Two Newly Launched Apps Will Change The Way You Work, Play, And Shop
Philippine-based ALTUS Digital Capital launches iamClaire and GoSPCE
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images
On August 8, Philippine-based private equity firm ALTUS Digital Capital (ADC) launched two new digital platforms: social commerce site iamClaire and space-booking app GoSPCE. These mark the company’s first investments since its founding in 2016.
Here’s a closer look at these two platforms that aim to disrupt the way we work, play, and shop.
Riding on the influencer wave, iamClaire is a social commerce site that harnesses the power of one’s peers to influence purchasing decisions. Co-founder and director of ADC Randy McGraw believes social commerce is the next evolution of e-commerce.
“Research will tell you that millennials, in particular, don’t buy anything [without consulting their networks]. And whether you’re buying lipstick or services, nobody in emerging markets consults the brand. They look to their social networks and opinion leaders for information,” McGraw says in a prior interview with Inc. Southeast Asia.
What iamClaire does is bring into one platform the whole customer journey—from finding a product you like, to looking for more information on the product, to actual purchase.
“Basically for iamClaire, what we wanted to do was to capture the entire user journey of a consumer,” says Liam Mendoza, vice president and chief analyst for digital products.
Nowadays, when people—women especially—see something they like in the store, they don’t immediately bring out their wallets and buy it. They go home, open their laptops or browse on their mobile phones, and look for reviews about that particular product. And after purchase, they, too, would post about the product on social media. Mendoza says this is the consumer behavior that drives iamClaire.
The site itself has engaging articles and videos on beauty, health and wellness, and lifestyle, and users have the option to purchase the products mentioned—which Mendoza describes as “soft sell e-commerce.” It is also a community where users can follow other users, as well as create their own content, such as product reviews.
iamClaire prides itself on authenticity. “What we wanted [our partner merchants to know] is that we cannot control what [the community is] talking about,” Mendoza says of the product reviews. For now, content on the site is produced by an in-house editorial team, but Mendoza says once they come out with the app this December, they expect more content to be generated by the users.
At present, iamClaire is only available in the Philippines, but ADC is also looking at Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam as potential markets. One major challenge, though, is creating content for these markets. “It’s really hyperlocal,” Mendoza says.
Space is a precious commodity—in congested urban centers, every square meter counts. GoSPCE was created to disrupt space and provide an answer to these needs. Similar to Airbnb, GoSPCE is a website and mobile app that allows users to find office and event spaces that cater to their specific needs.
You could book a space by the hour, day, week, or month. You could be an entrepreneur looking for office space, a freelancer looking for a structured place to work, an events planner looking for a party venue, or even an amateur soccer team looking for a field to practice.
Hosts are encouraged to list their space’s amenities and features so that guests know what they have to offer. For example, they can request a meeting room with a whiteboard and a projector. Or they could simply be looking for an events space with a first aid kit. The more information the hosts log onto the GoSPCE, the more effective the platform is for them.
Hosts, meanwhile, could make the most of unused space by registering on the platform. Restaurants, for example, could rent out private rooms as co-working spaces when they’re not in use. GoSPCE doesn’t guarantee that your space will always be booked, but the platform is an effective marketing tool for each property.
“The goal of all these marketing efforts is to put these spaces in front of as many people as possible and significantly increase the chances of them getting booked,” the media release reads. “It’s always someone’s birthday somewhere, there’s always a team looking for a teambuilding venue, and there’s always someone looking for a space he can be productive in.”
The platform is totally free to use, whether you’re a guest or a host; GoSPCE makes money by taking a small cut from each successful transaction. Currently, the platform has over 200 hosts in the Philippines, and plans to expand to Thailand, Singapore, and Hong Kong are well underway.