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aCommerce explores Thai IPO as claim of top e-commerce enabler at odds with SCI Ecommerce

Written by Stephanie Pearl Li Published on     2 mins read

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aCommerce claims to be the largest e-commerce enabler in Southeast Asia, with operations in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

Southeast Asian firm aCommerce, which provides end-to-end services for e-commerce companies encapsulating marketing, IT, fulfillment, and logistics, has appointed three new independent, non-executive members to its board as it prepares to list on the Stock Exchange of Thailand, SET.

The news comes nearly a year after the firm said in July 2020 that it will raise over USD 200 million via a listing in Thailand by the first half of 2021, per a DealStreetAsia report. When asked about the progress of going public, a representative of aCommerce told KrASIA that the company and its stakeholders may explore an IPO but “are not at liberty to disclose sensitive details at this juncture,” adding that the firm will make an announcement “in due course.”

At the time of publication, aCommerce is not among the SET’s directory of companies that have submitted listing applications.

Founded in 2013, aCommerce claims to be the largest e-commerce enabler platform in the region, with operations in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. It counts notable names including Samsung, Unilever, Nestlé, and L’Oréal as clients. The CEO of Singapore-headquartered SCI Ecommerce, Joseph Liu, also claims his company is the “largest and the top player in the industry.”

Southeast Asia’s internet economy reached USD 100 billion in gross merchandise value, with the e-commerce industry logging a 63% year-on-year growth in 2020, according to the e-Conomy SEA report by Google, Temasek, and Bain & Co. A handful of e-commerce enablers have sprung up to serve the burgeoning demand. SCI Ecommerce is eyeing a potential Nasdaq listing after collecting SGD 50 million (USD 38 million) in its latest investment round in May.

SCI Ecommerce and aCommerce are the two largest e-commerce enablers in the region, according to a recent report from research firm Forrester. “What sets us apart from the others is that we are more profitable, while some of our peers have racked up losses despite their growth,” SCI Ecommerce’s Joseph Liu told KrASIA in a previous interview. The company’s valuation reached USD 235 million after its latest investment, a person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.

aCommerce’s three new board members are Kesara Manchusree, former president of the SET and the first managing director of Thailand Futures Exchange, the country’s first financial derivatives exchange; Natasak Rodjanapiches, the vice chairman of the Digital Economy Subcommittee at the Board of Trade in Thailand, as well as a former regional managing director for Oracle in ASEAN; and Oranuch Apisaksirikul, a banking, finance, and securities business expert with over 40 years of experience.

Kesara, Natasak, and Oranuch will support the company’s governance framework and be involved in the operations and strategic matters as aCommerce expands across Southeast Asia. “The Stock Exchange of Thailand consists of mostly traditional companies in old-world industries, and aCommerce’s IPO will start the next era of digital-first and technology companies in the new economy,” said Kesara in a press release issued by aCommerce.

Read this: SCI Ecommerce targets regional expansion in Thailand, the Philippines, and Malaysia | Q&A with CEO Joseph Liu

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