New location-based mobile marketing platform launched in Singapore

Service offered by new start-up company will boost marketing efforts for retailers

22 August 2011, Singapore – Good news for all shoppers! Great promotions are now available from retail outlets all year round, extending beyond the Great Singapore Sale. A new technology start-up company, Gozo Labs, has launched a location-based mobile marketing solution. Called around! (, this is a free-to-download iPhone application that offers shopping discounts in Singapore. Set up two NUS Overseas College alumni, Gozo Labs is being incubated by NUS Enterprise.

When users open the around! application, it detects where they are and provides a list of exclusive promotions available within the vicinity. Users who wish to access a promotion simply show the retail partner the Quick Response (QR) matrix bar code on their mobile phone, and will receive the discount. Gozo Labs has launched around! at several locations in Singapore, including Robertson Quay, Marina Square and Chinatown. Gozo Labs has currently tied up with 18 retail partners, which are mainly in the food and beverage sector. These retailers are offering discounts of up to 30% and involve well-known brands, such as Spinelli, Subway and Fairmont Singapore. Next month, Gozo Labs plan to partner with retailers in the fashion industry, including G2000 and FOX. Moving forward, Gozo Labs will partner with more retailers island-wide, and include other retail sectors. Around! will also be available on other mobile platforms. See Annex 1 for a list of the 18 retail partners.

Around! is a new marketing platform, with numerous advantages to both users and retail partners. The advantages of around! to users include:

1)      The ability to see what promotions are available from their favourite brands located nearby, in a quick and intuitive manner;

2)      Payment is made on the spot directly to the retailer, after showing the QR code. This means no wasted pre-bought vouchers. It also means no situations where a user is “tricked” into buying promotions with terms and conditions that result in higher prices. 

3)      User-friendly, fuss free, with no need for printed vouchers

The advantages of around! to retail partners include:

1)      The creation of real-time promotions to convert passer-bys into paying customers. As these customers are within the vicinity, there is a high chance that they will become loyal customers;

2)      Payment from the customers is made directly to the retail outlet, and not via Gozo Labs, easing the cash flow issue and reducing fulfilment order problems. This also creates a direct bond between retailer and the customer;

3)      No dilution or “cheapening” of the brand;

4)      A new marketing platform, reaching out to a different set of potential customers.

“Gozo means joy in Spanish, and we set up Gozo Labs with the intent of bringing joy to others, both users and our retail partners. Although we launched the beta version of around! several weeks ago, we already have several hundreds of users on board. We will be aggressively pushing out our product and marketing strategy for around! and our target is to hit 10,000 users by end of 2011, with about 50 retail partners, and to keep growing exponentially,” said Xu Daxiang, who runs the product and business development aspects of Gozo Labs.

Customer Loyalty
“At Fairmont Singapore, we are always looking to pioneer new technology solutions, to market our products and services. We already use websites, microsites, social media and electronic customer relationship management strategies. Fairmont Singapore, Szechuan Court is collaborating with around! to offer a discount of 15% for Fairmont’s Mid Autumn Festival Mooncakes, in order to harness the power of mobile applications. This year, we present a limited, collectible edition and fuschia pink cheongsam-inspired mooncake box, dressed in vivacious shades of fuschia pink and luminous green, alongside two other traditional mooncake boxes. We hope that through around!, we will be able to excite and convert smartphone users in the vicinity of our nine retail outlets into loyal customers,” said Nicholas Tay, Marketing Manager, Digital, Fairmont Singapore & Swissôtel The Stamford.

In addition to rolling out exclusive promotions, around! can be used as a customer loyalty programme. When both retail partner and user opt into the customer loyalty programme, the retail partner’s loyalty card is created, powered by around! on the user’s iPhone. Every time they purchase an item at the retail partner, they automatically receive a stamp. Retail partners can reward loyal customers with additional promotions after a certain number of stamps have been collected. By hosting the loyalty cards on a user’s smartphone, it reduces the need to carry additional cards, making it a cost-effective, user-oriented and environmentally-friendly option. Currently Sprout, Red House and Music Dreamer Live Cafe have joined around’s customer loyalty programme.

“After using around! for the past two weeks, I’ve found it to be an ideal, hassle-free application. I can access deals based on when and where I am, compared to other discount platforms that provide deals with no relevance to my current location. I was delighted when I found that my favourite café, Sprout, which is near my work place, was offering daily discounts, as well as loyalty rewards. So far, I’ve benefited from 8 discounts, along with one freebie, due to the loyalty programme. I look forward to more businesses coming on board!” said Christer Eriksson, the Regional Strategy Director for The Upper Storey, a creative advertising agency. 

