Back to database    Sep 26, 2016

BeBonobo is an award winning startup that offers an online platform to individuals and businesses to list unwanted and search for any types of wanted items anywhere within a preferred distance or in any specific location. It offers consumers more affordable and conscious way to source for needed goods/products and also get rid of unwanted but reusable goods. On BeBonobo, users list and find items either for free or for tree. BeBonobo plants one actual fruit tree for local farmers for the transaction of every item that was listed for tree. BeBonono saves consumers’ money, reduces waste, greenifies the environment and empowers farmers through planting fruit trees for them to increase their income.

The startup is currently being accelerated by a Silicon Valley based Cleantech Open Accelerator and YSE Incubator program under Singapore International Foundation based in Singapore. BeBonobo is also one of the startups in MAP (MaGIC Accelerator Program) SE Track 2016 (Cohort 3). It was founded in 2015 to serve Southeast Asia which initially focuses on Malaysian and Singaporean markets.

BeBonobo team has been doing groundwork for the past one year. They have built strong strategic partnerships and collaborations locally and internationally. Also, they have actively engaged with current and potential customers and beneficiaries to prepare ground for community building activities. On top of all, the team has been participating in several business challenges and startup competitions from Cleantech Hackathon in Malaysia to business competitions in Russia and Singapore where they won awards and gained international experience, exposure and recognition. Going through highly competitive challenges and getting insightful feedback from experts have helped the team to evolve the business model and also reshape the social impact framework of the startup.

The involvement of myHarapan in the project started with ASEAN Youth Social Business Summit 2015 where BeBonobo was also one of the participating startups. BeBonobo team was able to build useful connections from different parts of ASEAN from Cambodia to Thailand to exchange experience and knowledge in Social Business field to further develop the startup. Also, the workshops that conducted by myHarapan during the summit was another key to understand the importance of impact measurement in social business sphere.

It is an undeniable fact that getting fund at early stage is challenging for any startup. That was not any different for BeBonobo too. The team was previously granted RM3,000 by MIGHT Malaysia to support the development of the platform. Apart from platform development, the team has achieved many milestones from customer development, beta testing of the platform to community building and strategic partnerships. As BeBonobo team has done the homework and groundwork well in very short span of time, myHarapan’s Youth Action Grant (YAG) will enable them to boost the progress, especially in implementation of go2market strategies. As the team has limited financial resources the creativity in community building and social impact measurement is key to take the startup to the next level. myHarapan’s YAG will definitely open many doors for BeBonobo to spread the word and create good for society.

One interesting fact about BeBonobo’s business model is that its social impact and revenue models are tied up to one another – which means the bigger social impact is created the higher revenue will be generated, and vice versa. Having these two key elements connected to each other makes it easier to always be focused on both at the same time. The fund received from myHarapan will be fully utilized on activities of community building, creating public awareness on collaborative consumption, conscious consumerism, clutter and environmental and economic role of trees. Measurable social impact for direct and indirect beneficiaries of the project is estimated to be achieved by the end of October 2016.


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