(Formerly the Office of the Chief Scientist and MATIMOP)

Visualead Enters the Chinese Market with a Splash

Visualead is turning the traditional QR code on its head by creating effective and creative QR codes
We’ve all seen QR codes – those boring black & white indecipherable images leading to websites and promotions. One Israeli company, Visualead, is turning the traditional QR code on its head. We spoke with Visualead's VP of Marketing Oded Israeli about the company’s technology and their lightning -fast entry into the Chinese market with the aid of the Israeli government.

“We’ve created Visual QR codes - effective and creative QR codes that can be scanned by any QR reader and at the same time are much more appealing and engaging to consumers,” says Israeli. Visualead’s Visual QR codes can show a logo, a visual call to action such as a Facebook icon or a gift, or even a person’s face, blended with the QR code and leading to a mobile page.

This young start-up was founded barely a couple of years ago in 2012, currently employs 12 and has received US$2.4 in investments from Kaedan and Entrée Capital. Israeli tells us the company’s technology is already being used by 300,000 small businesses in 200 countries. But the big opportunity for Visualead lies in the Chinese market. “Use of QR codes in China is not like anything in the Western world,” explains Israeli. “Everyone in China has their own personal QR code, and everyone wants to stand out, to differentiate himself or herself from the crowd.” And therein lays the opportunity. China is turning out to be so promising for Visualead that CEO Nevo Alva and Co-Founder Uriel Peled relocated to China earlier this month, to the company’s recently established office in Shanghai.

MATIMOP, the Chief Scientist’s office, the Israeli Ministry of Economy and the Israel Trade & Economic Office in Shanghai were instrumental in opening doors for Visualead in China. “MATIMOP helped Visualead a great deal in entering China - by arranging a successful roadshow and meetings with dozens of companies across China,” said Israeli. “Specifically we would like to thank Ms. Merav Tapiero and Mr. Avi Luvton who arranged the roadshow and still help us with connections in China. We would also like to thank Mr. Elad Gafni and Ms. Inbar Grebler from the Consulate General of Israel, Shanghai, China, who has helped us with establishing our business in Shanghai.”

Another event which boosted Visualead’s penetration in China was winning first place at the Global Mobile Internet Conference (GMIC) in Beijing in May 2013. The company won top honors, beating out 1000 other startup companies. The latest news is that Visualead has closed a cooperation deal with RenRen, one of China’s largest social networks, with over 200 million users. Each RenRen user may today choose an avatar or animation and get it as his own personalized Visual QR Code, powered by Visualead technology. The launch occurred just a few days ago, and already thousands of users are downloading their Visual QR Codes every day. The company is also now in discussions for a financing round from Chinese investors.
For more information on MATIMOP’s support programs for China-Israel Cooperation, visit: www.matimop.org.il/china.html

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