Korean Startup Malang Studio Gamifying Alarms For Global Success
2013 7월 30

Malang_studioCould such a mundane and boring daily routine such as turning off your alarm and getting up in the morning be fun and engaging? Malang Studio, the creators of AlarmMon think so. AlarmMon is a gamified alarm app that aims to address the pain of getting out of bed in the morning by rewarding early risers with various in-app rewards through their favourite animation characters.

Going global:
Malang Studio recently accompanied beSUCCESS to Singapore as one of ten Korean startups that won the chance through the ‘K-APP Global Hub Program’ to go to Singapore for an intensive week of seminars, business matching and networking. “Going to Singapore was a valuable time to reorganize and evaluate the business models of AlarmMon with insightful advice from local VCs, startup mentors, and even potential partners. We also gained confidence about the direction of AlarmMon in the long term; to develop the app into a complete alarm platform.”, Marc YH Kim, CEO of Malang Studio says. “Amongst other lessons, we learned that promoting only through online channels is not enough. The original plan before the program was to utilize SNS channels such as Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and web alone. In the future we will be seeking to sign partnerships with local studios and brand advertisers which will become an important part of our SE Asia strategy.” Marc YH Kim reiterated that in the future “Malang Studio will seek compatible partners that are interested in Malang Studio for potential co-partnership opportunities.”

Gamification giving AlarmMon a competitive edge:
The emerging trend of gamification, a concept so new it doesn’t exist in todays dictionaries, is getting a lot of traction in the tech consciousness nowadays. Gamification is most often defined as the use of gameplay mechanics for non-game applications. The term also suggests the process of using game thinking to solve diverse problems and engage audiences. Gabe Zimmerman, the author of the books Game-Based Marketing and Gamification by Design, says that one big factor for the emergence of gamification in the last couple of years is that once long-standing marketing techniques are now failing and that today's youth mandates a more engaging experience. “People today are seeking more reward and more engagement from experiences than ever before," he explains. "The younger generation — the millennial generation and younger — is more game-attuned than previous generations." The focus on gamification seems like a good bet from Malang Studio, with analysts at Gartner saying that more than 50% of organizations that manage innovation processes will gamify those processes by 2015 and that more than 70 percent of Global 2000 organizations will have at least one gamified application by 2014.

More about Malang Studio and AlarmMon:
Malang Studio was co-founded by four ‘Samsung Software Membership’ students who decided to start their own venture instead of treading the traditional Korean corporate trail. They have already secured 4M users and boast downloads in six languages. The company has already teamed up with major brands, offering their platform as a marketing channel and aims to use these experiences as a model for further global expansion and profitability. The company also plans to team up with celebrities to add glitz to their character line-up. They are even considering following the likes of Angry Birds, by introducing a range of merchandise to support their online characters. The company has received series A funding from a top-tier Korean investor and hopes to break even with $1.2M projected revenue in 2013.

The current version of AlarmMon comes with a history of user's ‘wake-up performance’. Further, each alarm character has its own storyline that has been crafted, told and shared with fans worldwide on Facebook, which currently has over 30.000 Fans, and on other main blogs. In order to use new characters, users are required to share the app with friends through SNS channels, thereby creating viral sharing of AlarmMon characters and attracting new users.

More about this article series:
The KAPP article series will cover each of the 20 startups that took part in the KAPP Global Hub Program, which took Korean startups to two global startup hubs, and is followed with a series of targeted workshops to ensure that the relationships and experience gained during the overseas trips was fully leveraged. 10 startups went to Singapore to discover the South East Asian markets, build partner relationships and gain investment for global growth. The other 10 companies went to Israel to engage with, and learn from, experts in one of the World’s most prolific high-tech centres.

Previous articles from this series:
Vol. 1: AppDisco - Korea's number 1 mobile Ad company, enjoying continued growth

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