Over 1 billion people travel each year, spending more than US$1.5 TRILLION, much of it in cash. Malaysia attracts over 25m visitors annually spending more than US$20b. How they obtain or spend their cash is not captured or monetised anywhere. Curren$eek allows travellers to easily locate and negotiate currency exchange rates, saving them 20% or more of their travel money, initially in greater KL, with plans to expand to ASEAN and beyond. Be one of the first investors in this early stage startup with huge revenue opportunities.
UP THE ANTE - #STARTUP CONFESSIONS
Radio Interview - Hakim Karim, Co-Founder & Executive Director, Curren$eek
by Angeline Teh, BFM - The Business Station 89.9
A TRAVELLER'S PROBLEM
You’ve arrived at your travel destination or are about to take off. Armed with your smartphone – what’s next? The first pressing need is to get some local currency. You need to get it done fast without the hassle of shopping around.
Frequent travellers would know that currency exchange involves a lot of research and effort because FOREX (Foreign Exchange Market) is ever changing and the rates of money exchange providers differ from one another.
Though money changers (and banks) are aplenty, most travellers don’t know their locations or that exchange rates can vary typically by 10-20% and a whopping 200% in some extreme cases!
With that problem in mind, Curren$eek, a location-based-currency exchange app helps travellers to compare and locate the best FOREX exchange providers on-the-go.
Curren$eek helps travellers locate and negotiate the best exchange rates by showing the location of the money changers and their latest rates. In fact, money changers’ rates are usually better than banks and ATMs which come with hidden fees.
“Waze for currency exchange”
The exchange facilities are displayed on a Google Maps interface or can be listed by rate for a selected currency, distance or last updated time. The user can then directly call the facility or navigate there via Google Maps. The rates are sourced either directly from money changers or by leveraging an active community of travellers to update the rates and add new currency exchange facilities i.e. crowd-sourcing.
Curren$eek empowers its users to provide feedback on their experience with any currency exchange facility and share useful tips with other fellow travellers.
MARKET TRACTION AND EXPANSION
“Our vision is to be a platform for multiple participants in the travel industry and beyond to connect, interact, create & exchange value”
We went live in May 2015 and have over 3,500 users, growing at 20-40 downloads daily. This has been accomplished organically with minimal marketing budget and mostly by word-of-mouth.
Curren$eek currently covers up to 10 major currencies with over 100 banks and money changers listed in the app with the rates being updated daily. The future geographical expansion plan in the next 3 years shall cover other major markets in the region like Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and Philippines.
In developing our marketing plan, digital marketing is the underlying principle driving user acquisition. Offline channels shall also be adopted albeit in a smaller scale. An integrated approach will enable us to expand the apps’ reach beyond the bounds of early adopters.
The plan is to initially establish its services in the Klang Valley and then to other key locations in Malaysia for the next 12 months. Subsequently, for overseas expansion, the strategy is to form partnerships with money changers, banks and business development partners. The geographical footprint shall be across key markets in ASEAN and eventually, globally.
Curren$eek has been featured in major publications including Tech in Asia, E27, Yahoo Singapore, FINTECH News Singapore, Says.com, Vulcan Post, and Oriental Daily News.
FINTECH 2016 SEMI-FINALS WINNER
Curren$eek is a finalist for the global NextBank FinTech start-up pitch competition, having won the Malaysia semi-finals on 19 December 2015.
From partners Subscription fees, a bidding platform to connect money changers to individuals or businesses and analytics services to help FOREX providers better understand customers
From users Paid downloads, freemium services or in-app purchasing with value-added services
From merchants Referring targeted user base with hyper-localised and/or hyper-personalised deals and providing analytics services to help better target customers, in the different verticals within the travel eco-system
We are looking to raise up to RM500,000 (14.29%) with a minimum raise amount of RM300,000 (9.09%) (the “Campaign”).
This investment will enable us to:
aggressively drive user acquisitions through an integrated marketing approach;
enhance the existing app and build an iOS version;
improve the underlying infrastructure to make it more secure and scalable;
build a gamified reward-based system to convert consumers to content creators & curators;
introduce premium services for money changers e.g. bidding; and
introduce premium services for registered merchants to target travellers with hyper-local, hyper-personalised information and deals.
From an idea in May 2014, we have:
secured a grant from Cradle Fund
obtained MSC status
filed a patent
developed an Android app
daily coverage of over 100 money changers and bank outlets
secured contributions from 10 money changers; and
built a user base of over 3,500 in 5 months with over 50% retention rate
Co-Founder & Executive Director
Hakim has over 25 years' experience developing and bringing to market leading-edge solutions at Accenture, Goldman Sachs, Thomson Financial/Reuters and four start-ups, with international operating experience in Europe, North America and across all major markets in Asia. In 2005, Hakim moved to Hong Kong to run Thomson’s sell-side business in the region, tripling its revenue and growth in three years to over US$30m, before heading up strategic business development for Thomson Reuters in Asia. Whilst in New York, he was also instrumental in conceiving, developing and launching Thomson ONE - Thomson Financial’s flagship solution that became the dominant product in its class, displacing major incumbents. He was selected by Endeavor.org in 2014 as a "high impact entrepreneur", the first in Malaysia, and identified by Digital News Asia as one of "the 50 people who will help shape Malaysia's digital economy".
Co-Founder & Executive Director
Amir is a digital and marketing strategist with more than 4 years of experience helping early stage companies build their products, gain traction and reach their milestones through user acquisition, user retention and revenue growth. He also serves as a chief digital strategist at Wepool - a growth firm dedicated to helping tech start-ups find traction and growth while keeping burn rates down. Previously, he was the adviser to Asia Cloud Computing Association and CEO of Cloud Hub, a cloud consulting firm which specializes in crafting and delivering disruptive digital strategies.
Co-founder & Non-Executive Director
A former lawyer, David is currently a consultant with more than 20 years of experience in Intellectual Property (IP) and Intellectual Asset Management (IAM). He has been referred to as Malaysia’s “Father of IAM” as he has coached more than 100 Certified Professional IP Managers as well as trained more than 1,000 students and professionals on IAM. He is an Honorary Member of the Association of Fellows and Legal Scholars of the Centre for International Legal Studies and has contributed to publications such as The Edge, The Star, Entertainment Law Review and International Protection of Intellectual Property. Apart from consulting and coaching, David also walks the talk as a serial entrepreneur and contributes back to society through CityCare, a social enterprise aimed at raising volunteerism in society.
Lead Content Creator
Having left her position as Creative Head of a leading digital agency in Malaysia to focus on her own startup, Joann took her idea (OweSome app) to the first-ever global Angelhack hackathon held in the country and nabbed the Grand Prize which was to present their app on the global stage in Silicon Valley to thousands of investors, and at TechCrunch Disrupt (end 2013). She has over 12years of experience creating conceptual, formational content and writing for every platform, offline and online—and is now focused on helping emerging Malaysian technology startups and digital businesses write their exciting growth stories.
CORPORATE INFORMATION AT A GLANCE
Name of company
Intuitive Asset Sdn Bhd
Date of incorporation
3 October 2013
Suite 21.03, 21st floor, Menara Haw Par, Jalan Sultan Ismail, 50250 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia