Viatick, a Singapore-based bluetooth specialist venture, has secured funding at a post-money valuation of $2.23 million (S$3 million). The firm raised the funds from a family office engaged in manufacturing of signboards for KFC and Pizza Hut in China.
The round was closed in June this year. Founded by Edmund Gair Jun Jie and Louis Kent Lee Ting Wei, the startup is mainly focussed on deploying beacon-based solutions. It facilitates proximity-enabled solutions to clients in education, hospitality and brand agencies for managing online to offline (O2O) campaigns. Also, it is expanding into the mainland Chinese market through a joint venture based in Suzhou, China.
Till date, it has deployed its beacon solution in the Chinese financial hub of Shanghai, Australia and Singapore. The Joint Venture firm in China, which is in the process of being established, will be called “微定科技公司”. Viatick Singapore will hold a 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.
In a conversation with DealStreetAsia, Lee explained that 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. Commenting on its working he further told,
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.
Partnerships and tie-ups
Their partnerships currently involve a partial licensing/technology lease model where Viatick plays a primary supporting preferred BLE partner role and integrates its backbone infrastructure with its partners’ current ecosystem to scale together.
Viatick has already conducted pilot projects for the technology with a test run in a mall in Singapore where beacons allow users to do indoor navigation and receive timed promotions to enable shoppers to get targeted discounts as they walk into the stores. 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.
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 focused on enabling 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.