Malaysia’s Captii Ventures invests $520k in Pouch

Digital loyalty rewards app, and NFC payment wristband startup Pouch.

Digital loyalty rewards app startup Pouch has bagged $520,000 seed funding from Malaysia-based Captii Ventures, to launch its payment wristband in the Southeast Asia region.

Captii Ventures, the venture investments arm of Singapore stock exchange-listed Captii Group, said in a statement that the firm was impressed with Pouch’s progress so far with its near field communication (NFC) payment wristband.

“We are excited to support the founders’ vision for the business,” general manager Saikit Ng said. The funds will go into building version 2.0 of Pouch’s app.

Captii’s investments to-date are primarily concentrated on technology and telecoms businesses that operate under the brands of Unifiedcomms and GlobeOSS, which Captii Group controls.

Pouch’s solution, Pouch CUE, is created to help create outstanding guest experience at events. It covers registration and ticketing, cashless payment, patron security/interaction and analytics.

The payment wristbands are ideal for crowded events such as concerts, exhibitions, and fairs so that visitors or participants don’t need to carry cash, which minimizes theft, while merchants are assured that no fraud takes place during transactions because everything’s recorded.

The wristbands can also help event organizers stem the sale of counterfeit passes, Tech In Asia reported. The news site had also previously reported that the startup was backed by a Singaporean investor.

Pouch co-founder and CEO Ilya Kravtsov explained that the wristband eliminates the need for cash or card. “When the customer arrives at the event, instead of a normal ticket, he gets an NFC wristband, tops up the balance and that’s it. Inside the event, instead of paying cash or credit card he pays using the NFC wristband,” he said.

Ultimately, the goal is not only to convert NFC wristband users into users of the Pouch app, but to become a third-party payment option.

Currently, the app allows users to monitor upcoming big events and earn rewards for purchases at partner merchants. In the coming months, it will expand features to include purchase of tickets for events, as well as an ewallet for payments.

Pouch downloads have reached 150,000, and 70 percent of these are active users.

Captii Ventures is also among the co-investment partners with Malaysia’s government-supported early stage startup influencer, Cradle Fund.

Also read:

Exclusive: MY’s Tapway to secure bridge round funding of over $139k

Cradle Fund doubles co-investment value with 5 new partners, raises $16m

 

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.