Local e-commerce start-up Anchanto bags funding and deals

Mr Vaibhav Dabhade, founder of Anchanto, which is expanding in South-east Asia.
Mr Vaibhav Dabhade, founder of Anchanto, which is expanding in South-east Asia.

Rising home-grown e-commerce and logistics platform Anchanto has won fresh funding and partnership deals from two of Asia's leading e-commerce firms.

The deals will help Anchanto pursue its goal of becoming the top e-commerce selling and logistics platform in South-east Asia by 2019. The start-up declined to disclose exactly how much was raised but said it was in the "millions".

The two investors are Luxasia Group, a leading omnichannel retailer, and Transcosmos Inc Japan (TCI), a global end-to-end e-commerce enabler. The deals unveiled yesterday follow a partnership agreement with trade agency IE Singapore last year, designed to help Anchanto expand its business abroad.

This is the second time TCI has invested in Anchanto. The first was in November 2015.

The funds will be geared towards hiring more development engineers so that Anchanto can focus on developing its technology and software.

Anchanto's flagship product SelluSeller is a Web application software enabling firms to manage listings, common inventory, order management and payments across different marketplaces worldwide from a single platform.

Anchanto is aiming to launch the next module of SelluSeller by the end of this year. For $10 a month, the new module will help sellers plan their inventory by analysing the company's history and market trends, before generating a report informing sellers what items they should stock up on.

Aside from tech development, Anchanto intends to remain competitive through its partnership with IE Singapore. Founded in 2011, Anchanto initially established networks in Indonesia, India and Singapore. Now it is targeting all of South-east Asia with its large and growing population of 600 million. However, this is not without its challenges.

"The South-east Asian region is very fragmented. Each country has a different market and one needs to localise its product according to the cultural dynamics there," said Mr Vaibhav Dabhade, Anchanto's founder and chief executive.

He added that infrastructure in some emerging economies is still not mature enough, making it difficult to support a large number of sellers.

IE Singapore helped pave the way for Anchanto's expansion in the region by helping the firm to understand the dynamics of the market and connecting it to brands, distributors and e-marketplaces. This was done through market studies with e-marketplaces such as Tiki, and partnerships with companies such as Vietnam Post.

Since the partnership, Anchanto has sold its e-commerce products across 12 markets, including China, Japan and Hong Kong. It also set up logistics networks in nine countries last year, including Thailand and Vietnam.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 11, 2017, with the headline 'Local e-commerce start-up Anchanto bags funding and deals'. Subscribe