Img Src: Tech in Asia
iPrice, the e-commerce aggregation service has finished a Series A funding round of $4million. It was 18 months ago in Malaysia and is currently operating in 7 countries in Southeast Asia.
This round consisted of existing investors such as Asia Venture Group (AVG), Venturra Capital, Gobi Partners, DMP, Econa and Starstrike Ventures. This company had previously raised $1.2 million last year and $550,000 when it was first launched in the early part of 2015.
The idea behind this service is for it to be a place where online shopping services in Southeast Asia can be aggregated. The Southeast Asia region has some big e-commerce players such as Alibaba etc. Unlike in China, USA and parts of Europe, there is no single dominant player that can dominate the market for long periods of time. For example, Alibaba in China, Amazon in UK are usually first preferences for consumers. With more than 100 emploees, iPrice help retailers gain visibility, traffic and sales.
CEO David Chmelar, a former employee of the Boston Consulting Group was quoted saying, “We started with product discovery, learned it worked well and started expanding it. We realized that what we now own is not the front end, but a huge sorted and cleaned out database that is unique to Southeast Asia. We see ourselves as a meta search platform, someone who will look for the best use of that dataset for both consumers and sellers.”
Also, iPrice has introduced a new feature of price comparison of goods in September. They plan to introduce other features such as affiliate revenue plans to help small media companies and independent bloggers. However, affiliate revenue is uncertain due to the fragmented nature of the e-commerce industry in the region.
Chmelar added that the company would be closer to break-even after the latest round of fund-raising but was not sure about the timeline. “Our ambition is to become the primary gateway to online retail in Southeast Asia. Much remains to be done to make online retail easier for consumers, from Kuala Lumpur to Manila, and iPrice is paving this path.”