Biz Alumni 15 April 2020

Bizaders from different generations team up

Robert Yap (BBA 1976), Executive Chairman of YCH Group, and Lee Junxian (BBA 2008), co-founder and CEO of Moovaz, may have graduated from Business School some 30 years apart, but the huge gap did not deter them from teaming up in business.

YCH Group’s corporate venture arm Supply Chain Angels (SCAngels) announced an undisclosed Series A investment in Moovaz, a specialist in the global relocation industry. Series A investment marks the first venture capital funding round for a start-up.

Robert Yap (centre in white), Lee Junxian (centre in black), and James Ong (centre in blue) with the Moovaz team. Photo credit: YCH

Besides receiving funding, Moovaz gains access to YCH’s supply chain processes and freight forwarding partners. SCAngels also provides mentorship and market access in Asia.

Government-owned venture firm SGInnovate is a co-investment partner contributing to the funding investment, which is in tandem with Singapore’s Research, Innovation & Enterprise 2020 Plan (RIE2020). The partnership identifies and co-invests in innovative Singapore-based start-ups with intellectual property and global market potential in the Services and Digital Economy domain, which aligns with the government’s push for the Smart Logistics initiative.

Founded in 2017, Moovaz made waves in the relocation industry with its focus on customer experience from managing travel visas and accommodations to offering visibility of the moving process through dashboards.

The investment is a stroke of serendipity for Moovaz. As YCH is a big player in logistics, Junxian had always kept in touch with James Ong, Partner of SCAngels and Chief Investment Officer of YCH Group since Moovaz’s early days.

Then in a fundraising meeting with James and Robert, the latter revealed his passion for the relocation business. “Robert was familiar with relocation because that’s what YCH used to do during his father’s time,” recalled Junxian. “Some stars definitely aligned there,” he added.

“It is a privilege to share my knowledge and interact with these young bright minds from NUS Business School,” said Robert. He added that engaging the young generation could even result in new ideas that YCH Group itself has overlooked.

“This helps me not only as a business leader for YCH Group, but also in my capacity as the President of the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF),” he said.

So, what can young graduates expect of the supply chain and logistics industry? The sector is experiencing a rapid and unprecedented digital transformation, said Robert. “Big data, automation, smart robotics, AI and blockchain are some of the new technologies that are changing the way companies operate.”

“It is imperative to have an agile mind-set as one manoeuvre to stay ahead of the game and thrive in a constantly evolving and highly competitive environment. The ability to thrive with change and uncertainty will put you in good stead in the industry,” said Robert.