It is highly likely that Singapore-headquartered fashion marketplace Zilingo will venture into offline retail in the next 12 months, its co-founder and CEO Ankiti Bose said.
“Offline [retail] is a very critical touchpoint for consumers and we are thinking of creative ways to use that opportunity,” Bose said in a fireside chat at DEALSTREETASIA’s Indonesia PE-VC Summit 2019 on Thursday in Jakarta.
“I don’t think the future is fully online; offline will be all about great experiences. You can buy an iPhone online but you are going to Macy’s for the experience. Offline will evolve certainly,” she added.
JD.com-backed Pomelo and Singapore-based Love, Bonito have already expanded into offline retail with physical stores in Southeast Asia.
Zilingo is also likely to have an in-house financial services arm to offer services such as loans and payments to its merchants, according to Bose. “We have built out an entire layout to enable providing financial support to merchant across the supply chain.”
DEALSTREETASIA had earlier reported that Zilingo has already extended financial services to merchants through third parties – both loans and payment services — and wants to develop some of these services in-house in the long term.
Zilingo, an e-commerce site that sells directly to consumers in Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore, was said to be in talks with its existing investors to raise close to $80 million for its Series D, which could value the startup at over $500 million.
Last April, the fashion e-commerce company raised $54 million in a Series C funding round led by Belgium’s Sofina, German media giant Hubert Burda’s Burda Principal Investments and Sequoia Capital India. The funding came only five months after the company raised $17 million in a Series B round in September 2017.
It now serves over 20,000 merchants and retailers across B2B and B2C segments in Southeast Asia, with more than half of Zilingo’s business coming from its B2B operations, said Bose. In April 2018, the startup launched Zilingo Asia Mall (ZAM), an extension of its B2B business, in the US and Europe.
Founded by Bose and Dhruv Kapoor, the company said it has grown 10x in revenues, launched a TV campaign in Indonesia and expanded the merchant ecosystem to include services.
On a potential IPO down the road, Bose said, “It’s something that we have thought of and perhaps is for us in future. It’s a logical path for us.”
Zilingo has a tech team is in India while it has supply bases in Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, China, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Cambodia.
“I’m extremely optimistic about SEA even if there’s a slowdown. We have a long way to go in SEA,” Bose said.