FEATURES MALAYSIA

Startup in Spotlight: Bookurve lets Malaysians buy, sell books online

Within two weeks, the online bookstore startup has populated its marketplace with more than 1,500 books

By Elaine Huang

Bookurve Co-founders: Teoh Lian Shen and Hossein Arabi

Bookurve Co-founders: Teoh Lian Shen and Hossein Arabi

The thing about books is that there’s always one for everyone, regardless of whether you’re a romance junkie or a science fiction fan.

Meet Bookurve, a Malaysia-based online bookstore startup that wants to help people buy and sell physical copies of books online.

Founded by Teoh Lian Shen and Hossein Arabi, Bookurve claims to have more than 1,500 books on its online platform. We speak to the both of them to find out more about the newest player in Malaysia’s online book sales scene.

Here are the edited excerpts…

Can you tell me more about the company?

Bookurve is a Malaysia-based online bookstore and book marketplace. We are now providing a large selection of English and Chinese books.

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Currently, we have customers from East and West Malaysia. We want to help small bookstores sell their books online with no hassle — just scan and set the price to sell. Our website is ready and the iOS app will be up next week.

When and how did you come up with the idea?

It has been two years since we started work on this project. And, recently, we see there is a need for a book marketplace where we can gather all book lovers and booksellers to buy and sell both pre-loved and new books. Within two weeks, we have signed up three bookstores and populated our marketplace with over 1,500 books.

How big is the company now?

There are two full-time founders at Bookurve.

Has the company received external funding, and, if so, how much and from whom?

No external funding yet.

What are a few challenges faced by the company?

There are many challenges but there are two main things:

a) Exploring the best marketing and advertising strategies

b) Looking for external funding and investment

How does Bookurve differentiate itself from competitors?

a) Larger book selection (even books that cannot be found in Malaysia)

b) Reasonable book prices

c) Sourcing books from multiple distributors (such as UK, US) and delivering it to customer in just two to three weeks

d) A marketplace that will attract more book lovers and booksellers.

How does Bookurve generate revenue?

We earn money by selling books either directly or from the marketplace. In the marketplace, we add an additional MYR 2.00 (US$0.46) processing fee to the seller’s price.

What keeps you going when things are rough?

We have a passion towards books and reading. Or maybe the books chose us!

We started Bookurve to provide readers with a good platform to find books at a reasonable price.

Bookurve

Bookurve is a place that gathers all book lovers. And all this while our current customers’ support motivates us to build a better platform for readers.

What are your plans for the next six months?

We will be focussing on marketing and advertising to bring in more awareness and let everybody know more about Bookurve. This is the time for us to leave the development office and meet new people.

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