Bid4Ad: 78% Cost Savings as We Raised our First Million with Dragon Law

May 24, 2016

Bid4Ad is an online marketplace for space providers, advertisers and agencies to buy and sell print, outdoor and online media advertising spaces in real-time.

The company closed its angel fundraising round recently. We sat down with Bid4Ad’s Co-Founder, Celine de Rosière, who walked us through the fundraising process, and how she discovered an easy, fast, and affordable way to manage legal:

Tell us a little more about how Bid4Ad got to where it is today.


One discovery by Gregory Marchand led to the creation of Bid4Ad: Despite the growth of digital media, demand for traditional media spaces has not gone away. Yet, there was no central marketplace available for small and medium sized enterprises to buy and sell advertising.

This belief in an innovative and efficient world of outdoor and print media propelled Greg to flee the banking world to embark on an entrepreneurial journey as Co-Founder of Bid4Ad.

Bid4Ad is more than just an online marketplace. Bid4Ad provides a platform that creates valuable relationships between advertisers and space owners. Bid4Ad is in the business of trust; and we take this very seriously.

Bid4Ad’s Privacy Policy (Create your own, for free)

When Bid4Ad first went live in Switzerland, we engaged a Swiss lawyer to help us draft a Website Privacy Policy. In the same year, we incorporated in Singapore and very soon saw the need for legal documents localised for the Singapore jurisdiction.

We went back and forth with our lawyer in Switzerland and spoke to a few other law firms in Singapore. Numerous discussions pointed us to a single conclusion: It would’ve cost us an awful lot of money to create the legal documents we needed.

What options did it come down to, and how did you decide Dragon Law was right for you?

You can say that I was lucky to have come from an M&A background from when I worked for the London Stock Exchange – I had a clear idea of what (legal documents) Bid4Ad needed.

I also knew well enough that I couldn’t do this on my own – I had neither the specialist legal training nor local knowledge to piece the pieces together, much less be certain that I was putting them together right.

But we have come so far bootstrapped – could we have afforded specialist legal services before securing our first investment round?

Drafting legal documents with the Dragon Law app feels just like sitting down with a lawyer:

  1. The service team on live chat helps me identify the right legal document I need,
  2. The app poses some initial questions to ascertain my objectives,
  3. The multiple-choice question types suggests possibilities I may have overlooked,
  4. Free text form fills let me input additional clauses I need customised, and
  5. The Dragon Law team then helps me double check my final document.

Through this process I am able to, reliably, self-service 80 per cent of Bid4Ad’s legal work and make informed decisions should I still require additional legal advice.

The best part? Greg and I were able to collaborate seamlessly in the app, despite being miles away physically and working across two distinctly different timezones.

Having evaluated multiple service providers, Dragon Law is by far the most affordable, efficient, and most importantly, trustworthy solution that is perfect for our needs as a growing business.

Less than six months into our Dragon Law subscription, we successfully closed our Angel round of financing. We are so thankful to have discovered Dragon Law and now only wish we did sooner!

Congratulations on the fundraising success! How do you foresee your continued usage of the Dragon Law app?

We are very certain we will continue to use Dragon Law as Bid4Ad enters into our new phase of business. I foresee I will be making use of the Consultancy Agreements as we engage additional service providers, Reseller Agreements as we build up our reseller network, and Employment Contracts as we grow our team in Singapore (apply here).

I also noticed along the way that Dragon Law continues to add new documents into its database. The beauty is that we will have unlimited access to this suite of documents and client service desk for as long as we are subscribed. It’s as good as paying for an ‘all-you-can-eat’ buffet for the entire year!


Your ‘all-you-can-eat’ legal buffet starts here:

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5 Reasons to Set Up Your Business In Singapore

May 20, 2016


Have a business idea and looking for a place to start up?

Recognised globally as one of the most competitive economies and boasting a world-class infrastructure, Singapore is a popular port of call for both aspiring entrepreneurs and experienced business owners. If you are thinking about becoming your own boss, here are some reasons why Singapore might just be the place for you:

1) It’s just so easy to get started

Singapore is recognised globally for her strong business potential and dominates several rankings, including coming in second for competitiveness in the Global Report 2015 – 2016 by the World Economic Forum. Aside from a host of attractive tax schemes and incentives, businesses in Singapore also enjoy a corporate tax rate of as low as 17 per cent.

