Social Commerce Platform WeBuy raises US$6 mil Series A for SEA Expansion
By Digital News Asia October 30, 2020
- US$9mil raised since launch in Aug 2019 to power its group buying model
- Increase hiring across its 3 markets, improve its data-driven platform, expand footprint
WeBuy, a Singapore-based social e-commerce startup, announced yesterday the completion of its US$6 million (RM25 million) Series A investment round led by Wavemaker Partners with other investors consisting of Centauri Fund, a Jan 2020 launched venture capital fund with backing from Telkom Indonesia and South Korea's KB Financial Group. Existing investor Rocket Internet VC’s investment division, Global Founders Capital (GFC) also participated.
Including a seed round backed by GFC, WeBuy has to date raised US$9 million (RM37.4 million).
With Southeast Asia (SEA) home to the most engaged mobile users globally, 85% of its consumer base currently rely on social media to find inspiration and to make informed purchases. WeBuy is a social e-commerce site with a group buying business model, harnessing the strength of social media to transform the current online e-commerce model into a more interactive and community-driven one.
Cofounded by Vincent Xue, the ex-cofounder of cross border e-commerce player, ezBuy, WeBuy launched in August 2019 as an online site in Singapore, expanding its reach to Malaysia in January 2020 and thereafter Indonesia in May 2020. The platform is designed to mimic social media influencer-driven interactions to increase the visibility of small merchants among a new generation of e-commerce consumers.
“Current Southeast Asian consumer habits are driven more by influence rather than necessity. If social media platforms dictate consumption trends, WeBuy’s social e-commerce platform aims to reconstruct the act of daily consumption and interaction. We’re thankful for our investors’ confidence in the company’s vision to boost our community-driven model in SEA’s competitive said Vincent.
“WeBuy’s lead in this unique social movement within SEA’s e-commerce industry excites us to be a part of this new age of shopping, where community interactivity, good value, any convenience converge," said Gavin Lee, General Partner at Wavemaker Partners .
Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic and a year after its launch, WeBuy launched its mobile application in August 2020. Webuy claims to have grown fivefold in the span of 10 months, since January 2020, and currently supports 300 group leaders who collate and purchase orders for over 100,000 consumers across its three markets.
Commenting on the growth of WeBuy, Shannon Lee, Investment Director at Centauri Fund said, "Our observations of the social commerce space lead us to believe that this concept is well suited for SEA. Vincent’s outstanding background with scaling in the region and their strong multi-market growth in the past year has left us impressed. ”
"WeBuy approach of offering highly sought after curated products at lower prices has worked well for them before and during the Covid-19 period; GFC is excited to back Vincent and hit team as they continue to build the social commerce experience throughout Southeast Asia, "said Jay Lim, Venture Partner at Global Founders Capital .
WeBuy will utilise its Series A funding on hiring across its three markets, improving its data-driven platform and further expanding its regional footprint into SEA, with its sights set on Vietnam and Philippines. The company’s priority to value-add to its social capabilities will be accelerated through a partnership with ByteDance in Q1 2021.