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crystal horse investments

Asian Price Comparison Site Save 22 Gets Angel Round Of “Mid Six Figures”

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Singaporean price comparison startup Save 22 just got an investment of “mid six figures” in Singapore dollars, according to co-founder, Guyi Shen. S$500,000 translates to about US$400,000, as a reference.

The three-year-old startup indexes prices of goods and displays a price comparison. Its mobile app also allows you to scan a barcode of a product with your phone, and it will display a list of stores that list the same item, organized by price.

Its database covers about 500,000 products, and the listings come from both retailers and mobile app users who submit product and pricing data. The company says it has staff on the ground actively indexing prices of popular goods, as well.

The funding round was led by Crystal Horse Investments, an angel firm in Singapore. Crystal Horse also invested in Singapore-based Dropmyemail and Hong Kong-based Frenzoo.

Other participants in the round are Nuffnang from Malaysia, which operates the largest blog advertising network in Southeast Asia, Strategia Ventures and Little Lights Capital, from Indonesia.

Chun Dong Chau, an investor with Crystal Horse, said the company was picked because of its engineering team. He claims that Save 22′s data engine on the backend mines data collected from retail partners’ catalogs. Compared with other price comparison websites, which just provide lead generation back to retailers, Save 22 is expected to develop an additional revenue stream from offering some data analytics back to third parties.

The investor is pushing Save 22 to continue growing its database within the region, which will improve the quality of its analysis, he said. “Southeast Asia is going in terms of its GDP but also Internet and mobile penetration is growing massively. The market is quite big, and we don’t have plans to go outside yet.”

The company competes with other players Asia like PricePinz. The latter has a pretty similar app that also does barcode scanning, but is a younger firm, and just launched its app at the start of this year. At the start of the year, PricePinz said it had just about 4,000 products cataloged. It also said in an interview with e27 that its focus is restricted to electronic goods for now, but plans to expand to other verticals like groceries and apparel within the year.

If it’s a scramble to catalog more data, Save 22 is the winner for now in the region, but expansion plans will potentially open it up to competition with global giants like ShopSavvy. On the e-commerce front, Amazon’s PriceCheck and eBay’s Redlaser are other barcode scanning apps, and have the backing of large firms with huge product databases.

Save 22 was founded by Shen and Ronald Cheung, in March 2010, and has nine employees, including its two founders. It was renamed from Lobangclub (‘lobang’ translates to ‘deal’ in the Malay language) last year.