For first-time business owners, the administrative ease of setting up a business here minimises the barrier to entry. Business registration can be completed fully-online with the Bizfile portal. If you are a foreigner looking to start up in Singapore, you may refer to the Ministry of Manpower’s website for your eligibility to apply for work passes, such as the EntrePass. The SME Portal is your all-in-one guide for the essentials of running your business.

Another key advantage for setting up in Singapore is the availability of an educated, diverse, and multi-cultural talent pool. Singapore is home to a largely bilingual workforce and has been ranked the second most talent-competitive country by the Global Talent Competitive Index for three years in a row.  

2) You will belong to a brilliant community

If you are a tech startup, you’ll be pleased to hear that Singapore has been likened to being the Silicon Valley of Asia. The startup community here is active, vibrant, and close-knit.

Co-working spaces such as The Working Capitol and The Hub and provide flexible and affordable space options for startups and small teams. A hot desk seat in one of these spaces will place you in a community right away and let you network with and learn from fellow entrepreneurs. Still can’t afford it? Look up Technopreneur Circlecompletely, 100 per cent, free!


The Singapore government plays a key role in adding to this vibrance, with programmes such as the SG-Innovate that make it easier for entrepreneurs to access mentors and venture capitalists.

Related: How do I know if a VC is right for me?

3) Take your pick with government assistance schemes

This March, Singapore announced the launch of several key initiatives as part of Budget 2016. This included the Industry Transformation Programme and SME Working Capital Loan scheme that helps SMEs ease their cash flow concerns.

The SkillsFuture scheme was also a result of the government’s commitment to continuous education and lifelong learning:

Source: SkillsFuture

Also at announced at Singapore’s Budget 2016 was the extension of the popular Production and Innovation Credit (PIC) scheme. First introduced in 2011, the PIC scheme aims to drive innovation within SMEs to help boost productivity:

Incorporated in Singapore?

(Cash payout rate will be reduced to 40% from 1 August 2016)

4) The legal system protects you

With a reliable and non-corrupt legal system, as well as strong dispute resolution mechanisms in place, Singapore is a safe bet for business looking for a solid Asian base to pave the way for regional expansion.

Aside from political stability, business owners in Singapore also enjoy enhanced protection in her business-friendly environment. For example, Singapore was ranked top in Asia and second in the world for protection of intellectual property (IP) rights according to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Competitiveness Report 2014 – 2015.

Courts in Singapore offer maximum judicial support of arbitration with minimum intervention, granting parties full and consistent support in the conduct of international arbitration. There is no restriction on foreign law firms engaging in and advising on arbitration in Singapore, which claims lower costs than in almost any other major centre of arbitration.

5) Singapore can be expensive, but you can live reasonably cheaply too

It comes without doubt that you must consider the standard of living in your host country. Singapore, in contrast with her Southeast Asian neighbours, has experienced rapid economic growth in the fifty years since her independence. Singapore is most known for her quality healthcare and education system, and excellent infrastructure and public transport network. Widely loved is the extensive Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) train network that is planned for continuous development up to 2030, despite being the second-oldest metro system in Southeast Asia reaches.

While many have expressed concern about the high cost of living in Singapore, this can be easily overcome if you are willing to make little sacrifices in your lifestyle choices. A reliable public transport system in a small city like Singapore means daily commute will never be too inconvenient even if you choose to live outside of the city. There are also plenty of third-party service providers that can provide you with a professional serviced office address for incorporation, while you work from home and save on rental costs. Hawker centres and coffee shops serve delicious and affordable local fare, and are usually just a stone’s throw away. “Bluntly speaking, if you expect a high salary, perhaps a startup isn’t the right place for you.”

Ready to get started? 

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These Technology Tools Will Help You Do More with Less in Your Small Business

May 9, 2016

Do you remember the ‘office mom’ you cherished? The one who single-handedly manages everyone’s calendar, files all your papers, AND restocks the fridge so no one goes hungry?

Every small business needs a superhero.

Whether you are a one-man-shop or a manage a small team, today’s businesses tend to favour talent that is willing to step outside of what is required of their individual roles, in order to achieve greater goals for the company.

To be fair, you can’t expect your Marketing Executive to also know the ins-and-outs of calculating payroll, and at the same time be equipped with the legal knowledge for drafting and reviewing contracts (if you know someone like that, let us know).

