Young Upstarts

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VoucherWOW Rewards Collective Buying


VoucherWOW features one daily deal at incredible prices for fun activities in Singapore.

No, VoucherWOW has got nothing to do with discount coupons for the world’s biggest massive multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG). It is, however, a new startup that is looking to position itself as the website where visitors tap on the power of group-buying for the best deals in Singapore.

Launched in April 2010, VoucherWOW features a daily deal at an incredible price every day on its site, which can range from restaurant discounts, special retail offers – basically anything that Singapore has to offer.  Customers only get the deal of the day if a minimum number of people sign up, which VoucherWOW hopes will encourage them to spread the word about the deal with their friends and family. The last we checked, there was an offer for a special fitness checkup at 90 percent off (it hit the minimum of five customers, so the deal was on).

VoucherWOW aims to be the leading “TimeOut meets group-buying” website in Southeast Asia, and views itself as a marketing platform for small- and medium-sized businesses that want to reach a social, local, and trend-setting crowd. “For our customers, it’s a great platform to discover their city at up to 90% off,” says co-founder Alice Wong, who adds that the group who founded VoucherWOW are a living example of their target demographic, and are looking for like-minded individuals who like to try new things with their friends.

(Buying) Power To The People

If the customer is king, then collective group-buying must be the new emperor in residence. Starting with Dell Swarm (which was certainly innovative in its time), services that tap on the power of group-buying power is on the rise, as can be seen with the current hype over U.S.-based Groupon. Similarly, in Singapore, other than VoucherWOW, there’s also the newly-launched as well as the upcoming Voucherous, which will compete in a similar space. There’s also a rumored (if so I’d advise them to change their name or Googling them could be… interesting).

Alice agrees that there is currently little to differentiate VoucherWOW from the rest as it stands, but she believes their technology will give them an edge. “There are similar concepts entering the market who often underestimate the technology behind to really scale the business,” says Alice. She adds that they’ve built a platform that will allow them to scale their model rapidly across geographical locations, languages, and multi-million user markets – she’s even confident that VoucherWOW‘s platform is more powerful than that deployed by leading competitors in other parts of the world.

“We believe that we will manage to quickly differentiate ourselves by new location-based technologies when we scale in the region and the type of offers we feature for our customers.” She refuses to disclose what LBS technologies they are looking at. Personally, it’ll be interesting to see VoucherWOW tie up with a mobile location-based marketing service like Chlkboard (which I checked out earlier).

Alice says VoucherWOW is funded by the people behind 42 Ventures, a Singapore-based incubator and early-stage venture capital firm, although she declines to reveal the exact amount or the company’s valuation. She adds that VoucherWOW‘s revenue model is simple – once an offer closes, they collect the money from their customers upfront and cut the business a check. “We make money by keeping a percentage of each voucher sold – so there’s no risk for the business or any upfront costs.”

An Entrepreneur Is A Problem-Solver


VoucherWOW co-founder Alice Wong believes entrepreneurs must be problem-solvers.

“I can’t speak for everyone, but entrepreneurship is a lifestyle and once you make a lifestyle decision that is right you feel it immediately, whether it is moving to a new city or country or going full-time as an entrepreneur,” Alice shares. She says two related characteristics are required for the entrepreneur: being able to deal well with uncertainty and unstructured agile environments, and being a problem solver.

“As companies grow and become more structured, these skills become less and less essential… but at the beginning they are key”, she adds.

Daniel Goh is the founder and chief editor of Young | Upstarts, as well as an F&B entrepreneur. Daniel has a background in public relations, and is interested in issues in entrepreneurship, small business, marketing, public relations and the online space. He can be reached at daniel [at] youngupstarts [dot] com.

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  • AXL

    Voucherwow is a dodgy operation. I have bought an item which has been delayed more than once. Google them and you will see this is what they do. Take your money and delay shipment until you give up. They will be in the news again soon enough. DO NOT BUY FROM VOUCHERWOW.

  • Share2Deal
  • Jeffrey Paine

    Groupon is massive and have profit growth of a hockey stick.
    Alex from TrialPay told me the story about them when he was in town and a few ideas he threw at them and made them iterate into the eventual Groupon, great team but at this time, there are literally hundreds of copies in each city around the world.

    If you are in this business you need to own a vertical if not it may become a smallish lifestyle company depending on where you are in the world. Building to flip to them or their competitor is possible, but generally not advised when you first start.

    Either way, keep the deals coming and keep the users happy.


  • Jeremy Po

    Correct about the similarities. One thing that stands out is that gives you $5 for referring a friend. Another thing is that seems to concentrate on the Sentosa services, that must mean they are targeting expats more than locals.

    • Gary

      I kinda doubt they are targeting expats more but just that Sentosa vendors are signing up for their service as in regards to It would be interesting to hear from both or voucherwow on the comments on this page, but none so far

      • Alice

        @daniel, I agree room for 1-2. We hope we are one of them.
        @hun/jeremy, we are working hard on some differentiation features. pls drop us a line on if you have some. great deal suggestions also welcome.
        @gary, agreed.

        thanks for the interest and attention I hope to cu soon at a startup or deal;-)

  • Gary

    suddenly an onslaught of group buying platforms

    • Daniel

      Agreed, it’s going to be a competitive space. I think there’s only going to be space for one or two group-buying services in each geographical location.

      Maybe they’re hoping for a buyout from Groupon, like they did with CityDeal in Europe.

      • Gary

        true and they all seemed similar, either offering f&b promo or some entertainment package, wonder would a type of platform start to appear too.

    • Hun Boon

      I can’t see the differentiation among them either, where is the unique selling point for each website?

      Perhaps one way forward is for them to tie up exclusive deals with well-known vendors. Or to specialise in certain industries.

      • Daniel

        My belief is that they need to differentiate themselves by providing functionality – location-based services, mobile versions etc – as much as focusing on industry verticals – entertainment, F&B etc.

        But I still think there’s only space for one or two players in this space.

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    • Lilly

      huh? does voucherwow related to http://www.BigDeal.SG, they look quite similar, I mean the concept, what is the difference? Confusing….