aCommerce, an e-commerce company recently raised a series A funding of $10.7 million, the largest amount in Southeast Asia till date. The funding was organized by Ardent Capital, the founding investor, followed by Inspire Ventures based out in Bangkok. The others who joined the league were NTT Docomo, Sinar Mas Indonesia, Cyber Agent Ventures, Sumitomo Corporation Equity Asia Limited, Asia Pacific Digital, Strategic Angel Investors, JL Capital and key executive staff.
This happens to be the largest series A funding a Thailand-based venture has roped in till date, says founder and regional CEO of aCommerce Paul Srivorakul. aCommerce is closely followed by GrabTaxi’s recent series A round of funding of over $10 million.
The raised amount will go in strengthening the logistic infrastructure of the e-commerce company, as planned by Paul. Other areas that will gain attention are “order management, warehousing and delivering management systems”.
It is a matter of pride for the company that almost one third of the funding was from the staff themselves. This act on the staff’s part stands as a testament to the mission, vision and passion of the team to take the company to new heights. aCommerce provides end-to-end service. The new amount will go in scaling their technologies, develop their products and act as a catalyst in expanding bases into Singapore, Malaysia and Philippines.
The market in Southeast Asia is immensely diverse with more than one distribution channel. For instance, low penetration of credit cards means customers are more prone to choose cash on delivery option. Paul was quoted in TechCrunch “Southeast Asia is made up of many different countries, laws, languages, currencies, and complicated geographically, like the Philippines and Indonesia islands. We make it easy for brands and retailers to sell online by providing ‘turnkey’ end-to-end e-commerce services and products across the region, from customs, web development, and digital marketing to local language customer service support, payments, fulfillment, and collection-on-delivery. We also help brands acquire and manage the end customer and provide them with deep data/analytics across the entire customer experience and touch point, i.e. tracking everything from content/marketing all the way to packing orders and collecting payment/delivery”.
With 250 staff strength and four offices in Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and Philippines respectively, aCommerce was founded in June 2013. Just a year old, this company is all geared up to set foot in Malaysia and Vietnam next.
“aCommerce is solving a major pain point in ecommerce logistics and backend fulfillment, and is helping to accelerate ecommerce market growth across Southeast Asia” says Josephine Chan, VP of Sumitomo Corporation Equity Asia while discussing the reasons behind the investment. Prior to this news, immediate competitor of aCommerce Singpost received a funding of $249 million from Alibaba. They compete in terms of fulfilling order and delivering them on time. What differentiates aCommerce from Singpost are services like channel management and Popshop. Popshop is a platform or in other words, an online ‘pop-up store’ from which products of various brands are sent to first or third-party websites, apps and marketplaces. aCommerce also provides COD option that is not available with Singpost. TechCrunch had quoted Paul saying “Singpost has always had more capital than us (i.e. a market cap of $3 billion) so them raising more money isn’t going to change much. It’s all about execution and we think we have the advantage because of our passion, local experience, tech, local teams, and head start”.
With this addition of new amount to their fund, the company will now rapidly accelerate its growth. COO of aCommerce Peter Kopitz says “We believe that one of the biggest e-commerce bottlenecks in Southeast Asia is efficient business-to-consumer order fulfilment. That’s why we are investing in integrating and expanding our end-to-end infrastructure including warehousing, last mile delivery, first class customer service, and the technology development that brings it all together”. On the other hand, the CEO of its founding investor Ardent Capital Adrian Vanzyl says “We are pleased to see another successful company emerge from Ardent, further validating our belief in building and investing in fundamental e-commerce platforms and direct to consumer businesses in Southeast Asia”.
aCommerce which recently entered into a partnership with Naver Japan’s mobile chat application LINE and L’Oreal, has currently made their foothold really strong in the e-commerce market with their recent funding. Tom Kim, partner and co-founder of Inspire Ventures stated “In just one year, aCommerce has built a stacked team of players from Amazon, Walmart, DHL, eBay, Apple, Oracle, McKinsey, Microsoft, and Rocket Internet and expanded into four robust Southeast Asian markets. With their global experience and local expertise, we are confident in this team’s ability to execute and become the dominant e-commerce solutions provider in the region. E-commerce is growing rapidly, and these guys are well positioned to capitalize on this disruptive global trend”.