Cheers! Taiwan Startup Stadium Partners With CellWine To Hold “Investor Wine Tasting Night” For First Time!

CellWinxTSS.jpeg

TAIPEI, July 31th - Taiwan Startup Stadium has recently partnered with CellWine to hold its very first “Investor Wine Tasting Night”, seeking to gauge interest from local and international investors as well as educate attendees on the intricacies of wine and wine tasting on. The event attracted various angel investors and VCs such as CDIB Capital, Infinity Venture Partners, Taipei Angels, and the like.

20190731_194820.jpg


CellWine is a technology company that develops wine management software and provides wine storage and marketplace services. Founded in 2017, it has attracted over 100K downloads, with over 10K MAU and has quickly become one of the Top 5 wine apps among other competitors such as Vivino and Wine Searcher.  So far, CellWine has collected data on more than 500K bottles of wine from users.

Compared to traditional startup-investor meetups, the CellWine x TSS Investor Wine Tasting was organized in a way such that attendees not only learned about the startup’s current business model and fundraising plans, but also had an opportunity to learn more about the complexities of wine directly from CellWine’s founders. Mario Fang, the co-founder of CellWine, kicked off the wine tasting night by sharing the advice and steps on how to taste wine like a professional. “To me, wine’s charm is actually in its taste. Its flavor would be different depending on different ages, grapes, and terroir. The more experience you gain with different wine varietals, the easier it will be to detect and identify characteristic wine aromas.”

20190731_195745.jpg


Following Mario’s sharing, Eric Tang,  the co-founder and CEO, shared more regarding the future plans and technology used behind the service. For Mario and Eric, CellWine’s mission is not only to make a wine app, but also an end-to-end wine management service, which helps users to organize and import their wine data, track the wine valuation, as well as exchange and purchase their wine via marketplace.

Powered by SaaS, IoT, Blockchain and AI, CellWine recently just launched their “O2O Smart Cellar” in June 2019. This “O2O Smart Cellar” offers a well-developed and comprehensive service to their users with physical wine storage space enabled by IoT. “We’re taking advantage of advances in technology. Once new bottles coming in, we use AI to identify and create special identities for every bottle of wine, then integrate Blockchain to track wine’s status in the cellar - as to make sure they are stored in an appropriate environment. Our goal is to attain 50,000 bottles in CellWine Cellar by end of this year. ” says Mario.

IMG_9048 (1).JPG
IMG_9063.JPG


Coming back from NextRise Global Conference and Market Entry Bootcamp powered by TSS in Korea last month, Eric sees a great potential in big cities where wine storage might be a major problem. From Eric’s perspective, Korea is now CellWine’s biggest overseas market followed by Japan, France and South East Asia. Eyeing on global expansion, Eric and Mario’s are currently looking to raise funds. “We’re eager to showcase to investors that wine management and investment has their strong potential everywhere.  It was great to have Taiwan Startup Stadium along to help us reach more investors and VCs interested in wine, and to see how we revolutionize the wine industry by technology! Eric elaborates.

CellWine x TSS “Investor Wine Tasting Night”

CellWine x TSS “Investor Wine Tasting Night”

“There’s truly an actual need for amateur wine collectors who are looking for new tools to organize their collection. However, there’s no other company providing such complete service now. It’s definitely a potential market to watch.” says Brian, Manager of Investor Relations and Accelerator Program at Taiwan Startup Stadium.

CellWine is planning to raise 300,000 USD to optimize the software system, develop C2C business model, as well as explore the global market going forward.


For more information, please visit: https://cell.wine/

Wanna dive into KR ecosystem? Stay tuned for #TaiwanRocks Korea:

https://www.startupstadium.tw/2019-taiwanrocks-korea-market-entry-bootcamp

From Online-Survey to B2B Digital Consulting Solution: 25sprout on Building A Successful SaaS Company and Turning Startup to Scaleup

25sprout bannerr-01.png

Software startups have grown in number intensively for the past few years compared to hardware startups. There’s no easy way to scale a SaaS company. It takes time, patience, some mistakes and resolve.

