CubeRpedia: SME Excellence Business Award & Aspiring Woman Entrepreneur Award 2022/2023
Formed in 2015 by husband-and-wife duo, Joseph and Jacelyn, is CubeRpedia. What started as a home-based business selling action cameras, and lifestyle and sports accessories eventually transitioned to selling Personal Mobility Devices (E-Scooters, E-Bikes and Bicycles) and accessories today. The young couple faced their fair share of ups and downs, especially when being one of the pioneer companies in Singapore that deals with e-scooters.
Initially, the company was formed without a fixed product in mind; however with the vision that it was going to be lifestyle and sports-based. CubeRpedia is an amalgamation of the ‘power of three’ paired with ‘pedia’ from Wikipedia. In that sense, the couple didn’t want to restrict themselves but give the impression that the company was going to be an umbrella with many branches portraying them venturing into several products. It was only in 2017 when they officially landed on the idea of dealing with e-scooters and the rest, as they say, is history.
Singapore’s exposure to e-commerce was via websites like Qoo10.com.sg. The couple mentioned that sellers used to sell their products online without much description leaving consumers often in confusion. CubeRpedia, however, didn’t want to enter the e-commerce scene doing what their competitors have been doing. They decided to take it up a notch and started listing items with in-depth descriptions – testing a product out for themselves before listing said product’s full information – and focused a lot on consumer experiences.
Additionally, CubeRpedia provides a one-stop service for e-scooter owners; from repairs to sales to being a service center. Joseph shared that when they got into the business, e-scooters were a new product hence, Google couldn’t serve its purpose of assisting the couple with e-scooter repairs. As such, he had to learn everything from scratch – from their staffs and even knowledgeable customers. Being a newbie in the industry also meant that they faced multiple challenges, one of them being the lack of support from suppliers. Without much support and faith from the big players of the industry, the couple managed to persevere and work things out along the way. Another thing the couple shared was that slowly, there was a rise in shops dealing with e-scooters, illegally. With that came a lot of problems as they found out many of their elderly clientele got scammed in the process of wanting to buy a proper e-scooter that follows the Government’s guidelines. As such, they decided to provide free services for elderlies with e-scooters by advising them on the necessities and the registration process. Separating them from other errant retailers and working towards a socially responsible company.
Although COVID-19 did pose as much of a threat, the couple shared that the LTA ban of e-scooters on Singapore’s pavement was when they were affected the most. Joseph then shared that he was appointed as one of the representatives for retailers to approach LTA for discussion; to aid the retailers and consumers with the hardship and unknown they will face upon the sudden regulation change. Expanding the business to more than e-scooters, the couple started expanding into e-bikes and bicycles. The couple found that their business fluctuated during the pandemic as many shops started dealing with similar products making it difficult for them to stand out. With branding and word of mouth built over the years, they are still able to withstand the pandemic and stand out as one of the leading e-personal mobility companies in Singapore while most had to shut their doors during the pandemic.
With two outlets in the Eastern and Western regions of Singapore, CubeRpedia hopes to have more outlets, expanding its team with like-minded people in the coming years. Additionally, they are looking into diversifying their products by bringing in other kinds of vehicles that can support the growing personal mobility trend. While educating the masses and showing that with proper regulation, owning an e-personal mobility device isn’t as dangerous as many claims. Working towards a car-lite Singapore. They eventually hope to promote more social responsibilities in the coming years and work hand-in-hand with all the stakeholders to achieve a socially responsible environment.
The couple shared that in the beginning, it was a struggle since nobody had faith in them. Fighting against all odds, they strived through the negativity and pushed toward success. They believe the key to success is via perseverance and determination, and urge new startups to keep going till the end.