Malaysian e-procurement platform Dropee raises US$340k seed round led by Vynn Capital



18/1/2018 – Dropee, a B2B e-procurement marketplace in Malaysia has secured a MYR1.4 million (about US$340K) seed funding round that is intended to expand its business coverage across Malaysia.

The seed funding was led by Southeast Asia-focused venture capital firm Vynn Capital, with participation from telecommunication infrastructure contractor PT Prasetia Dwidharma.

With this new funding, Dropee plans to drive market expansion both domestically and regionally, on top of growing the team to better serve their users and realize the company’s ambitions.

It also plans to introduce new exciting product features for suppliers to cater to more SMEs, especially in the rural areas.

Established in June 2016, Dropee is a one-stop marketplace transforming the way businesses buy and sell across the supply chain.

The platform connects suppliers with small-to-medium enterprise (SME) business owners in real time to streamline the product fulfillment process and facilitate bulk purchases through a host of tech-enabled solutions.

Leveraging on Dropee’s technology, both suppliers and brand owners are able to upgrade their existing operational process to become more efficient and agile, henceforth resulting in new customers and increasing order volumes.

Led by co-founders Lennise Ng (CEO) and Aizat Rahim (COO), Dropee specializes in the food & beverage, FMCG and retail market segments. The startup currently supports more than 800 brands, over 6000 SKUs, and serves more than 1000 businesses to date.

Dropee expects these numbers to significantly increase in 2019 as business growth accelerates. Its current business partners include Lee’s Frozen Food, Network Foods, and Unilever, among many others.

“From the very beginning, our mission has been to build more meaningful relationships between businesses,” said Lennise Ng. “We believe we are able to achieve so by increasing transparency across the supply chain. Our goal is to build an altogether new kind of supply chain network that is both resilient and responsive.”

Currently, the startup has operations in Malaysia, with a focus on the metropolitan areas of Kuala Lumpur, Penang, and Johor.

This year, the company aims to increase its business coverage across Malaysia with plans to expand operations in neighboring countries, including Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam in the near future.

Vynn Capital is an early stage venture capital firm founded with the objective of bridging the gap between traditional industries and the new economies through the development of technology.

Commenting on the deal, Managing Partner of Vynn Capital Victor Chua said, “Dropee offers practical solutions for offline retailers to optimize their businesses and generate growth for local economies. The team has also demonstrated the right combination of vertical expertise and execution, which will allow them to become a leader in this market segment.”

“More than just that, the company is also in a good position to serve a wider audience who are interested in cross-border opportunities. This fits with our view that the region will eventually converge into a single unit block of economy,” he added.

Vynn Capital focuses on key industries such as travel, property, food, and FMCG, female economics as well as business enablers. In May, Vynn Capital led Series A financing of US$4 million in Indonesian travel platform Travelio.

Malaysia’s e-commerce startup Signature Market raises US$980k to scale regionally

Signature Market

Signature Market

17/1/2018 – Malaysian natural and organic food ecommerce startup Signature Market has secured MYR4 million (about US$980K) in a Series A funding.

Backers of the Series A funding are local investors including venture capital and multi-family private investment firm RHL Ventures and Axiata Digital Innovation Fund.

“Nutritious options have typically been priced out of the reach of many Malaysian consumers, thus limiting their accessibility,” said RHL Ventures managing partner Rachel Lau.

“We decided to back Edwin, John, and their team as they’re using technology to create a new and innovative way for people to access healthy snacks, helping Malaysians to eat more nutritiously and lead a healthier lifestyle,” she added.

Founded by Edwin Wang and John Cheng in 2014, Signature Market is a direct-to-consumer retailer of natural and organic snacks that delivers its orders directly to customers’ doors.

It aims to make healthier food products more accessible and affordable in Malaysia and Southeast Asia, and is achieving this through their self-developed e-commerce platform which allows them to reach out to a wider audience and collect consumer data to develop a more localised strategy to the market.

This business model provides Signature Market with the flexibility to bypass more costly distribution channels, and henceforth allowing them to pass the savings onto the consumer without sacrificing product quality and freshness.

So far, Signature Market have grown its revenue from MYR1 million (about US$240K) in 2016 to MYR 13.5 million (about US$ 3.3 million) in 2018.

With the new proceedings, the healthy food provider said it will focus on expanding its home market for now, but later plans to expand to other parts of Southeast Asia.

“Consumers today want a healthier lifestyle but do not want to relinquish their comfort food,” said Edwin Wang. ”We’re excited to be working with RHL Ventures as they are sharing their regional network expertise with us to help scale regionally. However, our focus for now is in Malaysia as we see vast opportunities in the local FMCG sector that we can take advantage of.”

Signature Market is growing in tandem with a rising trend of healthy snacking around the world, as the company increased their staff strength from five to 50 people today.

Last week, RHL Ventures also announced an undisclosed follow-on investment in Malaysian healthcare SaaS platform HealthMetrics. Rachel explains that while Malaysia remains a priority to the firm, but the venture capital will be on a lookout for strategic deals across the region.