Alex and Hacker, CEO and CTO respectively of 25sprout, built the company in 2012 offering enterprise Digital Consulting Solution tailored to their needs, such as extended Online survey platform, Data analysis and CRM tools based on business purpose. Serving lots of huge corporations such as Toyota, HSBC, Roche, KPMG and the like.

DSC09085.JPG

“However, we didn’t get a chance to approach these big corporates at the very beginning. The turning point for 25sprout was coming up until SurveyCake was created.”

“SurveyCake means - we kind of wanted to make survey a piece of cake.” says Alex.

surveycakelogo.png

“The story all started when Hacker and I attended a seminar back in 2012. We got a PAPER SURVEY in the end because it was a time where there was no 3G, 4G technology and even mobile version online survey. After we got home, it took us about 2 weeks to make the prototype. ”With a clear and an easy-to-use interface, SurveyCake became more and more popular among young people who had needs in creating survey at that time. However, this story hasn’t ended yet.



How do SaaS startups hustle in B2B battlefield faced with bigger corporations

1. Create Flexibility: Do what others CAN’T do, and Nail it. 

Transitioning to 2B is the first turning point of SurveyCake. A few months after releasing the first version, Google form and SurveyMonkey, these big corporations started to enter the battlefield. “Knowing that we definitely can’t compete with these strong competitors like Google, Typeform, or SurveyMonkey, we decided to pivot and to target BUSINESS CLIENT.”

tour_group__226d6e76ab468.gif

For Alex, the key to make 25sprout stand out from competitors is their flexible and considerate customization service.

“You can imagine that enterprise can not use Google form to collect real and sensitive data. It's not safe on a public cloud without any corporation identity. What they need from us is that we can build a customized and reliable private cloud solution for them.”

In addition, companies care not only the data data, but the next step and actions they’d need to do NEXT.

For example, lots of leading chain restaurants enjoy using 25sprout’s solution with SurveyCake features, “Restaurant like to have us do surveys. Our team not only help them build better management platform, but also improve customer service quality - that keeps customers coming back.” Alex explains.

2. Learn from your clients:  Acquire “Domain-Knowledge” by understanding “Domain Needs”

Doing business, for Alex, is not only about selling the solution and getting paid, but building the long-term relationship with clients. “Such a pity that you and your clients’ relationship come to an end so fast in this way,” says Alex. If thinking differently, you may learn tons from all of your clients in different fields, and different industries.

25sprout’s first huge client is Toyota, the largest automobile corporation from Japan. The team helped them build a new platform with SurveyCake’s online-survey features. “In Toyota this such a large company, there's a professional team dedicated to creating the survey, gathering the data and doing further market research.” Alex shares. , 25sprout gained a great amount of industry insights on how to build a good tool and also what kind of charts and table they wanted to see when they receive the report.”

We didn’t charge sort of development fee from Toyota. For us, What we pursue is long-term relationship to build a win-win situation. They are very professional on this domain-knowledge, and we're just good at coding right? SO - why don’t we work more closely? ”

3. Become An Expert: Turn Data into Business insights

Among 25sprout’s client lineup, we may see a variety of companies from automobile, chain restaurants, financial institutions or even consulting firms. By working with these “Experts”, the team not only gains the reputation within that field, more importantly, gets a chance to know more about those domains. “Financial service cares about SAFETY the most ; For restaurant, on the contrary, they care more about customer’s feeling and feedback ,which can improve and push forward more business performance.”

螢幕快照 2019-08-02 下午2.02.29.png


“For some business needs, 25sprout also provide digital consultants, sales, customer success team to take good care of our clients.”  

4. Leverage the Product to Drive New Opportunities 

螢幕快照 2019-08-02 上午8.59.02.png

Unlike some solution-focused companies, the company take good advantage of SurveyCake’s popularity to generating organic traffic and leverage the B2B Consulting Solution.

“There’s a typical “User roadmap” for business clients who are using B2B Consulting solution now: Some of our them actually knew 25sprout by using free version of SurveyCake. When their needs grow, they realize that they might need more features such as incorporating Company logo, gaining Data insights, or more tools like marketing & CRM, etc. That’s how we acquire clients with the help of our product.”


