As mentioned before, swapit was present at TechInAsia with its very own booth.
I did not expect much from the conference. As swapit is currently available in Hong Kong only, we could not really reach out to new users because the TechInAsia conference took place in Singapore. We also couldn’t spend much on this conference (in fact, we don’t actually have any marketing budget for this), but to our advantage, we received the booth for free at the conference. It’s probably just a conference marketing perk to encourage startups to actually exhibit there, but it sold me. So I went over to Singapore by myself, the swapit pull up banner in hand and set up shop there.
As we weren’t looking to recruit new users for swapit, our two main goals for the conference were:
- Get Feedback
- Talk to (potential) Investors
In terms of feedback, Singapore was the best place to go. Carousell, probably the most prominent competitor in the region has its home base in Singapore. (I will soon write a blog post about our competitors – watch out for it!) So many folks in Singapore were familiar with the concept of buy & sell apps for pre-loved items, which means they got me right away when I said: “Swapit is like Carousell, but better.” (read The idea behind swapit) Therefore, many people could quickly get the advantages swapit offers and whether or not they make sense to them. Hence, we received a lot of great feedback – very positive feedback directly on our approach, but also a lot of suggestions and different takes on the buy and sell market for second hand items. All that feedback will find its way into our next betas! So our goal of getting valuable first-hand feedback was achieved within a few hours of exhibiting.
In terms of talking to investors, I did not expect much actually. Being based in Hong Kong means you are not expecting much there — but that’s a different story. In fact, I was very surprised that there was a good crowd of investors present in Singapore, but not necessarily based in Singapore. They were very keen on talking numbers, vision, mission and market penetration. Obviously, I was happy to tell our story. I came prepared with a more refined pitch deck (thanks to our pitches, pitches, pitches, pitches, pitches before) and an updated executive summary to move things forward. We have now advanced to the next state. Once we close our current funding round, we will announce it here on our blog. If you’re interested to know more, feel free to reach out to me directly at [email protected]. So again, our goal of getting to talk to investors was more than satisfied.
In short: The trip to TechInAsia Singapore was well worth it!
Here are some impressions from before and a bit during the conference. There is no photo with myself on it. As soon as the doors opened, I was completely occupied for the whole day and didn’t even have enough time to grab a coffee in between or check emails. So there are no photos with actual people on our booth, but I guess you get the idea.
P.S.: Congrats to Hong Kong’s Easyship who won the pitch competition. We did not participate in that, though.