AVANA, a Malaysia-based social commerce platform, announced today that it has secured US$1 million in a Pre-A funding round led by Gobi Partners. Other investors present in the round of funding include TH Capital and existing investor Cradle Seed Ventures.
AVANA was founded in 2016 by Luqman Adris and Soh Yien Yee. The social commerce platform lets micro, small and medium enterprise tap into the hot e-commerce trend in the SEA by setting up shops on its platform and managing Facebook marketing and product selling in one place.
AVANA’s co-founder, Yien Yee, has also been recently selected to be a part of Alibaba’s e-Founders Fellowship Programme.
The funding will be used to capture and dominate the 70% of MSME sellers in Malaysia that have not penetrated the e-commerce market. That would be around 3.5 million MSME sellers.
An Issue these MSMEs faced is scalability. As their companies grow and become overwhelmed with the increasing number of orders, it would be difficult for them to maintain a consistent level of quality and service, at the same time still be profitable.
Co-founder Luqman Adris said in a statement that “AVANA brings sophistication to MSMEs by providing them business intelligence insights to help them make better business decisions; it’s user-friendly, and you don’t need any technical skills to start using it.”
Thomas G. Tsao, Gobi’s founding partner, said that social e-commerce is taking off in ASEAN, counting for 30% of digital sales in Southeast Asia. The region’s young population, speedy smartphone and social network adoption are driving this growth.
AVANA is also eyeing to expand in Indonesia and to enhance their platform with more sales channel integration to appeal to a larger MSME sellers pool across ASEAN.