CozyCot

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CozyCot Pte. Ltd.
Type Privately held company
Founded 2001 (website),
2002 (company)
Headquarters 1 Scotts Road #26-05/07
Shaw Centre
, Singapore[1]
Area served East Asia and Southeast Asia (mainly Singapore)
Key people Nicole Yee
Products CozyCot (website, newspaper, mook),
various live events
Revenue $1.16 million (2009)[2]
Employees 38[1]
Website http://www.cozycot.com/

CozyCot is a social networking website for women from East Asia and Southeast Asia (especially Singapore). It was founded by Nicole Yee in 2001, as a hobby website dedicated to Asian women. Subsequently, the concept of sharing product and service information and opinions gathered a steady community, turning it into a venture business. CozyCot users interact in the forum and by reviewing beauty products (the review system produced reviews for over 35,000 products), also in the live events organized by the staff. The importance of its review database is increased by an iPhone scanner software developed by CozyCot, which allows users to pull up product reviews from the website by capturing the barcodes with cameras in their iPhones. In April 2010, CozyCot launched the newspaper and, in June 2011, the mook with the same name.

History[edit]

CozyCot started in November 2001 as an Internet portal based in Singapore, where members could post reviews and share shopping and fashion tips and opinions.[3] As the online community grew, the founder Nicole Yee began organizing live events for members, in order to get together. Several fragrance brands took notice of the growing community and offered to support her in terms of providing event venues.[4][5] There followed other commercial projects (workshops, product launches, online shopping etc.), which (together with a presence of the website in the top 100,000 Alexa ranking) mooted the decision to turn it into a venture business. In 2002, Nicole Yee founded CozyCot Pte. Ltd., as the managing company of the portal, in 2007 she hired the first employee,[2] then, in 2008, she invested $100,000 in the website.[6] Its revenue exceeded US$1 million in 2009, with a 115% growth.[4]

The community kept expanding, as readership of Singapore women’s magazines continued turning toward online content,[7] developing the portal into Singapore's largest online women community for beauty, fashion and lifestyle, with over 500,000 unique visitors each month.[8] It expanded also geographically,[2] in the rest of East Asia and among Asian women from USA, Australia and New Zealand, CozyCot becoming one of the local websites "putting Singapore on the global map".[3] Since 2006, forums.cozycot.com ranks first every year in the Hitwise Singapore 'Lifestyle - Womens Sites' industry (and from January - June, 2010 also in `Lifestyle - Beauty' industry) based on monthly average market share, at Hitwise Singapore Hitwise Top Ten Awards.[4][9][10]

In October 2009, MindShare announced the launching of an online reality show on CozyCot. The show, named House Husbands, is focused on a group of men looking to prove they are equally adept in the boardroom as well as in the family’s baby room. The cast would compete in various parenting tasks for prizes.[11]

The company developed also an offline presence, opening Ninki-Ô,[12] a 1000-square-foot retail outlet in Orchard Central[4] and launching the newspaper CozyCot.[13]

In May 2010, CozyCot appointed Nielsen for web analytics and audience measurement[14][15][16] (the website is audited by Nielsen since 2005).[17] This produced Asia-Pacific Region’s first real time CRM database profiling and tracking, its results showing increasing orientation of the public towards online content, both in researching and in voicing opinions about products.[18]

In 2012, CozyCot launched a new Malaysian forums section and a new Chinese article section.

2010 funding[edit]

In 2010, CozyCot Pte. Ltd. attracted an undisclosed investment from Hong Kong's JDB Holdings, thus making the company majority-owned by JDB, one of the largest digital media networks in Asia (with investments in other regional digital platforms like JobsDB.com, Streetdirectory.com, 88DB.com and sgCarMart.com). The funding would permit a technology transfer, an increase of the number of employees and it would help the company expand in the region (with 2011 plans to expand to Malaysia and the Philippines).[1]

Community[edit]

The users of CozyCot, named "Cotters",[19] interact in the forum and by reviewing beauty products, also in the live events organized by the staff. A system of accumulating points (according to the activity in the site) is enabled for giving rewards for members' support.