From Startup to Scaleup: “Growing is painful, but for us, it’s a must-do”


1. Focusing on Business

1_KQypzvc2RN5FNK1ZQ3D75Q.jpeg

Without any funding from investors, acquiring new clients and monitoring for the cash flow is important for the team. Two years ago, the team spent much time to attend seminars, networking events, and tech conference such as TechCrunch and RISE. From 2018, Alex and Hacker made up their mind to focus on one thing at a time. “This year, we focus on the business. We spent tons of time to see outside and also feel lucky to meet our European client at RISE back in 2018 with TSS. But for now, we are focusing on just one thing.”


2. Building Infrastructure

Building an infrastructure within a startup is not always easy, it might take time, communication, and cost. But for Alex, it’s a “must-do.”

“From 2018, we started to build the infrastructure within the company, dividing “teams” into regular departments, such as Operation, Human Resource, and Accounting. 2018 is also the year where 25sprout grew the fastest in terms of the business and the company size.” Alex elaborates. 

small srout is rapidly growing!

small srout is rapidly growing!

“Under 30 people, you'd need only one person to handle everything, but when you're bigger, there will be the limit and it may affect efficiency. When you are going to do something BIG, for every startup, infrastructure is the foundation. Founder is not always be on the first line, you also have to wait for others to move forward.” say Alex.


3. Three Business Units

Currently, 25sprout has over 50 employees with 3 Business Units: Product team (SurveyCake), B2B Consulting Solution, and the Operation team.

For product team, marketing and SEO are the keys, which becomes the major leverage to raise the brand’s awareness, while B2B Consulting Solution mainly focuses on project management as to acquire new clients and manage the relationship with the existing clients and partners. “That’s why we have sales and project managers in this team.” Alex explains.

One business can just do their job and fulfill customer's needs, leveraging each other in terms of different parts. Alex also mentioned about some conflicts when it comes to spliting the team.

“We need to do lots of communication with our team members, saying that it is for our future. It’s true that Consulting Solution is more profitable, but for now, we need to invest in the product while consultant team keeps generating revenue and tries to find 25sprout’s next potential product.”

2018 25sprout team retreat

2018 25sprout team retreat

“Taiwan is The Best Place To Start-Up for Saas Company!”

25sprout is now a well-known software startup across the APAC region. When I asked about what would be the strengths starting from Taiwan, Alex pinpointed 3 main reasons on why he thinks “Taiwan is the best place to start-up.”

  1. Proper size of market to test the idea

  2. At the right place: Easy to go overseas. to Japan, SEA or even to China.

  3. Lots of foreign companies in Taiwan: Test your product to see it can fits different clients from different countries. “For example, we already fulfill the requirement from Toyota Taiwan. Then in Japan, we can just demonstrate the success as a social proof. ” alex explains.

Advices for startup founders? Co-Founder, Right Market, Integrity.


1. Choose the Right Co-founder

Sometimes being a startup founder is one of the most lonely, but meanwhile fruitful thing in the world.“Being an entrepreneur, your life experience is going to be 10 times more than others, because there’s so much struggle & challenge to deal with.” say Alex.

DSC09089.JPG

For him, to go through this up-and-downs, co-founder is super important.” Alex and Hacker were good friends at National Sun Yat-sen University. At that time, they worked closely in the school library while one was in charge of the front-end of the software system, and the other was responsible for the back-end. Now, Alex is mainly handling sales and operation part, while Hacker is leading the development team at 25sprout.


2. Start with the one you’re familiar with!

We can see lots of startups based on taiwan, tagretting the international market from day one. However, Alex believes that diving into a market or industry that you’re familiar with, is the key for SaaS company.

2. Always do your job at the moment and treat others with integrity

“Everything is connected.” 

As one of the greatest startup making revenue, without any funding of VC, and profitable, Alex shared his reflection on “Being a founder with integrity, and always do your job at the moment.”

