Airfrov idea was conceptualized in March 2014 when founder Cai Li, then a Business Development Manager, constantly received requests to bring back snacks and other local products from his business trip. Cai Li roped in Robi, his JC classmate whom he trusted to develop an app from scratch.
“Having know Robi for so many years, there’s an unspoken chemistry and trust between us. Not only that, I am always impressed by the 13 ‘languages’ he knows!”, said Cai Li. This 13 “languages” include English, Chinese, Bahasa Malaysia, Bahasa Indonesia, Japanese, Teochew, PHP, MySQL, Java, C++, HTML, CSS, and Objective C.
The duos who are poles apart, have formed a bond through working, playing and growing old together.
Why the name Airfrov?
C: It all started with the 2 love of mine. I really love the sharing economy and experience of Airbnb. Secondly, I have an unexplainable love for Afro head. Combining the two, we came out with Airfrov – representing the sharing of Air Travellers going “to and fro very frequently”
R: I think using the word Air is related to what we are doing, and it’s a good pun to combine it with our teal afro icon!
Tell us more about your role at Airfrov:
C: I am ‘Bao Ka Liao’ except for the technical jobs. Which our awesome Robi is in charge of!
R: I develop Airfrov platform and we often discuss about Airfrov direction going forward.
How has the startup impacted your family, social life, or relationships?
C: We are basically working everyday and it has definitely taken a toll on our social lives. Luckily for me I have a supportive CEO at home and extremely supportive parents.
R: I often work on weekends as well so definitely there is some impact, but it’s still manageable.
Describe your current life in 7 words or less:
C: Grow Airfrov in every way possible.
R: Airfrov is like a life mission now.
What’s the most interesting request you’ve encountered on Airfrov?
C: Casino Chips. Why will you want to keep it at home???
R: Unique items that I have never heard before are all very interesting. Someone actually requested for magic bath balls for kids from Germany!
If money/cost/size of the item is not a concern, what’s the one item you would like to have it Airfrov-ed back to Singapore?
C: I would love to airfrov back a piping hot Breakfast Full Set A, Toasted with Scrambled eggs from Australia Dairy Farm in Hong Kong
Image source: danielfooddiary
R: I would love to get the Himeji Castle Nanoblock from Japan which was posted by one of our requesters. It looks awesome!
Where do you see Airfrov in 5 years time?
C: We see Airfrov as the de-facto platform for users to get products from overseas. Hey dude, you want that new Nike shoes? Airfrov it la!
R: I imagine Airfrov to be a great sharing community where everyone explore and help one another get unique items from all over the world!
Final Question, is there anything you would like to say to your community of requestors and travellers?
C: THANK YOU SO MUCH for your support! We love feedback and will love to hear from you!
R: A big thanks to the Airfrov community! And we feel touched when our users find the platform useful.
Since Airfrov’s official launch in Jan 2015, we have received tremendous support from family, friends, mentors and even strangers. We are very thankful for those who offered to bring back items and help share the Airfrov story via words and actions. Cai Li & Robi are continuously making improvements to the app and platform, and working on bringing the Airfrov service to every part of the world. Imagine having a taste of Singapore’s chilli sauce when you’re mugging in Australia, or having a taste of IndoMee when you’re working in Chicago. Airfrov is coming to you soon, look forward to it!