Singapore-based lifestyle marketplace Zilingo has raised US$54 million in series-C funding, taking its total capital raised to $82 million.
Zilingo was founded in October 2015 by Dhruv Kapoor and Ankiti Bose, who was inspired after seeing the clothing stalls in labyrinthine markets while backpacking across Indonesia and Thailand.
Their idea was to connect a fragmented landscape of fashion supply for buyers across Asia.
“Nowhere in the world has a horizontal e-commerce company also cracked fashion,” says Bose. “It’s a unique, high-margin category that is highly dependent on fast-moving cycles and has its own nuances. Unlike buying detergent or electronics, fashion is much more about your choice, individuality and trends. It requires a different approach than the rest of e-commerce.”
Bose and Kapoor set out to build a proprietary platform where merchants could upload and manage their inventory in any language, using any currency, connecting them through 25 interfaces with logistics, warehousing and payment providers, as well as services like loans, cataloguing and insurance.
They launched their B2C sites and apps in November 2015 across Southeast Asia, followed by their B2B business, Zilingo’s AsiaMall, where merchants internationally can buy wholesale from Asian suppliers.
Zilingo is now selling in Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand, and ships internationally to four further countries. As well as Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand, Zilingo has supply bases in Bangladesh, Cambodia, China and Vietnam. There are more than 10,000 independent merchants using the platform to sell to millions of customers around Asia and the world.
Revenue growth has growth tenfold, and during the past year Zilingo has launched a TV campaign in Indonesia and expanded its merchant ecosystem.
Zilingo’s latest capital injection follows a $17 million series-B round five months ago.
“We think the market is showing us the right signs in terms of adoption and retention, so it’s good to double down,” says Bose.
Each Zilingo office has local leadership, and half the top leadership team are women. “Having so many women at the leadership level, despite being a tech company, gives us a special edge while scaling,” says Bose,
“Our leadership team comes from 10 different countries in Asia, Europe and North America, and 15 languages are spoken. The cultural diversity gives the team a unique perspective on how to solve challenges creatively.”