During 2013 Spring Festival earlier this year, many Chinese people who traveled back home from first-tier cities found their parents and friends in second- or – lower -tier cities were using Wochacha.
Starting as a price comparison app, now it enables users to buy some goods directly. If you order goods from Wochacah’s partner supermarkets, deliverymen will send goods to your door. Brands or merchants can set up a channel on Wochacha selling goods or engage users.
The QR code scanner now becomes more useful too that can track your parcels or download digital content. In addition it provides users with deals or coupons, price indexes, quality reports, etc.
At 2013 China Internet Conference this week, Chen Hongzhou, its COO, disclosed that Wochacha users had reached 140 million in about 340 cities, with 5 million being daily active.
A couple of years ago, there was a wave of startups working on QR code for location checking-in, helping merchants build loyalty programs, or lottery draw. None of them grew to become a big company.
Tencent CEO Pony Ma started touting that QR code was the best tool to connect Internet users and offline world last year. The QR code scanner in the latest version of WeChat released this month grows increasingly powerful that now returns information of goods, street view, English-to-Chinese translations, among others.
Other big Internet companies are also working on services or features leveraging QR code. Alipay, the payments service under Alibaba, released QR code payments solution in 2012.
Wochacha thinks its core competence is price data. Chen says they are not afraid of the giants for Wochacha took so much effort collecting price data and is improving data sets. As we introduced before, the company once hired three hundred people visiting super markets one by one to collect prices.
Its revenue streams include CPS-based commissions from e-commerce sites or supermarkets, and display ads in apps. Wochacha raised $10mn in series A from Sequoia China.