Exclusive: Singapore’s Viatick closes round at post-money valuation of $2.23m

Visual of Viatick homepage. August 2016

Viatick, a Singapore-based bluetooth specialist venture, focussed on deploying beacon-based solutions founded by Edmund Gair Jun Jie and Louis Kent Lee Ting Wei, has concluded an investment round at a post-money valuation of S$3 million ($2.23 million). The round closed in June this year, company executives confirmed to this portal.

The startup enables proximity-enabled solutions to clients in education, hospitality and brand agencies for managing online to offline (O2O) campaigns. Additionally, it is expanding into the mainland Chinese market through a joint venture based in Suzhou, China.

To date, it has deployed its beacon solution in the Chinese financial hub of Shanghai, Australia and Singapore. The JV firm in China, which is in the process of being established, will be called “微定科技公司”, in a deal that sees Viatick Singapore holding an 49 per cent equity interest in the JV, with the remaining 51 per cent owned by Jasper Art Manufacturing.

Beacon technology is based on iBeacon, a technical standard developed by Apple.

Lee told DEALSTREETASIA: “iBeacon technology enables mobile apps to communicate and deliver hyper-contextual content to users based on location on a micro-local scale. This underlying communication technology is Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). BLE is a wireless personal area network technology used for transmitting data over short distances. It is designed for low energy consumption and cost.”

How does this tech work? He explains, “beacons or other BLE enabled devices can broadcast sms packets of data at a regular interval via radio waves. These packets are meant to be collected by devices such as smartphones, where they can be used for a variety of application to trigger things like push messages, app actions, and prompts.”

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Pilot projects & partnerships

In email communications with DEALSTREETASIA, co-founder Lee elaborated on the business model and future plans, explaining: “Our partnerships currently involve a partial licensing/technology lease model where we play a primary supporting preferred BLE partner role and integrate our backbone infrastructure with our partners’ current ecosystem to scale together.

Lee said, the firm raised the June round from a family office engaged in manufacturing of signboards for KFC and Pizza Hut in China

Viatick has already conducted pilot projects for the technology, with deployments in Plaza Singapura, a Singaporean shopping mall where they deployed the beacons to permit shoppers to be tracked, as well as to navigate around the mall and provide a channel for pushing targeted timed promotions to shoppers based on their location within the mall.

Their Australian pilot project was in partnership with WiseNet, which saw their beacons deployed for automated attendance taking and tracking of students through a network of colleges. This particular project saw the alerts being triggered when students left the classroom zone, with the student being marked as absent following their prolonged absence.

In its Chinese deployments, it was used for both shopper tracking as well as to enhance human resource management. Its Shanghai project with PopperAsia saw it being used for outdoor tracking of shoppers outside Xin Tian Di mall, while its project at Jasper Art Manufacturing in Suzhou saw it used to track outdoor staff movement within and outside the working area.

The Suzhou pilot project in particular saw it showcase how it could enable facility and line managers to monitor the efficiency and productivity of their staff based on where they had been and the duration spent in various zones across the facility.

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