SINGAPORE (IndoTelko) – Choco Up, Asia’s leading revenue-based financing and growth platform announced today a US$630k funding partnership with Singapore augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI) start-up BuzzAR. Founded in 2018, BuzzAR is a technology firm offering AR and AI solutions to Fortune 500 companies in Singapore and China. BuzzAR is also one of Singapore's top AR companies, part of the Singapore Tourism Accelerator 2020/2021.
While the world continues its recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, loneliness remains a recurring theme for many, with 2 out of 5 people (41%) reporting that they felt lonelier in the past 6 months, according to a March 2021 survey by IPSOS. BuzzAR aims to help change this by connecting users - both consumers and merchants - through its suite of AR and AI technologies.
BuzzAR’s vision is to augment places and faces, connecting the next billion users by 2025. Through its AR Billboard, BuzzAR has offered gamified wayfinding to its Fortune 500 enterprise clients. BuzzAR has also signed an MoU with Alibaba’s affiliate, Cloudbae, as well as partnering with Bailian Group, China's largest state-owned commercial distribution group. Riding a wave of momentum, BuzzAR in August 2021 launched HappyToon, a proprietary Face to Cartoon AI Animation app and the first of its kind, leveraging computer vision and AR technology to inspire, delight and connect users physically apart. Within 10 days of launch, Happytoon gained significant traction and posted a weekly growth rate of 233%, putting BuzzAR on track to achieve their first immediate milestone of 5 to 10 million users in 6 months.
With global spend in mobile apps hitting US$112b in 2020 and growing 25% year on year, BuzzAR aims to become the dominant player in the US, China and Singapore, major markets of their existing fan base for the game, The Cooking Game, a mobile animated game co-developed by BuzzAR co-founder Ken Lim and which has grown from 0 to 20 million players without the help of venture capital (VC) funding. This round of funding from Choco Up will enable BuzzAR to further develop localised marketing campaigns across hot zones including APAC, the US and China as the firm ramps up B2B partnerships in response to rising demand.
BuzzAR’s range of services for customers also includes an AR Wayfinder – a solution that employs point-cloud-based wayfinding that helps patrons navigate shopping malls using their mobile phone camera, while also enabling customers to view an establishment’s business details by simply pointing their phones towards the shopfront.
Choco Up’s funding will provide a significant boost to BuzzAR during this pivotal time as the firm shifts focus from B2B to B2C. With BuzzAR’s users now posting a week-on-week growth rate of over 200%, BuzzAR finds itself in a stronger position when in negotiations with venture capital (VC).
“With all the challenges that businesses have had to endure over the past year or so, BuzzAR’s solutions could not only help rejuvenate many businesses that have struggled, but also impact millions of lives in the world. This presents fantastic opportunities for the whole community, and we’re excited to be able to join BuzzAR on their journey,” said Percy Hung, Co-founder and CEO of Choco Up.
“Working with Choco Up has been a real pleasure through their seamless and efficient funding process, and we’re very grateful for their support as we look to roll out a variety of AR and AI solutions across a range of applications and use cases. At BuzzAR, we want to connect people and places, create the metaverse, Web3.0, and pioneer the next Smart AI revolution while at the same time giving users a novel and exciting experience,” said BuzzAR co-founder and CEO Bell Beh.
BuzzAR has built a strong presence regionally and counts a number of Fortune 500 companies as their clientele. The firm is also a member of the current cohort 3 of the Singapore Tourism Accelerator (STA), a start-up accelerator established by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB). In September 2020, BuzzAR also received grant from Enterprise Singapore to accelerate their Face to Cartoon technologies to the mass public.(es)