Singapore social app Lunch Kaki appoints new CEO, chatbot in the works

Yon Heong Tung
LunchKaki_social_app

John Ng Pangilinan is a serial entrepreneur who started off by selling comic books in school

Singapore-based social app Lunch Kaki has appointed serial entrepreneur and investor John Ng Pangilinan as its new CEO.

Ng said he found Lunch Kaki interesting because of its philosophy of connecting people through food.

“Moreover, the company was bootstrapped and they had managed to garner a sizeable audience with grit and determination. I am both drawn by the concept of Lunch Kaki, and the team behind the app as I believe that team dynamics play a very crucial role during its growth stage,” he added.

Ng, whose first business venture was selling comic books at his primary school, has dabbled in a varied array of verticals. He previously ran a recruitment company, a real estate agency, a private resort, and a pet grooming center.

In the tech space, he set up web development firm OvenBaked Ideas, which operates a MakanBus, a travel package that brings tourists around Singapore to try out famous hawker fare; and MeGuideU, a tour guide marketplace. Ng said he has plans to eventually turn OvenBaked Ideas into an accelerator.

Ng is also an active investor, and has invested in tech startups including Fomo Digital and Fomo Pay. Recently, he joined Malaysia-based VC RHL Ventures as a VP.

For Lunch Kaki, Ng has plans to revamp the app and create new revenue streams.

“The first 6 months will comprise of building a team to market and develop new ideas, revamping Lunch Kaki UI & UX and creating a sustainable revenue model. Near the end of 6 months, users can expect to interact more with Lunch Kaki through a unique bot,” said Ng.

“The monetization portion will largely come from the bot we are creating at this moment, I believe users will find it interesting and engaging,” added Ng, but did not elaborate on the specifics of the bot’s function.

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Ng also wants to trim away the unnecessary features of the app and make it more “visual-based”. He said the revamped app is expected to be launched in April.

Melvin Tan, co-founder and COO of Lunch Kaki, added that since its launch in 2014, the app has gone through several rounds of enhancements such as improved filtering systems, to boost its product positioning.

“I must say it wasn’t easy to stay ahead of the competition. However, Lunch Kaki offers a distinct proposition compared to the other social apps which are still generally skewed towards dating,” said Tan.

Currently, Lunch Kaki has over 20,000 users in Singapore. Its current revenue streams come mainly from in-app upgrades for premium features.

In the further future, Lunch Kaki plans to expand overseas and will aim to raise external funding for that purpose.

Image Credit: Lunch Kaki

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