

Basically these senses collect data about people’s movements, actions, in an effort to make things more efficient, secure, reduce wastage, among other benefits, pitching to business owners or governments.

Just to recap from part 1 of this series on Overdrive. There are two guys starting their own really small operation, they initially built a product tracking sensors in vehicles, but that wasn’t popular, so, one day they asked their clients what they needed, and because of that, they changed their product to something that customers actually needed and bought, until finally, when they had the right talent working with them, had enough happy clients and investors, the next step was the epic journey to raise money from seasoned investors. It would take them four years, countless meetings, and the fear of failure always lurking around. Because if they didn’t lure investors’ interest, they wouldn’t have the money needed to continue to grow overseas.  Find out how two outsiders, Aston Chia, and his cofounder Zen Chin, raised US 2.9Million, which is equivalent to around 4 million Singapore dollars.

30,000 sensors as we speak sending data to Aston’s company, that’s a lot of sensors. Just imagine, for example, your tv remote as one sensor, now times that by 30,000 throughout the country, imagine the load of data that is collected, where once it’s received they’ll read and analyze the data and advise companies on increasing efficiency and reducing costs.

Thanks for joining us on another episode, because as an entrepreneur, we all have to make sacrifices, like cutting costs by only eating ramen or using the free wifi at Starbucks, but with the right mind, you can go from ramen to riches. Join us next time and thanks for listening.

Aston’s Bio

Founded in 2015 by technologists Aston Chia and Zen Chin, Overdrive’s customer portfolio include Sentosa, Nanyang Technological University, Fedex, Ascendas, the Ministry of Manpower in Singapore, and Volkswagen and Mazda in Malaysia via its local IoT partner.

Overdrive operates an IOT platform that automates data sensing of various types of assets within a business ecosystem, from vehicles and machinery, to goods and people. It leverages on a “mash-up” of different connectivity technologies and curated 3rd party devices, that is configured to optimally deliver business objectives such as real-time tracking and monitoring, exception alerting and command centre visualization.

Aston is a technologist and solution architect at the heart, having learnt his craft at Monash University Australia with a Bachelor of Computing in 2005. He then led a developer team for Wired-Up Mobile Solutions, architecting and developing a mobile back up solution for VAS for major mobile operators in Asia. He went on to help Bayer Southeast Asia plan, design and coordinate the execution of their largest data center migration into 2 new data centers.

Prior to starting Overdrive, Aston led the design and development of EaziCall, a callback mobile solution for Singtel. He is 36 yrs old and married with 2 baby boys.

Thanks for listening! The greatest compliment you can give me is to recommend this podcast to colleagues, family and friends. Share a comment through email or Linkedin and let me know what you think, I’m constantly trying to improve the content in this podcast for you. 

I’m also looking for my next tv show after I recently guest-hosted my last tv show on Channel NewsAsia about the latest business trends in Asia. In this show, I flew to Japan to uncover the e-sports industry with a crew and fixer, and we dove deep into the Esports industry. I learned a lot about myself, about how to host, and we found ourselves in a lot of funny situations along the way. You can check it out here, it’s an hour-long. I’d love to know what you think.

Music Credits:

BMGPM license, thank you to all artists involved.













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