But here’s the good news for businesses today: If you can find someone who is technologically-savvy enough and is willing to learn, there are a lot of tools out there who can support a generalist in getting the job done, without the need for domain expertise.

Below we list some technology tools that you can use to perform the usually time-consuming yet essential tasks, so you can channel all your focus into growing your business:


Sorry to burst your bubble, but there is no such thing as organic growth. You will eventually get to a point where all of your best friends and family members have purchased your product (for the tenth time) that you will realise you need to reach a larger audience and start acquiring some real customers. So you begin to put a strategy in place.

Now, who’s going to execute it?

1) Hootsuite

Social media is becoming increasingly important as a channel for finding and engaging new customers. Your customers are on social 24/7 – but can you afford to be?

Thanks to social media management tool Hootsuite, you can now upkeep an active social presence without having your eyes glued to the screen all the time.

Hootsuite brings all of your social media accounts into one unified dashboard so you can schedule, post, and monitor multiple accounts at any one time. This means that you can choose to set aside one day in a month to pre-schedule posts for publishing for the entire month – now, no one will know if you spent the month working by the beach!

Post to multiple social networks, and schedule posts in advance with Hootsuite

The best part? Hootsuite is free for managing up to three social profiles, and Pro costs only US$8.99 a month!

How about offline, you ask?

2) Bid4Ad

Who knew you could buy traditional advertising and media space…online? Bid4Ad, who recently closed their S$1 million Angel round, has unlocked new possibilities by allowing space providers, advertisers and agencies to buy and sell print, outdoor and online media advertising spaces in real-time.

Think: No more time wasted seeking out ad agencies! Simply:

  1. Define your target audience
  2. Browse all available spaces within your budget
  3. Pick one that best fits your criteria
  4. Submit your artwork
  5. Pay online to complete your purchase


It’s as simple as shopping for your Christmas sweater!

In the same way, media owners can list their spaces on Bid4Ad to attract the right advertisers, effortlessly:


Human Resources

3) HReasily

Having an efficient Human Resources department is one of the cornerstones of every successful business venture. For “HR Solutions that work”, business owners must prioritise optimising their HR workflow.

HReasily’s platform enables small businesses to improve productivity by streamlining HR work processes such as payroll processing, as well as leave and staff management. Features include the automatic calculation of Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions for each employee for submission to the CPF board.

HReasily’s real-time dashboard lets you stay up-to-date with employee progress

Now that there is a tool to automate these time-consuming administrative procedures, shouldn’t you think twice before bringing on board that full-time Human Resources Officer?



4) Dragon Law

Is going to a law firm too expensive? While online templates may seem like an inexpensive alternative (well, at least when nothing goes wrong), do you really want to put your business at risk?

What if I told you there is a tool out there that can help you stay compliant, without making a huge dent in the pocket?

Ask any business owner and the last thing they want is to be bogged down with a series of lawsuits. But we all know this: Not everyone can afford a lawyer.

As a result, many small businesses undertake the risk of Googling and attempting to draft their own contracts, only to incur irreparable damages in the long-term.

So, how is Dragon Law different?

Instead of hurling a 10-page document at you, Dragon Law’s technology breaks down complex legal contracts into a simple Q&A interface, so all you have to do is answer a few questions. Based on your answers, the SMART Document Builder then interprets your position in the business relationship and pulls out the right clauses for wording in a legal contract.

The perks:

  • Quickly create legally-binding documents, without having to have legal knowledge
  • Eliminate unnecessary meetings at fancy law firms who bill you by the hour
  • One-time subscription fee means you can create additional documents when your business needs evolve, at no additional cost
  • Pay for a lawyer only when you really need one
  • Waste no time in sourcing and evaluating law firms – we recommend you to a trusted one in our network

Yes, your office mom, too, can draft a legally-binding contract.


Everything else

As a technology company, we practise what we preach. For a company who provides documents, we have no filing cabinets. Dragon Law’s Upload & Sign feature lets us share, e-sign and store all our legal documents in the cloud. Receipts? What receipts? We take a snapshot and upload them via our Receipt Bank mobile app, and they are sorted automatically into ledgers. Our employees are happy because all expenses get reimbursed in a timely manner.

