Evo, a Singapore-based startup that develops software for influencers to monetize their social media operations, has closed a seven-digit seed round led by Bonjour Holdings, SparkLabs Taipei, and Farquhar Venture Capital.
Evo will use the new funds to double down on product development and engineering. Recently, the company launched a social commerce software internally that will be used for influencers and livestreamers to optimize their back-office operations, allowing them to sell more products and scale their businesses. The company has not revealed a date for a public launch.
The startup was found just five months ago by three former Grab employees who witnessed the COVID-19 pandemic changing people’s consumption habits.
Evo CEO Roy Ang told KrASIA that the Evo team has seen more and more influencers selling via their social media channels since the start of COVID-19. “We shadowed a few of them to understand how the process works and that was when we realized that most of the operations, i.e. order capturing, payments, reporting, and reconciliation, are done manually by the influencers and their teams,” he said. “There are no tools in the market that can satisfy their operational needs. That was when we started to scope out a minimum viable product to serve this target audience.”
“We believe that social commerce is the natural evolution of e-commerce in Southeast Asia, where savvy customers are seeking social validation before purchasing,” said Ang.
According to a report by research firm Econsultancy, 96% of marketers in Southeast Asia agree that social commerce will become increasingly important in the coming five years, while 90% agree that social media drives online sales. The report pointed out that less than 60% of companies surveyed have fully integrated their e-commerce operations with social media platforms.
While Chinese e-commerce site Pinduoduo’s success in China unveils the potential of the industry, other platforms such as India’s Meesho have also grown in emerging markets.