It was January 2014, and Shailash Naik, CEO of MatchMove Global Pte Ltd was pleased. MatchMove, an online entertainment service provider, had just been ranked 25th out of the 500 fastest-growing technology companies in the 2013 Deloitte Technology Fast 500 Asia Pacific ranking.
MatchMove was founded in early 2009 to fill a gap in the Asian market for a platform that incorporated casual gaming, social networking, and e-commerce capabilities. Its key value proposition was to become an intermediary between game companies with "high (gaming) content" profiles but low web traffic. Naik explained,
The problem was that users were changing their style [manner of playing games]. Instead of going to a website and consuming news and games and meeting their friends individually, they now wanted it all in one space – and were all converging on spaces like Facebook and so on. Meanwhile, the big brands and the telcos were saying – hang on, these are our users, and we'd better offer them something else we'll lose them.
Additionally, MatchMove targetted companies in the telecommunications, media, and technology segment that had large consumer portals and high traffic – but were perhaps lacking in certain types of content, and hence losing users to websites like Facebook and iTunes which served as communities of social networks and also possessed platforms for gaming.
In late 2009, MatchMove signed up its first large client, global technology company Yahoo!, to provide such services for Yahoo! Southeast Asia.
MatchMove handled the payments to the game developers on their end. They achieved this by standardising the terms offered to all game developers who worked with them. Additionally, a payment gateway provided on the platform enabled MatchMove’s clients to collect payments from their end users via payment services such as PayPal, Visa, and MasterCard, and also Mobile payments and pre-paid cards which were more popular and accessible to young Asians.
By late 2010, the demand for MatchMove's services had increased so much that Naik knew that its platform would not be scalable. In early 2012, MatchMove unveiled AppKungfu, which was a patent-pending system of application programming interfaces. Customers could now 'self-service' and choose to enhance their websites with social networking features. As Nate Wang, VP of marketing at MatchMove, described,
Imagine playing with Lego blocks. You no longer have to take the entire castle. You can now take the right tower and add it to your own castle. If that's not enough, you can break it down into the individual bricks and customise it any way you like.
In 2012, MatchMove developed the opportunity in what Naik called an 'adjacent space' – gamification or the application of the mechanics of games to non-game scenarios. Clients already on the MatchMove platform could apply gamification to internal enterprise issues like corporate employee training and increasing employee commitment.
By January 2014, MatchMove had built the seeds of its next business model evolution. The rollout of its platform in the region had enabled it to build an e-commerce platform, where it could help its clients collect payments in local currencies domestically in ten countries in Asia.
But Naik thought that MatchMove could do more than just service its existing stable of customers. He was eager to create the next technological disruption and capture new opportunities coming up in the market.
The views expressed in this column are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect this publication's view, and this article is not edited by Singapore Business Review. The author was not remunerated for this article.
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