A Chat with Rueben, founder of SnapCoin

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I studied law in London for 3 years, completed my degree and had come back to Singapore, and was on the path to enter legal practice here. During this period, I had become very interested in the technology sector; specifically disruptive technology. The idea of how technology is constantly creating new business models intrigued me.

How did your interest in business come about?
I have always had interest in business. The sales aspect of it is something I have always been fascinated with. It started with me helping my mum out as a real estate agent, and continued when I was involved in direct selling after my national service to setting up of an import/export of clothing business.

What’s the first thing you ever sold?
First thing I ever sold? That’s a good question. I would have to say myself! That’s something I believe I have been perfecting over time, a never ending work in progress.

So what is Snapcoin?
For now, it’s a deals and promotions platform. To put it simply, our platform is similar to Fave, but better as we have a few USPs. What is the USP for SnapCoin? USP (Unique Selling Proposition): Consumer Consumers only pay a token sum to unlock the deal, minimizing their risk should they not be able to or forget to redeem their deals. of course, we hope that they will not forget and in fact have an automatic reminder in the works to help you remember! USP (Unique Selling Proposition): Merchant On the merchant side of things, as mentioned we take absolutely zero commission fees from merchants to list deals on our platform. Payment is also handled directly by the merchant, allowing them to see their money immediately with no meddling by us.

Why the name Snapcoin?
SnapCoin’s name originates from the memory of dropping coins into piggy banks. Essentially, we felt that that was the beginning of savings. As kids, we had simple pleasures of saving those tiny coins. But today, we want to bring back that simple joy, that feeling of savings with a snap of your finger!



When did SnapCoin start? How did you come up with this idea?
SnapCoin officially began in December 2017 when my group of friends was having dinner at a restaurant and one of my friends, Nelson, was complaining about how some deals and coupons of his had expired and were no longer good for use. This was our first problem. Secondly, having witnessed many start-ups in Singapore, we realized that many of them didn’t have the advertising capital to push out advertisements and gain much marketing traction. Thus, we wanted to create a solution that would benefit consumers while helping merchants avoid commission fees and keeping their payment ecosystem intact with zero disruption.

Why did you enter this industry when big players like Deal.com and Groupon were dying?
Exactly. They started dying. In my opinion, this is because they were cutting the merchants too deep. We wanted to do something that would provide value to both consumers and merchants at the same time. The concept is still in demand. People still want good deals. Some examples of companies that are thriving are The Entertainer, Eatigo and Fave. Groupon, in my opinion, is a company that grew too big too fast.

Why did you decide to set up SnapCoin? How is it different from other platforms like Eatigo, The Entertainer or Fave?
It’s different because with Eatigo it is time-based, The Entertainer is for one for one, but you can only make a limited amount of redemptions. Fave has various kind of deals but they take your money upfront when they make you buy the deal. With us, you see a deal you like, you make a purchase, and you are purchasing a voucher for a small portion of the price as opposed to paying the full amount for the deal. Also, we don’t actually take cash from you, payments are made directly to the merchant. On top of that we also developing our discovery section, where based on the data collected from you, our App would magically suggest places that will interest you.

What is the USP for SnapCoin?
USP (Unique Selling Proposition): Consumer Consumers only pay a token sum to unlock the deal, minimizing their risk should they not be able to or forget to redeem their deals. of course, we hope that they will not forget and in fact have an automatic reminder feature in the works to help you remember! USP
(Unique Selling Proposition): Merchant On the merchant side of things, as mentioned we take absolutely zero commission fees from merchants to list deals on our platform. Payment is also handled directly by the merchant, allowing them to see their money immediately with no meddling by us.

Any challenges faced during the set up?
Some of the major challenges we faced were:
1. We initially underestimated the amount of effort and work we had to put in to kickstart and maintain this entire project.
2. Creating effective structures and systems that will make our operations more efficient, as our business is very labor intensive.
3. Finding the right employees and partners also proved to be no easy feat, and we had to spend a lot of time and money to build up our team from scratch.

How many vendors/partners are you all working with now?
We are currently working with around 600 merchants across industries such as F&B, beauty, nightlife and more! We expect to see about 1000 merchants by the mid of 2019 and are potentially looking to expand into industries such as travel and retail very soon!

Number of users using this platform.
We hit 10,000 downloads in December for the app and we have about 2000 daily users. We believe that an amazing user experience was the way to go in the app space and we wanted to ensure the quality of our app. As customers ourselves, we know how important it is to provide a seamless experience, so before we launch our goodies, we need to ensure our optimization is complete! Subsequent to our launch, we have in place various marketing plans to garner our user base.

Local trends of online coupon sites that you have observed and how you handle it?
A lot of online coupon sites are moving into the payment gateway space as an extension of their settlement model, in direct competition with big players like GrabPay and PayNow. (We are open to collaborate with existing major players or new players should opportunities arise) How do you all earn from selling these deals? We charge customers for coins that they can use to purchase deals. The coins are therefore universal and do not require customers to commit the full amount of payment for whatever deal they are interested in.

What do you hope to eventually achieve?
Inception stage (1st year): We plan to focus on the user experience through good deals and a friendly user interface at the initial phase of our app.

Growth stage (2nd and 3rd year): After we have captured a substantial market share, we plan to use specific algorithms that seek to understand our users’ behavior on a holistic and individual level to cater to what they want to see.
Maturing stage (after 3 years): The main idea is to be able to make SnapCoin a lifestyle app that will become a part of people’s daily lifestyle.

Anything you wish to add on or share about Snapcoin.
First and foremost, my team and I need to extend our utmost gratitude to the people who have been supporting us throughout this arduous journey. We have come a long way with the continuous support from our friends, family, our employees and everyone in the SnapCoin network. With them by our side, the journey is all the more memorable and satisfying.

Your advice for a young entrepreneur wanting to start an app?
Do your research carefully. Understand your industry properly. Coming up with an app is really not a cheap or simple thing to do. Speak to the right people and understand the business first. If really needed they can also contact me for my thoughts.

0 Comments Write your comment

    1. Loading...