Tech News

Published: Monday July 14, 2014 MYT 12:27:00 PM
Updated: Monday July 14, 2014 MYT 12:28:14 PM

Virtual treats

Most Malaysians love giving their friends and family a treat every so often, and it is this trend that led Voxy Labs Sdn Bhd to develop its debut app, Kasi (which means “give” in Bahasa Malaysia).

The app, which allows you to send virtual gift cards to friends for free, provides an ­alternative avenue to enrich relationships with your loved ones, both near and far.

“Malaysians are very generous,” says Xu-Zonne Ho, co-founder of Voxy Labs. “The ­culture of gifting is quite strong in this ­country so we want to provide an avenue for them to do this digitally.”

Kasi allows you to send gifts in the form of online vouchers to anyone on your Facebook Friends List. Gifts are ­available across a wide range of categories including travel, food and beverages, and ­entertainment.

There are no fees charged for sending gifts via Kasi — most of the stuff offered are free, as they are sponsored by the ­respective brands.

Ho says that the idea for Kasi started off with the intention to create a digital ­angpow service. However, the concept eventually evolved into a virtual gifting service due to legal technicalities involved in online transfer of cash.

“The digital angpow was a good idea, but we didn’t have enough resources to do that. Since we already built a secure platform to transfer cash, we thought of using it to send gifts instead. We also wanted to create an avenue for retailers and users to engage each other. So that idea became what is known as Kasi today,” he says.

Growing friendships

Kasi can be downloaded for free on the Android and iOS platform. A version for Windows Phones will likely be created at a later date.

Ho says the company chose to integrate Facebook into the Kasi app as “it’s the best friends directory”. However, he says the ­company does have plans to make its services available elsewhere too.

“There’s no fixed timeline but we will be opening it up to other social networks as well,” Ho adds.

Kasi draws information from your Friends List to show you the gift giving activities that are taking place among your friends.

You will also be alerted of upcoming ­birthdays of your friends so you can send them a gift card at the appropriate time. Instead of merely posting a Happy Birthday message on an acquaintance’s Facebook wall, you can now send him or her a gift that can be redeemed from the person’s favourite stores.

“This can apply to a lot of occasions,” says Aw Eng Park, co-founder of Voxy Labs. “It’s also a great platform for merchants where they can reward their customers.”

Better brand visibility

At the same time, Ho says Voxy Labs is striving towards providing greater value to its partners who are the merchants behind the gifts offered on Kasi.

“We realise that companies always have something they want to introduce, be it a new brand, new store or season collection. Traditionally, they would go and hand out gift vouchers to the public, but targeting is really an issue for them. They don’t really know where the vouchers end up and most of the time, it doesn’t get to the right person,” he says.

Although Voxy Labs has only been in ­operation since January this year, Ho and Aw are happy to report that the company has been receiving encouraging feedback so far.

“Ever since we launched Kasi (at the ­beginning of July), we received quite a few e-mail messages thanking us for the app. I guess this is what will keep us going because we know we’re doing something people like,” says Ho.

The company is one of the recipients of funds from the Star Accelerator Fund. Fuelled by the boost in capital, Ho says the company will work towards continually improving Kasi in order to ensure a pleasant experience for both consumers and retailers.

“Our goal is to continue growing the Kasi community. I think in terms of features we’re barely scratching the surface right now,” he adds. Among the features that the company plans to add to Kasi in the future are the option of sending paid gifts and the ability to see which of your Facebook friends are using the app.

“We’re also planning to come up with more mobile products that complement our vision to make shopping fun and more engaging,” says Aw.

Aw also shares that there has been ­“interest from other countries” within the South-East Asian region, with certain quarters seeking a localised versions of Kasi for their respective markets.

He adds that a Malaysian telco has also approached Voxy Labs seeking to strike up a partnership.

Download Kasi on the Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store or visit kasi.my to learn more about the app.

Tags / Keywords: Science & Technology, Voxy Labs Sdn Bhd, Kasi, mobile, app, Facebook, gift cards, vouchers

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