May 8, 2012 by Terence LEE
Before Perx co-founders Andrew Roth and Jon Sugihara started work on their loyalty card mobile app, which is now the market leader in Singapore, they ran successful daily deals site PLAYhawaii.com. It was on track to generate US$2M in revenue a year.
Based in Hawaii, they expanded their business to Asia, founding Maiplay last year with Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin as an investor and advisor. They launched in Jakarta and Singapore, entering a heated field dominated by Groupon.
However, they dumped their daily deals business within months. They sold PLAYhawaii.com and launched their loyalty card mobile app in October 2011. They’re now based in Singapore.
What sparked the change was their belief that daily deals is a lousy way to acquire loyal customers for merchants. The hunch paid off: At the time of the interview, Perx had close to 40,000 registered users, and about 400 merchants in Singapore, with 10 to 20 new locations each week.
Their partner merchants are not lightweights either. Big brands like Popeyes, Famous Amos, and Dunkin Donuts have come on board. With pole position in the country secured (around!, Pointpal, and Squiryl are competitors), they are now working with a partner to scale their business to other parts of Asia.