Forum[edit]

The initial forum in the early years was mostly dedicated to sharing shopping and fashion tips and opinions. It expanded then to cover home and living, motherhood, career, finance, technology and weddings.[4] These themes are termed "channels" (28 as of April 2009).[6] The forum has been remarked for its diversity of topics, some (like those on spas and fragrances) noticeably missing from most other forums.[19] The main language used is English, but there appear also (partial) postings in Chinese. A CozyCot debate on plastic surgery, with over 1000 comments and 8 million hits, has been covered in Hankook Ilbo, regarding the specific Chinese views on this topic and their cosmetic tourism in South Korea.[20]

Reviews[edit]

CozyCot has a product library of over 35,000 products, which are available for members' reviews. An iPhone scanner software allows users to pull up product reviews from CozyCot's website by capturing the barcodes with cameras in their iPhones.[4][21][22][23]

Events[edit]

CozyCot plays host to events that allow members to interact with one another, through workshops, focus groups, road tests etc. In collaboration with Citibank, CozyCot organized the CozyCot Holy Grail Private Party on 6–7 September 2008, to celebrate its 7th year anniversary.

On its 9th anniversary (4 December 2010), CozyCot started the campaign "Surrender Your Bras for a Cause", encouraging women to donate bras to those less fortunate in Southeast Asia, in the hope of making Singaporean women more aware of the lack of basic necessities like bras among women and young girls in neighbouring countries.[24][25][26] On next year's anniversary, the campaign consisted in a mass shirt donation drive, in aid of the Star Shelter, a temporary refuge for women and children who are victims of family violence (under the Singapore Council of Women Organization).[27]

At "LoveFest 2011", a speed dating event held in Orchard Central (8–9 October 2011), the feature that drew media attention was the fact that the men participated blindfolded and they were encouraged to avoid questions related to age and looks. Also, both men and women were not allowed to discuss about occupation and financial status.[28] According to CozyCot's founder and CEO, Nicole Yee, the idea was that "looks should not be the most important aspect in a relationship. There are more important elements such as the character of a person, in terms of the hobbies and personal taste, which are just as important in a relationship."[29]

Related publications[edit]

In April 2010, it was launched the newspaper CozyCot, as a 25-pages free monthly publication with a print run of 200,000.[13]

In June 2011, it followed the quarterly 188-page mook with the same name,[30] a publication part magazine, part book, released in print, as well as on-line. Both versions have the same look and feature the same articles, layout and images. The online version includes the additional features of interactivity and media content.[31][32]

Awards[edit]

