Other investors include Asia-focussed VC firm SQ Capital and unnamed strategic angel investors, besides Buyandship’s key management.
The money will be used to improve operation efficiencies and also for market expansion.
In operations, Buyandship will streamline its logistics and shopping experience with an advanced warehouse automation system, simplified shopping procedures, and a new “one-click buy” tool. In market expansion, Buyandship will look to solidify its market presence in existing markets, including Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, India, and the UAE, as well as develop new markets in Southeast Asia.
Founded in 2014, Buyandship provides global shipping services for e-commerce customers. They can choose the firm for international shipping and deals, products, and exclusives from overseas merchants. Customers can pay up to HK$22 (US$2.8) per pound in shipping fees, and choose to either receive parcels at home or pick up from one of hundreds of collection points.
It currently operates collection and export warehouses in Japan, South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the US, the UK, Italy, and Australia. Scheduled flights from these warehouses back to HK are arranged on a weekly basis, while the delivery fee will be based on the parcel’s actual weight (not parcel size).
After closing its Series A funding in mid-2017, it has expanded into China, Macau, Taiwan, Japan, India, Malaysia, Singapore, and the UAE. It boasts of more than 320,000 users.
Buyandship has already signed agreements with eBay, StockX, GLADD, Drop, and other merchants to support their Asia expansions.
As per a 2018 report by OECD, B2C cross-border e-commerce is growing fast as Asian e-shoppers look to buy directly from overseas brands rather than settle only for local options. B2C cross-border e-commerce to Asia should reach US$900 billion in value by 2021, with a CAGR of approximately 18.8 per cent. Demand from China alone will account for nearly two-third of this total, but Vietnam and Indonesia will show higher growth rates.
Wilson Chan, Co-founder and CEO of Buyandship, says that Asian e-shoppers are primarily motivated by the enormous difference in prices: “Buying a Dyson product in a Hong Kong retail store costs around HK$4,000, but only HK$1,800 from an overseas online store. At a discount rate higher than 50 per cent, customers naturally prefer to shop from overseas stores.”
“Our goal is to build a borderless, international e-commerce network for our users, so they can easily and comfortably enjoy the best bargains from around the world through our service. When they need a cutting-edge, forward-thinking e-commerce logistics service, they think of Buyandship,” he added.