Logistics startup Easyship tells Tech in Asia today that it has raised US$2.7 million in pre-series A funding from 500 Durians, Silicon Valley VC 500 Startups’ fund for Southeast Asia. The Hong Kong-based company also announced its entry in Singapore.
“After a big success in Hong Kong, Singapore is our next destination. It’s important for its strategic access to the Southeast Asia market,” says Easyship’s head of growth Jakub Zakrzewski.
Easyship was born out of a hurdle encountered by its co-founders Tommaso Tamburnotti and Augustin Ceyrac while they were trying to build the cross-border business of Rocket Internet’s Lazada.
“I was called to Hong Kong… the plan was to have as many ecommerce sellers as possible from Hong Kong and China selling on Lazada to our clients in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines,” recalled Tommaso in a previous interview with Tech in Asia.
“Sales grew rapidly, but soon the problem of shipping internationally showed up and we found ourselves dealing with a very unstructured and fragmented logistics industry.”
The sellers, he shared, were spending 40 percent of their time packing items and choosing which of the dozens of couriers to use for shipping. It was a total mess.
Easyship’s solution is an end-to-end process for pickup, packing, labelling, shipping, and tracking of goods. The service is free, and sellers only pay couriers to ship their items out, with discounts of up to 70 percent on normal rates – another upside.
How does Easyship make money then? It takes a cut directly from the couriers. “Because we have volume we can negotiate better discounts from them and later on add our small markup there. So we all win – the courier has a new customer, we get a markup, and the customer gets a cheaper price,” explains Jakub.
In Hong Kong, over a thousand companies now use Easyship to expand their business internationally, saving up to US$20,000 per month on shipping fees, Jakub shares. He wouldn’t disclose their revenue figures.
Hong Kong is a big market for international logistics – Tommaso estimated it at US$5 billion, with more than 240 million parcels shipped out every year. Jakub says the ecommerce export market in Singapore amounts to around US$600 million and is growing rapidly along with online shopping.
Easyship will use the money it just raised for its Singapore operations and later for expansion to other Southeast Asian countries.
The startup won Tech in Asia Singapore 2015’s Arena pitch battle.
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