Pawnbroking chain MoneyMax Financial Services has teamed up with a Japanese firm to develop a live business-to-business (B2B) online auction platform.
The Singapore-headquartered joint venture firm SG e-Auction will allow "Asean business buyers and sellers to make electronic bids for luxury branded merchandise, and gold and diamond goods", MoneyMax said yesterday.
MoneyMax will be SG e-Auction's majority shareholder with a 51 per cent stake, while Tokyo Stock Exchange-listed Aucnet will hold 49 per cent.
Aucnet is Japan's leading real-time auction platform firm providing B2B information distribution services. Its platform auctions things such as used cars and flowers and has about 25,000 firms as members.
The total value of transactions on Aucnet's platform was about 345.2 billion yen (S$4.15 billion) in the 2016 financial year.
Mr Chua Taik Him, International Enterprise (IE) Singapore senior adviser, said at the signing ceremony yesterday: "This partnership is the first-of-its-kind B2B live auction platform in South-east Asia. It allows for efficient cross-border trades, removing geographical limitations. This strengthens Singapore's position as a gateway to South-east Asia and South Asia."
He noted the partnership validates IE Singapore's strategy of developing and rejuvenating Singapore as a compelling wholesale trade hub.
"IE launched the wholesale trade industry transformation map early this month... Wholesale trade is a key pillar of Singapore's economy - it contributes 12 per cent of our GDP and employs 9 per cent of our workforce," Mr Chua added.
MoneyMax chief executive Lim Yong Guan said: "Through the network expansion of our channel partners, we hope to establish a fully integrated system and aim to be the premier leading B2B online auction platform for pre-owned branded goods in the Asean region."
Mr Chua noted the partnership focuses on the luxury or branded goods segment.
"Online is now the fastest growing channel globally, growing at a 26 per cent compound annual growth rate over the past three years. It now accounts for 8 per cent of the total luxury market value, up from 4 per cent in 2013," he added.
Aucnet president Kiyotaka Fujisaki is confident of the business model, and it brings advantages such as optimised IT systems and operational expertise.
Mr Chua says: "Currently, there are business-to-consumer and consumer-to-consumer models that exist in the wholesale trade business ecosystem. This new channel to facilitate B2B trade is a good addition that brings new capabilities.
"It reinforces Singapore's reputation as a trusted and reliable trading and distribution hub."