Other automation tools like Zapier and IFTTT integrate multiple tools so they can work with one another. Automate as much as you can because no one wants to (nor should be) working like a bot – not even your newest intern. Interns at Dragon Law can look forward to doing the REAL stuff that puts their critical thinking skills into good use (apply).

The beauty of Software-as-a-Service

Gartner defines SaaS as “software that is owned, delivered and managed remotely by one or more providers.” Gone are the days where you pick a CD-rom from your local IT store to run a software installation…what CD-rom? Leave upgrading, downtime and security in the hands of your SaaS vendor, and enjoy the perks of working from anywhere in the cloud.

In fact, for all of the services listed above, all it takes is for you to sign up for an account, make payment online, and voila – you’re good to go!

Most SaaS providers allow for a free trial of their platform so you have some time to evaluate the its suitability prior to making a purchase decision. Don’t like it? Don’t subscribe!

Believe me, it’s really risk-free:

Get your Confidentiality Agreement and Website Privacy Policy for free.
No commitment, no credit card required.

So, are your jobs in danger?

Consider Xero, the cloud accounting software that over 600,000 subscribers love.

Is Xero looking to replace Accountants? Not at all. In fact, Xero’s platform makes an Accountant’s job SO much easier, increasing their productivity so they can spend more time on work that is actually rewarding. Clearly, data-entry is not the best use of a CPA’s time.


Do you use any of these tools too? What other cloud tools do you use to become more productive in your small business? We’d love to learn about them – let us know in the comments below!

“All We Have To Do Is Answer a Few Simple Questions” – Dragon Law Makes It Easy for Founders To Create Legal Documents

May 3, 2016

“After years of exploring the world, we realised that all of our best experiences and discoveries had one thing in common: Someone took us there.”

– Maggie Lau and Anita Chan, Co-Founders, Sam the Local

Sam the Local helps users book customised outings with locals based on their interests. There’s something for everyone: history, local food, photography, and more.

Historical stories with Ricky L. Local food and stories with Nicole C. Photography with Michael K. Food exploration with Amanda L.
“With a community of more than 300 locals and users in our database and growing – and just two of us founders in the team – there was no way we could’ve found time to deal with legal.”

– Anita Chan, Co-Founder, Sam the Local


I remember before Dragon Law where my Co-Founder and I would spend hours searching online for legal templates; then changing, editing, and finalising them. Even after that we still weren’t reassured – did these templates reflect the latest law changes? How would they apply in Hong Kong, where our business was incorporated? We still ended up taking documents to the lawyers’ for a final review – this took away precious time as well as made a significant dent in the pocket.

All that changed with Dragon Law.

Neither Maggie nor I are legally-trained; but Dragon Law’s technology allows us to self-service legal document creation, in a manner that is easy yet reassuring.

The app interface couldn’t get any easier – all we have to do is answer a few simple questions, and the app works its magic. The result: Legally-sound contracts that are tailored to suit each of our business needs. The ability to customise gives us full knowledge and control of what goes into our business contracts, all while saving significant costs.

“Dragon Law’s technology allows us to self-service legal document creation, in a manner that is easy yet reassuring.”

At this stage of our business, growing our user base is key. Maggie and I are always on the road in separate meetings, and hardly have the time to sit down together to negotiate contracts, much less deal with the inefficiencies of going back and forth on email.

Dragon Law’s dual user access allows us to stay on top of the new contracts that are being created. We are also able to access, share and sign documents on-the-go, and have them stored securely in the cloud. This convenience gives us more time to focus on our business. It’s our one-stop shop for legal.

We are now on the route to raising funds for Sam the Local, thus making it even more important that we establish a solid legal foundation. We acknowledge that a traditional law firm will be able put us on the right track, but here’s the Dragon Law magic: For the simple, rudimentary tasks, you don’t often need to go to the extent of paying for one.

We live chat the Dragon Law service team who very clearly points us to the right contract we need, and recommends a lawyer in their network should we need any advice beyond what is provided in their app. The bottom-line is this: As business owners, you should be able to look at other alternatives and pay for a lawyer only when you need it.

Learn how Dragon Law’s technology enables you to create contracts that are legally-binding for Singapore and Hong Kong.

“Convenient, trustworthy and easy.”

– Anita Chan, Co-Founder of Sam the Local

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Looking For an Office Space in Hong Kong? Here Are Some Tips.

