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News  22, Jan 2013

Save22 focuses on Philippine market, founder Guyi Shen shares rationale

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save22

Save22 founder Guyi Shen shares updates on the price comparison startup, in particular its latest focus on the Philippines.

When we wrote about the latest price comparison app in Singapore PricePinz earlier last week, Save22 emailed us with their story pitch.

“Perhaps a more interesting story is that we found that our product has much bigger appeal outside Singapore than within Singapore.”

So what has the team been up to lately?

Save22 — formerly known as Lobangclub – is a mobile app that operates in the price comparison space, and the team has been focusing on shipping new updates. Product-wise, the company has been doing a major push from mobile to web. What started off as a mobile app is now also available as an online web portal that allows you to easily search for the best deals online. Other than the web portal, the team has also expanded regionally to Philippines with a localized Philippines web portal. Save22 is also now available on Android, with its latest version introducing more social functions including “want” and “bought” lists.

Read also: Lobangclub – will it work in Singapore?

 

Demand for price transparency is huge in Southeast Asian countries outside of Singapore

CEO Guyi Shen also shared some valuable insights as to what motivated their focus to Philippines. Other than having better growth prospects, Guyi also cited reasons like having English as the primary language as well as lower level of competition.

“It has always been the case that our product appeals more to heartlanders than the Orchard road crowd.  In markets like Philippines and every other Southeast Asia country outside of Singapore, the demand for transparency of pricing is huge, with very little companies working on meeting that demand.  The median incomes are much lower than Singapore and prices are in most cases higher than Singapore.

So regular people are spending a much greater % of their income on their shopping.  We’ve found that the demand for what we are doing to be much higher in Philippines.

I believe the Philippines is the hottest market in all of Southeast Asia, with better growth prospects than even Indonesia. English being the primary language in Philippines means that it is much more competitive globally and subsequently the economy of the Philippines will continue to boom over the next 5-10 years.

Operating in Philippines is much different than Singapore.  Even though Singapore is quite immature in terms of infrastructure than a place like U.S., Philippines is much more immature than even Singapore.  Of course, that has it’s advantages and disadvantages.  Advantages are that competition is almost non-existent in a place like Philippines, whereas in Singapore, you have pricepinz, pricepanda, pricepal, et cetera. The downside is that things like distribution, monetization are things you have to solve yourself in that market, which requires time and lots of patience and relationship building.”

The majority of its users in Philippines come from the web and mobile web, whereas in Singapore, most of them still uses iPhone, adds Guyi.

Jacky Yap

Jacky Yap

Having spent one year abroad in Shanghai under the NUS Overseas College Programme, Jacky has an avid interest in entrepreneurship and web based startups. Jacky used to run N-House, Singapore's first entrepreneurial themed residence in NUS, and was also part of the organizing team for Startup Weekend Singapore 2012. You can reach him at jacky [at] e27 [dot] co

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