BuzzAR wants to revolutionize the consumer experience by bringing augmented reality (AR) into the web. The Singaporean user-experience firm uses AR to take marketing and cartoon game applications to the next level, having provided marketing solutions for Fortune 500 businesses.
With the support from Choco Up, BuzzAR has 10x their user growth and was able to fund the development of 5 new product lines, with some already seen tremendous success.
Bell Beh, co-founder of BuzzAR, shares their story of success with Choco Up.
During the pandemic, BuzzAR wanted to invest into business-to-consumer (B2C) products. However, as a company that started off as a business-to-business (B2B) marketing solution, investors were not as enthusiastic about the new B2C products.
“During that 3 months of pivotal time, it was so awkward because all our other apps were for B2B, then now you’re telling your investors you’re raising for B2C arm,” says Bell.
However, Bell did not give up on her ideas. Instead, she started to look for other options to fund the development of her new products. After some reflection, she decided that she wanted to find non-dilutive sources of funding, so that she can fund her projects while keeping full autonomy over her business.
Choco Up offered collateral-free growth financing, with a low one-time fee and unique revenue share model that allowed BuzzAR to pay back less if business was down, and faster if business was up.
“Choco [helped] us when no others [believed] in us,” Bell recounts. “I’m very grateful to what Choco Up has done to us when we first started. It was so tough because I couldn’t get any funding [...] even though we got good profile clients giving us 5-year contracts from the Fortune 500 companies.”
Since Choco Up’s initial investment, BuzzAR has launched 3 new products, all of which are B2C. Their mobile game, The Cooking Game Mama, has over 20 million downloads across all platforms. Happytoon, an AI animation app, got 10,000 users across several regions just in the first two weeks! Additionally, the new line of products has helped them break into new markets.
“This new entertainment app has a take up rate from countries that we’ve never penetrated before. Like Brazil is coming up very strong for us, so it was really to our surprise. And this was done without any marketing dollars, so it just went viral, as organic installs,” says Bell.
“I had a painful childhood [with] all sorts of abuse. I envision that BuzzAR will be that platform where a lonely, insecure kid like me can get their happiness, can get their smiles. So I never thought like I wanted to be like a unicorn, but if i can serve the next billion users, for example from brazil, the little kid is not so happy today, but in 15s we can turn them to a happy, funny, confident person, then I think I’ve achieved my life’s calling,” says Bell.
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