“If I hadn't done my job at RISE and got into the finalist of the pitch competition, I might have not had the chance to meet my European consulting firm client ; If Hacker and I didn’t become friends back in college, I might not have such great co-founder.” Alex shared emotionally.

Alex & Hacker attended 2017 RISE conference with taiwan startup stadium.

Alex & Hacker attended 2017 RISE conference with taiwan startup stadium.

2019 is going to be a brand new adventure for 25sprout. The team is now targeting European market by working with one of the biggest consulting firms based in Germany.

DSC09064.JPG


Next on, the company is ready to disrupt the international market with their best SaaS product and diversified digital solution well tailored to enterprise’s needs. With continuous growth and success, Alex and Hacker never forget the motivation of starting up.


 “Always do your best at the moment, and grow.”



STARTUP SNAPSHOT is an interview series dedicated to spotlighting inspiring stories within the Taiwan startup scene. With a collective of like-minded people that share the same passions, struggles, as well as drive for entrepreneurship, we aim to tap into the innovative lifeblood of the ecosystem and get Taiwanese startups ready to take the global stage.

Want to get featured with TSS? Join our Starting Lineup X community!

CellWine: Two Taiwanese entrepreneurs build the first “Personal Wine Assistant App” for wine lovers

CellWineBanner.png

When it comes to wine, this can mean lots of different things: learn more about wine, help you choose better wine, record your tasting experiences, get a better deal for your plonk, find expert ratings, or pick the best vintage.

CellWine is a taiwan-based startup that develops wine management software and provides wine storage and marketplace services. Since the App was launched in June 2017, it has attracted over 100K downloads, with over 10K MAU. 

In the second episode of #StartupSnapshot, we are happy to have two (hopeless romantic) entrepreneurs to share about how they combine tech & wine and drive their passion into a real business.

Cellwine x TSS squad

Cellwine x TSS squad

Cinny: Tell us about CellWine founding journey and how did you guys get started?

CellWine_2.png

Mario: I was running a PR & Marketing agency for about 20 years, serving clients such as P&G, SONY and the like. In 2016, my agency was acquired by an advertising company. Then I started to think about my next step. My passion for wine lasts over 15 years. It all started with a comic book named “The Drops of God”, a Japanese manga series about wine. For the past 15 years, I collected 500+ bottles of fine wine, as my collection grew faster, I had been wondering “Why there’s no solution for such wine lover like me to organize my collection?”

Then CellWine came up - I partnered with Eric and built up CellWine, which enables wine lovers to recognize, track, manage, share, exchange and even trade their wine with each other.

Eric:  Before CellWine, I had been working on software solutions and digital marketing. I met Mario when I was looking for a new career path. I was not used to be a professional drinker, yet I believe wine is a good “language” for Taiwan to disrupt the international market. The market is truly huge - as the number of bottles are produced faster than we consume, wine is indeed in need of being well arranged and managed, but there’s no solution to resolve this pain point. Therefore, the management system especially for “wine” came to our mind.

Alea: Among other popular wine apps such as Vivino, Decanter, VinoCell, etc, what makes CellWine stand out from other competitors?


“We are not making A Google for wine, but an End-to-End Wine Management System.”

1200,000 Wine Database & 7 available languages

Eric: It took us half a year to build solid wine database and collect wine price on the market because you know now, there is no central database for wine valuation. So far, we already have 1200,000 kinds of wine in our database ; Meanwhile, we’re also the top 5 wine management app in the world with 120,000 active users in Taiwan, Korea, followed by France, Italy and Canada.

O2O Mini Wine Cellar Service

Mario: In June, we launched an exclusive “on-demand cellar service” for members. You may have a space exclusively for your beloved wine by spending only NTD$12/bottle for a month. 

cellwine_identify.jpg

The amount of collection of CellWine users is about 50 bottles on average, and most of the users are at the age between 30-40. In the past, there’s no ideal solution for this kind of wine collectors. You can only buy a wine fridge at home, or rent a wine cellar outside with other people. (Each wine cellar may accommodate up to 120 bottles at a time.) Being an amateur wine collector is too costly, that’s the main motivation of how mini wine cellar idea came up.

