Social media and tagging is intrusive and annoying for a few but if you look at the broader picture, everyone engages in it at some point in time. At Echelon 2013, I saw the Wooz.in counter soon as I walked in. Before I knew, I was chatting with CEO Ario Tamat about the product, he promptly gave me 'a personalized chip', which when tapped to the reader, 'checked me' at Echelon 2013. Sure enough my social media 'friends' didn't need to (or want to) know it, the organizers of Echelon were no doubt happy with another mention online, but the actual value of the product was not creating either. These mentions play an role in data analytics.
I spoke to Ario couple of weeks after the conference, to understand the product, the business and the market better.
Inspired by a photo booth set up using RFID (Read more about Radio-frequency identification here) at a conference, Ramya Prajna decided to start Wooz.in. What started as a photo booth app in 2010 was initially offered as a service under Ramya’s digital agency Thinkweb's suite of tools for clients, has since spun off to operate independently and grown into an online to offline activation business solution used by companies in Indonesia and beyond.
Their services include:
- on ground activation for events using RFID tags paired to social networks
- the personalized tags handed over to the customer can be used for any uploads and updates on various social media platforms making it possible to track and measure all on-ground activities
- to the merchants, they offer customized solutions for their programs and by simplifying registration process, marchants are better equipped to leverage their social networks - be it to track and measure online activity or offer loyalty programs.
Their current client list boasts of names like Mercedes Benz, Jonny Walker, Yamaha, Accer, Microsoft. The startup is currently working on expanding the revenue streams from just events, to merchants and B2B.
Ario, a product design graduate from Bandung Institute of Technology has worked in the digital music industry for 7 years, heads the wooz.in team of 6 currently, which includes a project manager, a programmer and an event coordinator.
Their biggest challenge, Ario says has been to educate clients on the benefits on the system. The company is addressing this through the events they participate in besides their own social media campaigns. "Events are the best place for us to showcase our unique proposition to potential clients. We aspire to be the best transmedia activation and CRM platform, and provide solutions to both big brands and to SMEs”, says Ario.The Indonesian market compared to Singapore
Ario says though the market that can be tapped in Indonesia is huge compared to Singapore, they face two major challenges: for Indonesian startups, funding is harder to come by (compared to Singapore) and foreign startups which have tried to establish a presence in Indonesia often find it difficult to gain traction, unless it is lead by a local team.
He identifies ‘a large expat community, better and direct ties to Silicon Valley and other tech investment hubs’ as the reasons which make Singapore the startup hub in Southeast Asia and enunciates that most Jakarta-based startups have bootstrapped their way so far, making growth a very challenging proposition. "Indonesian startups cater mostly only to local markets since not many have gone past seed investment to next rounds or acquisition", he says.