Mobile loyalty app Pouch takes off in Indonesia, launching in Philippines very soon
February 28, 2013 by Terence LEE
Since launching in October last year, mobile loyalty app Pouch has been off to a running start, picking up traction among merchants in Indonesia. It is now looking to expand abroad, with Philippines as its first overseas stop.
The Singapore and Indonesia based startup has revealed that it has a presence in 25 shopping malls in Jakarta, representing over 70 brands. It claims to be the market leader in the country. Agreements are in place with major malls Kuningan City, Bellagio, FX and Central Park, and even a nutrition website to implement loyalty features.
While it isn’t revealing exact consumer-related figures, it will say that it has some tens of thousands of active users every month.
Pouch is available on Android, iOS, and Blackberry and is free for consumers to use. Most of its users would appear to be on the Blackberry platform, since the Android app has less than 5,000 active installs at the moment.
The latest figures amount to significant growth for Pouch among merchants, who are paying the company for its loyalty and marketing services. TechinAsia reported last November that it had 48 brand partners then. On the consumer front, it had over 8,000 monthly active users. While this represents user growth in terms of raw numbers, what’s unclear is whether user engagement has increased.
According to co-founder Ilya Kravtsov, who is also a venture partner at Ruvento Asset Management and the founder of Founder Institute in Jakarta, the startup has recently secured funding from an investment firm in Singapore and angel investors from Dubai. It also confirmed a partnership with Indosat, Indonesia’s second largest telco, although details are not made public.
Pouch is preparing to expand its footprint to other parts of the world. Beyond signing up merchants in Bandung, Bali, and Surabaya, it aims to launch in the Philippines within the next few weeks with possibly a hundred stores. The partner brands will be revealed in due course.
In Southeast Asia, Indonesia and Philippines are two markets that had been left relatively untouched by mobile loyalty apps. That is already changing. In the Philippines, another startup called Zap has emerged that gives consumers cashback points for merchants they visit.
Zap and Pouch have different approaches though, so it’ll be interesting to see which will work better in the Philippines.
With its Android app, Pouch is going after the 29.4 percent of the mobile phone market that are using smartphones, while Zap, using its NFC stickers, is targeting the feature phone market at the initial stage. Zap’s strategy has higher startup costs though, due to the need to supply POS terminals to merchants.
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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