We have already received more than 500 bottles since June while the service first launched, and the total market price for those wines now hits more than NTD$5M!


Rethinking Cellar as a “Wine Bank”

cellwine_app-1.png

Mario: With this O2O service, we aim to build a “Wine bank”. Wine is not only a consumer goods, in contrast, it might be an investment. We provide a well-organized platform and high-quality control process powerd by IoT device, to keep track of wine’s maturity, humidity and overall status, as to make sure they’re all “taken good care of.” In the future, we hope to offer C2C solution, which allows users to not only manage their own collection, but also buy and sell wine on CellWine.

We consider wine as an investment, instead of consumer goods.



Use Blockchain to track wine price and storage status

Eric: One of the biggest steps of technology is that we started to integrate Blockchain to optimize our marketplace service. Storage of wine is an important consideration for wine which is being kept for long-term aging. While wines come into CellWine Cellar, each of them would have an unique QR Code. The storage environment will be well-tracked in the blockchain as to provide a credible database. So in the future, when there is a transaction/exchange between two parties, they will know the light, temperature and humidity status during this period. We also divided storage environment into A grade (professional wine cellar), B grade (At-home based wine cellar) & C grade (not sure of the past storage environment) for user’s reference.



Stephanie: As a Taiwan-based startup, what are the strengths & obstacles by starting in Taiwan and compete on a global scale in your vertical?

Mario:  There is no doubt that Taiwan is famous for competitive engineering & computer science talents. In the past, Taiwan was famous for OEM & ODM service. And now, we have a robust innovative industry to leverage tons of new and bold ideas, creating a perfect environment for founders who have a desire to start up their businesses.

Eric: I would say Taiwan is a good testbed to explore Asian market. We have a mature startup ecosystem which allows entrepreneurs to testify any idea. In addition, Taiwan is the heart of Asia. Geographically, you can easily go to every market nearby such as Japan, Korea or South East Asia market. One of the biggest challenges that we faced is that the investment environment is not that active. The fund size in Taiwan is relatively small compared to China, Korea and Thailand. It might be the largest pitfall for some startups wanting to expand to global market but lack of funds.

Iris: Just out of curiosity, could you tell us more about your global expansion plan?

Mario: We notice that there’s growing need for wine management system in some countries such as Korea, Japan and Thailand.

In some big cities like Seoul and Tokyo, they face with common difficulty due to limited storage space. Among 120,000 users on CellWine, more than 15% of them are from Korea.

We have nearly 20,000 Korean users second only to Taiwan. That’s why they become our target market now.

Cinny: While looking back, what advice would you give to younger yourself 3 years ago while first starting up?

Copy of DSC_1009.JPG

Eric: I would have told myself: “Before get hands-on, go understand the field that you gonna dive into.” I’d spend 3-6 months getting to know the wine instead of just prototyping it. With a comprehensive knowledge, you will know more about the pain points and user's map. On the contrary, when you don’t know much about the field, you only see the superficial things. However, every field has a deep know-how. That’s why domain-knowledge is essential.

Mario: I feel like the whole founding journey starting from 2016 is like a bottle of Bourgundy. It tastes sour in the beginning, but as time goes by, the flavor will get bitter-sweet.

Before starting up a business, I think it’s important to ask yourself: “Are you passionate enough for what you’re going to do?” Taking myself as an example, my passion for the industry and the pain points I’d like to solve drives me to go further. Thus, I believe before asking yourself “How to do it?”, try to think about “Why I’m doing this.”

CellWine’s next step?

Mario: If wine cellars (more than 1,000 bottles) want to upgrade their services, we’re happy to work with them and also explore more B2B solution with all the stakeholders.

Eric: We aim to build a more solid and credible wine database and to acquire more app users. As the first and only SaaS company with informative and complete wine management, we are proud to have high retention rate: more than 50% of users buy our cellar service more than three times. By word of mouth, we gradually build trust among wine collectors and keep attracting new users. Hope we can expand to other Asian markets based on this achievement in the near future!

