Wipeout: Applecrumby & Fish out to disrupt diaper and baby wipes industry
By Lum Ka Kay April 26, 2016
- To release a line of inhouse, fully-natural products without killer prices
- Raises US$300K from 500 Startups, claims 300% YoY revenue growth
THE husband-and-wife team (pic above) behind e-commerce startup Applecrumby & Fish, which specialises in select baby products, has ambitious plans: The founders want to disrupt the entire diaper and wipes industry of South-East Asia with their inhouse brand.
“We have done our research and there is nothing quite like our brand in the market, not at our kind of non-premium pricing but with premium quality,” claims cofounder and chief operating officer Jesmine Tan, in an email to Digital News Asia (DNA).
She and husband Sean Tan launched Applecrumby & Fish in late 2012. The Kuala Lumpur-based company recently raised US$300,000 from 500 Startups, its second seed funding after an undisclosed amount from Teak Capital back in late 2014.
The funds will be used to further establish the brand in the region as the ‘top-of-mind’ online site for safe, natural and organic baby essentials. The company also intends to boost its technology and customer service departments.
Prior to starting Applecrumby & Fish, founders Jesmine and Sean were full-time property investors who also freelanced as interior designers. In 2011, the couple had their first child and it was then they realised that there was a gap in the baby market industry.
“The rest is history,” says Jesmine.
As for the name ‘Applecrumby & Fish,’ it is all thanks to the couple’s daughter (although it does sound similar to US retail giant Abercrombie & Fitch).
“Our daughter’s first word at the age of six months was ‘apple.’ She would then walk and crawl, dropping crumbs of food everywhere she went, hence crumby – while her first favourite food was steamed fish,” says Jesmine.
Applecrumby & Fish was in the second batch of 500 Startup’s Distro Dojo accelerator programme, which saw it boosting traffic by over 200% whilst tripling its revenue in just under four weeks, the startup claims.
According to Jesmine, the company has recorded 300% year-on-year growth in terms of revenue, and aims to hit RM6 million (US$1.5 million) in revenue by the end of this year.
Premium inhouse label
As for its inhouse label, Jesmine says Applecrumby & Fish will start off with fully natural, chemical-free baby wipes and diapers, and then progress to other fully natural and organic products.
“Most big diaper brands in the market contain chlorine, but ours uses premium top-and back-sheet materials which are naturally plant-based, super-absorbent – and most importantly, free of chlorine, dye, fragrance and other toxic chemicals like parabens and phthalates,” says Jesmine.
“Likewise with our baby wipes – our quality is unsurpassed,” she declares, adding that the Applecrumby Wipes line will be launched in May.
Parabens are preservatives widely used in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products, while phthalates or plasticisers are used to make plastic more flexible and resilient.
Jesmine says the idea is to make premium baby products available to parents from all walks of life, at non-premium pricing.
“Who says moms have to burn a hole in their pockets to afford quality wipes and diapers for their babies?
“Applecrumby & Fish plans to ensure all moms can afford the best options for their babies, at non-premium price tags,” she adds.
Applecrumby & Fish lists over 9,000 products on its website, and offers same-day delivery to its customers. According to Jesmine, all orders placed before 1pm will be delivered by evening.
“Our customers love it, saying that they don’t need to worry about tracking their parcels and can do last-minute shopping with us,” she claims.
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