Hong Kong-based logistics startup Easyship has raised an undisclosed amount of pre-series A funding from 500 Durians. This is a fund managed by Silicon Valley-based venture capital (VC) major 500 Startups. Financial terms of the investment are undisclosed.
The development was reported by Tech in Asia. Easyship is an online platform that provides cross-boarder logistics solutions for e-commerce companies, claiming to provide access to more than 80 shipping companies and enabling visibility on delivery time, cost break-down, reliability score, and tracking.
To date, it has raised aggregate funding estimated at $2.5 million and counts IMJ Investment Partners and other investors amongst its financial backers. The latest funding round will see it expand into the region.
The Hong Kong-based logistics venture will be expanding into Southeast Asia via Singapore, following the validation of its business model and building of traction in the Hong Kong market. The expansion to Singapore provides strategic access to Southeast Asia and leverages off the city-state’s logistics infrastructure and networks, coming at a time when Amazon is establishing a presence there.
When asked about the challenges the company anticipates scaling in the region, Jakub Zakrzewski, the Head of Growth & Business Operations at Easyship, told DEALSTREETASIA: “We see entering southeast asia more like an opportunity rather than a challenge – we want to bring effortless shipping experience to eCommerce sellers from visibility on cost, discounted shipping rates to tracking information.”
The venture reportedly originates from problems with international shipping encountered by co-founders Tommaso Tamburnotti and Augustin Ceyrac while attempting to build the cross-border business of Rocket Internet’s Lazada.
This was at a time when Lazada was attempting to grow the number of vendors on its platform in China and Hong Kong selling into Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines. During this growth initiative, Lazada experienced rapid sales growth but was inhibited by “a very unstructured and fragmented logistics industry.”
Easyship streamlines this process, providing an end-to-end process for packaging, labelling and tracking goods with couriers. It charges no fees for this services, with sellers paying couriers to ship their items out.
Revenue is generated from taking a commission from couriers, due to possessing volume and being able to negotiate better discounts. Easyship claims a client base in excess of 1000 enterprise in Hong Kong and saving up to $20,000 per month on shipping fees via their platform.
While concerns exist whether Southeast Asia can live up to its e-commerce potential, given its size, demographics and burgeoning economies, it is not a market that any e-commerce player can ignore.