#TaiwanRocks x CellWine

DSC09026.JPG

STARTUP SNAPSHOT is an interview series dedicated to spotlighting inspiring stories within the Taiwan startup scene. With a collective of like-minded people that share the same passions, struggles, as well as drive for entrepreneurship, we aim to tap into the innovative lifeblood of the ecosystem and get Taiwanese startups ready to take the global stage.

Want to get featured with TSS? Join our Starting Lineup X community!

Rooit: How does this AI-powered chat app reshape the way that GEN Z communicates?

Rooitbanner-final.png


Amidst the global craze of social media apps, like TikTok and Snapchat, Rooit, a Taiwan-based gamified chat app powered by AI technology, is on a mission to empower young people with warmer and more meaningful conversations. The team consists of a group of product designers, engineers, and UX/UI professionals. In the team, there’s one person who is extremely passionate about helping people communicate and pioneering the mission to bring together people through chat. She is Elsa, COO of Rooit.

ElsaMou.JPG

It is undeniable that chat and dating apps have become as important as social media in our daily lives, especially for teenagers  - or let’s say Gen Z, a generation which consists of those born in 1995 or later and spent most of their time online, chatting, making friends but have never met in real life. 


Other than tons of general apps we’ve seen before, Rooit has a clear mission: “We are a platform where young people who are not adept at expressing themselves, can do so through the facilitation mechanism in different chat rooms in this app,” says Elsa. She also told us, the original idea actually stems from Paul & Peter, the other 2 co-founders of Rooit.


As to the founding story, I found it truly beautiful. My co-founders Paul & Peter, they are more introverted and have interesting thoughts & opinions, but they’re not the ones who are on the stage and expressing themselves especially in bigger social settings. They tend to shy away. So they basically built Rooit for themselves! “ Elsa explains.


That’s why the idea of Rooit came up - a gamified chat app with different chat rooms tailored to user’s preferences. Currently, the app has 7 Chinese language chat rooms including Soul Lounge, which is the most popular one; Love Temple (月老廟) for those who are searching for love, and Church, where we can find a “Priest and Sinner” role-play setting inside of it.


AI, Chatbot & Tailored content as features to engage the users

RooitKV.jpeg

Powered by AI, every chat room has a chatbot personality that can help facilitate and move the  conversation along. The chatbot will notice when the atmosphere is getting awkward, and will randomly bring up topics that users might be interested in or get them to play games to break the ice.

The app gained 120K active users within the first month of their launch in 2018. without marketing.

Different features & bartender-minded chatbot

Different features & bartender-minded chatbot

Relying on very bespoke and tailored content, as well as a smarter user interface, Rooit makes everything perfect for the audience. “That’s really the beauty of Rooit’s product, and that’s also the core of how we can globalize in the future.” says Elsa.

Upon the release of the US (English) version, the  app surprisingly gained organic traffic with high user retention in a larger, yet much more competitive market. 

“I would say: We’re weird enough,” Elsa replied in a prideful tone. “I think to stand out among the US audience, you gotta be weird enough to grasp their attention - what’s weird about us is that we have special features in our chat rooms that you probably won’t see anywhere else.

For example, our church room is only open on Sunday. You go in, you’re greeted by a chatbot called Priest. You won’t see a Priest chatbot anywhere right now in other apps. So it’s like role-playing. You can either role-play as a ‘Father’ or as a sinner.”

“Given highly tailored, customized and localized content, Rooit succeeds in grabbing attention to grow in Taiwan and in other markets.” — Elsa

A chat app especially caters to Generation “Z” 

Resource:  Colle McVoy

Resource: Colle McVoy

Targeting an ever increasing group of young people spending over 60% of time online, let’s say “Gen Z”, the team actually didn’t know exactly who their audience was when they initially launched the product. “We were not specific to which age group and which gender initially. We just threw our minimum viable product on the app store and see if it worked.“ After a few months of collecting feedback from users and conducting thorough market research, they surprisingly found that Gen Z was always the most loyal audience of the app.

