Cashback startup Getex unfazed by competition
By Lum Ka Kay April 11, 2016
- Launching into Indonesia and Philippines by end-2016
- Already profitable 12-15 months after India launch
THE cashback space in Malaysia is definitely heating up, with Indian startup Getex joining Shopback and MilkADeal to grab a share of the pie.
Its cofounder and chief editor Nisya Aziz said the cashback space is still relatively new in Malaysia and there was space for another player.
“Globally, there are 285 cashback players, and in Malaysia, we have about three. In India, there are more than 10 players,” she told Digital News Asia (DNA) in Petaling Jaya recently.
“It’s like shopping malls. We have so many shopping malls here in Malaysia, but new ones keep opening up – and people still flock to all these malls.
“So there is still space for Getex to tap into, despite there being several similar players in the space already,” she added.
Founded in September 2013 and headquartered in Bangalore, India, Getex rewards online shoppers with cash incentives. The company rolled its services into Malaysia and Singapore last November.
Cofounder and chief marketing officer Ridzwan Hamzah said Getex is planning to launch into Indonesia and the Philippines by the end of this year.
He said Getex is also in the process of developing its mobile app, and hopes to launch it before the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr (Hari Raya Aidilfitri in Malaysia).
The startup raised an undisclosed seed round – described as being in the US$ six-digit range – from three angel investors in 2013 to build the platform and expand its team.
Although it has been two years since the seed round was raised, Ridzwan said there is no need to raise another round of funding as Getex is self-sustaining.
Getex makes money by taking a commission off its merchants, according to Ridzwan, but is also planning to launch a subscriber-based model “soon,” although he declined to give specifics.
“We were profitable 12 to 15 months after we launched in India,” he said, again declining to give specifics.
Getex has 20 staff in total, 13 in India and seven in Malaysia.
Nisya claimed that Getex is recording a 25% monthly growth rate in terms of sales in India, and that it has 56,000 users in India, and more 3,000 and 1,200 in Malaysia and Singapore, respectively.
Nisya acknowledged that there are cultural differences between the three markets – for one, Malaysians are still unfamiliar with the cashback concept.
“In India, the bargain culture is already there; and Singapore is a mature market when it comes to online services,” she said.
“But when it comes to Malaysians, they are still rather hesitant to use the cashback service – although I understand their concern, because at the end of the day, you’re dealing with money.
“So … there’s still a lot of education to do,” she added.
However, Nisya is optimistic, citing the way online shopping has taken off relatively recently.
“Online shopping has existed for more than 10 years, but it only began to pick up about four to five years ago.
“So it’s the same for cashback – the easy part about letting people know about cashback is that we can tap into the big pool of online shoppers.
“Our market is actually people who shop online on e-commerce sites like Zalora, Lazada and so on – so we just need to tell people what cashback is all about and how to use it,” she added.
Entrepreneur vs businessman
Prior to founding Getex, Ridzwan and Nisya had no experience in running their own business. However, both are glad they gave entrepreneurship a try.
“It’s about bringing value to people. You can run a business and all you care about is making a profit – but being able to bring value to the market is different,” declared Ridzwan.
Nisya said that Getex is helping to lessen the consumer’s burden.
“We are always talking about how expensive things are, so we are trying to come up with a way to help consumers, as well as ourselves,” she said.
“To me, a businessman always talks about profit. But as an entrepreneur, it’s more about balancing between making a profit and solving people’s problems,” she added.
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