The entrepreneurs behind Gozo Labs

Picture: Daxiang (left) and Shu Yang (right)

Gozo Labs is founded by Xu Daxiang and Quek Shu Yang, who met while on the NUS Overseas Colleges (NOC) programme, an NUS initiative that aims to cultivate entrepreneurs. After graduating from NUS, with a degree in Business and Computer Engineering respectively, Daxiang and Shu Yang entered the workforce. Daxiang joined Yahoo’s sales department and Shu Yang joined the Centre for Strategic IT as a software engineer. Daxiang now manages business and sales for Gozo Labs, while Shu Yang is in charge of the development of around! To date, the duo has raised over S$100,000 in funding, inclusive of their savings, a grant from MDA iJAM and funding support from NUS Venture Support.

Gozo Labs is currently being incubated by NUS Enterprise. The company can leverage upon assistance such as mentorship, business resources, access to networking events and entrepreneurial activities, as well as infrastructure support. Gozo Labs currently consists of 5 staff, and are based at the Prince George’s Park incubator.

“During the NOC programme, we knew we wanted to work on ideas that can have a positive impact on peoples’ lives, that solve real problems and pain points which people are facing using science and technology. We needed a couple of years of industry experience first, to boost our work experience, as well as to make savings, to see us through Gozo Labs’ start-up phase. Being an innovative, technology start-up, we have plans to launch new features to improve around! later this year. This includes showing promotions most relevant to our individual users based on their user behaviors,” said Shu Yang, who is the technology architect of Gozo Labs.

About Gozo Labs
Launched in 2011, Gozo Labs is a technology start-up company, with a flagship product called around! This is a location-based mobile marketing solution and loyalty platform. Gozo Labs is set up by Xu Daxiang and Quek Shu Yang, two graduates from the NUS Overseas Colleges Programme. The company is currently being incubated by NUS Enterprise.

About NUS Enterprise
NUS Enterprise was established as a University-level cluster to provide an enterprise dimension to NUS teaching and research involving the University’s students, staff and alumni. The functions of the Enterprise Cluster complement the academic cluster of the University to nurture talents with an entrepreneurial and global mindset. NUS Enterprise promotes the spirit of innovation and enterprise through Experiential Education, Industry Engagement & Partnerships and Entrepreneurship Support.

Gozo Labs retail partners (as of 22 August 2011)
1)      BubbleOrange – at Clementi CityVibe
2)      Chong Qing Grilled Fish – at Chinatown and Liang Seah Street
3)      Club 5 – at Park Royal Hotel
4)      dreiHeit House – at Chevron House
5)      Fairmont Singapore, Szechuan Court – at Raffles City, Chevron House, Novena Square, Velocity, ION Orchard Booth Raffles City Atrium, Bugis Junction, Junction 8, Parkway Parade, and Suntec City Atrium
6)      Gum Gong Wan Korean Fusion Restaurant – Temple Street Chinatown
7)      Kettle Pot Café – at Tanjong Pagar Chartis Building
8)      Music Dreamer Live! Café – at Marina Square
9)      Plaza Brasserie – at Park Royal Hotel
10)   RamenTen – at Far East Plaza
11)   Red House – at Robertson Quay
12)   Sakunthala’s – at Race Course Road
13)   Settlers Café – at North Canal Road
14)   ShinTokyo – at Clementi CityVibe
15)   Sprout – at Robertson Walk
16)   Spinelli – at Forum The Shopping Mall, Suntec City and Heeren Orchard Central
17)   Subway – at PoMo Centre and SMUY
18)   Wavehouse – at Sentosa


Getty Images Raises its Presence at Spikes Asia 2011

Getty Images to partner with The Brand Union in support of the inaugural SpikesAlso photography competition

SINGAPORE, 10 August, 2011 – Getty Images will once again partner with The Brand Union to support the inaugural SpikesAlso event at the Spikes Asia festival, which runs from 18 – 20 September, 2011. SpikesAlso is a new project that will showcase the personal artistic talent of the creative community across the Asia Pacific.

The SpikesAlso event follows the success of Getty Images’ involvement at the Cannes Lions Festival in June 2011, where Getty Images partnered with The Brand Union to bring CannesAlso, a unique exhibition of photography by creatives, to life.  Entries were judged by world-famous photographer Rankin, and exhibited in the form of a giant book installation.

