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.