[Written in partnership with Supernewsroom, but the editorial team had full control over the content.]
When we last caught up with Malaysian point-of-sale (POS) system provider Aoikumo, the startup had onboarded 15 dental clinics onto their new platform, kumoDent within 1 month.
It was an extension of the brand’s cloud-based solutions that served clients in the beauty, medical, and wellness fields, who struggled as in-person service providers during lockdowns.
Wanting to help the industry, CEO Kevin Nair and his team developed a webstore module so those in the beauty and wellness industries could drive sales online, in turn alleviating the burden they had.
So once MCO 1.0 was lifted, businesses still running on pen and paper knew they had to move online to future-proof themselves. Aoikumo’s subscriptions spiked, and it saw as much as a 229% growth rate between 2019 and 2020.
Pay now, use later
Since the introduction of Aoikumo’s cloud system in 2018, it’s picked up within the beauty and medical industry.
But as lockdowns plagued the nation, the needs for beauty services shifted. Deemed non-essential, brick and mortar aesthetics providers had to halt their operations which harmed their incomes.
Thankfully, through the aforementioned webstore, clients were able to sell treatments online. Though beauty providers couldn’t physically render these treatments, they could offer a “pay now, use later” promotion.
However, though the webstore appeared to be a saving grace to those in the beauty and wellness sectors during the MCO, they weren’t exactly jumping on the bandwagon.
“The pickup was slow as selling online was a new thing for the beauty and aesthetics businesses,” Kevin told Vulcan Post. “But today, more customers are starting to request for our webstore.”
This has in turn convinced beauty and wellness providers to adopt digitalisation efforts for their businesses, and Aoikumo was ready to serve.
In the past 6 months, Aoikumo saw a surge in client growth in the medical and aesthetics sectors, bringing its total users to 2,300 to date.
Next year, the team will work on integration modules that link with most shopping sites in Malaysia. Kevin predicts that this should cushion the impact of revenue loss for physical stores.
“We have been hovering at about 30% but we are expecting a 50% growth at least, considering the current situation in Malaysia as well as the SEA region,” said Kevin. In our interview, he added that as of December 2021, they’ve since surpassed this growth rate, aided by the launch of kumoDent.
Keeping it in a single platform
Helping beauty providers pivot online during the MCO wasn’t all that Aoikumo was up to during the MCO.
The team was also building a dental clinic software, kumoDent, after realising that the existing POS system was missing crucial features required for dental clinics specifically.
But despite some differences, the team has kept both kumoDent and Aoikumo on the same platform.
This was so dental clinics could still use existing services like kumoSan (for staff management) and kumoBiz (a lite version of the POS system to ease business operations) in a single app.
After streamlining the backend processes for businesses, Aoikumo’s subscribers reported that they were receiving fraudulent claims from their customers.
As the team was developing a solution for this, they realised that they could offer even more solutions for their client’s customers, so they extended their services to allow bookings, promotion advertising, and more.
An app for customers too
Aoikumo’s new features materialised into MeTIME Wellness (MeTIME), an app for their clients’ customers who can immediately make purchases after finding a promotion on the app. Think Fave, for example.
MeTIME also enables customers to make bookings online, track purchases and treatments, view promotions, and so forth.
Kevin teased that customers can soon expect to make purchases over the app and collect points for rewards too. The app for customers is free to use.
Aoikumo plans to monetise through transactions made on the app, but in return, will help market its clients’ brands and promotions too.
Onto bigger grounds
After such rapid growth in providing cloud-based solutions to underserved sectors, Aoikumo recently earned a spot in CIP IGNITE (ii), a funding programme that provides a grant and value-added assistance by Cradle Fund.
Furthermore, Aoikumo was certified as a Technology Solution Provider (TSP) under the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation’s (MDeC) SME Business Digitalisation Grant initiative.
The platform was also recognised as a Digital Service Provider (DSP) under the Selangor Information Technology and Digital Economy Corporation (SIDeC).
Under these programmes, new subscribers to Aoikumo and kumoDent will be provided with a 50% matching grant of up to RM5,000.
Following the growing traction, Kevin has no plans in slowing down. He’s now eyeing to capture a larger market around SEA.
“Instead of managing daily operations that can be automated, we want businesses to focus on their growth, to leverage on our product and expertise as software developers,” Kevin said.
To fully support their clients, the team is updating themselves, the platform, and apps according to market changes and requirements in efforts to remain relevant.
- You can learn more about Aoikumo here and kumoDent here.
- Read about other Malaysian startups we’ve covered here.
Featured Image Credit: Aoikumo