YOYO Holdings, a rewards platform that targets prepaid mobile phone users in developing economies, has secured $1.3 million in funding from Japanese venture capital firms GREE Ventures, CyberAgent Ventures, and Incubate Fund.
Based in Singapore, YOYO Holdings operates a reward platform called Candy which is similar to sites like Swagbucks, but with a twist. Candy users receive SMS texts with a “mission” that may include trivia questions, market research surveys, or in-store promotions. Once they complete a mission, they reply to the message with a code and get a free load, or minutes, on their prepaid mobile.
Candy is currently available in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand, with about 250,000 registered users, but it is likely that they will continue to expand throughout the region, as the startup says prepaid phone users currently make up more than 90% of the mobile market in Southeast Asia.
YOYO Holdings is among several startups focused on figuring out how to reach the “next billion” Internet users by collecting market data in developing countries. The aptly named Next Billion, another Singapore-based startup, runs a mobile cinema project which allows researchers to survey people in areas with limited Internet access, while GeoPoll raised $6.6 million last year for its platform, which allows people to answer surveys through SMS, voice messages, or on the Web.
Its new funding will be used to find new revenue streams and on marketing and business growth, YOYO Holdings said in a statement.