Similarly, SpikesAlso takes the form of a photography competition, with entries to be exhibited during the Spikes Asia festival. The competition is open to professional and amateur photographers across Asia Pacific, with the aim of highlighting the region’s creative talent through the compelling medium of photography.

Entitled Look Twice, the SpikesAlso theme celebrates the rediscovery of everyday life as an art form.

The competition will be judged by renowned Singaporephotographer John Clang, whose work is influenced by the concept of finding inspiration in the world around.

“An image that inspires is one that brings us face to face with our own existence. It pulls the stranger standing next to us into the intimate radius of our life… It connects,” comments competition judge and curator, John Clang.

Getty Images is pleased to offer the top entrants the chance to become a Getty Images contributor.

Entrants will also be given the opportunity to have their work reviewed by a member of the Getty Images creative team, who will be at the SpikesAlso exhibition space, conducting portfolio reviews and offering advice to aspiring photographers and photography enthusiasts.

Stuart Hannagan, Director of Photography Asia Pacific at Getty Images, said: “It is immensely rewarding to recognize and help foster talent within the creative community and the opportunity to do so as part of the region’s oldest and most prestigious creative festival is hugely exciting. SpikesAlso is a fantastic platform to unearth and showcase the impressive depth and range of photographic talent that exists within the Asia Pacific.”

Stuart Hannagan continues: “Alongside SpikesAlso’s lead sponsor, The Brand Union, we are really looking forward to seeing the variety of entries submitted on display during the festival – and being inspired, of course, to “look twice”.”

The competition is open for entry from today through until 5 September, 2011. Entry is free and entrants are invited to submit up to three examples of their personal photography. For more information, specifications and how to enter, visit


 About Getty Images
Getty Images is one of the world’s leading creators and distributors of still imagery, footage and multimedia products, as well as a recognized provider of other forms of premium digital content, including music.  Getty Images serves business customers in more than 100 countries and is the first place creative and media professionals turn to discover purchase and manage images and other digital content.  Its award-winning photographers and imagery help customers produce inspiring work which appears every day in the world’s most influential newspapers, magazines, advertising campaigns, films, television programs, books and Web sites.  Visit Getty Images at to learn more about how the company is advancing the unique role of digital media in communications and business, and enabling creative ideas to come to life.

Eh! Can You Not Cook Curry?

Recently there has been a spate of articles going around about how a PRC family who just moved to Singapore was complaining about their Indian neighbour’s curry. Google for it and you will see tons of comments spewed from online forums to social networking sites like Facebook, the mobile Tweets are already in the thousands.

I read with disgust.
(With this family of course.)

Didn’t anyone told this PRC family that they are moving into a multi-racial island state filled with cramped subsidized housing that we call “Flats”?  Didn’t they do their “home work” before boarding the plane to this overly cramped island?

This is rude. Very rude. It is as good as going to your Chinese neighbour and asks them not to stir fry their vegetables with garlic & oyster sauce, or as good as telling your Malay neighbour that they are not allowed to mix rose syrup with condensed milk for their Bandung.

Atrocious isn’t it?

Seriously I salute this Indian family who kept their cool and even offered this insensitive PRC family to try their curry.  If this is L.A., I would have poisoned this PRC family and got away with it.

The increased (and increasing) number of new “Citizens” had caused much social problems. They are no longer just a threat on your rice bowl; I almost wanted to call it an invasion. First they took away your jobs, now they took away your precious seat on your daily sardined MRT ride. You are forced to eat “local hawker food” cooked by FTs, you are greeted at Fast Food Chains by FTs who barely understand the difference between the burgers, your calls to banks & financial institutions were answered by FTs, now, the buses and trains & taxis, yes you heard me, taxis are operated by FTs. I can go forever, but where the hell are the locals? Cooking curry?

Back to the anti-curry PRC family. So a mediation was done, does it end there? This is ONE PRC family, what about the thousands of PRCs who brought their family here too? Does every anti-curry complaint gets to the Authority? For that, I leave it to your discretion.

Am I anti-FTs?

Nope, don’t get me wrong. I have many foreign good friends staying here, from India, China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, the USA, the UK, Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar & Taiwan. I have nothing against people who wish to pursue their dreams, their career and their studies in this country. As long as they integrate & get along, move along side by side, shoulder to shoulder, follow the pace and obey the “rules”, understand & accept the local culture, I welcome anyone who wishes to be a part of Singapore.

Provided you don’t ask me to stop cooking my Chinese curry vegetables.

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