Zilingo’s gameplan: Dominate Singapore and Thailand, then on to Indonesia
By Lum Ka Kay April 18, 2016
- 40% monthly growth in terms of GMV, aiming to be profitable in Thailand by 2017
- Integrating AI platform from India to improve visual search and boost personalisation
FOUNDED only in May 2015 and currently present in Singapore and Thailand, online fashion marketplace Zilingo is already gearing up for its entry into Indonesia by the end of this year.
“We want to be the top fashion and lifestyle marketplace in Thailand and Singapore, then enter Indonesia by end-2016,” declared its cofounder and chief executive officer Ankiti Bose (pic above).
According to Ankiti, Bangkok-based Zilingo now has over 1,300 sellers and over 150,000 users on board.
“What intrigued us about these small, long-tail store-owners in crowded markets was that in spite of being extremely smartphone-friendly, most of them didn’t have a platform to bring their products online,” she told Digital News Asia (DNA) via email.
“We thought these sellers ought to be given more market access, and now Zilingo is one of the fastest growing marketplaces in South-East Asia,” she claimed.
Ankiti said that Zilingo is recording a 40% monthly growth in terms of Gross Merchandise Value (GMV).
“In March, our GMV was US$600,000. We are looking at profitability in Thailand sometime in 2017,” she added.
Zilingo charges a commission of between 10% and 15% on each successful transaction on its platform. On average, about 18,000 transactions are conducted each month, according to Ankiti.
“Our mobile app is now only available on the Android platform, and we are launching an iOS version in May.
“In the meantime, iOS users can access our mobile web platform through their smartphones,” she said, adding that 98% of Zilingo’s users are on mobile.
As for funding, Ankiti said Zilingo is “looking to raise a Series A in the coming months,” but she declined to elaborate.
Last November, Zilingo raised US$1.88 million in seed funding in a round led by Sequoia Capital India, and angel investors Teruhido Sato of Beenext Ventures, as well as Kunal Shah and Sandeep Tandon of Free Charge.
Partnership with Mad Street Den
Zilingo recently partnered with Indian-based artificial intelligence (AI) startup Mad Street Den to create an “ultra-personalised experience” for its users, according to Ankiti.
“Dynamic recommendations, wish-lists, seller-to-buyer chat and social shopping are all features that set us apart from other marketplaces,” she declared.
“The addition of our visual recommendation engine and visual search powered by Mad Street Den’s vue.ai platform allows customers to find clothing of similar colours, patterns and style, just by snapping a picture.
“Unlike traditional recommendation carousels, the vue.ai product discovery engine is powered by an image recognition-based AI that helps consumers discover and shop for products,” she said.
Mad Street Den cofounder and chief executive officer Ashwini Asokan said: “We’ve never seen anyone integrate, execute and move at the pace at which Zilingo has been moving.
“They have an endless appetite to experiment with tech and this is uncommon with e-commerce [players],” she said.
Ankiti claimed that Zilingo is already witnessing an increase in user engagement and conversion on the back of this AI integration, although she didn’t give any specifics.
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