“Gen Z spends a lot more time behind the screen. And not interacting in real life,” says Elsa. “As we go younger in generation, we see more of a remote working culture. Lots of people make friends on Twitter, but they might never have met them in real life. Here’s a crazy stat: we have 16% of teenagers globally who make friends online, and only 20% who have ever met them in real life. That’s Gen Z.”

Live streaming, real-time interaction is what Gen Z is up for

RooitFeatures.png

As we may notice, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter are the most popular platforms among Millennials. However, according to Elsa, Millennials tend to passively consume content, whereas Gen Z looks for something beyond that.


Gen Z demands live, real-time interaction. That is why apps like Tiktok, Amino, and Discord are so popular with this generation. That is also the main reason why Gen Z loves Rooit - we provide on-demand live matching,” Elsa elaborates.

User experience is the Key, compared to AI

When it comes to Rooit’s startup journey, Elsa admitted that there are constantly a million tough things and lessons learned as their product evolves. 

“A very constructive learning, is the fact that, AI is not as important as user experience.” — Elsa

try it? try it! (Resource:  Medium@Rooit )

try it? try it! (Resource: Medium@Rooit)

Deeply rooted in UI/UX design, Rooit believes it is essential is to onboard the users effectively and keep them coming back. The product team puts much more effort on optimizing the app, adding more special features, as well as correcting bugs. All Rooit is doing is to ensure the user’s journey runs smoothly. This is the secret behind the app’s continuous growing retention.



anything popping up? (Resource:  Medium@Rooit )

anything popping up? (Resource: Medium@Rooit)

For Elsa, AI is merely a tool to leverage information about the user journey with machine learning and the algorithm. This information is used to understand about user’s behavior. However, “When you’re just a consumer trying to have a good time online and trying to chat, you’re not as concerned with AI technology,” For Rooit, the consumer’s happiness is most important.

Conversational advertising, how does it work?

An experience you might encounter: When you’re scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed, an ad pops up saying if you wanna buy this or you’re thinking about planning your pregnancy or something. You can tell that advertiser only chose sex, age and location, some may depends on your browsing history. They don’t even know if this is an ad that you’re going to appreciate.

Deeply diving into this pain point for both users and advertisers, Rooit smartly uses chatbot as an ad influencer.

“The beauty of chat commerce/conversational advertising is not annoying,” says Elsa.

“For example, in our Christmas campaign chat room, there are so many opportunities for that (Ads) and users actually appreciate it. They can either go offline and buy the person a gift or from the integrated e-commerce platform in the Rooit chat room, so they don’t have to leave the house. Within the chat room, they can send the gift to the person. So it’s a win-win situation, for both advertiser and our end users.” Elsa explains.


Delve into the chat & dating app landscape 

Chat apps are increasingly more competitive, especially in two countries. The first is the US, and the second is China. Having focused on the Taiwan market, the team sees a huge opportunity in the US market.

tiktok, discord, amino are much appreciated by “Gen z“.

tiktok, discord, amino are much appreciated by “Gen z“.

“US Gen Z kids are kind of a trendsetter. If an app is doing well in the US, it has a Halo effect all over the world.” Initially launched the english version all over the world including the Philippines, India, Singapore, US, and a couple of European countries, they found the US market is quite immense and mature where there are tons of opportunities and players out there.

Tackling a new market

Next on, Rooit is creating a brand new version that is more tailored to the US market and trying to make it resonate with local users. For Elsa and her team, their exciting journey ahead is to tackle a much bigger and more competitive market, but the company’s mission remains unchanged.

“Our goal is to empower users to find confidants and make friends through meaningful conversation,” she says, “This is what is Rooit built for.”



Some fun facts about …

funfacts.png
 

STARTUP SNAPSHOT is an interview series dedicated to spotlighting inspiring stories within the Taiwan startup scene. With a collective of like-minded people that share the same passions, struggles, as well as drive for entrepreneurship, we aim to tap into the innovative lifeblood of the ecosystem and get Taiwanese startups ready to take the global stage.

Want to get featured with TSS? Join our Starting Lineup X community!