A tech start-up founded by two former Fairfax staffers has raised $SG590,000 ($A464,000) in a round led by Singapore incubator Get2Volume, in partnership with a government-funded incubator scheme.
Sprooki, founded in February 2011 by Michael Gethen and Claire Mula, is based in Singapore, which Gethen describes as an “ideal hub” to build South East Asian regional business.
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Sprooki provides Asia’s largest malls and traditional retail brands with a mobile retail system to help them win more business from mobile-enabled shoppers.
Sprooki’s real-time, end-to-end platform enables retailers to access the latest in location-aware technology, mobile commerce, shopper analytics and campaign management tools.
The system provides “always on” real-time alerts about nearby promotions and events, which consumers can access through their phone and redeem in-store.
Sprooki launched its first proof of concept service in October last year, partnering with a mall on Singapore’s premier shopping strip, Orchard Road.
According to Sprooki, the launch was an “astounding success”, with more than 35,000 product offers viewed within four weeks, coupled with double digit mobile sales conversion.
Since its launch, Sprooki has engaged with and acquired more than 60 mall and retail partners throughout Asia.
Now, the start-up has raised $SG590,000 in seed funding, taking its total funding to date to SG$1 million.
The round was led by Singapore and US-based incubator Get2Volume in partnership with the Technology Incubator Scheme, an initiative of Singapore’s National Research Foundation.
Get2Volume invests in mentors and helps grow innovative, microelectronics-centric companies.
It co-invests with the National Research Foundation, providing funding to enable growth for early stage, high-tech start-ups in Singapore.
Get2Volume has incubation managers and venture partners not only in Singapore but in Silicon Valley as well.
According to Mula, Sprooki is “delighted” to receive the funding.
“[It] will enable us to expand our footprint in international markets and partnerships with Asia’s finest malls and retail brands, while maintaining our focus on mobile shopper insights and building better mobile shopping experiences for our clients and users,” Mula said in a statement.
According to a report by the World Bank, Singapore is the easiest place in the world to do business, followed by Hong Kong, New Zealand, the United States and Denmark.