Rainmaker Labs is a leading Singaporean technology start-up that specializes in CRM, Loyalty and iBeacon (which we call BLEep) technologies. Currently we are deployed in over 200 clients across the region, with some of our distinguished clientele including Siam Commercial Bank in Thailand, Kerry Properties in Hong Kong & China, and Telkomsel in Indonesia.

We envision a borderless world where people no longer have to rely on traditional networks to connect to each other. We believe that with the introduction of the multi peer network and the iBeacon framework, we have both the opportunity and capability to create a significant mesh network of beacons to allow our vision to come to fruition.

 

There are 2 key levers, which have to be addressed in order for this vision to become reality; infrastructure and adoption. As such, the strategies that we put into place must serve to manipulate and improve both these factors.

At the core of the infrastructure are the BLEep devices themselves. As Rainmaker Labs is predominantly a software company, we had to find the right partner in order to ensure that our beacons were produced to an extremely high quality. To that end we partnered with A*Star, the Singapore government’s research arm to co-develop the BLEep devices, this has ensured that our BLEep devices are of the topmost quality. In benchmark tests versus other beacon manufacturers, our BLEep devices have proven to not only throw a signal further, but also more reliably and with a battery life that lasts longer than most of our competitors.

Increasing adoption proved to be a much harder challenge, which required numerous strategies and leverage in order to exponentially grow the size of our network of beacons. Providing merely the BLEep devices would take much too long to achieve critical mass, as such the decision was undertaken to first build a Beacon Management System (BMS), which is a web-based portal that allows anyone to manage their both their beacons as how their apps react with the beacons without the requirement of editing any source code.

With BMS, we have 2 methods of deployment. Firstly, we have made BMS available to all purchasers of BLEep or any other developers who have signed up to use BMS. To gain even faster traction, provision has been made for BMS to work with external beacons. Secondly, leveraging off our expertise with CRM and Loyalty systems, we integrated BMS together with them to offer to our enterprise clients to help businesses enhance loyalty and mine deeper insights into their customer behaviour.

As with all nascent technology, BLEep and BMS faced a whole lot of scepticism and inertia in its early days. From the introduction of the iBeacon Framework by Apple in September 2013, we completed the build of the BLEep SDKs and BMS v1.0 (along with the APIs involved) that were both compatible on iOS and Android within 5 weeks. We took extra measures to provide hands-on demos and white papers that were easy to understand and showed that implementation of BLEep enabled products were easy to use and provided an extremely high return on investment.

Up until today, we’re still gathering feedback from developers and clients, which we use to continuously refine our SDKs, BMS and CRM & Loyalty software. We have already launched version 1.2 of our iOS and Android SDKs and version 1.1 of BMS, which introduced the new Map module for developers and clients to track traffic and footfall in a particular area, and are currently building version 2 of our CRM & Loyalty software.

Before the introduction of BLEep, our clients had difficulty with 2 issues. First, they didn’t understand their customers and secondly, they couldn’t engage them at the right place and time with the right insights.

Enter Rainmaker Labs’ Loyalty & CRM solution with BLEep and BMS

Imagine. You walk into a shop, BLEep detects that you’ve walked into the shop and pushes a greeting message and a notification to your smartphone notifying you of relevant products in the shop that you might like based on your shopping history (detected through the CRM software). At the same time the same information is pushed to the shop’s POS to enable the shop assistants to help better serve customers better.

Now imagine this level of detailed intelligence provided on time and on target for hospitals, hotels, banks and the like. That’s the Rainmaker Labs solution.

With the introduction of BLEep, BMS and the BLEep enabled CRM & Loyalty software, clients and developers now understand their customers because we gather conversion data and track footfall. We’re then able to segment these customers accordingly via spending patterns and purchase behaviour, which we recommend products to customer-facing employees to upsell and recommend.

Secondly, our clients are now able to engage customers at the right place and time with the right insights via BLEep and BMS. With BMS, they’re able to send a push notification containing a coupon or discount when a customer spends a particular period of time at a certain areas or sections. They’re also able to serve ads that are relevant at different areas or sections when customers enter the proximity.

It has been barely 6 months since our pivot to focus on enterprise clients, and in that time, we have deployed over 5,000 BLEep devices across the region and sold another few thousand devices globally. Over 200 customers use BMS and to date BMS has performed over 1.1 million API calls to push various notifications down to users phones.

These achievements are personally significant because it taught me 3 core values.

Firstly, perseverance, Rainmaker Labs was founded in 2011 with a product that didn’t take off and it was only until recently did we manage to pivot and thus attain the evasive hockey-stick effect. Within 6 months, we have a foothold in 6 different countries and are cash flow positive.

Secondly, the team is only the strongest at the weakest link. Building a team that is aligned to the vision and capable is crucial in the success of an early-stage start-up. It is especially so because unicorns are either building their own companies or working for bigger companies and the need to push the team is most critical because that’s what a start-up must do to be competitive.

Last, culture is the backbone of the start-up, I remembered reading an article from Brian Chesky, Co-Founder and CEO of Airbnb which mentioned that Peter Thiel whom invested in the series C round gave him the single most important piece of advice, which was “ Don’t fuck up the culture “. A culture that cultivates excellence and teamwork is essential to the success of Rainmaker Labs. Everyone puts in 200% when they come into work and everyone is interdependent because; It’s us against the world.