citiesocial, a Taiwanese e-commerce company that wants to help brands grow their market share in Asia, has raised a US$2.75 million in a round led by the Alibaba Taiwan Entrepreneurs Fund.
Other participating investors included CDIB Capital as well as its previous investor Cherubic Ventures.
The money is going to be used to expand its ‘launchpad’ services, which provides and avenue for brands to grow their sales channels in Asia. The company has about 600,000 regular customers spanning Taiwan and Hong Kong.
“The barrier for entry into Asia is high. Without local market knowledge and a dedicated Asia retail team, it’s nearly impossible for these companies to gain meaningful results here. That’s when we had a rethink and began to expand our services,” said CEO Eric Wang in a statement.
The services include localisation of branding, tools for sales and marketing, help with cross-border logistics, customer support and inventory management.
The Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund is a non-profit initiative from Alibaba that tries to provide startups and young people with the necessary investment capital to kickstart their companies. It has a partnership feature that gives companies like citiesocial access to its network.
Andrew Lee, the Executive Director of the Alibaba Taiwan Entrepreneurs Fund, explained why the fund invested in citiesocial.
“We have witnessed a trend of Asian consumers, especially in Mainland China, increasingly seeking out products that let them express their own individuality. This is why we have chosen to partner with citiesocial. They have shown us that they have the grasp and capability to fully address these trends,” he said.
Founded in 2011, citiesocial was part of a three-company investment spree from TMI in 2013. The other two companies were Driving Curve and Peeridea.