Lobangclub changes name to Save22, because Lobang is Indonesian slang for a woman’s…
August 10, 2012 by Terence LEE
Lobangclub, a Singapore and Philippines-based startup has changed its name to Save22. If you recall, Lobangclub is a ShopSaavy-like mobile app that lets users compare prices of off-the-shelf items by scanning barcodes. Guyi Shen, the founder, shared his story with us, and we found it so amusing that we’ve decided to just include his whole telling below:
I was eating at a kopitiam in Central Jakarta and playing with my phone. A family of five was eating besides me, there was a young boy of 12-13 years curiously looking at my iPhone, I smiled as I grabbed the half-empty can of Pepsi I was drinking and scanned it with the lobangclub app, as I showed him the results the boy’s face spread into a smile.
“You want to try it?” I said as I handed him my phone.
He started rummaging through his parent’s shopping bag for things with barcodes he could scan.
“It’s called Lobangclub” I said proudly. He looked at me with confusion. “Lo-bang-club…” I said each syllable slowly.
He continued to scan but now his smile had turned into a sheepish grin.
I finished my lunch and got up to leave so I asked for my iPhone back…The boy sauntered over to me and pressed the phone into my palms, he hesitated slightly, before leaning over and whispered “Lobang in Indonesian means a woman’s….”
His face suddenly turned red and his voice trailed off…He didn’t finish the sentence as he turned around and trotted back to his parents.
A woman’s…? The wheels started spinning in my head.
What in the world was the boy referring to?
I stared down at my business card with LOBANGCLUB written in big letters…*
* P.S. For the curious on what lobang means on the street in Indonesia, read the first comment on this article.
Note: We were reminded of another startup from Cambodia called Chibi, which name is actually Hokkien for a woman’s vijayjay.
While amusing, these incidents are good cautionary tales for entrepreneurs to be careful with how they name their startups, due to the language differences in Asia. You have been warned…
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About The Author
Terence LEE - Editor
Terence writes mainly about technology trends and startups in Asia. He believes in crafting smart content: Not just a regurgitation of text, but well thought-out pieces that serve the reader using a combination of data, design, narratives, analysis, and visual impact. His articles have been published on Venturebeat, Yahoo!, Straits Times, Today, and The Online Citizen. He also co-founded NewNation.sg, a satirical news site covering Singapore affairs. Engage him on LinkedIn and Twitter.Read other posts by Terence LEE