Southeast Asia fashion startup Zilingo is looking to raise yet another US$50 million at a $400 million valuation, just barely more than 2 months after its last Series C round, according to people familiar with the matter.
Founded in Thailand, this young upstart that aggregates small fashion sellers in Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia on a single platform has been phenomenal thus far, raising up to approximately $82 million over 4 rounds of funding – in just less than 2.5 years after its first product launch – an unprecedented feat in the region thus far.
As a matter of fact, the e-commerce trend is already quickly becoming ubiquitous in Southeast Asia.
Boasting of one of the youngest population across the globe (20% are youths) and the huge number of internet-savvy mobile users, Southeast Asia has the foundation in place for the great boost in e-commerce.
Indonesia and Vietnam as of January 2018, for instance, have the largest number of mobile social users – the optimal target group for e-commerce to take off, as the tech-savvy consumers can enjoy the convenience of shopping on-the-go.
Alibaba-backed Lazada, Tencent-backed Shopee, Zalora and even Tokopedia have become synonymous with online shopping and the ‘to-go’ for ‘cheaper deals’ for price-sensitive Southeast Asians.
However, Zilingo has identified a gap – particularly in the fashion and lifestyle vertical, making it a niche fashion-focused e-commerce platform. The ‘all-year’ summer that has dulled the region’s clothes fashion sense is the perfect foundation for Zilingo to maximize its comparative advantage in this unique sector.
Another interesting strategy of the company was that – they began with a vision to build a platform to provide services beyond a mere online storefront – such as offering management tool to handle inventory management, stock, and sales for small retailers.
This proved to be the ‘right move’ even as other big players have started to move towards the ‘brick-and-mortar’ model.
KrASIA, for instance, also earlier reported of an upcoming WhereIsWhere app that claims to be built for brick-and-mortar stores can be another case in point.
Zilingo today has evolved from pure online sales to a platform that services retailers, brands and merchants for both B2C and B2B sales. According to previous media of its last funding, the company claims to already have more than 10,000 merchants on board to date.
Its e-commerce site targets the millennial consumers who are both trend and tech savvy in Indonesia, Thailand, and Singapore – with Indonesia being the largest populated country in the region.
The firm is backed by notable investors such as Tim Draper, SIG, Venturra, and Amadeus Capital. Perhaps the key attraction point could be the ‘high-margins fashion vertical’ as opposed to the razor-thin margins e-commerce market that’s too fixated on the gross merchandise value (GMV).
Editor: Ben Jiang