283: Wei Qing Jen from Vybes (PitchDeck Asia)

283: Wei Qing Jen from Vybes (PitchDeck Asia)

Pitchdeck Asia presented by Asia Tech Podcast is a regular podcast showcasing some of Asia’s most exciting startups. Each episode, we collate a batch of startup founders who join the show to share their story, the problems they’re solving and their funding requirements. Founders are welcome to submit their startup to The Pitch here. Our goal is to create a platform to help Asian based founders and investors connect through story.

Show highlights:

Podcast highlights:

  • [00:45] Let's talk about Vybes. What is it and what are you doing there? -- Vybes is a platform for millions of influencers to sell goods and services they create directly to their followers. We are disrupting the influencer market in a big way, allowing influencers to bypass brands and sell directly to their followers.
  • [10:03] Are there people or products that work really well on this type of platform? -- We launched in April, 2018 and we're still learning. It's possible though to identify two types of people for whom this works well: 1) people with very niche products, and 2) people who really have superfans that will just buy anything.
  • [30:42] As a marketer myself, I am interested in what you call the K-factor. Can you explain what this is? -- The K-factor is how many additional users does a new user bring onto the platform? If each user brings on an additional user, the K-factor is 1. If you're interested, you should look into this as there's a lot of information out there. What we want to do is figure out how to use technology to incentivize people to use our platform without us having to pay for them.

Podcast notes:

  • [00:05] PIT2 - The Pitch with Graham D. Brown and Wei Qing Jen from Vybes.
  • [00:45] Let's talk about Vybes. What is it and what are you doing there? -- Vybes is a platform for millions of influencers to sell goods and services they create directly to their followers. We are disrupting the influencer market in a big way, allowing influencers to bypass brands and sell directly to their followers.
  • [02:45] How can you replicate the successes of the leading influencers for the less well-known? -- We are talking about people with more than 10,000 followers on Instagram. In the future we plan to look at other platforms. So we are already talking about people with a significant following, but who lack the team of professionals enjoyed by the most influential people in this space.
  • [05:25] What's the barrier these people confront now? Why are they unable to monetize their influence? -- Great question. My personal view is people don't really understand their personal brand and what makes them different. Vybes helps by providing in part education and examples for people to follow. We also use technology to help by providing data analytics and helping people increase their following.
  • [07:50] In the same way Facebook has democratized advertising, you are democratizing the model for influencers. Is this a good characterization? -- Absolutely yes, we are really trying to help our users not be bound to selling other people's product but instead market their own, unique things. We are liberating both influencers and users.
  • [10:03] Are there people or products that work really well on this type of platform? -- We launched in April, 2018 and we're still learning. It's possible though to identify two types of people for whom this works well: 1) people with very niche products, and 2) people who really have superfans that will just buy anything.
  • [15:00] Let's talk a little bit about your background. Can you tell us a little about this? -- Grew up in Singapore, went to the US for college. Did undergraduate work at Stanford and then went to Harvard for Graduate School. Lived in New York City after that before moving to China for six years; started first company there.
  • [18:40] With Vybes are you focused just on Singapore? -- Right now because we're based in Singapore, we're focused there for the first launch. Once we test and make sure we're happy we plan to expand into other markets.
  • [20:00] You could have set up in the United States and maybe that would have been easier for you. Can you tell us why you chose Singapore? -- Personally it felt like the right time for me to come back. One thing to consider though is that because we are in the digital space, it almost doesn't matter where we're located.
  • [23:13] Can you talk about your funding and where you are in that process right now? -- Last year we raised our seed round for almost a million dollars and we are likely to be raising another, larger round later this year. If you're interested, reach out at weiqing@getvybes.co.
  • [24:30] What is the purpose of this funding round for you? -- We have two purposes: 1) to support our existing team, and 2) to prime the pump for growing the company.
  • [30:42] As a marketer myself, I am interested in what you call the K-factor. Can you explain what this is? -- The K-factor is how many additional users does a new user bring onto the platform? If each user brings on an additional user, the K-factor is 1. If you're interested, you should look into this as there's a lot of information out there. What we want to do is figure out how to use technology to incentivize people to use our platform without us having to pay for them.

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