Singapore-headquartered Zilingo, an online marketplace that connects online sellers/retailers in Southeast Asia with fashion lovers across Asia, has secured a massive US$226 million in Series D round of funding from a host of investors, including Temasek, Sequoia Capital India, Singapore-based Burda Principal Investments, Sofina (Belgium) and EDBI.
This brings the total funds raised by the three-and-half-year-old startup to US$308 million. This includes a US$54 million Series C in April 2018, US$17 million in Series B in 2017, US$8 million in late 2016 and US$2 million in November 2015.
Zilingo will use the fresh capital infusion to invest in the infrastructure and technology needed to further integrate and digitise the fashion and beauty supply chain. It also plans to expand into key markets including the Philippines, Indonesia and Australia in 2019.
Established in October 2015 by Ankiti Bose (CEO) and Dhruv Kapoor (CTO), Zilingo lets merchants upload and manage their inventory in any language using any currency. Sellers get facilities such as free shipping, free packaging, doorstep pickup and free and secure payment options.
In addition, it also helps sellers maximise their reach through various tools and strategies. This is important because Zilingo’s marketplace focusses on the long tail of merchants, also known as merchants who deal with niche products.
Last year, Zilingo claims it grew 4 times in the past 12 months after investing in building up its B2B and supply chain capabilities and delivering them through the Zilingo AsiaMall and Z-Seller platform.
According to CEO Bose: “The role of technology should be to create inclusive growth. In the fashion industry, core supply chain inefficiencies hinder small and medium merchants from unlocking their full potential as compared to the big brands. We are building a level-playing field by providing the best-in-class services and products to each merchant — irrespective of their size. We think this approach can unlock immense growth for Southeast Asian suppliers.”
As per an estimate, of the US$3 trillion of global fashion manufacturing, US$1.4 trillion comes from Asia alone. If this supply is optimised further, billions of dollars’ worth of value can be unlocked.
“Fashion and beauty merchants are hungry for tools that can help them scale. At the same time, the ecosystem is marred by outdated tech. So it’s imperative for us to build products that introduce machine learning and data science effectively to SMEs while also being easy to use, get adopted and scale quickly. We’re re-wiring the entire supply chain with that lens so that we can add most value,” says CTO Kapoor.