e27 rounds up six names that still hang around the tight competition of e-commerces in the mature infrastructure of Singapore

According to the report published by Google and state-owned venture company Temasek released by Amcorp, Singapore’s e-commerce market is expected to grow to US$5.4billion by 2025. The context of the prediction is that the Southeast Asian internet economy currently is the world’s fastest-growing region with a projected growth of US$195 billion by 2025, with e-commerce taking the share for US$85 billion.

A flourishing young population, a rise in Internet speed and penetration, an increase in GDP growth, a better payment ecosystem, and a lack of store access contribute to the projection of the future of e-commerce in the country.

The trend in Singapore’s e-commerce ecosystem has attracted overseas digital marketplaces such as Qoo10 to set up regional operations in Singapore to manage growth in Southeast Asia. In terms of connectivity and logistics for e-commerce, The World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index ranked Singapore as Asia’s top performer in global freight forwarding and express carriers, as revealed in Export.gov.

Singapore may be an attractive hub for global e-commerces as an entry point to Southeast Asia, but the country has some local players, born and bred in Singapore. e27 has gathered them to see what they are about and what they are up to.
Carousell has made a name for itself since starting its operation in 2012. It allows users to buy and sell things on their mobile apps.

Carousell started to gain attention when it won the Startup Weekend Singapore 2012. Carousell’s app is designed to better facilitate people in selling their things online and purchasing from other sellers.

e27 reviewed Carousell when it’s first launched, stating that the app allows users to list products that they want to sell, beautify the products with preloaded photo filters, pretty much like Instagram.

Also Read: Why brands fail on e-commerce and what they can do about it

Carousell also allows users to curate and personalise their own browsing experience by following people of the same tastes and interests. Products can be categorised according to gender and its verticals.

Founded by Quek Siurui, Lucas Ngoo, and Marcus Tan, the team of three has been creating the app from joining Plug-In@Blk71, which at the time of the app launch in 2012 was one of Singapore’s latest coworking space managed by NUS Enterprise.

The app that has been in the eCommerce ecosystem for seven years this year raised US$42 million funding in April from OLX Group. The investment values the company at over US$550 million.
In 2016, ezbuy was officially introduced as a new brand name of 65daigou. ezbuy is Singapore-based e-commerce that provides customers with an international shopping experience from buying to delivery.

Along with the rebrand, the company also raised US$20 million in Series B round of funding led by Chinese VC fund Vision Knight Capital, with participation from existing investors IDG Ventures and US-based CGC Capital.

It was last year when struggling Chinese discount e-commerce service LightInTheBox acquires ezbuy. It was an all-stock deal and saw LightInTheBox taking 100 percent ownership of the company for US$85.55 million, bidding on the success of ezbuy.

Under LightInTheBox, ezbuy continues to operate carrying the brand name. Ezbuy CEO Jian He has become CEO of LightInTheBox while Meng Lian, a partner with IDG Ventures, has joined as a director.

Currently, ezbuy claimed to have presences in Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia.
SingSale approaches e-commerce’s competitive market with a members-only offer, updating its users with deals on a variety of brands and products. The membership is free, and only requires customers to sign up, as shared in Vulcan Post.

The variety of brands available ranges from luxury brands like Versace, Gucci, and Guess, to the likes of Levi’s, Revlon and Nike. Other labels spotted include Lancome, Casio, Asics, Maybelline, Cotton On, Fossil, and Timberland.

SingSale claims to offer discounts of up to 80 per cent off recommended retail prices. SingSale claims that it’s able to offer luxury goods at a competitive price because of the work of the company’s buyers, who source for partnerships and suppliers in Australia, US, Europe, New Zealand, and other parts of Asia.

Also Read: How to prime your new e-commerce platform for success

It works in favor of its members by updating them with daily email notifications on new sales events that are starting to let customers in on the shopping window.

Once the sales event has ended, SingSale will get their overseas partners to send the orders to their international warehouses (anywhere in the USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand, China, Malaysia, or Singapore) to be delivered directly to your doorstep.

However, the delivery time can take up to 28 days from the end of the sales event, “depending on where the goods are sourced from”. The estimated range of delivery dates will be shown on the product description page.

To date, there’s no known funding raised by the startup. It could be because it still struggles to maintain good customer service.
Our e27’s fashionista contributor once made a quick writeup about Clozette, a virtual closet platform that allows fashion enthusiasts to shop directly on it.

Clozette offers a fashion and beauty social network with four key community activities: Discover, Share, Organize, and Shop.

Within its virtual closet, users can store photos of items they own, just bought, or simply wish they had. Users can also share styles, be it with virtual items from products online, or with pictures taken of their favorite items in their closets.

Fellow members can leave comments on posts, like them, and share them. There are forums for discussions, followed by a section for shopping where products are linked to real places.

“We have designed the site that it’s also a digital platform for brands, retailers, designers, and artisans to engage and interact with consumers and fashion tastemakers to build communities,” said one of the founders of Clozette, Roger Yuen.

Back in April, Clozette raised US$10 million Series C funding from a public-private fund that belongs to Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry, Cool Japan Fund.

With this deal, Cool Japan Fund marks its foray into providing risk capital for businesses that want to integrate the “Cool Japan” concept into its business.
Love, Bonito
In February 2018, Love, Bonito quietly emerges as a women’s fashion brand that’s managed to snag 13 million in a round led by Kakaku.com.

With a presence in Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia, and Indonesia, e-commerce has a pop-up and permanent shops that ship all over the world.

Love, Bonito started in 2006, when 18-years-old Co-founders Rachel Lim and Viola Tan created a small passion project to earn a bit of extra money. Using traditional word-of-mouth marketing, the fashion brand grew and the two became full-time entrepreneurs.

The notable achievement of e-commerce would be the transition it had from the online store to offline retail experience.

The company began with the pop-up model and the response was positive enough for them to open a flagship store in Singapore.
HipVan is an online store for design product that focusses on the Southeast Asia market. It aims to work with the brands and independent designers from Singapore and around the world to bring well-designed products to consumers in Singapore and Southeast Asia.

HipVan was started by serial entrepreneur Danny Tan. According to Tan, design products are products that do not just look great, but also work well to improve your everyday life. This is a generic description, which means that HipVan can feature anything from home furnishings and art to fashion and accessories and even food.

Also Read: 10 ways to get a customer to buy from your e-commerce site

“In Singapore, most of us live in similar apartments and furnish it with stuff from mass-market furniture shops. The same goes for what we wear and use. The truth is that products with unique designs are just not that accessible in Singapore. This doesn’t mean they are not available as we discovered many brands and independent designers that sell really interesting and unique products here. We decided to start HipVan.com to introduce them and help make these products more accessible to consumers in this region,” said Tan in an exclusive interview with e27 back in 2013.

In 2015, HipVan secured a US$3.3 million funding from Golden Gate Ventures and East Ventures.

Out of countless e-commerces, both major and minor in operation, these six stood out as the most original in the country. Singapore’s bright forecast in the e-commerce ecosystem only leaves room for more new e-commerce ideas and innovation to emerge in the future.

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

The post 6 Singapore-bred e-commerces that tread ahead among fierce competitions appeared first on e27.
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