The average smartphone user unlocks their phone 150 times per day. MOX, the Mobile Only Accelerator from Silicon Valley venture fund SOSV, is show casing startup apps and technologies like that can make money when mobile device users unlock their phones and engage in other common actions. MOX will unveil six startups from Taiwan, Korea, Israel and India at its Batch 3 Demo Day, held in Taipei on Aug 22 and in Singapore on Aug 24.
MOX, established two years ago in Taipei, invests in mobile technology startups and gives them free marketing to millions of mobile users globally, with especially strong reach in southeast Asia. MOX’s market penetration has increased by 30m in the last six months to a total of 160m mobile device users in developing markets. Startups who enter into MOX’s three-month acceleration program are able to rapidly acquire users to test and monetize at no cost to themselves.
MOX’s Managing Director William Bao Bean calls this marketing reach his “unfair advantage”, and he achieves it through strategic partnerships with leading handset makers, carriers and software vendors around the world.
The current MOX batch includes Ulike, a mobile advertising startup from Israel, which lives on the lock screen and can monetize simple actions, like unlocking the phone. Cashfi is a Korean app which aims to provide universal free wifi and rewards to data famished emerging markets. Pixtory is a social network for sharing photo stories popular in India.
Three startups are based in Taiwan. Screea, a shopping app already in five countries, offers loyalty rewards to consumers, while businesses only pay for marketing that brings them paying customers. Tomoto has produced some of Taiwan’s most downloaded celebrity apps, including those for internet stars Tsai A-ga and HowHow. BigGo is a Taiwan price comparison platform that has gained 6 million unique monthly users, or more than a quarter of all Taiwanese, in less than a year after launch.
MOX is part of SOSV — The Accelerator VC — a US-based US$700M venture fund operating six global accelerator programs: MOX for mobile software (Taipei), IndieBio for biotech (San Francisco), HAX for hardware (Shenzhen, San Francisco), Chinaccelerator for Internet (Shanghai), and Food-X for food (NYC). SOSV invests in over 150 companies per year and over its two-decade history has a net realized IRR of over 30%, putting it in the top 5% of private equity managers in the world.
MOX 3 companies
BigGo is the fastest growing search engine for price comparison and online shopping. BigGo brings price transparency by vertical to Southeast Asia so users can shop online or offline with confidence.
Pixtory brings the home screen of smartphones to life with wallpapers, content and tools. Users personalize their phone to match their style and mood or share with friends. Pixtory makes phones beautiful.
Ulike is a smart and simple rewards system for smartphone users that helps brands and telcos make their users happy. Users earn rewards for everyday phone usage, reading content, and downloading apps.
CashFi gives free WIFI to everyone. Wireless data is expensive in mobile first markets so CashFi provides WIFI usernames and passwords to users in return for watching ads.
Tomoto enables celebrities and social influencers to engage and monetize their fans through their own app. Fans across Asia can follow their favorite influencer, access exclusive content and buy products.
Screea enables users to get cashback for doing what they love: eating at restaurants, taking pictures of their food and sharing with friends. Restaurants only pay when they get customers.