Zilingo, a mobile-first marketplace that connects sellers/retailers in Thailand to online shoppers across Southeast Asia, has secured US$1.88 million in funding from Sequoia Capital India and Teruhide Sato of Beenext Ventures, with participations from Freecharge Co-founders Kunal Shah and Sandeep Tandon.
Bangkok-headquartered Zilingo will use the funds to build infrastructure to open its door for smaller sellers to take advantage of the fast-growing e-commerce industry in Southeast Asia.
Sellers (ranging from large shopping malls to street vendors) in Bangkok will be provided with facilities such as free shipping, free packaging, door-step pickup and free and secure payment options, in addition to a mobile analytics dashboard and consultation on pricing strategy.
On the other hand, shoppers get access to a long tail of verified small sellers in the infinite markets of Thailand. Using the chat facility available on the app, buyers can exchange photos, create wishlists , take notes and virtually experience the product through their interactions with sellers. They can order products on the app and virtually track it till it’s delivered to their doorstep.
Currently, the firm deals only in fashion products and electronics, and will soon add more categories, Bose told e27.
Zilingo is currently live for sellers and buyers across Thailand. More than 300 sellers are already listed on its platform. It will soon start shipping from Thai sellers to Singapore, Indonesia and Hong Kong, and then to other Southeast Asian countries.
According to the firm, the Southeast Asian nations are poised to become one tightly-knit economy with digital buyers growing faster in number than India and China.
“Amidst buyers and sellers feverishly bargaining in Bangkok’s many shopping centres, we saw an opportunity to bring real value to thousands of smaller sellers who don’t have the resources to create their own online presence,” the firm said in an official statement.
Bose, a former Mckinsey consultant from Mumbai, previously worked at Sequoia in Bangalore. Her Co-founder Kapoor is an IITian who worked at Yahoo and a US gaming startup in Bangalore before starting Zilingo.