E-commerce in SE Asia is developing quickly but very differently from more mature markets in the West. Many consumers from India and Indonesia to China and Korea use smartphones only to access the Internet, to browse, shop and communicate without ever using desktops. The growth potential for global marketers is huge but varies widely by market. Here’s the latest e-commerce news to keep you current.
Three of the world’s largest ten e-commerce markets are located in Asia – China, Japan and Korea – and India is growing fast. TechinAsia profiles a dozen top SE Asia tech Ientrepreneurs under 30. Vietnam can become largest SE Asia B2C e-commerce player according to Frost & Sullivan.
Pre-owned luxury brand products seem to be a growing market in SE Asia if the 30% growth of Reebonz is any indication. Refash resells fashion clothing in Singapore. It’s growing and planning to expand to Malaysia. E-commerce image recognition company Visenze raises $10.5 million in VC capital. Carousell is a P2P mobile commerce platform and CEO Siu Rui Quek says he would rather serve 1 billion people than make $1 billion.
Mercari CEO Shintaro Yamada is looking for big growth in the US after conquering e-commerce in Japan. With 116 million smartphones in the Philippines, ShopBack hopes to grow its e-commerce market substantially with its new mobile platform. It’s not all rosy in e-commerce in Indonesia. E-commerce in Pakistan is growing quickly with more than 12,500 startups in the past several years. Sale Stock and Berrybenka have each laid off hundreds of employees to manage costs.
10 of the Largest Ecommerce Markets in the World by Country
Ecommerce is a global phenomenon, and in almost every country the industry is growing at a healthy rate. Here is a quick read that will introduce you with biggest ecommerce countries in the world & some interesting facts about their huge ecommerce market.
Ecommerce industry is continuously growing worldwide. With each passing day, new ecommerce markets are emerging and established markets are reaching new milestones. Here we have taken a look at the world’s biggest ecommerce markets by country (in terms of sales) and state of the ongoing ecommerce trend there. Via mosaichub.com
12 promising Southeast Asian entrepreneurs under 30
When it comes to building a successful company, most people would look at entrepreneurs with a wide skill set, deep network, and a track record for carrying out their vision. Those things develop with age.
However, today we want to shine the spotlight on 12 young people who are doing awesome stuff in the region.
These 20-somethings have dared to create promising businesses in a range of sectors, including ecommerce, logistics, mobile apps, and even renewable energy. In no order of merit, here’s our dynamic dozen. Via techinasia.com
VN can become largest SEA’s B2C e-commerce player
Viet Nam and Indonesia are expected to become the two largest business-to-consumer e-commerce markets in Southeast Asia in the next five years.
This is according to a recent report by global research company Frost & Sullivan, which also predicts the region’s e-commerce market will double in five years.
Total revenue from business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce in the six largest Southeast Asian countries, including Viet Nam, is expected to grow at nearly 18 per cent, from US$11.2 billion in 2015 to $25.2 billion by 2020, according to the report. The estimate excluded hotel and flight booking revenues. Via nationmultimedia.com
Pre-owned category booms, notes Asia Luxury Index
Pre-owned luxury items are becoming more popular, according to the 2016 Asia Luxury Index, compiled by Singapore-based online luxury retailer Reebonz.
Drawing on industry reports and its sales data, the index reveals 30 per cent sales growth in the pre-owned category over the last year, with bags and shoes the most popular items.
While 62 per cent of online transactions on Reebonz involve bags, the index says timepieces and shoes are primed to be the next growth-drivers for luxury in Asia in both the new and pre-owned categories. Spending on timepieces increased by 39 per cent, whereas shoe shopping ballooned by 87 per cent.
Meanwhile, Chanel emerges as the top performer in Asia, with Burberry, Givenchy and Prada trailing close behind in the new luxury products category. Via insideretail.asia
Singapore’s ‘sustainable ecommerce’ startup Refash raises seed funding
Pre-owned clothes resale website Refash has raised a US$294,000 seed round, it announced today. The funding round was led by Singapore’s Tri5 Ventures and joined by Malaysia-based Tinkbig Ventures and an angel investor who was not named.
Singapore-based Refash is a place for people to “recycle” unwanted clothes. The startup claims that Singaporeans get rid of 41.5 million kilograms of clothes every year, which largely goes to waste. Founder and CEO Aloysius Sng wanted to create a solution where people can resell their clothing surplus to others quickly and easily. “People who want to clear their closets of unwanted clothes just need to pack [them] and have [them] picked up by Refash. We will do the rest,” Aloysius says.
The service specializes in women’s clothing, bags, and accessories at the moment. Refash claims to have sold more than 30,000 items and has completed sales of close to US$294,000 in the eight months it’s been active. Tech in Asia – Connecting Asia’s startup ecosystem
ViSenze bags $10m for its image recognition tech powering ecommerce
Computer vision startup ViSenze has leapt over the dreaded so-called series A gap to raise a series B round of funding worth US$10.5 million.
