Pokémon Go is going to be big when it finally hits, so Malaysian startups should take advantage of this and capitalise on all the business they can get.

Published 2016-07-26 15:03:03

Despite not reaching our shores yet, it’s quite clear that Pokémon Go is going to be a hit from the moment it launches (if it doesn’t get taken down as soon as it gets here). It’s breaking records worldwide both in the iOS store and the Google Play store.

Some enterprising businesses have already jumped in on the hype, with kaodim.com running their Kaodimon hunt, where users search a 360° Facebook photo to see if they can spot a Kaodimon and then share to win prizes. ServisHero has also jumped in with some Pokébranding for their app.

It’s definitely a smart move to cash in on the craze, and other startups should definitely start gearing up for when it does release to take advantage of all the buzz. Here are 5 types of startups who should start planning for the Pokémon invasion and use it to their advantage.

1. Fitness

Image Credit: Bristol Rising
Image Credit: Bristol Rising

It’s a no-brainer that any fitness-related startups should definitely be on board with this (KFit, we’re looking at you). Pokémon Go is already recognised as a great way for users to get a bit of much needed exercise. It’s already being billed as an “exercise app” in some communities, with so-called fitness experts starting to come up with workout routines to be paired with Pokémon Go playing.

What they can do: Getting partner gyms to be involved by running their own campaigns for Pokémon trainers would be a good start. It helps that there are already ‘gyms’ in the Pokémon world, so using that to cross the line into the real world shouldn’t be too difficult. Identifying fitness centres that are Pokéstops would be useful to get players to not just train their Pokémon but themselves too.

2. Transportation And Ride-Sharing

Why walk when you can FLY! (Image Credit: rounindx.deviantart.com)
Why walk when you can FLY! (Image Credit: rounindx.deviantart.com)

There has already been news of road accidents happening because of Pokémon Go (my personal favourite is of the man who hit a police car while helping his wife with the game). We would want to avoid that as much as possible in Malaysia, and this is where the transportation services and the ride sharing apps can play their part.

What they can do: GrabHitch is a great platform that can capitalise on this. Overseas, drivers and ride-sharing services are already offering to send trainers around to Pokémon hotspots, and also to drive them around as they search for Pokémon.

Uber has also previously offered discounts for people travelling to special events. Why not provide specific codes for Pokétrainers to travel to Pokéstops and get a small discount while they’re at it?

3. Restaurants And Food Discovery Apps

Image Credit: followmefoodie
Image Credit: followmefoodie

Restaurants around the world that are fortunate enough to have Pokéstops nearby are already reporting an increased traffic and business to their eateries, thanks to Pokémon Go. After all, hungry trainers will need to eat, after traipsing around all day to catch ’em all.

Players are also starting to plan where they will go and eat, depending on if there are many Pokéstops in that area. Places that are lucky enough to be Pokéstops are also actively buying in-game lures to attract even more trainers to their locale.

What they can do: There’s plenty of ideas online, but for eateries that aren’t as lucky to have a Pokéstop in their immediate vicinity, they can still have special offers, such as “Show Me Three Pidgeys For 20% Off”. They can also offer happy hour discounts related to the game.

Food discovery apps like Offpeak can also have a special Pokémon Go tab or offer in collaboration with known Pokéstop restaurants.

4. Concierge Services

Image Credit: thrillist
Image Credit: thrillist

We can be a really lazy bunch, and there are going to be people who want to be Pokétrainers but not want to spend all that energy and time actually running around finding the Pokémon to make our team the best ever.

What they can do: This should be right up Bemalas’ or Helpr‘s alley. Why not set up services to catch Pokémon for those of us who would prefer to stay out of the sun and heat? Niantic CEO John Hanke, the developer for the game, recently announced that they are working on making trading available, so this will be an easy way for the services to get the new Pokémon to the prospective trainers.

5. Dating & Social Networking Apps And Co-Working Spaces


Trainers are already talking about the great camaderie and interaction they are having with other players, and it’s clear that Pokémon Go is a very easy icebreaker to just carry around. Just by playing the game, you already have a topic of discussion and something in common to talk about.

If you’re a bit shy, fear not, talking about Pokémon is a nice way to start a conversation with basically anyone else with the app open on their phones.

What they can do: There’s already a dedicated Pokémon dating app, but that might be overly specific. Instead, the dating and networking sites can feature it as an interest to help people connect. Co-working spaces can also organise events and social gatherings for Pokémon trainers to come and mingle.

BONUS: E-Commerce

We’ve already covered what sort of merchandise Pokétrainers would love to buy in Singapore, and it’s very likely that the same would apply to Malaysia. There’s apparel, key chains and phone tools, which cover a pretty wide range. Even the aptly named Insvltees can jump in with some sarcastic shirts commenting about how done they are with the trend.

There’s currently no signs of the Pokémon fever dying down, and it’s only going to get worse when the game finally arrives. Our Malaysian businesses would do well to plan for it and be ready when it does land.

Feature Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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