Local start-up, with support from Asian celebrities, wants users to combine desire for luxury items with charity

SINGAPORE - A chance to win a luxury bag while doing good - all with US$1 (S$1.36)? One local start-up says it is possible.

Founded by Singaporean Marcus Savage in April, online platform Lovewin allows users to play a 60-second memory game to win a luxury item or a travel experience.

To play a game, users have to buy "playpoints", which cost US$1 for 100 points. Five per cent of every dollar spent is donated to social enterprises and charity organisations, according to Lovewin's website.

Users also pay an annual subscription fee of US$1, which is donated to Lovewin's partnered charity organisations: Disorders Society Singapore, Taiwan Foundation for Rare Disorders and Wishing Well Foundation Thailand.

In response to queries from The Straits Times, Lovewin marketing director Karen Ho said revenue from the sale of playpoints is used to purchase the prizes and fund operating costs.

"The prizes that we put up, whether they are designer brand items, tech gadgets or dream holidays, are purchased and not sponsored," said Ms Ho in an e-mail response.

"Before we even think about profits, we have decided that - for now - we are setting aside another 5 per cent to go to charity. If it is possible, we could raise that 5 per cent figure," she added.

So far, 9,000 people from Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan and Malaysia have signed up on the platform, of which 1,000 are active players, said Ms Ho.

Some prizes on the platform include an iPhone 7 Plus, Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon smartwatch, Leica Sofort instant camera and Lanvin crossbody bag.

The platform, also available in the Philippines, Indonesia and Hong Kong, has earned endorsements by several Asian celebrities.

The most prominent endorsement is by Taiwanese singer Vanness Wu, who appears in several promotional videos with founder Savage.

"For me, I am an advocate of nice things and just treating myself, but even more so I am an advocate of philantrophy... I feel like it's such a great platform to incorporate both things that I enjoy," said Wu in one video.

On Lovewin's Instagram account, other celebrities such as Singaporean singer-songwriter JJ Lin, local actor Terence Cao, Bruneian actor and singer Wu Chun and Thai actress-model Pitta na Patalung have also displayed support for the start-up.