The round is led by existing investor Rakuten Ventures, internet dynamo Rakuten’s investment arm. It was also co-led by WI Harper Group, which specializes in cross-border investments between the US and China, and early-stage venture capital firm Enspire Capital. SPH Media Fund (the investment arm of Singapore Press Holdings), FengHe Fund Management, Raffles Venture Partners, Phillip Private Equity, and UOB Venture Management also participated.
ViSenze co-founder and CEO Oliver Tan knows how challenging it is for local startups to raise series B rounds these days. “Not many players in Singapore write these checks,” he tells Tech in Asia. Via techinasia.com
Carousell would rather serve a billion people than make a billion dollars
Ask a startup founder what the initial vision behind their company was, and more likely than not they will say, “to solve a problem.” That’s what entrepreneurs like to bill themselves as; problem-solvers who make the world a better place with their ideas.
Carousell CEO Siu Rui Quek is no exception. On stage at Tech in Asia Tokyo 2016, the co-founder of the Singaporean mobile peer-to-peer (P2P) marketplace told our David Corbin he was an online selling geek who just wanted an easier way for people to buy and sell stuff on the internet.
“We exist because we [Siu Rui and co-founders Lucas Ngoo and Marcus Tan] are three geeks who love technology and want to build things that help people solve problems,” he said. “That’s what kept us going and, with Carousell, we have a lifetime opportunity to do this.” Via techinasia.com
Japan’s hottest unicorn Mercari is charging into the US
Mercari is Japan’s youngest unicorn and first tech company pegged with the title since 2008. Lately it’s been busy shining its horn to charge into the US ecommerce market. Unlike most Japanese companies, Mercari is focusing 90 percent of its resources on the States, said co-founder and CEO Shintaro Yamada on stage today at Tech in Asia’s Tokyo conference.
In the US, there’s a chance to grab something that has 10 times the profit.
As traditional ecommerce sites like Rakuten decline in Japan, Mercari has established dominance in the community marketplace space. The total worth of goods sold through the service was at more than US$100 million monthly in March – more than three times the amount from the second and third largest competitors combined.
In December of last year, Shintaro revealed that Mercari was already turning a few million dollars in net profit per month. Expectations are high for the company with over US$110 million of the country’s venture capital invested in the team. Via Tech in Asia
ShopBack Philippines launches Mobile App
Mobile app is a significant factor for market share increase.
“The population of the Philippines is now at around 102 million, but there are 116 million mobile connections here. That’s more than the population itself,” says Lai Shanru, Co-Founder of ShopBack in Singapore. “Introducing the shop-and-save concept via our mobile app launch is one of the important keys to unlocking a bigger share of e-commerce retail market in the Philippines.”
The shop-and-save Cashback concept that powers ShopBack may be new in Southeast Asia, but it is ubiquitous especially in the United States where shopping online and prudent spending go hand-in-hand. After seeding the concept via desktop for the past year, ShopBack Philippines is now prepared to take a bigger stride to further grow its presence here via mobile. Via adobotech.net
Pakistan’s e-commerce sector set for expansion
The 2014 Pakistan Startup Report insisted it was the right time to build startups and invest in entrepreneurs. Even some of the estimated 12,500 Pakistanis in Silicon Valley were returning home to float their own ventures. The report concluded, “Pakistan will grow, the only uncertainty is the speed at which it does.”
Well, one sector where rapid growth has become a certainty is e-commerce.
“Since the market is in its infancy, there are a lot of opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors to achieve success just by replicating successful models.”
Yusuf Hussain, Director of the Islamabad Founder Institute, believes multiple factors are converging to create the right condition for e-commerce in Pakistan — the tech-savvy middle class now numbers around 100 million; investments in the tech sector grew an impressive 800 per cent YoY in 2015, spurred by improved security environment and an expanding tech ecosystem; and buying online is becoming easier with the emergence of mobile payment platforms like Easypaisa, Innov8, and Finja. Via gulfnews.com
Layoffs hit two Indonesian fashion ecommerce startups
Two Indonesian ecommerce companies are forced to cut costs. Yesterday, Tech in Asia learned that fashion startup Sale Stock let go of 220 people. The figure was reported by one of the employees affected by the cut. The employee added most of those laid off were from the customer service department.
Via a spokesperson, Sale Stock co-founder and CEO Lingga Madu confirmed to Tech in Asia that layoffs occured, though he didn’t give an exact number. He admitted that it affected more than 100 people and that the company trimmed overall salaries by 13 percent.
Despite this, Sale Stock is still in the process of hiring new personnel for technical positions. Via techinasia.com
India e-commerce rising
That’s our update on e-commerce news in SE Asia. Watch for our highlights of the fast moving world of Indian e-commerce on Friday.