Zilingo raised massive funding of $226 million in their latest Series D round of funding and is already valued at $970 million.
Singapore-headquartered Zilingo is a fashion, beauty and lifestyle marketplace that allows smaller merchants from Southeast Asia without an online presence to list their items for sale direct to consumers.
Zilingo is a mobile-first eCommerce platform. Their businesses include B2C & B2B Marketplace, Private Label as a Service, E-POS & Inventory Management Service, Trend Forecasting and Fintech Services.
Established in 2015, the company had raised massive funding of about $226 million in their Series D round of funding from host and investors, including Sequoia India, Burda Principal Investments, Singapore-based Temasek, Belgium’s Sofina and EDBI.
After the Series D Funding, Zilingo startup has now $308 million total funds which include $54 million Series C in 2018, $17 million Series B in 2018, $17 million Series B in 2017, $8 million in 2016, and $2 million in 2015.
Zilingo began when Ankiti Bose, then 23, and Dhruv Kapoor, a 24-year-old software engineer at gaming studio Kiwi Inc., realized that they had complementary skills and similar ambitions to build their own startup. The idea came from Bose when he was on a holiday trip in Bangkok and notices that many of the small and medium-sized shops had no online presence.
Now valued at $970 million, approaching to becoming a $1 billion fashion platform valuation, makes Bose, who is only 27-years old, one of the female Chief Executives to lead the startup in Asia.
Female founders remain rare in the global startup world. According to Bose, they are a bunch of twenty-something with nothing except this dream and they decided to chase it.
In addition, Bose said that the role of technology should be to create inclusive growth. In the fashion industry, core supply chain inefficiencies hinder small and medium merchants from unlocking their full potentials as compared to big brands.
To her, they are building a level-playing field by providing the best-in-class services and products to each merchant – irrespective of their size. Zilingo thinks this approach can unlock immense growth for Southeast Asian suppliers.
Zilingo started off by helping small merchants sell to consumers, and has since expanded in new areas. Since 2018, Zilingo has also worked with financial technology firms to provide working capital to small sellers so they can buy raw materials to produce goods.
Chief Technology Officer Dhruv Kapoor said that fashion and beauty merchants are hungry for tools that can help them scale. At the same rate, the ecosystem is marred by outdated tech. So it’s imperative for them to use build products that introduce machine learning and data science effectively to SMEs which also being easy to use, get adopted and scale quickly.
Zilingo said that they will sue the fresh capital infusion to invest in the infrastructure and technology needed to further integrate and digitize the fashion and beauty supply chain. The company also plans to expand in the Philippines, Indonesia and Australia in 2019.