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around! Adds Joy To Location-Based Loyalty Marketing With QR Codes

QR codes have been used in the various countries, such as Japan and South Korea, for marketing purposes to mixed degrees of success. Possibly the best use of QR codes I’ve seen in this region was by TESCO Homeplus, who used QR codes to create an entire virtual subway supermarket store targeted at busy professionals.

And despite the slow take-up of QR codes in Singapore, new Singapore-based startup Gozo Labs has just launched a location-based mobile marketing platform that leverages QR codes for loyalty marketing initiatives. Called around!, the mobile application for the iPhone is built around the idea of location-based social buying and allows users to snap QR codes to unlock special privileges and “loyalty points” at partipating retailers and other outlets. When users open the around! application, it detects where they are and provides a list of exclusive promotions available within the vicinity. Users who wish to access a promotion simply show the retail partner the Quick Response (QR) matrix bar code on their mobile phones, and will receive the discount.

Bringing Joy To People

A technology start-up company incubated at National University of Singapore‘s NUS Enterprise, Gozo Labs is founded by NUS Overseas College alumni Xu Daxiang and Quek Shu Yang. To date, the duo has raised over S$100,000 in funding to start the company, which includes their savings, a grant from the Media Development Authority‘s iJAM grant program as well as funding support from NUS Venture Support.

Gozo Labs currently consists of five staff, and are based at the Prince George’s Park incubator. “We knew we wanted to work on ideas that can have a positive impact on peoples’ lives, that solve real problems and pain points which people are facing using science and technology,” says Quek Shu Yang, the technology architect of Gozo Labs. We needed a couple of years of industry experience first, to boost our work experience, as well as to make savings, to see us through Gozo Labs’ start-up phase.”

“Gozo means joy in Spanish, and we set up Gozo Labs with the intent of bringing joy to others, both users and our retail partners. Although we launched the beta version of around! several weeks ago, we already have several hundreds of users on board,” says Xu Daxiang, who handles the product and business development aspects of Gozo Labs. “We will be aggressively pushing out our product and marketing strategy for around! and our target is to hit 10,000 users by end of 2011, with about 50 retail partners, and to keep growing exponentially.”

You can see how around! works here.


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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