The past twelve months have been a banner year for the Singaporean cash-back startup Shopback. The company has grown from an intriguing startup with potential to what observers think will become the next startup to carry the flag as a ‘Singaporean-born high-growth company’.
Lai Shanru is one of the Co-founders of Shopback and will be speaking at Echelon Asia 2018 on June 28-29!
Not only did she help start the company, she was the person in charge of launching the platform in the Philippines.
If you want to hear an in-depth interview with Shanru, she joined The Story of You on the e27 Podcast Network and spent 30 minutes taking us through the entrepreneurship journey.
The ultimate Blue Ocean product
For entrepreneurs hoping to learn from the experts at Echelon, Shopback is a fantastic example of succeeding in a Blue Ocean.
The Blue Ocean strategy usually refers to building a business that essentially has no competitors, which comes with its own unique risks.
For Shopback, they were building a cash-back startup in a city where the concept did not exist. In the US, cash-back had been driven by credit cards starting as early as the 1970s, so the concept is fairly easy for American consumers to understand.
This was not the case in Singapore and Shopback’s biggest challenge in the early days was educating the public and gaining their trust that, yes, the money will actually land in their bank account.
Shopback succeeded and their story is an excellent example for startups that find themselves embarking on a Blue Ocean business strategy.
Here comes the competition
While Shanru told our Podcast that Shopback doesn’t consider Snapcart, which has entered Singapore, a competitor, she understands why the average customer would make that connection.
Building a business is a never-ending battle, and now that Shopback has sailed through the Blue Ocean, it will now be navigating increasing international competition.
Plus, the company is expanding regionally and, in some respects, is entering new markets as the ‘foreign competition’. For example, take its January launch in Australia. That country already has an incumbent player named Cashrewards.
But steel sharpens steel, and for a company growing like Shopback, international competition is inevitable.
What to expect
Attendees can expect Shanru to talk about the ups and downs of a B2C startup.
She will also get into Series B funding and advice for companies pursuing that goal. In Southeast Asia, there are a growing number of funds looking to get involved in Series B startups, but companies need to make sure mistakes they make early don’t kill their ability to raise that round.
So, why not learn from a Founder of one of the few companies that have made it that far?
Finally, the panel will likely be moderated by our Writer from Indonesia, Anisa Menur A. Maulani, so there will probably be some discussion about women in tech.
Excited? We know we are!! If you’d like to join us on June 28-29, register here.
Echelon Asia Summit 2018 is e27’s flagship platform that brings together startups, investors, corporates, governments, tech ecosystem players and customers.