Start Singapore: Crunching data to discern customers' interests

The website of Reebonz. The Singapore-based online luxury retailer will get help from home-grown data analytics start-up aSpecial Media in tracking customers' interest in real-time, so they can be offered what they are looking for immediately.
The website of Reebonz. The Singapore-based online luxury retailer will get help from home-grown data analytics start-up aSpecial Media in tracking customers' interest in real-time, so they can be offered what they are looking for immediately.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG
The website of Reebonz. The Singapore-based online luxury retailer will get help from home-grown data analytics start-up aSpecial Media in tracking customers' interest in real-time, so they can be offered what they are looking for immediately.
Mr Paul Jansen

Crunching data to discern customers' interests

Home-grown data analytics start-up aSpecial Media will help Singapore-based online luxury retailer Reebonz provide timely offers to its customers. aSpecialMedia has received a $110,00 grant from the Infocomm Development Authority to undertake this 12-month project. The start-up's technology tracks people's interests in real-time. By using this service, Reebonz will be able to understand customers' needs as they surf its portal - and it will then be able to offer customers what they are looking for immediately.

Reebonz chief technology officer Torres Oey said: "Our goal has always been to enable our customers to receive timely offers which will make their purchasing experience not only fuss-free but also pleasurable in that they get what they want, when they want, at a price point which makes each purchase through us a good deal."

aSpecialMedia is now monitoring 34 million profiles mainly in South-east Asia and India. All monitoring is done on sites of partners, who must have obtained permission from their readers for this.

aSpecial Media's partners include the leading media organisations in Asia, popular bloggers, and niche publishers with small but influential audiences. Mr Paul Jansen, executive chairman of aSpecialMedia, said the start-up has long been refining ways to find out what people are really interested in. "We concluded that the only real way to see what people are keen on is to analyse what they read. And not just what the hosts of content say people are reading. We had to find ways to analyse all the content ourselves and then make interpretations based on this true understanding of what the content is."

aSpecialMedia chief executive Christopher Yeo said its technology has generated results in an order of magnitude in terms of click-through and online mailer openings.

The collaboration with Reebonz has the potential to assist other local and regional e-retailers and make them competitive with global platforms, he added.

Co-working space for fintech entrepreneurs

A new co-working space opens tomorrow in Block 79 at Launchpad@One-North in the Ayer Rajah industrial estate.

The space is free for use by financial technology entrepreneurs. Apart from the working space, the facility also features an art gallery, a fintech library, a cafe as well as a small auditorium. The space has been provided by Singapore-based fintech venture capital firm Life.Sreda.

Investment director Igor Pesin, said Life.Sreda's main goal is to help financial investors as well as evangelists of fintech, and to promote this exciting industry in the local entrepreneurship scene.

"We want to accelerate sharing of knowledge, experience and ideas between different participants of the local fintech ecosystem," he added.

For more information on the co-working space, go to www.lifesreda.com

LawCanvas eyes new markets overseas

Singapore online legal eagle LawCanvas will be expanding to Australia, Malaysia and Hong Kong.

Founded about two years ago, the start-up helps local businesses generate legal documents such as employment letters, non-disclosure agreements and website terms of services. More than 3,000 local businesses have used its services.

Co-founder Daniel Leong said LawCanvas shortens processing time by at least 80 per cent, saving businesses thousands of dollars in legal costs. "We're really excited to take the product into new markets. LawCanvas represents what technology and innovation can do for businesses - the whole idea is that the process of creating complex agreements can be re-imagined into a straightforward and easy experience."

More types of legal documents will be added this year to enhance its library.

Grace Chng

• Send news on start-up development to chngkeg@sph.com.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 03, 2016, with the headline 'Start Singapore: Crunching data to discern customers' interests'. Print Edition | Subscribe