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Home / SmartTech / E-commerce startup Zilingo raises $ 226 million for digitizing the Asian fashion supply chain – TechCrunch

E-commerce startup Zilingo raises $ 226 million for digitizing the Asian fashion supply chain – TechCrunch

If you are looking for the next unicorn in Southeast Asia, Zilingo could be easy. The 3.5-year e-commerce company announced today that it is providing a $ 226 million Series D round to digitize the fashion supply chain in Asia.

This new round brings Zilingo to $ 308 million since its investors Start 2015 The Series D is made by the existing investors Sequoia India, the Singapore State Fund Temasek, Germany Burda and Sofina, a European financier of Flipkart owned fashion location Myntra, provided. Joined the party for the first time is the new investor EDBI, the business investment arm of the Singapore Economic Development Board.

Zilingo does not comment on the valuation of the round, but a source with a knowledge of the deal told TechCrunch that this was the case "rounding error" of $ 1

billion. We've heard in recent months that the startup is approaching unicorn status, so it's likely to come sooner or later, especially considering Zilingo made it to Serie D so quickly.

With more than $ 300 million, Zilingo is one of Southeast Asia's most heavily capitalized startups, but its meteoric growth over the past year has been driven by its expansion from consumer e-commerce to business-to-business services.

CEO Ankiti Bose – formerly at Sequoia India and McKinsey – and CTO Dhruv Kapoor first built a service that benefited from Southeast Asia's growing internet connectivity to small fashion retailers from the street markets of cities such as Bangkok and To bring Jakarta into the e-commerce industry. Zilingo still operates its online retail business, but it does target consumers, but the key step has been to leverage b2b's supply chain capabilities by digitizing its network to give retailers and brands access to it.

Bose was responsible for 75 percent of that total, Bose told TechCrunch. She declined to provide raw figures, but said the net income was in "a hundred million" dollars. The company, with over 400 employees, is not yet profitable, but CEO Bose said the b2b segment is "breaking the deadlock" by helping to offset expensive e-commerce battles.

Ankiti Bose and Dhruv Kapoor founded Zilingo in 2015.

The "outdated technology" of the supply chain

The transition to the supply chain after building the distribution makes sense, but Zilingo has long had an eye on services ,

This business venture began with a series of basic products that help Zilingo sellers manage their ecommerce business. These initially included inventory management and sales tracking, but have since developed into deeper services such as financing, sourcing and sourcing and a "style hunter" to identify emerging fashion trends. Zilingo also expanded its target from the long tail of small suppliers in Southeast Asia to larger dealers and brands to the fashion industry in Europe, North America and beyond access to the Asian manufacturers, whose estimated value is $ 1.4 trillion The global market for fashion factories worth $ 3 billion.

Zilingo's mission today is to provide each salesperson with the qualities, insights, and network that brands like Zara have created through years of work.

In Southeast Asia, this means small traders, helping SMEs and larger retailers to purchase items for sale online through the Zilingo store. In Europe and the US, where there is no outlet, Zilingo goes directly to the sellers. This could mean that retailers are looking for wholesale opportunities in Asia or online influencers, such as the personality of Instagram who want to use their presence for e-commerce. Zilingo not only wants to choose items to sell, but also help build its own brands through its supply chain network.

The rest of the world plan has been scheduled since last year, when Zilingo closed a $ 54 million Series C amount. Now the next leg of the journey is a deeper integration with factories.

"If you think of these factories from which the products are made, the process is not optimized there," Bose said in an interview. "The man or woman who runs a factory probably has no technology, they do not even use Excel. So we go to small and medium factories, increase capacity utilization, help payroll administration, get loans and other fintech services. "

Kapoor, her co-founder, adds that the fashion chain is" outdated "tech. "

" It is essential for us to develop products that effectively introduce machine learning and data science to SMEs while being easy to use, quickly deployed and scalable. We're rewiring the entire supply chain with this lens to deliver the maximum value, "he added.

Zilingo encourages retailers and brands to develop their own brands by embarking on the supply chain network

AWS for the fashion supply chain

Bose said Zilingo's early efforts would have increased factory efficiency by about 60 percent and made it possible to build links with retailers, while factories also allowed the development of their own trademark colletions to make unbranded or non-despised products.

Much of the work with factories is advisory-based, and Zilingo has engaged supply chain experts to deliver quality advice and perspective in addition to the software tools it offers.

It compares it in many ways to how Amazon designed AWS. After the technology was developed internally to address its own issues, the services were commercialized for third parties. So Zilingo initially offered an ecommerce platform for consumers, but made its sourcing networks accessible to anyone at a price – much like the supply chain of an API.

That gives his company two, if not three, sides that focus on selling to consumers in Southeast Asia via Zilingo.com – which is soon to be present in Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia with the Philippines and Australia – via the Zilingo Asia Mall overseas retailers and the development of the b2b game.

In Southeast Asia, its home market, Zilingo is not pushing its dealers to sell exclusively on its platform – "We do not mind if they go to Instagram, Lazada, Tokopedia and Shopee," Bose said – but in the US There are no hypermarkets. It is possible that the company might change with regard to potential partnerships, although it is unlikely to bring its own consumer game to market.

Zilingo was once destined to compete with the company's big players such as Lazada, which is owned by Alibaba, Shopee, which is listed by NYSE-listed Sea and Tokopedia, the $ 7 billion company that is part of SoftBank's VisionBank. However, the focus of its supply chain has shifted to Enabler.

This helps to avoid tricky times for specialized e-commerce services that defend against fierce competition, price wars, and challenging dynamics and instead become one of Southeast Asia's most heavily capitalized startups. The company's US plan is ambitious and it takes longer than expected to get going. However, this makes it a startup worth keeping an eye on in 2019. In some cases, the biggest opportunities are not immediately presented.

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