Malaysia’s online baby boutique Applecrumby & Fish raises $300k from 500 Startups

Applecrumby & Fish showroom.

Malaysian online baby boutique Applecrumby & Fish has raised a $300,000 second round of strategic funding from 500 Startups, to further establish the brand regionally.

The online store obtained its first round of seed funding, a sub-million Malaysian Ringgit funding, from angel investors and venture capital firm, Teak Capital, in 2014.

The husband-and-wife founder team, Sean and Jesmine Tan, plans to use this second round of capital injection to accelerate its business roadmap, beef up its technology department and enhance customer service.

The boutique, carrying all-natural, safe and organic products, aims to be the go-to online site for such baby essentials.

Applecrumby & Fish was launched at the end of 2012, with only 900 products. It now carries 9,000 products and is able to offer customers free same day delivery.

Applecrumby & Fish recorded a year-on-year revenue growth of over 1,200 per cent since its inception. Its current revenue is in the seven-digit Malaysian Ringgit range, Sean told DEALSTREETASIA.

“With the new funds and 500 Startups’ extensive network, we can discover innovative ways to enhance our offerings and systems to deliver a more seamless and intuitive shopping experience to our valued customers,” co-founder and chief executive officer Sean Tan said, noting the untapped demand around the region.

Co-founder and chief operating officer Jesmine said, being the exclusive online partner for the brands they carry, Applecrumby & Fish will be able to offer competitive pricing, and support to its customers.

“It’s all about paying it forward, with affordable choices for parents, and giving high quality brands a chance,” she said.

The online boutique offers skincare, bath products, toys, gears and food supplement for babies.

Expansion plans

Applecrumby & Fish already sells to markets like Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia and Brunei. To strengthen its presence in Brunei and Indonesia, it will be localising the language on its content sites in the Bahasa-speaking markets.

“We’re already in both markets, although opportunistically. This ensures that we are relevant and familiar to the moms we want to engage with when we finally move into the space. This initiative will commence early May,” Sean said.

The Indonesia market, largest in Southeast Asia, is expected to push Applecrumby & Fish’s revenue up twofold. Sean believed that this will be primarily attributed to the company’s unwavering stand on safe, natural and organic products, that appeals to any parent.

“We are convinced that given a choice, moms of any creed and calling would choose our products over their chemically-laden alternatives — any parent would want only the best for their loved ones. We also understand that it’s more than just a product and service play. Our systems and processes have been developed and tested, and we are eager to put it to through the gauntlet again in a new market,” he shared with DEALSTREETASIA.

As a key part of its expansion, the company will also start offering products under in-house labels, in early May as well.

“It’s a natural extension of what Applecrumby & Fish is all about. We’re seeing a need for safe and natural products that needs to not only be of high quality but also affordable. By creating our own line of products, we will be able to control both quality and cost, ultimately passing the savings over to our customers. We’re launching our all-natural, premium baby wipes also in early May,” he added.

Managing partner of 500 Startups, Khailee Ng commented that both Sean and Jesmine are parents themselves, and understand the market they serve deeply.

Ng also noted that Applecrumby & Fish’s results from DistroDojo, a 10-week growth hacking programme run by 500 Startups indicated that the founding team can operate and grow a dominant business serving millions of parents across Southeast Asia.

Applecrumby & Fish graduated at the top of the DistroDojo programme, with a traffic increase of over 200 per cent whilst tripling their revenue in just under four weeks.

Also read:

Malaysia: Coding school NEXT Academy raises $300k from 500 Startups

Malaysia: Carsome raises $2m Series A from IdeaRiverRun, Japan’s IMJ & 500 Startups

500 Startups was most active Asia investor in Q4 2015

Malaysia: Bfab raises seed funding led by KK Fund, with 500 Startups, Captii Ventures on board

Malaysia: PurelyB raises $500k from 500 Startups, others

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.