RETAIL | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Retail marketing startup Shping eyes APAC expansion after raising AU$8.6m in token sale

It will add operations in India and South Korea to its existing Singapore and Australia branches.

After successfully raising AU$8.6m in its ICO earlier this year, blockchain-powered startup Shping is setting its sights on conquering Asia Pacific with the plan to add operations in New Zealand, India and South Korea to its existing Singapore and Australia branches.

For the Melbourne-based startup, the region’s retail market is a strong place to expand the capabilities of its app and grow its shopper-marketing ecosystem.

Founded by serial entrepreneur Gennady Volchek, Shping is a platform that allows a consumer to unlock a wealth of useful product information - from its origin, product reviews and nutritional data - at the mere scan of a barcode.

It aims to solve a common pain point encountered by shoppers who are interested in getting more information about a product but are unable to get data beyond what’s displayed on the product package.

Scanning a barcode will also earn users with cryptocurrency called Shping coin, rewarding consumers whenever they access information on the platform and use the app.

“Shping aims to make shopping a smarter, safer, and more rewarding experience for everyone. With Shping Coin, the goal is to evolve it into a new token of exchange that brands, retailers, certification bodies, and associated authorities can use to incentivise shoppers to contribute, monitor, and engage with information about their products,” Volchek told Singapore Business Review.

Users can also add products that are not in Shping’s database by taking a few photos of the products. That way, the information gets consolidated into a single platform, giving the convenience of online shopping during offline purchases.

“We realised that there was not a single source of trusted product related information. We decided to build the world’s largest product database that would enable related parties to publish and link relevant information to an industry standard barcode,” added Volchek.

Beyond enabling informed customer purchases, the app also gives businesses with ways to gather customer information and target shoppers at critical points of purchase. For instance, brand can target customers who scan their product via a “Shout Out” feature that delivers push notification via Shping app with any relevant information like fact sheets and branded content videos.

Volchek believes that Shping main strength lies in the decentralised ledger technology powering its platform.

“What makes Shping different is the fact that we are a blockchain-based marketing platform that removes all the boundaries of the traditional rewards and loyalty approaches with the true “peer to peer” rewards system, it also allows businesses and brands to switch from “intrusive” and “interruptive” marketing to the “on demand” mode as Shping is able to serve content to the consumer precisely when it's needed the most,” he explained.  

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