CozyCot has won Singapore's First Women's Site Award at Hitwise Singapore Online Performance Award for five consecutive years since 2006.[4] The website was also the winner of Singapore Women's Website category at Digital Media of the Year 2011.[33]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Chen Huifen (December 21, 2010). "Jason Parquet, CozyCot get funding for next level of growth". The Business Times. Retrieved December 28, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c Lee Yen Nee (June 9, 2010). "Her hobby is now a million-dollar business". The Straits Times. Retrieved June 9, 2010. (available also in mirror page)
  3. ^ a b Tham Yuen-C and Phebe Bay (May 26, 2010). "Net winners". The Straits Times. Retrieved May 27, 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Chen Huifen (April 27, 2010). "Cozying up to female readers reaps dividents". The Business Times. 
  5. ^ "下班大沙发 之cozycot 创办人余诗音Nicole Yee". Capital 95.8FM. May 24, 2010. Retrieved June 15, 2010. (part 1, part 2 (also on Singapore MSN)
  6. ^ a b N Ravindran (April--May 2009 edition). "Women-centric Marketing Web Site attracts Members". Today's Manager (Singapore Institute of Management). Retrieved May 12, 2010.  Check date values in: |date= (help) (republished in Entrepreneur)
  7. ^ Kenny Lim (October 30, 2009). "Her World readership tumbles as Singaporean women move online". Media Asia. Retrieved May 10, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Nicole Yee of CozyCot on women’s online habits and new innovations". Media Asia. May 3, 2010. Retrieved May 10, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Hitwise Top Ten Awards - Lifestyle - Womens Sites". Hitwise. Retrieved September 28, 2010. 
  10. ^ "Hitwise Top Ten Awards - Lifestyle - Beauty Sites". Hitwise. Retrieved September 28, 2010. 
  11. ^ Kenny Lim (October 1, 2009). "Mindshare to launch online reality show on CozyCot in Singapore". Retrieved May 12, 2010. [dead link]
  12. ^ Melissa Lwee (June 12, 2010). "Unique selling propositions". The Business Times. Retrieved June 14, 2010.  (cache)
  13. ^ a b Deepa Balji (Apr 20, 2010). "CozyCot forays into print industry". Marketing-interactive.com. Retrieved May 10, 2010. 
  14. ^ Deanie Sultana (May 6, 2010). "CozyCot signs with Nielsen for web analytics and audience measurement". Nielsen Company. Retrieved June 1, 2010. 
  15. ^ James Verrinder (May 6, 2010). "CozyCot appoints Nielsen for web analytics and audience measurement". Research-live.com. Retrieved May 12, 2010. 
  16. ^ Elizabeth Low (May 6, 2010). "CozyCot calls in Nielsen for profiling". Marketing-interactive.com. Retrieved May 12, 2010. 
  17. ^ "Nielsen//NetRatings Launches Market Intelligence". Nielsen Company. October 11, 2005. Retrieved May 12, 2010. 
  18. ^ "Nielsen and CozyCot reveal the latest in consumer insights analysis". Nielsen Company. September 9, 2010. Retrieved September 15, 2010. 
  19. ^ a b Emily Lek (October 4, 2007), "Beauty Talk", The Straits Times, Urban (Singapore: Singapore Press Holdings): 18 
  20. ^ Park Jin-Woo (Apr 16, 2010). "중국인 '성형관광' 러시". Hankook Ilbo. Retrieved May 12, 2010. 
  21. ^ "Shopping Reviews App by CozyCot Pte Ltd". iTunes. Retrieved May 12, 2010. 
  22. ^ "网上热报". MediaCorp Channel 8. June 5, 2010. Retrieved June 18, 2010. 
  23. ^ Michelle Martin (May 12, 2010). "Passion People — Nicole Yee Founder of Cozycot.com". 938LIVE. Retrieved May 12, 2010.  (mp3)
  24. ^ "CozyCot 9th Birthday Bash". Retrieved December 24, 2010. 
  25. ^ "Singapore women donate bras to less fortunate in region". Channel News Asia. May 26, 2010. Retrieved December 24, 2010. 
  26. ^ "募捐舊胸圍送貧困國". The Sun (Hong Kong). Retrieved December 24, 2010. 
  27. ^ "CozyCot 10th Birthday Bash". Retrieved January 12, 2011. 
  28. ^ "CozyCot LoveFest 2011". Retrieved January 12, 2011. 
  29. ^ Evelyn Choo (October 9, 2011). "Speed dating for a good cause". Retrieved January 12, 2011. 
  30. ^ "CozyCot mook". Retrieved January 12, 2011. 
  31. ^ "Game Changers - CozyCot's New Mook: Feature On Singapore Business Review Online". Retrieved January 12, 2011. 
  32. ^ "CozyCot.com launches Magazine on Two Platforms". June 16, 2011. Retrieved January 12, 2011. 
  33. ^ "Digital Media of the Year 2011 Women's Website Winner". June 16, 2011. Retrieved January 12, 2011. 

External links[edit]