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Digital Innovation Firm Behind Southeast Asia’s Top Apps Sets Up Base In Singapore

Imaginato partners with businesses to expedite their digital transformation and scale across APAC

Photo by Swapnil Bapat on Unsplash

Imaginato, a leading technology services provider, announces the expansion of its operations into Singapore to further accelerate digital innovation within the region. Founded in 2012, Imaginato has partnered with companies across Asia Pacific on product strategy, platform development, and scaling, with many becoming leaders in their respective industries. The Singapore office will be directly overseen by the founder and CEO, Sean Liao, who was previously Managing Director for Rocket Internet China where he led global platform launches for dozens of fast-scaling ventures including Lazada and Zalora.

Commenting on the announcement, Liao said, “What we (Rocket Internet) did in 2012 really sparked an entire region’s transformation. There was such immense pressure to scale Lazada and Zalora at ‘Rocket-speed,’ even though most SEA countries weren’t ready for it at all. Now eight years on, the landscape has been completely transformed. Old-fashioned mega-companies that once had monopolies or duopolies are facing massive challenges on every front. And the concerning thing is, they’re not just late to this digital game, they’re playing it using old playbooks and not doing so well. This is where we can help.”

Founder and CEO, Sean Liao

“When I founded Imaginato, Southeast Asia was naturally a strong market for us, especially after co-founding Qraved with Steven (Kim) and Adrian (Li) in Indonesia. For Qraved, I basically ran the same “tech partner” model from China that I ran for the Rocket ventures. This model is fundamentally agile in nature and focuses on speed, product-market fit, and growth. It’s exactly how we’ve been helping companies to compete, from startups to big corporates”, Liao continued. In their partnership, Qraved raised over US$12m in funding and is today one of Indonesia’s top foodie apps. 

Qraved CEO Steven Kim commented, ”Imaginato has been the technology backbone for us since we launched back in 2013. Our industry (F&B) is so dynamic, which means our product roadmap is constantly evolving. Our China team (Imaginato) has worked with us on so many initiatives over the years: booking, social, personalization. It’s rare to find an agile development partner like Imaginato that can execute on innovation while also handling tech operations for a business like ours.”

“The recent successes we had with Gowork and Tix.id helped solidify the decision to set up in Singapore. It’s very meaningful to build technology that helps companies become #1 in their respective space,” added Liao. 

Since arriving in Asia from the US, Liao has founded tech ventures in China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore. His unique background in software engineering, UX design, and entrepreneurship spans over 2 decades which he says has provided him an edge in rapidly launching viable tech businesses. Some of his other top ventures include Airizu (爱日租), China’s first national-scale, sharing economy platform; and Hong Leong Group-backed ecommerce marketplace, GEMFIVE.

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