Soh Shangrong and Jonathan Oh, the Founders behind Malaysia’s artisanal grocery delivery startup Freshcart, announced today the launch of a new company called Supplycart, an online office supply delivery company.
The launch is being supported by a US$500,000 investment from KK Fund, Cradle Fund and other private investors.
Freshcart will continue to operate, but Oh tells e27 that launching Supplycart as a separate company is essential for branching into other verticals. Freshcart is a B2C company focused on food, so it was important that a B2B company with other specialities have a different branding.
Supplycart is an on-demand supply delivery company, helping offices stay stocked with everything from staplers and chairs to snacks and coffee. The company announced the official launch of its delivery website today.
The company uses a large network of suppliers to source and deliver its products. With the investment, Supplycart wants to expand its corporate customer base.
“We see a great potential in small and medium enterprises. The cost of hiring and training office managers or secretaries to handle a traditionally time consuming task has never been addressed until now,” said Oh in a statement.
The founding duo, Oh and his business partner Shangrong, started Freshcart in 2014, as a grocery delivery startup focused on artisan foods. Freshcart has found moderate success, winning the Alliance Bank SME Innovation Challenge 2015 and serving corporate clients like Unilever, BP, EcoWorld, Alliance bank and hundreds more.
That being said, it is fairly easy to think of how launching a more general office supply company would pull in a larger market share. Plus, online grocer HappyFresh can grab some of those artisanal products simply because it has so many products available on its platform.
The office supply competition in Malaysia comes from traditional companies like Pacific Office, who offer delivery but don’t have an e-commerce platform and often are focussed on supplies or food, but not both.
“In this B2B commerce industry, lots of off-line traditional players have a dominant role in Southeast Asia. Supplycart is approaching this traditional industry by focusing on the technology to empower their B2B clients,” said KK Fund Co-founder and General Partner Koichi Saito in an official statement.
KK Fund is a VC Firm focused on seed stage investments in Southeast Asia, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Cradle Fund, the other investor, is an agency under the Malaysian Ministry of Finance that is tasked with supporting Malaysia’s entrepreneurs.
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