April 26, 2016

Photo credit: Compass Offices

Looking for office space in Hong Kong? Whether you’re a Hong Kong based startup looking to move-on-up from the Sheung Wan coffee shop, or an international success story hoping to try your luck in Hong Kong – a serviced office might be the solution to your needs. Spacious sat down with Happy Le, International Office Solution Consultant, to talk about what you need to know before jumping into the Hong Kong office market.

Size and Growth

You may just be getting started, but you’ll need to think about your future growth. The rule of thumb in the office market is if you have more than 6 employees in a given location, it starts making sense to consider conventional office space over a serviced office space. But if fast growth is likely, you may run the risk of outgrowing your conventional office space before your lease is up.

Capital and Costs

Conserving limited capital and keeping costs low are key tenets for many bootstrapping startups. Deposits (typically equivalent to 2 to 3 months of rent) and renovation/furniture costs (conservatively HKD $500 to $1000 per square foot) associated with conventional offices are often out of the question until some serious capital has been raised. On the other hand, serviced offices have no upfront investment or costs, which is great for most startups.

Keep in mind though that these costs are often built into the higher monthly rates you can expect to pay, so once your business looks like a going-concern, conventional office space might be the more economic long-term option.

Location, Location, Location

Recruiting talent is key for startups and expanding businesses. Your current and future staff will want to have good access to public transportation, a variety of dining options, and be near to customers and business partners. With office rental rates at record levels in centrally located office areas like Central, Admiralty, Wan Chai, Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui, a smaller and temporary serviced office might be the only way many startups and small businesses can afford to play in these areas that employees and customers are keen to do business in.

Image and Prestige

Lippo center in Admiralty, a famous office building

Depending on your industry, having a professional and trustworthy image can make or break you in your early days. On the contrary, looking too flashy too soon could also be risky – making you look all sizzle and no steak to potential customers or like you have no sense of value to potential investors.

Serviced offices can give you that professional image from day one, but having an obviously short-term space can also make it look like your business might not be viable for the long run. A conventional office space says that you’ve got some capital and a long-term view, but hopefully you had enough cash leftover to put a coat of paint on the walls and not have to pull your furniture off the street corner.

Serviced offices can offer a variety of “big time” perks – receptionists, high tech meeting rooms, coffee/pantries areas, and telephone answering services. Some serviced offices do their own building or lobby branding, clearly given away the fact that you are in a serviced office to potential customers. Others opt for no branding of their served office brand or allowing custom branding for your own business, so your customers can remain none the wiser that you are in a temporary space.  

Overseas Business

Let’s get a headstart right before you land by getting an office!

If overseas meeting and office space is required for your business, a serviced office can make international travel and expansion much easier. International serviced office providers like Compass Offices, Regus, The Executive Centre , and Servcorp will give you access to their overseas network of offices for international business travel as part of your serviced office lease agreement here in Hong Kong.

Big Corporate or Startup Community

Hong Kong has many serviced office providers, including the big international players above or smaller, local players. The local serviced office providers tend to be less centrally located in terms of the classic Hong Kong office market but might be closer to the Hong Kong startup community – physically and culturally. The local players offer networking, speaking and educational events unique to the Hong Kong startup scene where you can meet other entrepreneurs, investors, or recruit talent. Many also offer additional services such as business registration, consulting/advisory and business services outsourcing.

Cocoon in Tin Hau
The Hive in Wan Chai, Kennedy Town and Sai Kung
Paperclip in Sheung Wan
Uno in Central, Sheung Wan and Jordan
Jumpstart Offices in Central, CWB, TST, Kwun Tong
Garage Society in Central

Beyond that office

The Mood @ Soho

Once you have found the perfect office for your expansion in Hong Kong, you will need to start thinking about where to house your employees, and of course, yourself. Relocation is not easy, especially when you haven’t even figured out where your permanent base is going to be. Serviced apartments might be a good answer to all your questions.

Whether you are looking to rent serviced apartments or finding a new home – Spacious’ scientifically driven search engine and large property data base can help you with that.

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About Spacious

Finding a great home has never been so easy – this has been Spacious’ motto from the start. Useful, scientific and beautiful, we strive to make it easier for people who are looking for a new home to choose a neighborhood and to find their dream house easily. With a map view, listing view and various filters such as haunted housing and price limits, there’s no shortage of information to help you with your decision. Start looking today!